Baba Brinkman's Rap Guide to Consciousness

Canadian rapper Baba Brinkman has explored several of the world’s biggest talking points – from evolution to climate change – and now he’s back for more. Ever thought you’d see a TED talk combined with an hour of hip hop improv? No, me neither. And I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be this mind-blowingly, awe-inspiringly good.

If you love to learn as much as you love to laugh, there could be no better way to spend your afternoon than this.

Whilst not strictly improvised, the ceaseless beats that bounce from one to another as Brinkman extrapolates on what exactly makes us humans tick are addictive; I was left wanting more at the end of every refrain. Within minutes the audience is on his side, following his lead and engaging with misleadingly simple rhymes that help to demonstrate whichever neurological theorem he is picking apart for us this time.

From Bayesian mathematics to the consequences of functionalism, via a trippy encounter with Google’s “Deep Dream” AI, my notes soon turned into academic scribbles as Brinkman lays down fact after fact through his prose and verse. Whether pacing the stage or facing towards us, eyes alight and hands outstretched, the energy fizzing from his performance is always palpable.

You don’t need to be neuroscientist to keep up, as huge cartoon graphics on an overhead screen lay the crumbs for Brinkman’s trail of thought throughout, and there are welcome pauses between tracks for performer and audience to catch their breath. It’s not all rest however, as a series of hands-up audience polls turns the action back onto ourselves, causing you to question your own knowledge, beliefs and maybe even use a Bayesian probability formula to adjust that belief. Now that’s something you can show off with at the bar afterwards.

If you love to learn as much as you love to laugh, there could be no better way to spend your afternoon than this. Bring a friend, a drink and a notepad and pen: you’ll thank me later.

Reviews by Kay Tee

theSpace on the Mile

10:31, MCR

Bedlam Theatre


Gilded Balloon Teviot

Ray Bradshaw: Deafinitely Baby

PBH's Free Fringe @ Bar Bados Complex


Assembly George Square

beep boop


All of Me


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Fringe First winner and "peer-reviewed rapper" Baba Brinkman (Rap Guide to Evolution, Rap Guide to Religion) explores the scientific study of consciousness in his latest hip-hop comedy. Baba's brain consists of roughly 90 billion neurons with trillions of connections, and none of them has any clue that he exists. And yet those cells come together to produce a steady stream of ill rhymes, laughs, and mind-blowing scientific findings. Come and find out how. 'Astonishing and brilliant' (New York Times). 'Funny and fascinating' ***** ( 'Close to perfect' ***** (Skinny). 'Awe-inspiring' ***** (Scotsman).

Most Popular See More

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £39.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets