Due to spending a lot of time doing experiments in my cricket dungeon of late, I’ve been trying to divide my listening time between music, comedy podcasts, and scientific podcasts or lectures. Thankfully, I hit on something recently which crosses the boundaries – The Naked Scientists’ podcast from the Darwin Festival 2009 (download here) features The Rap Guide to Evolution from Canadian Baba Brinkman:
Award winning Canadian hip hop artist Baba Brinkman brings us his Rap Guide to Evolution, an hour of clever, witty and scientifically accurate rhymes that will have you seeing Darwin from a whole new perspective. Baba explores the history and current understanding of Darwin’s theory, combining hilarious remixes of popular rap songs with clever lyrical storytelling that covers Natural Selection, Artificial Selection, Sexual Selection, Group Selection, Unity of Common Descent, and Evolutionary Psychology.
I first happened upon Baba Brinkman (as, I imagine, did the majority of evolutionary biologists who have heard of him) when his performance at Robin Ince’s ‘Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People was televised by the BBC in 2009. I’ll be honest – at that point, my interest in hip-hop probably superceded my interest in evolutionary biology, and I wasn’t expecting great things on either front. However, Brinkman – a literary scholar whose previous credits include ‘The Rap Canterbury Tales‘ – is a master at distilling complex ideas and presenting them in a logical, memorable and humourous manner.
Brinkman is now using the Crowdfunder site to help raise money for an educational DVD, including music videos for each track and a host of teaching resources. This money would add to initial funding from the Wellcome Trust, and your donations give returns to suit even the most braggadocious of evolutionary biologists – such as your own picture occurring in one of the music videos! Plus, as you’ll hear from the podcast, his is also a ‘peer-reviewed’ hip-hop show – so you can be assured that scientific accuracy takes precedence over his rhyming dictionary….
Donate to Baba Brinkman’s fund here.