Baba has performed at Google, IBM, TEDx, Accenture, Alteryx, Tricentis, DLD, BSR, The World Parks Congress, and the COP-21 UN Climate Conference in Paris. His sets combine science-themed rap songs with improvised freestyles incorporating words suggested by the crowd, as well as custom-written “Rap Up” summaries that provide an uplifting conclusion to any event. See below for the full set of custom-content offerings available.
With in-person events mostly on hold, Baba has pivoted to virtual performances at public and private digital events. An agile writer and freestyle rapper, he often tailors his content to the themes of each gathering, referencing the other speakers and summarizing the themes of the day in a "Rap Up" or custom-written rap song.
Baba has taught workshops on hip-hop songwriting for groups of students, academics, scientists, and professionals since 2005. Sessions include hands-on composition and rehearsal with Baba guiding participants through the process of writing and performing their own original rap lyrics. In as little as an hour, Baba transforms novices into rhyme technicians, sharing their voices and messages with the world. Songwriting workshops also function as a team-building exercise, a refreshing way to brainstorm, refine and articulate a group’s core mission and message in lyrical form.
An avid freestyler rapper, Baba has been practicing and performing freestyle (improvised rhyme) since 2002, and recently completed the Freestyle Love Supreme Rhyme Academy in NYC. In his workshops, Baba offers strategies for overcoming shyness and inhibitions to open the floodgates of improvisation and flow, tapping into wells of spontaneous creativity. Participants begin with basic foundations and build their way up to a completely unscripted freestyle cypher (interactive rhyme session), amazing themselves with their hidden abilities and courage.
As a teaching artist, Baba has performed and run workshops for students at more than 100 high schools and colleges, including Harvard, Wellesley, Brown, Stanford, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge and many others. Beginning with his rap version of The Canterbury Tales in 2004, Baba went on to produce educational hip-hop shows about Evolution, Religion, Climate Change, and Consciousness, delighting young audiences and helping them find their voice, while informing and challenging them to think critically about science and society.
Kent KildahlRiverdale County School Principle, Bronx NY
“Baba Brinkman is the most literate, most accessible, funniest, and yet most challenging performance artist one can imagine. He is a teacher, someone who raps about Chaucer, Beowulf, Darwin, and modern philosophy and education, but brings it all home for kids and faculty. In NYC, kids are smart and critical. They find Baba to be the best 45 minutes they have ever spent with a performance artist. Smart, literate, creative, captivating.”
David Sloan WilsonDistinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology, Binghamton University, Author of Evolution for Everyone
“Evolution will never be fully accepted by the general public until it is communicated through the popular media. I have seen Baba Brinkman perform his rap guide to evolution and was impressed both by its entertainment value and its educational value. Baba wasn’t just rapping about evolution in a superficial way, but in a way that made the audience “get” what evolution is and why it matters for their deepest concerns. One hour of Baba is worth a dozen lectures.”
Rick ZechmanProfessor of Evolutionary Biology Biology Dept Head, California State University, Fresno
“To be certain, Baba Brinkman is on to something – his art provides an extremely smart and entertaining means of engaging the public (and certainly college students) with the science of evolutionary biology, a valuable teaching tool that brings art to science like no other performer I’ve ever experienced.”
George Li,Vancouver, BC
“I remember you making the Canterbury raps for us at University Hill Secondary in 2005, it was an amazing presentation! It made me more interested in the study of English Literature, it encouraged me to write my own book of poetry, Close or Far, published in 2007. Thank you so much Baba, for igniting the interests of high school students in English Lit in an interactive, engaging, and modern way of presentation through a word play of clever linguistics”
Adam CasdinEnglish Dept , Horace Mann Secondary School Bronx, New York
“Baba Brinkman is a natural teacher. He is charismatic and has an easy way with students. The question and answer session he led was lively and extended, students were still talking about his visit days afterwards, and my colleagues and I found that our class discussions were decidedly stronger after his performance. Students even asked if we could read more Chaucer”