Baba Brinkman, babasword.com
Chris - Now this week was also Cambridge University’s Darwin Festival. What actually happened was that we’ve had a full week of events which have been designed to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin who was actually a Cambridge University student. Also, it’s 150 years since he published arguably one of the most famous books of all time, The Origin of Species which effectively rewrote our understanding of the world of biology around us. But one event that took place as part of the festival and really leapt out was a Canadian hip-hop artist - he’s actually an erstwhile medieval historian - His name’s Baba Brinkman, and he unveiled his answer to Darwin which is his Rap Guide to Evolution and he spoke to David Fisher all about it.
David - The week here at Cambridge has seen mostly older scholarly types in panel discussions or alone at the lectern, analysing, speculating, debating, and theorizing over every nuance of Charlie Darwin’s existence. So, for a summary of the week, here’s rap artist Baba Brinkman who covers every angle of every session in his hip-hop show, The Rap Guide to Evolution.
David Fisher - This Canadian rapper is no scientist. His area is medieval literature. After applying rap to the Canterbury tales, he was approached by a microbial genomist who asked if he could do for Darwin what he did for Chaucer. Baba read his way through a pile of books on evolutionary biology and out spawned his Darwin show, covering every aspect of the great man’s work. And according to Baba, there’s a curious similarity between the creation, sorry, the growth, the evolution of an artistic work and any living thing.
Baba Brinkman - When I first started writing the show back in January, early drafts of the script sounded a little bit like this:
Chris - That’s rap artist Baba Brinkman from Canada who was able to be here in Cambridge touring with his rap, effectively Darwin set to a rap tune. He was talking to David Fisher who was an honorary member of The Naked Scientists for a week but you’ll normally find him at ABC at Radio National in Sydney, Australia.
We’ve actually got a recording of that entire show and we’re going to be publishing it for you as a special podcast on our website later this week. So, if you check out thenakedscientists.com/podcasts, then you should be able to listen to all of Baba Brinkman’s show.