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World Premiere

Baba Brinkman in Rap Guide to Culture

Baba Brinkman photo.

Performance: Rap Guide to Culture with Baba Brinkman

Date & Time: 7:30 p.m., April 23, 2019

Location: 272 Student Union

Rap artist, writer, and theater performer Baba Brinkman has been wowing audiences for ten years with his imaginative and award-winning "Rap Guide to…" series, in which he takes ideas from science and philosophy and presents them in a unique platform: hip-hop. Baba will premiere his new "Rap Guide to Culture" at 7:30 p.m. on April 23, 2019, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The performance is free and open to the public.

The series so far includes rap guides to Evolution, Human Nature, Business, Wilderness, Religion, Medicine, Climate Change, and Consciousness. His latest science/rap/comedy show, about the neuroscience of consciousness, recently concluded an eight-month run off-Broadway at the Soho Playhouse.

Called "Astonishing and brilliant" by The New York Times, Baba is a Scotsman Fringe First Award winner and a two-time Drama Desk Award Nominee. He was featured on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show and at the Seattle Science Festival opening for Stephen Hawking. Baba is a winner of the National Center for Science Education's "Friend of Darwin Award" for his efforts to improve public understanding of evolutionary biology.

In addition to his science rap, Baba is a pioneer in the genre of "lit-hop" or literary hip-hop, with rap adaptations of Beowulf, Gilgamesh, and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Baba tours and performs regularly and has spoken at several TEDx conferences and performed at the World Science Festival.

At NIMBioS, Baba will perform one of his signature "rap-ups" as a part of the DySoC/NIMBioS Investigative Workshop on Social Norms, April 23-25, 2019.

Baba was a Songwriter-in-Residence at NIMBioS in 2012. His original songs written while at NIMBioS include "Welcome to NIMBioS," "Rising Up," and "Mad Scientist." "Welcome to NIMBioS" is a rap-up of the visit by the National Science Foundation during its site review of NIMBioS, which occurred while Baba was in residence in April 2012, and features "an intro" by NIMBioS Director Louis Gross. Listen to the raps at

Descriptive Flyer

Sponsoring Partners
Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity (DySoC)
College of Arts and Sciences
School of Music
Department of Anthropology
Department of Psychology
Department of Sociology
Office of Community Engagement, Office of Research and Engagement
Campus Events Board

Blog Posts:
Baba Brinkman's different kind of beatbox
Rap artist and award-winning playwright Baba Brinkman
Baba promises to drop knowledge via rap

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From 2008 until early 2021, NIMBioS was supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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