Interview with Baba Brinkman

Baba Brinkman takes some time to talk to Voice about the show, inspirations, and to give advice to young people.

Interview with Baba Brinkman

Hello! Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

I'm a rap artist from Canada who does hip-hop theatre about scientific topics, just your typical "get rich or die of embarrassment trying" kind of story.

How would you describe your show?

A white guy in his thirties explores the mysteries of the brain and human consciousness via gangster-infused hip-hop songs and jokes, and you are astounded by how well it all works considering.

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

I owe my career to the Fringe and my early success here, so at this point I'm just giving back.

What differentiates it from other festivals?

More tears.

Do you think the Fringe has changed over the years? If so, how? Are these changes positive or negative?

The Fringe has changed like Brooklyn or Hackney: gentrification, unaffordable rents, marginally nicer stuff, price gouging, just as dangerous but with different ways to get mugged.

What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?

I wanted to be a cross between Eminem and Richard Dawkins, but since they had their respective fields sewn up, the Fringe seemed like the place to be.

If you didn't have your current job, what would you probably be doing?

Professor. Similar challenges, smaller audiences, higher ticket prices.

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

Elon Musk has a cool job. I would trade with him if he wanted.

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

I memorised and recited The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service at school at age 10. Ever since I've thought of poems and stories as ammunition and tried to stay locked and loaded.

Do you ever feel any pressure to be a social commentator, or constantly update material to respond to events?

Once you start with the social commentary people come to expect it, so I brought the pressure on myself. My new material features way more Trump references than a show about neuroscience reasonably should.

Equally, do you think there has been a shift in public sentiment that has affected your work?

The more the political landscape gets blighted, the more people crave oases of sanity and humour. Good for the entertainers, bad for the world.

Describe the last year in 5 words or less.

Everyone shows their ugly side.

If you could work with anybody, from any point in history, who would you pick and why?

If only my demo tape had come across Dr. Dre's desk instead of Snoop's in the early 90s, the history of gangster rap might have turned out very different.

Baba Brinkman: Rap Guide to Consciousness is performing at Assembly George Square Studios at 17:40 on 2nd – 28th (not 15th).

Off The Top: Neuroscience with Attitude is performing at Ciao Roma at 13:00 on 5th – 27th (not 14th).

For tickets and more information visit the Ed Fringe website.


Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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