KEENE, N.H. -- "The Rap Guide to Evolution" by Baba Brinkman uses hip-hop as a vehicle to communicate the facts of evolution while illuminating the origins of hip-hop culture with Darwin as inspiration.
Lauded by theater critics, scientists and fellow rappers, Brinkman brings his novel species of theater to the Redfern Arts Center at Keene State College on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 7:30 p.m. The same day a school performance for middle and high school students will take place at 9:30 a.m. Brinkman will stay after each show for a discussion with the audience.
While in residence, Brinkman will present a workshop on writing theatrical rap versifications on Monday, Feb. 4, at 8 a.m. in the Wright Theatre with KSC theatre faculty Doug Wilcox’s Art of the Imagination theatre course. Additionally, students from the KSC Breakers, the Breaking and Hip-Hop Culture Club of Keene State College, will give a breakdancing demonstration in the Student Center Atrium on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at noon. The demonstration is free and open to the general public.
Tickets are $20 general, $13 for senior citizens, children, KSC alumni, faculty and staff; $5 for Keene State students; and $10 for the school performance. Call the Redfern Box Office at 603-358-2168 or order at www.keene.edu/racbp.
Canadian rap artist Baba Brinkman created The Rap Guide as a hip-hop exploration of modern biology that is provocative, hilarious, intelligent and scientifically accurate. Brinkman performs his clever reworking of popular rap singles as well as his own originals to illustrate natural selection and the evolutionary roots of human behavior.
Brinkman undertook the project at the suggestion of geneticist Dr. Mark Pallen, who requested a rap version of "On the Origin of Species" for Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday in 2009. In order to ensure scientific and historical accuracy, he consulted Pallen throughout the creative process, making "The Rap Guide to Evolution" the first peer-reviewed hip-hop show.
Brinkman went on to perform "The Rap Guide" to critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Off-Broadway. Olivia Judson, who writes about biology and science for The New York Times, called the show "one of the most astonishing, and brilliant, lectures on evolution I’ve ever seen."
Other rappers, too, have praised the show. Brinkman’s fellow Canadian Shad K, winner of the 2011 Juno Award (Canadian equivalent of a Grammy) for Best Rap Recording, calls The Rap Guide "lyrically sharp, highly inventive and entertaining."
Since 2004, Brinkman has toured his award-winning hip-hop theater shows to dozens of cities around the world, including six critically acclaimed runs at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His rap adaptations are now used in hundreds of classrooms, bringing a new generation of interest to science and literature.