Singles

by Baba Brinkman

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Singles released as individual tracks, going back to 2010, covering topics as diverse as evolution, climate change and scientific skepticism. Every track features an original music video!

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released November 2, 2018

See individual songs for production credits.

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Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.

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Baba Brinkman New York, New York

Canadian hip-hop with an intellectual bent, nothing but sexy beats and sumptuous brain food.

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Track Name: See From Space
This is inspector Zorg, reporting back
To the galactic order on assorted facts
Collected from the planet in the 42nd sector
Where the radio waves were detected

As directed, I came to investigate it 
To see whether an intelligent civilization
Had emerged, and determine whether it’s worth
Establishing a diplomatic channel with earth

Which is still in its late juvenile phase 
And remains likely to self-annihilate
So I made an assessment of the entire range 
Of the planet’s native biological agents

The most common is a basic single-celled
Liquid dweller, cells that stick together
Form colonies of trillions called “bodies”
That develop from single-celled progeny

You already know, natural selection 
Designs organisms to maximize descendants
And the life forms here are no exception
All descended from a common ancestor

Including one ape species that’s an oddity
The radio waves came from its technology
And you’re not gonna believe it on Betelgeuse 
But these apes often choose not to reproduce

In fact, most of their time is wasted
Emanating strange noises from their faces
Instead of baby makin’, sonic arrangements
Of which this report is a demonstration

Can you see?
Can you see from space?

Every species of ape
Comes from the same DNA
Genes rearrange
‘Cause they don’t breed the same
Some genes make brains
Where memes compete and change
And these days
Apes can see from space

This bipedal ape species, these “humans”
Don’t even have tentacles like Betelgeuseans
Its limbs are modified fins 
And its jaws are just modified gill slits

It’s a mammal, it’s got mammal habits
But it’s actually just an adapted “land fish”
And like fish, each one has two parents
Each one of two morphological variants

Male and female, they’re called sexes
And with some exceptions they behave different
The males are physically bigger and more aggressive
More prone to stupid risks and more reckless

As expected, that’s what mammals are like
Females reward the winner after the fight
Or choose among contenders selectively
While males mate more opportunistically

Except in these humans 
Females display too, and males do some choosing
Especially when investing in offspring
And long-term costly signaling of monogamy

Humans are odd things, I tried to determine
Whether each behavior comes from instinct or learning
Just don’t ask them which is which
They don’t know, and they find the question offensive

Can you see?
Can you see from space?

Every species of ape
Comes from the same DNA
Genes rearrange
‘Cause they don’t breed the same
Some genes make brains
Where memes compete and change
And these days
Apes can see from space

These humans evolved their brains in odd ways
Wishful thinking makes them fall for con games
Betelgeusians evolved to know ourselves
Humans evolved to blame flaws on someone else

And take credit for gains, they jockey for status
Overdosing on calories, adapted to famines
They’re phobic of absent snakes and arachnids
With no fear of traffic or cigarette ashes

Most believe in telepathic gods and ghosts
And pretend to know things they obviously don’t
They form coalitions and reject evidence
If the facts are a threat to their tribal memberships

And yet, they are master cooperators
Space station making disease eradicators
They display a primitive collective intelligence
And sometimes even assist non-relatives

It’s amazing, what these apes have achieved
Their brains are a teeming accumulation of memes
Ideas, tactics and tool-making schemes
Which remain unmastered until their late teens

They only just found out how evolution works
And how it illuminates every mood and urge
Just give ‘em a few years and they might deserve
The name of Ape that Understood the Universe

Can you see?
Can you see from space?

Every species of ape
Comes from the same DNA
Genes rearrange
‘Cause they don’t breed the same
Some genes make brains
Where memes compete and change
And these days
Apes can see from space
Track Name: Confessions of a Skeptic
I confess it, I’m a skeptic
I believe in the scientific method
I believe in reason and evidence
And things bein’ tested

I’m really not tryin’ to be rude
When I tell people “I don’t believe you”
I believe you believe it to be true
But I want to see some peer review 
Human being are oh so deceivable
Oh so promiscuous with what’s believable
I’m old fashioned, I just want to see if it’s repeatable
With a mechanism that’s conceivable
Don’t dismiss this as if I’m “just a hater”
If you make the claim, you’re the instigator
I just wanna see if that claim can be replicated
In the presence of a skeptical investigator
I’m not scoffin’ – if it’s true, that’s awesome
And until proven, my thoughts are agnostic
Open minded, seeking truth, hopin’ to find it
Tryin’ to light a candle instead of gropin’ blindly

I confess it, I’m a skeptic
I believe in the scientific method
I believe in reason and evidence
And things bein’ tested

But I believe in people too
I may not believe in the things you do
But I believe in you
You too can seek the truth

I don’t believe in telepathy
I don’t believe in “chi energy”
I don’t believe in any kind of energy 
That Stephen Hawking hasn’t been measuring
Physics, it can measure neutrinos
Hundreds of billions are passing through people
Every single second, that’s something we know
But no instrument can detect “chi” though?
We could measure it with a fake needle
Acupuncture it with a placebo
And if the effect is no less feeble
That’s where medicine stops and psychology goes
Belief – it’s oh so powerful
That’s why we need to hold it accountable
If you know, then please show me how you know
And if you don’t, it’s okay to say “I don’t know”

I confess it, I’m a skeptic
I believe in the scientific method
I believe in reason and evidence
And things bein’ tested

But I believe in people too
I may not believe in the things you do
But I believe in you
You too can seek the truth 

Excuse me for rhapsodizing
But fake news and alternative facts are rising
Quack medicine keeps on metastasizing
But there’s a miracle cure, is that surprising?
It’s called the scientific method
If you think a thing is true, investigate and test it
Never forget that your memory’s selective
You have incentives to forget the negative
I was thinkin’ about my friend all day
And then improbably, my friend called me
But every time I thought about ‘em and they didn’t call
There was no story, so the memory dissolved
The mind play tricks, and we can learn to spot ‘em
Evolution even teaches us how we got ‘em
So learn to love facts and you might just get a passion
To put that skepticism into action

I confess it, I’m a skeptic
I believe in the scientific method
I believe in reason and evidence
And things bein’ tested

But I believe in people too
I may not believe in the things you do
But I believe in you
You too can seek the truth
Track Name: T.V.O.L.
E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N
Lines in your family tree unbroken
This view of life, T-V-O-L
Take a look and see for yourself


Selection selection selection
Natural, artificial and sexual
I’m lookin’ to Darwin to figure the form
Of an organ, adaptive or vestigial
Everything comes with a precedent
Genetic and cultural replicants
Selection is when one of them is successful
At passin’ it on to the next of kin

Selection selection selection
It’s like clockin’ an extra dimension
It’s like Neo perceivin’ the Matrix
Increasin’ your depth of perception
Selection selection, the reach of it’s awesome
From pollinators to trees when they blossom
From the beak of the finch to people who went
From quadrupedal to walkin’

Selection, don’t be afraid of it
Life evolved, no one created it
The genome of every organism, nature is
Always mutating and changing it
Selection selection selection
It’s a question of comprehension
Some people can see it and study it
Others believe it’s the devil’s invention

Selection, the science is settled
Every religious objection’s been vetted
And rejected, selection is happening
The only question is: in which direction?
Selection selection selection
Embrace it for all of its benefits
It’s paving the way for advances in everything
From robotics to medicine

Selection at multiple levels
Genetic and cultural symbols
Selection selected your mental capacity
To select and disseminate info
So tell me why rap is so cocky
Versace Versace Versace
Selection that’s sexual tends to go BLING!
When the signal is costly


E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N
Look at the world with two eyes open
This view of life, T-V-O-L
Learn to read it and it speaks for itself
E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N
Lines in your family tree unbroken
This view of life, T-V-O-L
Take a look and see for yourself


This view of life is magnificent
No living thing is really insignificant
Organisms are part of a tapestry
Takin’ us back to abiogenesis
And every creature is really your relative
From trees to people to krill
And it’s easy to see the resemblance
And when you spot it say “T-V-O-L”

This view of life is changing economies
People aren’t as selfish as they’re thought to be
Altruism is often adaptive and that should be
Part of our public policies
Does freedom mean freedom to kill?
Freedom to die in the street or to steal?
Look for the tragedies of the commons
And when you see them say “T-V-O-L”

This view of life is adaptable
Ready to follow wherever the facts go
Darwin just laid out the vision and showed how
Origins could be natural
He didn’t fill out the map though
There’s so much more that we can reveal
And every new fact fits into a scaffolding
Known as “T-V-O-L”

This view of life is exceptional
There isn’t another one so successful
At linkin’ together so many domains
In a way that’s simple and algorithmical
Whenever selection and variation
And heredity can be revealed
As part of a system, Darwinism
Is in effect: “T-V-O-L”

This view of life is full of grandeur
And majesty, but we lack the mastery
Of it to tackle the challenges facing
Humanity in this century
This view of life is the only way to
Make sense of how people think and feel
So make it a mission to celebrate
The vision: “T-V-O-L”


E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N
Look at the world with two eyes open
This view of life, T-V-O-L
Learn to read it and it speaks for itself
E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N
Lines in your family tree unbroken
This view of life, T-V-O-L
Take a look and see for yourself
Track Name: Erosion
Mr. Donald Trump you’re not my president
‘Cause I’m not a citizen, just another immigrant
A permanent resident stuck in the midst of it
Rubber-neckin’ as America drove off a cliff, thinkin’
I wish I could vote, but not for you though
Hell no, I voted for Justin Trudeau
Here’s a couple things that I think you know
Even if you act in public like you don’t
Climate change, you know that it’s happening
Know that its impact is already damaging
You said so! A permit you applied for
Said the ocean’s comin’ up on your Irish golf course
Well here’s another place you might like to protect
America. It’s likewise under threat
Sea level rise, extreme weather events
Infrastructure risk is bad for business
So I made a list, to help you keep track
And since you don’t read, I squeezed it in a rap
Would’ve put it in a tweet if I could achieve that
The seaside’s about to need an evac

Erosion
Of coastlines, riverbeds
Of time left, only chance we’re gonna get
Erosion
Of ice in the glaciers
United nations, isolation
Erosion
Of faith in democracy
Your face in the dictionary next to hypocrisy
Erosion, erosion, erosion

Mr. President
Stickin’ your head in the sand is not principled
The rate of sea level rise in Florida tripled
In one decade, and that’s easy to count
It’s back when Billy Bush and you were hangin’ around
Demonstrating your scruples, and since those days
The tidal flooding in Miami Beach has quadrupled
And that’s great for business if you sell water pumps
But not for local residents who voted Donald Trump
So what you gonna do now? Lose Mar-a-Lago?
Or try to move it all to higher ground in Colorado?
Some people try to tell me that you’re all bravado
But I think you’ve got a calculation under all the guano
Come on though, what’s Tampa supposed to do if
Another storm floods the bay with raw sewage?
Is the EPA gonna stop the fluid spewin’?
Not under Scott Pruitt, all he wants to do is sue it
And what about common sense national defence?
You got several naval bases under imminent threat
It’s not just the Gulf Coast, Hampton Roads’
About to have some of Virginia’s dampest homes

Erosion
Of waterfront property
Insurance underwriters can’t even make a profit
Erosion
Of the public trust
Coal burnin’ fillin’ up our lungs with dust
Erosion
Of real estate value
Sea water comin’ up to surround you
Erosion, erosion, erosion

Mr. President

You know! The fire season’s out of control
Losses have doubled since I was six years old
With damage in the hundreds of millions
We lost a whole town in Canada’s wilderness
You know! Climate change is a factor
The Pentagon calls it a “risk enhancer”
So why do you act like you don’t know?
With every new quote that it’s a huge hoax
I really do wanna take the charitable view
Basic ignorance, that’s embarrassing for you
But it’s not as bad as the uncharitable view
That you’re funnelling profits to fossil fuel
And getting kickbacks. There’s a lotta gas to burn
And we don’t know what you own, no tax return
All we know is, you got a lotta fossil fuel cronies
In your cabinet, and Tillerson and Putin are homies
And those with the most to gain
From the claim that climate change is a hoax are praying
That you can delay the clean energy transition
Long enough to cash a few chips in

Erosion
Of journalistic standards
We want answers, not panders
Erosion
Of public institutions
Of safeguards against pollution
Erosion
Of civilization
It’s not too late to make changes
Erosion, erosion, erosion
Mr. President
Track Name: Destruction
Tell me again and again and again
You don’t believe
We’re on the eve of destruction

Mr. President I’m back again after a hell of year
With a message you really don’t wanna hear
Climate change is real, and everything except for
Your legacy will disappear, so lend me your ear

And let me hit you with some info you don’t get to ignore
It’s from a federal scientific advisory board
Straightforward, it’s got the NAS's support
The National Climate Assessment Special Report

It's real! Even secretary Mattis knows it
Expanding ocean’s putting military plans in motion
With a risk enhancer the chances of disasters go up
Look at the fires in California

Let me spell it out for you: rising temperatures
Without precipitation triggers drought conditions
Liquid evaporates and vegetation’s dry as tinder
And that’s why the state was on fire all winter

So what’s the message you’re sending the American people
Swearing to weasel out of the Paris Agreement?
Did you notice the 2017 hurricane season?
It was extreme, for the very same reason

It's the same message you’re sending to Puerto Ricans
When they’re storm-weakened and denied the support of FEMA
Maria’s intensity was the ocean catching a fever
While you’re tossin' paper towels at the crowd like a diva

Attackin’ Colin Kaepernick just to try to distract us from
The fact of indictments landing on your campaign manager
Or whatever the latest scandal plaguin’ your cabinet
Every department head appointed to dismantle it

Rippin’ us off, ridiculous Betsy DeVos
Never seen a public school or even stepped in its halls
The CDC is takin’ “science" and “evidence" off
The list of permitted words, which is medicine’s loss

And what about Harvey, not the sexual predator
Your competitor for the credit of Molester In Chief 
I mean the one that gave Texas an enema
Climate change took the regular chances and straight tripled them

Check the level of deluge in Houston
Four feet of rain in as many days, boosted
A foot or more by human carbon pollution
You’ve been accused of fossil fuel collusion

Of conspiracy with a Petro-State
To make American energy policy retrograde
Every renewable project, you said “no way”
But the pipelines and the drilling gets okayed?

So congratulations, you’re the Neville Chamberlain
Of temperature change, ‘cause instead of facin’ it
You deliver craven misinformation
With a straight face to the nation

Tell me again and again and again
You don’t believe 
We’re on the eve of destruction

What’s the deal? You keep tellin’ me the threat isn’t real
But I’m beginnin’ to feel you got something to conceal
Credible people tell us emissions are lethal
You’re just tryin’ to give investors in ‘em a better yield

So what do we do, with a do-nothin federal government?
The electorate can get rid of republicans
Up and down the ticket as a punishment for Trumpism
The EPA’s got a double agent runnin’ it

But we can skip the federal regulations and act
A city can have a plan, a company and
Even a whole industry can; emissions are getting capped
By the C-40 mega-city initiative pact

And remember, the Paris Agreement isn’t rescinded
Every country except for America’s still in it
Plus a lot of states are still ready to build with it
America’s Pledge, fifty percent still committed

Mr. President, it’s already too late
To bring your descendants anything but the heaviest shame
That’s your legacy, mistake after mistake
With climate change at the top of the list of messes you made

But that’s enough about you
It’s time for the next election cycle to rout you
I know you’re not gonna change, you don’t know how to
But we can still deal with the climate crisis without you

Tell me again and again and again
You don’t believe 
We’re on the eve of destruction
Track Name: Off That (Rationalist Anthem)
Welcome to the future
Geek Pop Three
Better find them a
Nice soft place to land
‘Cause they sound high
They’re comin’ down
Find them a nice soft place to land right?
Pseudo-scientists, pseudo-mystics,
Pseudo-psychics
It’s all pseudo

I want tomorrow to be better than yesterday
That’s why I’m all about technology
So if you say “slow it down!”
I’ll say fast forward
And if you want the benefits
But not the process then you’re hypocrites
Everybody’s wish list is
For new toys and tools and better medicines
And you can have this wish
Just ask the methodological naturalists
And if your spouse gets sick
Consult professionals never novices
Deep down you all know this
Jay-Z thanks I had to borrow this
To make sure tomorrow is
Filled with a bit less moronic shit

Whatever scientists can discover
You want that
When it’s justice and life or death
You want facts
But when you feel threatened by science
It’s all bad
And you can’t bring the future back

Mysticism and pseudo-science
We off that
Placebo effects and magic
Are off track
Religion and superstition
We off that
‘Cause you can’t bring the future back

Tell them fools get off me!
Fraud we off that
Quacks we off that
Homeopathy?
Hell yeah, we off that
Is you still on that?
You should read Bad Science
And Trick or Treatment; they’re not bad

This ain’t black vs white; it ain’t east vs west
It’s about the scientific method against myths
It’s colour-blind justice and double-blind tests
So you can’t make claims if you lack evidence
You say “It suits me best”
But you haven’t ruled out those placebo effects
And it’s sadistic
To peddle false medicines to poor sick kids
And yes it’s been tested
Prayer doesn’t work against illnesses
What fuckin’ drugs is you on?
Tryin’ to use magic wands in Iraq to detect bombs
You fuckin’ punks, people die when you guess wrong
That’s why we got double-blind tests to detect frauds
And same with homeopaths
And psychic mediums and other phonies and quacks

Whatever scientists can discover
You want that
When it’s justice and life or death
You want facts
But when you feel threatened by science
It’s all bad
And you can’t bring the future back

Mysticism and pseudo-science
We off that
Placebo effects and magic
Are off track
Religion and superstition
We off that
‘Cause you can’t bring the future back

Tell them fools get off me!
Fraud we off that
Ghosts we off that
God we off that
Hell yeah, we off that
Is you still on that?
You should read Dan Dennett
And Dawkins; they’re not bad

I don’t give a fidduck abiddout the fiddaith
You used to have – you can choose your path
And I don’t give a fuck if you meditate
Just don’t try to claim you can levitate
There’s some physical laws you can never break
That’s why they’re called laws, no exceptions made
And I don’t give a fidduck abiddout the visions
You probably had; you’re just a copycat
And yes, I’m aware this is a copied rap
It’s like evolution right? We all adapt
And I don’t give a fuck if you hallucinate
Just don’t try to make any truthful claims
Unless you can show us the proof we crave
‘Cause no aliens ever flew my way
So now it’s time to relax
Your mind and learn a couple science facts

Whatever scientists can discover
You want that
When it’s justice and life or death
You want facts
But when you feel threatened by science
It’s all bad
And you can’t bring the future back

Mysticism and pseudo-science
We off that
Placebo effects and magic
Are off track
Religion and superstition
We off that
‘Cause you can’t bring the future back

Tell them fools get off me!
Spells we off that
The occult we off that
Astrology?
Hell yeah, we off that
Is you still on that?
But we’ll still debunk frauds
‘Cause we still on that