Tuesday, February 17, 2015

An Introduction to Baba Brinkman

On Sunday, I saw my first (and probably not my last) Baba Brinkman show, Rap Guide to Religion. It's the latest of the Canadian hip-hop artist's rap guides (he's also covered evolution, the Canterbury Tales, and the wilderness). It was a hit at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and was part of the 2014 Edinburgh Encore series at SoHo Playhouse, where its currently in an extended run through March 1.

Brinkman is an atheist, but this isn't a show about attacking the religious beliefs of others. He is interested in exploring the evolution of religion. He's done thorough research, referring to various books and studies throughout the show, which has been fact-checked by scholars. Projections and videos illustrate his points and he keeps the show from getting too intellectual by including personal details about his family. It's easy to get caught up in what Brinkman is saying, skilled as he is in public speaking and rap, but to his credit, he doesn't just preach. He wants to start a conversation. After the show, he invites the audience to join him in the bar downstairs to chat over drinks.

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