Theatre review: Baba Brinkman’s Rap Guide To Consciousness

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: White men rapping are a fairly unremarkable species ever since Eminem arrived two decades ago, but Canadian artist Dirk “Baba” Brinkman Jr takes the “unlikely musician” factor up a notch.

Assembly George Square Studios (Venue 17)

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A proponent of what he self-describes as “peer-reviewed rap”, Brinkman first made an impression in Edinburgh with 2004’s Rap Canterbury Tales, and has since explored literature, science and the environment in rhyme. Here, his new show takes on the consciousness, the very mechanics of how our brain works.

The material is strong and informative, and most importantly, Brinkman’s raps are lyrical and amusing. A balding, white man in his late thirties with the air of a young supply teacher who all the kids like, he explores the effect he and his wife’s consciousness had on their attraction to each other, relates Google’s Deep Dream to the operation of our own minds, and ponders whether free will means anything with our increasing knowledge of how the brain works. His conclusion manages a political dig: “The consciousness is like the press secretary, it’s job is to make all the crap in the background all right.”