Baba has performed for students at more than 100 high schools and colleges, including Harvard, Wellesley, Brown, Oxford, Cambridge, Yale and many others. Beginning with his rap version of The Canterbury Tales in 2004, Baba went on to produce educational hip-hop shows about Evolution, Religion, Climate Change, and Consciousness, delighting young audiences while informing and challenging them to think critically about science and society.
Baba performs regularly at public and private events, including college campuses, educational and professional conferences, tech and industry conferences, science centers, high schools, private parties, and public performing arts centers. An agile writer and freestyle rapper, Baba often tailors the content of his performances to the themes of each event.
Kent KildahlRiverdale County School Principle, Bronx NY
“Baba Brinkman is the most literate, most accessible, funniest, and yet most challenging performance artist one can imagine. He is a teacher, someone who raps about Chaucer, Beowulf, Darwin, and modern philosophy and education, but brings it all home for kids and faculty. In NYC, kids are smart and critical. They find Baba to be the best 45 minutes they have ever spent with a performance artist. Smart, literate, creative, captivating.”
David Sloan WilsonDistinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology, Binghamton University, Author of Evolution for Everyone
“Evolution will never be fully accepted by the general public until it is communicated through the popular media. I have seen Baba Brinkman perform his rap guide to evolution and was impressed both by its entertainment value and its educational value. Baba wasn’t just rapping about evolution in a superficial way, but in a way that made the audience “get” what evolution is and why it matters for their deepest concerns. One hour of Baba is worth a dozen lectures.”
Rick ZechmanProfessor of Evolutionary Biology Biology Dept Head, California State University, Fresno
“To be certain, Baba Brinkman is on to something – his art provides an extremely smart and entertaining means of engaging the public (and certainly college students) with the science of evolutionary biology, a valuable teaching tool that brings art to science like no other performer I’ve ever experienced.”
George Li,Vancouver, BC
“I remember you making the Canterbury raps for us at University Hill Secondary in 2005, it was an amazing presentation! It made me more interested in the study of English Literature, it encouraged me to write my own book of poetry, Close or Far, published in 2007. Thank you so much Baba, for igniting the interests of high school students in English Lit in an interactive, engaging, and modern way of presentation through a word play of clever linguistics”
Adam CasdinEnglish Dept , Horace Mann Secondary School Bronx, New York
“Baba Brinkman is a natural teacher. He is charismatic and has an easy way with students. The question and answer session he led was lively and extended, students were still talking about his visit days afterwards, and my colleagues and I found that our class discussions were decidedly stronger after his performance. Students even asked if we could read more Chaucer”
Baba has performed for audiences in the thousands at major industry conferences as well as government, professional, academic, and non-profit events. His conference sets usually combine clever science-themed rap songs with freestyle improv using word suggestions from the crowd, and “Rap Up” lyrics custom-written for the event (see below). Baba has performed at conferences for TEDx, DLD, Accenture, Alteryx, Tricentis, Insight Venture Partners, NRDC, BSR, World Parks Congress, Wildlife Habitat Council, and the UN Paris Climate Conference.
A “Rap Up” is a unique hip-hop comedy experience, written for your event, at your event. Baba has performed these custom compositions at academic and business conferences around the world, covering topics as diverse as business, technology, climate economics, neuroscience and wilderness conservation. To create a Rap Up, Baba attends the event, taking notes on the other speakers and writing the rap simultaneously, completing the lyrics in time to step on stage and perform at the conclusion of the event. In his signature tongue-in-cheek style, Baba both celebrates and satirizes, poking light-hearted fun at the day’s content and creating an unforgettable finale for the participants.
Baba frequently produces custom rap songs and music videos that synthesize complex ideas into a fun and accessible format. He has written and premiered original songs and raps for major conferences and events such as Future of Storytelling, Geek Pop, Intelligence Squared, the Society for Applied Microbiology, and the Brisbane Writer’s Festival.
Cloud Feedback – Baba Brinkman Music Video
Qubits – Baba Brinkman Music Video
Counterfactual – Baba Brinkman Music Video
Molten Salt – Lyric Video
Ballad of a Zombie – Baba Brinkman Music Video
Bright Future – Baba Brinkman Music Video
Parasite Wars – Lyric Video
Revenge of the Somatic – Baba Brinkman Music Video
Data Science – Baba Brinkman Music Video
Feelings for Reasons – Baba Brinkman Music Video
Redemption (feat Jessie Davis) – Baba Brinkman Music Video
See From Space – Baba Brinkman Music Video
Lyric Writing Workshop
Baba has led dozens of creative writing workshops teaching rap lyric composition for groups of students, academics, scientists, and professionals. The workshop summarizes the history of hip-hop lyricism, comparing the structure of rap to traditional verse forms such as Shakespearean sonnets. Cadence, rhyme schemes, concepts, style, and delivery are reviewed, followed by a hands-on composition session with participants collaborating to write their own lyrics, followed by a group performance at the end. In as little as an hour, Baba transforms participants from novices into rhyme technicians, sharing their voices and messages with the world. The experience is also a great team-building exercise, a refreshing way to brainstorm, refine and articulate a group’s core mission and message in lyrical form.
Beginning in 2018, Baba began offering freestyle rap workshops. His first one took place at Google’s headquarters in Palo Alto, and included world class computer programmers, physicists, cell biologists, and geneticists, but due to confidentiality rules no photos or names could be shared. They did, however, spit some very impressive rhymes about their research.
An avid freestyler rapper, Baba has been practicing and performing freestyle since 2002. In the workshop, Baba offers strategies for overcoming shyness and inhibitions to open the floodgates of improvisation, tapping into spontaneous creativity and flow. Participants begin with basic foundations and build their way up to a completely unscripted freestyle rap cypher (interactive rhyme session), amazing themselves with their hidden abilities and courage.
Baba is indebted to Freestyle Love Supreme for teaching him how to teach freestyle, and for generously allowing him to adapt some of their training materials.