Baba Brinkman’s ‘Rap Guide to Religion’
Canadian hip-hop star Baba Brinkman poses serious questions in new hip-hop play, Rap Guide to Religion.
Billed as “a hip-hop play about the science of the sacred,” the Rap Guide to Religion offers a new genre of theater that is equal parts hip-hop, stand-up comedy and TED Talk, which confronts one of the most important questions of today: is there a point to religion? Brinkman takes a scientific tack to try to find the answers, while offering songs that take their inspiration from both cognitive and evolutionary sciences. He enhances his creations by shedding some light on faith and his family history (for instance, Brinkman notes that one of his very-religious ancestors was responsible for siring over 8,000 descendants).
Brinkman’s Rap Guide to Religion seeks to answer the question of why humans have such widespread beliefs in a higher power, and examines what uses those beliefs might have. He also takes great pains to ask the question of how to replace those beliefs once they are lost.
The play has recently been part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it had a five-star run for the groundbreaking way it explores the means of religious evolution in humans. The Rap Guide to Religion endeavors to provide audiences with a new means to understand and appreciate both religion and critics of religion.
The show, the first few minutes of which some have described as “jolting”, features rhymes from a white Canadian rapper that are skillfully applied to the plight of non-believers in the US. Mr. Brinkman explores various theories of how the human mind works, and why religious beliefs exist. He also looks into the connection that exists between belief and suffering in a fresh, unique way that is both captivating and unconventional. His performance touches on current religious events, as well as the origin of religion in human history.