A hip-hop guide to evolutionary medicine and the Darwinian roots of disease.


Randolph M. Nesse & George C. Williams, Why We Get Sick

Robert L. Perlman, Evolution & Medicine

Stephen C. Stearns & Jacob C. Koella, Evolution in Health and Disease, 2nd Ed.

Peter Gluckman and Mark Hanson, Mismatch

Daniel Lieberman, The Story of the Human Body

Click on individual tracks for additional sources
released 18 March 2015

All tracks written by D. Brinkman and J. Simmonds except track 8, written by D. Brinkman and T. Caruana
All tracks produced, mixed and mastered by Mr. Simmonds, track 8 co-produced by Tom Caruana
Additional keys on tracks 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8 by Simon Kendall
Additional vocals on tracks 3 and 6 by Aaron Nazrul

Made with support from the International Society for Evolution, Medicine & Public Health, the ASU Center for Evolution and Medicine, the Perlstein Lab, and the Society for Applied Microbiology.

The Rap Guide to Medicine

A hip-hop guide to evolutionary medicine and the Darwinian roots of disease.

Produced, mixed, and mastered by Mr. Simmonds, with co-production on track 8 by Tom Caruana. Commissioned by Randy Nesse at the ASU Center for Evolution and Medicine and made with support from the International Society for Evolution, Medicine & Public Health, the ASU Center for Evolution and Medicine, the Perlstein Lab, and the Society for Applied Microbiology.

"A testament to the expansive nature of rap music"—Williams Record

"Highly engaging... If you like rap or neuroscience, you should go"—Scientific American

"Irresistibly charming, enthusiastic, funny, talented and smart"—DC Metro Theatre Arts

"This guy raps about climate change and it's actually pretty amazing"—Allegheny Front

"Deftly explores the science, politics, and psychology of this century’s toughest challenge"—Sierra Magazine

"Takes listeners on a musical tour of the defining issue of our time, bringing much-needed color, clarity, and humor"—Popular Science

"If the thought of putting Al Gore’s 'An Inconvenient Truth' into a lyrical blender with 'Hamilton' and sprinkling bits of Eminem’s '8 Mile' over top sparks your interest, this might be the album for you"—Geek Dad

"Awesome! If you're at all on the fence about climate change, this album alone should be enough to convince you"—Fandomania

"For a rapid-fire summary, you can hear Baba Brinkman, a rap artist who provided a daily report on the meeting, which he called 'half science lab and half Burning Man.'"—New York Times

"Baba not only entertains, but enlightens both the environmentally conscious and unconscious"—R&D Magazine

"The complete package of Brinkman & his 'Rap Guide to Climate Chaos' is cleverly seismic"—The Highlighter

"Smart, funny and informative... a devoted student of hip-hop, lacing his songs with rhythmic and lyrical allusions to the genre’s greats."—Huffington Post

"I left the theatre feeling more hopeful about humanity"—Fusion

"Fires up the audience in a way that I've never seen before off-Broadway in New York city"—J. J. Brown

"A funny, thoughtful look at the science, economics and politics of climate change — in verse and with a backbeat"—Think Progress

"A mix of comedy, sincerity, and self-consciousness"—WNYC

"Baba Brinkman is an original, informed and prolific artist"—Downtown Magazine

"This is not preachy; this is theatre – funny, surprising, and smart." ★ ★ ★ ★ ★—Front Row Center

"Fun, thought-provoking, and highly original... pulsing energy from beginning to end"—Theater Scene

“Electrifying… a mesmerizing must-see production"—Theater Pizzazz

"Sick rhymes and energetic presence"—Theater Is Easy

"Packs in wit, intelligence and scads of information"—Show Me Shows NYC

"Meet the guy raising climate change awareness through hip-hop"—New York Observer

"Demonstrates the perceptiveness of a literary scholar and the wit of a chart-topping rapper. Full of head-bobbing rhythms and clever rhymes"—Daily Tar Heel

"Their chemistry on stage is fantastic... You’ll learn a lot here, with plenty of laughs along the way." ★ ★ ★ ★—Three Weeks

"Funny? Yes. Endearing? Yes. Interesting? Hugely." ★ ★ ★ ★—Broadway Baby

"An invigorating hour... smart, funny, well-sustained" ★ ★ ★ ★—The Times

"Exceptionally talented, brilliantly lyrical... Ambitiously mashing together complex climate change research with popular culture... paints a compelling picture" ★ ★ ★ ★—The Scotsman

"A high octane performance that will make viewers think about what they can do to help slow down global warming" ★ ★ ★ ★—British Theatre Guide

Deftly-worded... close to perfect... an artist at the absolute top of their game." ★ ★ ★ ★ ★—The Skinny

"An intelligent, info-rich show... Fluid, self-aware, passionate, and engaging. And also very funny." ★ ★ ★ ★—The Stage

"An inspiring and wonderfully entertaining show from beginning to end... an absolute jewel." ★ ★ ★ ★ ★—Mumble Comedy

"Unendingly entertaining, jaw-droppingly fascinating... a momentously important show. Pure unashamed geekery." ★ ★ ★ ★—Arts Award Voice

"Mixes comfortable quips from our teacher Dr Heather Berlin and a few swift rhymes from her husband Baba Brinkman." ★ ★ ★ ★—The Skinny

"A must-see for any hip-hop fan, science geek, or multi-genre fanatic." ★ ★ ★ ★—Arts Award Voice

"This show could change your life. An absolute fringe must-see." ★ ★ ★ ★ ★—Edinburgh Reporter

Conclusive proof that it is possible to be funny and clever.—Evening Standard

"A smart and entertaining survey of what gives us faith, and Brinkman’s confidence and delight in wordplay make it a pleasure to sit back and go with his flow." ★ ★ ★ ★—Time Out New York

Fully engages all cylinders... a true artist—Tracy’s New York Life

The material is incredibly thought-provoking and richly dense, but he makes it digestible and, most importantly, fascinating—Broadway World

Very funny, very educational... like attending the best TED talk ever, but with musical breaks.—The New York Times

Who the hell is Baba Brinkman? He is a thoughtful, funny, erudite, and amazingly likable talent.—The Humanist

Totally changed my opinion of this generation’s musical vision… you’ll not only learn a lot, but you’ll have fun.—A Seat On The Aisle

Offers a lively and surprisingly sophisticated take on science.—Nature

A memorable theatre experience, your brain will get a good workout from this very talented and dynamic artist.—Theater Is Easy

"The lyricism at its best is both incredibly funny and relentlessly honest."—Technician Online

His flow is often impressive and he strikes a solid balance between punch lines and substantive lyrical content.—Theater Pizzazz

Sweet hip-hop rhymes take the audience on a journey of self-discovery as to the origins of our culture's extreme love affair with religious identity.—Stage Buddy

This is no dry academic lecture — it’s a hip-hop show. With intricate rhymes, solid beats, and no small dose of good humor.—Empiricist League

"From all angles it's clear Brinkman has his act together"—Village Voice

"So engaging and so funny. An amazing show, it really must be seen."—Harry Allen, WBAI “Nonfiction”

"Rap gegen den Glauben"—PRO Magazine

"Baba Brinkman and Dr. Heather Berlin deliver what may be the best show of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2014." ★ ★ ★ ★ ★—Edinburgh Uncovered

"A spectacular show that sets the bar high for comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe" ★ ★ ★ ★ ★—Plays To See

"A grittier, wittier, visceral and definitely  saucier, coarser Chaucer" ★ ★ ★ ★ ★—Edinburgh Reporter

"Unashamedly fun... a five star experience and a hell of a good time" ★ ★ ★ ★ ★—Edinburgh Uncovered

"Geek heaven... who says science is boring?" ★ ★ ★ ★ ★—Edinburgh Reporter

"Devilishly insightful and dazzlingly witty... a fringe must-see" ★ ★ ★ ★ ★—Edinburgh Reporter

"Irresistible lyricism... a fantastic show" ★ ★ ★ ★—A Younger Theatre

"An Edinburgh phenomenon... very effectively combining Baba Brinkman’s unique brand of comedy and dissemination of fascinating data." ★ ★ ★ ★—British Theatre Guide

"Fabulously intelligent... an original and delightful performer"—London Grip

"I had the time of my life. I love Brinkman’s blend of lecture hall, with vaudeville, with a studied and yet organic lyricism... real talk, in every sense." ★ ★ ★ ★—Edinburgh Uncovered

"Brilliant and unique, Baba Brinkman uses his talent in a very special way."—This Is Cabaret

"Breathlessly epic... verges on poetry" ★ ★ ★ ★—Broadway Baby

"Tremendous energy, enthusiasm and warmth... Go along and brighten up your afternoon and let Baba enlighten you." ★ ★ ★ ★—SG Fringe

"Brinkman is intelligent, engaging, funny and can actually rap... he forces us to think about what we get from religion, and whether we can get it from anywhere else."—The Stage

"Brinkman’s ability to weave complicated arguments into rhyme is uncannily clever and his wordplay is wonderful."—The Scotsman

Simply put, this guy is freaking brilliant... He’s a package of talent, intelligence and wonderful energy.—

Brinkman's style is fresh, brave, and radical. ★★★★1/2—Toorak Times

Sizzles on stage as he rips rhythmically through strands of evolutionary theory with masterly command of the science. ★★★★1/2—The West Australian

Whether you’re a fan of rap, comedy, or the scientific method, this show is a must-see.—Vancouver Observer

Brinkman has created audience-friendly infotainment of the highest order.—The Province

Expect to be entertained and enlightened.—Jo Ledingham On The Scene

Simple but profound evolutionary insights to help make the world a better place.—OUT TV

Brinkman gives eloquent voice to pain without committing a fallacious appeal to nature.—Scientific American

Learning to the sound of rap—MacLeans Magazine

If Bill Nye the Science Guy fell into a vat of hip-hop flavored radioactive waste, he would probably end up as Baba Brinkman.—ScienceLine

Amiable and energetic—New York Times

Feels like a mash-up of “Schoolhouse Rock” and “Sex and the City” as performed by a young Eminem... impressively delivered—New Yorker

A brilliant and bizarre new theatrical mix-tape—Theater Mania

One of the more interactive shows to be found off-Broadway—Lighting and Sound America

A number of refreshingly daring elements make this a unique theatrical experience.—Associated Press

Provoking controversy appears to be what [Baba] does best—

Brilliant and bewildering—Curtain Up

Brinkman's got mad flow, [and] the beats ain't bad—Music for Maniacs

Bravely tackles the subject of human sexuality... winkingly funny—Exeunt Magazine

A truly epic and rewarding listen for those with a curious and thoughtful mind.—MooSick Revoos

Hawking and rap make science hip (hop)—New Scientist

How a guy named "Baba" schooled some of the world's preeminent evolutionary biologists—Ottawa Citizen

Takes storytelling to a whole new level with highly impressive and hilarious anecdotal interpretations of classic tales.—The Find Magazine

"'The Canterbury Tales Remixed' is the kind of work that makes off-Broadway hum"—Theatre Scene

“Most rappers boast about their intellect, but few go out and actually get a master’s degree in medieval and Renaissance literature so they can spit better rhymes.” —Huffington Post

“He maintains the essence of Chaucer’s stories and storytelling itself in a fresh way, and his diction and timing capture the Middle Ages’ anachronisms and idiosyncrasies in a way that effortlessly interprets them for a modern audience.” —Backstage

“An audacious hip hop approach to some great literary classics; the show is funny and thoughtful.”—Theater Is Easy

“Not only audacious, but also astute” —Theater Mania

“In his delightful one-man show, Baba Brinkman has unlocked another intimidating masterpiece from the Ivory Tower.”—New York Times

"The NWA of DNA - Interesting, intelligent and funny hip-hop about evolutionary theory." —Scientific American

"He turns dusty old works that torture adolescents in classrooms into remarkably current and vivid stories." —Huffington Post

Warriors clash, badass thieves and thugs receive a brutal comeuppance, husbands fight a losing battle against wily wives and seducing lothiarios, villages are plagued by sinister forces of nature.—Show Business Weekly

"The hypnotic beats of [Mr. Simmonds] soundscapes provide so much more than a supporting role.”—

Album >