Rap Guide to Consciousness

Predicting the next big show on the Fringe circuit is a little like trying to squeeze a champagne cork back into the bottle after it’s popped. Lots of fun but completely impossible. You’d be forgiven for thinking a new rap show that discusses our consciousness and the impossibility of free will might not be your best bet, but you’d be wrong. Part stand up gig, part lecture and part rap concert, Rap Guide to Consciousness is an utterly charming and seemingly semi-autobiographical show and a sure-fire hit for its imminent run at the Edinburgh Fringe.

This is a unique Fringe event that is surely going places. It is that rare thing; a show that is both brilliantly entertaining and hugely informative

Baba Brinkman has buckets of stage presence. He’s funny, charismatic and not a bad rapper either. He has only two microphones, two chairs and an AV projection to support him - all of which are used sparingly and effectively. He poses many provocative and beguiling questions about who and why we are. How do you define consciousness? How do we talk about it? Does free will exist? How do we compare different types of consciousnesses and why does it matter? At times the show becomes a fun kind of neuroscience lecture. While things can get a little heavy at times, this only adds to its unique intrigue. This show refuses to condescend its audience. We are encouraged to take it or leave it and for every fact that shoots above our heads, we are offered another piece of information immediately afterwards. We are never allowed to be bored.

There are many stand out moments. A particular moving passage is Baba’s ode to his baby son Dylan – a hilarious and touching rap which, in his own words, is a demonstration of “how to dis your newborn in five minutes”. Other favourites are his explanation of the Jennifer Aniston neuron and when he explains the very immediate and important use the study of our consciousness can offer the disabled.

This is a unique Fringe event that is surely going places. It is that rare thing; a show that is both brilliantly entertaining and hugely informative. It’s also unlike anything else you’ll see this year. I for one, can’t wait to see it again.

Reviews by Aidan Stark

Sweet St Andrew's

The Forecast

The Warren: Studio 2

Rap Guide to Consciousness

The Warren: Theatre Box

Good Grief: Stories at 207 West 88th

The Warren: Main House

Cabaret From The Shadows

Gilded Balloon Teviot

Oliver Reed: Wild Thing

Paradise in The Vault

Discretion Guaranteed




The Blurb

Called "astonishing and brilliant" by the NY Times, Baba Brinkman's 'Rap Guide' series of Hip Hop theatre shows have thrilled audiences since 2009, when 'Rap Guide to Evolution' won a Fringe First Award in Edinburgh and was a hit off-Broadway and around the world. In his latest "peer-reviewed rap" production, Baba explores the study of consciousness, the how and why behind your thoughts and perceptions. Mixing cutting-edge research with comedy and mind-bending rap storytelling, Baba takes you through the twists and turns of the only organ it's better to donate than receive: the human brain.