Rap Guide

RapGuide.com is a digital platform that allows any music video to serve as the foundation for a classroom assignment. Teachers run lessons in private spaces accessible only to their own students, who write their responses as annotations attached to the lyrics. These annotations can be a close-reading, subjective response, or a scientific analysis with references. The site also includes resources for students to create their own informative songs and videos, based on Baba’s signature songwriting workshops.

Recently-launched and still in free beta-mode, try a Rap Guide assignment with your class today!


As a teaching artist, Baba has performed and run workshops for students at more than 100 high schools and colleges since 2003, including Harvard, Wellesley, Brown, Stanford, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge and many others. In 2005, Baba was sponsored by Cambridge University as a “literary ambassador to schools”, performing for students across the UK. Baba has produced educational rap albums, theater shows, and videos about Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales”, Evolution, Religion, Medicine, Climate Change, and Consciousness (neuroscience), delighting young audiences and helping them find their voice, while challenging students to think critically about science and society.

Freestyle Workshop

An avid freestyle rapper since 2002, Baba is a regular in the New York battle scene and has even conducted freestyle workshops with computer scientists at IBM and Google. In the workshop, Baba offers strategies for overcoming shyness and inhibitions to open the floodgates of improvisation and flow, tapping into 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.


Songwriting Workshop

Baba has taught workshops on hip-hop songwriting for students young and old since 2005. Sessions include hands-on composition and rehearsal with Baba guiding participants to refine their message and work in groups to write and perform original lyrics.

Watch Baba’s TEDx Talk, “A Brief History of Rhyme”:

More Testimonials

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”