Baba Brinkman's Rap Guide to Culture (4 stars)

This article is from 2019

Baba Brinkman's Rap Guide to Culture

Exploring the fruitful benefits of an arts degree

This rap guide to culture is exactly what it professes to be. Starting with the dictionary definition of 'culture', Baba Brinkman proceeds to rap and exposit his way through the evolution of humans from their infancy through the spread of agriculture to the invention of hip hop. Drawing upon his English Literature thesis, which compared illustrious poetry from ages past with rap music, Brinkman provides an answer to those who question the value of a liberal arts degree. The answer is, of course, to use it as fodder for a Fringe show, make a whole series of science / rap hybrid albums, and help his mother's election campaign (she's a Canadian Member of Parliament).

All this would be for naught if his skills on the mic weren't up to scratch. Don't worry, though, his science-based theories about culture and dope rhymes are equally intelligent and intelligible. The show does flag in a section on sexual difference which includes a heteronormative take on gender, dating and monogamy that is less nuanced than the other material. It excels when Brinkman shares his obvious love for the musical artform, whether exploring the rules for white-boy rappers or comparing hip hop to Chaucer.

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Baba Brinkman's Rap Guide to Culture

  • 4 stars

Rap Guide Media Music, poetry, art, science, politics, relationships, strange behaviors found in a species of (mostly) hairless primate. How do norms and social systems evolve and who benefits? Genes, memes, individuals, groups, societies and now the whole planet hangs in the balance as cultures and sub-cultures compete…