Some reviews are easier to write than others. This one proved particularly difficult for me, mainly because I left the show absolutely speechless.
I have never before experienced scientific or philosophical rap, and I can now decidedly state that my life was the worse for it. Baba Brinkman's intellectual rhymes are brilliant; his show is a hip hop sensation that will force you to re-examine your beliefs about your own mind and the potential power of artificial intelligence to perfectly replicate our cognitive processes.
Through a mixture of furious, fast-paced rapping and equally energetic explanations, Brinkman takes the audience on a mind-boggling journey of philosophical pondering. The use of visuals and thought experiments to help explain complicated concepts was definitely necessary, as often it was difficult to keep up with the words alone. Brinkman's energy is boundless and he fills the room effortlessly, keeping the audience engaged even when the concepts threaten to overwhelm.
I've always loved the big philosophical questions, so I loved what Brinkman explored. What really is consciousness? Are we all conscious? Would a machine, if it did exactly what all of the 80 billion neurones in our brains do, be conscious? Add in fundamentalism, determinism, neuro-ethics and some classic Drumpf jokes, and you have a show that would surely scare off anyone who wasn't a neuroscientist or philosophy professor. But, somehow, Brinkman makes these topics more approachable; more hip, more exciting, and much, much more rhythmic.
With my already-established love of both rapping and philosophy, I was predisposed to adore this show. However, there were times I found the show hard to follow, and that in turn detracted from the overall experience. You'd focus so hard on trying to catch what was said, you'd miss the next line.
As such, those who aren't already into rap or philosophy are likely to find that this won't be their cup of tea. But if you're willing and ready to engage your brain and have a hip hop experience like no other, this is the show for you!
Baba Brinkman's Rap Guide to Consciousness is on at Assembly George Square Studious at 17:40 until August 28th. For more information and to purchase tickets visit the EdFringe website.