The Rap Guide to Evolution Revised

by Baba Brinkman

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    Supported by the Wellcome Trust and 300 independent crowdfunding backers, this DVD includes ten professional music videos based on Baba's classic Darwin/Rap mash-up.

    The videos can be previewed along with downloadable teaching materials available here: www.rapguidetoevolution.co.uk

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Ballad of a Zombie, Data Science, Bright Future, Stay Home, See From Space, The Rap Guide to Consciousness, The Rap Guide to Climate Chaos, The Rap Guide to Religion, and 16 more. , and , .

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1.
“Whoever is lead to believe that species are mutable, will do good service by conscientiously expressing his conviction, for only thus can the load of prejudice by which this subject is overwhelmed, be removed.” Charles Darwin, Origin of Species So what-ch-you know about Natural Selection? Go ahead And ask a question and see where the answer gets you Try bein’ passive aggressive or try smashin’ heads in And see which tactic brings your plans to fruition And if you have an explanation in mind, then you’re Wastin’ your time, ‘cause the best watchmaker is blind It takes a certain base kind of impatient mind To explain away nature with “intelligent design” But the truth shall set you free From those useless superstitious beliefs In a literal Adam and Eve, and that Edenic myth ‘Cause their family tree is showin’ some genetic drift Take it from this bald-headed non-celibate monk With the lyrical equivalent of an elephant’s trunk It’s time to elevate your mind-state And celebrate your kinship with the primates The weak and the strong, who got it goin’ on? We lived in the dark for so long The weak and the strong, Darwin got it goin’ on Creationism is dead wrong “The view which most naturalists entertain…namely that each species has been independently created, is erroneous.” Charles Darwin, Origin of Species Okay, it’s time to reveal my identity I’m the manifestation of tens of millions Of centuries of sexual selection, best believe I’m the best of the best of the best of the best Of generations of competitive pressure genetically But don’t get upset, ‘cause we’ve got the same pedigree You and I will find a common ancestor eventually If we rewind geological time regressively And I could say the same for this hibiscus tree And this lizard and this flea and this sesame seed And if you still disbelieve in what your senses perceive Then I could even use this rhyme as a remedy ‘Cause there’s so much variation in the styles in this industry And differential survival when the people listening Decide what they’re into and what really isn’t interesting You could thrive like Timberlake on a Timberland beat Or go extinct like Vanilla Ice and N’Sync It’s survival of the fittest, but fitness is a tricky thing It changes from place to place and from winter to spring But the real question in this social-scientific simile Is heredity, whether we inherit our techniques From our predecessors, or invent them independently But then we’re talkin’ memes and that’s a different thing Richard Dawkins can I get a proper definition please? The weak and the strong, who got it goin’ on? We lived in the dark for so long The weak and the strong, Darwin got it goin’ on Creationism is dead wrong The weak and the strong, who got it goin’ on? Whoever leaves the most spawn The weak and the strong, Darwin got it goin’ on Creationism is… erroneous I hear some people complain, like “I don’t wanna be an ape! I never came from monkey DNA! I believe God made me in a day – Jesus saves!” Or maybe God uses evolution when He creates?! Either way, nothing as advanced And beautiful and intricate as the cosmic dance Of evolution could possibly happen by chance We must’ve descended from quadrupeds because of God’s plans! Stop that – Darwin’s actual theory is Not chance, and if you think it is you’re delirious In the non-random survival of random variants Over time, chance is insufficient but necessary So intelligent design is impossible Unless that intelligence is a product of the whole Such as your own – there’s no God in control If higher complexity always evolves from low So let it go! We came from the war of nature From struggles among fighters, feeders, and fornicators And we’re nothing but genetic storage containers And so what? Fuck it, I’m done with you Darwin-haters The weak and the strong, who got it goin’ on We lived in the dark for so long The weak and the strong, Darwin got it goin’ on Creationism is dead wrong The weak and the strong, who got it goin’ on? Whoever leaves the most spawn The weak and the strong, Darwin got it goin’ on Creationism is dead wrong
2.
Don’t call it a remix, nah, call it a re-enactment I’ll teach you how to adapt, from amoebas to rappers Just open The Origin of Species and read its chapters And study up on the impact of people’s actions On farm animals, ducks, cows, dogs Pigeons, horses, and domestic crops They had wild ancestors, but somehow they went soft Kinda like underground rappers goin’ pop It’s all good, right? One hand washes the other We protect the cow, and the cow offers the udder And that’s how we get a mouthful of butter But in the wild, that cow is not gonna cut it See, there’s nothing artificial about domestication Ant colonies keep domestic aphids It’s still selection, just with a different selecting agent But you can’t always predict the best arrangement For instance, humans domesticated black-eyed peas In West Africa around 7,000 BC And now they got millions of mouths to feed While their wild cousins just watch from the weeds Too many MCs not enough mics How many MCs wannabe MCs Too many MCs You play it in your system every night Too many MCs How many MCs Wannabe MCs Never be MCs Every woman and man wanna MC You play it in your system every night There’s no intentional direction to the selection in nature It just patiently collects all the best variations And eventually species differentiate, But it’s open-ended, there’s no definite destination And sometimes there’s none in domestication either You’re just listenin’ to my raps trapped in your speakers But if enough people just like you plant my seed Shit, you might turn me into a black eyed pea You’re like ancient breeders, rearranging the features Of a species of sheep or increasing the sweetness Of your peaches every season, when you choose to seed it Or to feed it or to breed it or to weed it out and delete it ‘Cause you just don’t see it as needed, the preferences in question Could be for bigger chicken breasts or whippets with a thinner mid-section Or it could just be an inner predilection to pick the best in Any mixed collection, that’s artificial selection You’re a farmer, that’s how it is, you can’t opt out of it You have no choice but to make choices, you’re helpless It’s cause time itself is limited, it’s not selfish It’s just the rap version of the Doctrine of Malthus Too many MCs not enough mics How many MCs wannabe MCs Too many MCs You play it in your system every night Too many MCs How many MCs Wannabe MCs Never be MCs Every woman and man wanna MC You play it in your system every night Okay, so maybe it isn’t all unconscious Survival in rap is a non-random process ‘Cause those who get massive responses, influence Those who aspire to get massive responses So if you say I sound like an Eminem rip-off Then I’ll probably get pissed off and start flipping you off And grabbing my crotch and acting obnoxious And screaming “Fuck that, dawg, that’s preposterous!” That’s right, I’m serious, I deny my inheritance I invented myself from scratch like I’m parentless So don’t let yourself get caught up in mere appearances This isn’t just “imitation modified by experience” Nah, I could never be one of the black eyed peas ‘Cause I don’t imitate black guys, please I imitate white guys who imitate black guys who lack IDs ‘Cause they’re imitations too, that’s my steez I’m keepin’ it real, yeah, I’m innovating My Darwinism keeps the bullshit disintegrating You want authenticity? Well, this is it, baby All it takes is ignorance of who you’re imitating
3.
I’m a African, I’m a African And I know what’s happenin’ I’m a African, I’m a African Archaeologists know what’s happenin’ You a African? You a African? Do you know what’s happenin’? I’m a African, I’m a African Geneticists know what’s happenin’ No I wasn’t born in Ghana but Africa is my mama ‘Cause that’s where my mama got her mitochondria You can try to fight if you wanna, but it’s not gonna change me ‘Cause it’s plain to see, Africans are my people And if it’s not plain to see then your eyes deceive you I’m talkin’ primeval; the DNA in my veins Tells a story that reasonable people find believable But it might even blow your transistors; Africa is the home of our most recent common ancestors Which means human beings are all brothers and sisters So check the massive evidence of Homo erectus And Australopithecus afarensis in the fossil record And then try to tell me that we’re not all connected The fossil record has gaps but no contradictions And it complements the evidence in your chromosomes So I came to let you know about your ancestral home I’m a African, I’m a African And I know what’s happenin’ I’m a African, I’m a African Archaeologists know what’s happenin’ You a African? You a African? Do you know what’s happenin’? I’m a African, I’m a African Geneticists know what’s happenin’ Yeah, it’s plain to see, you can’t change me ‘Cause I’ma be a Homo sapien for life Yeah, it’s plain to see, you can’t change me ‘Cause I’ma be a Homo sapien for life Yeah, the red is for the blood in my arm – it runs in the veins Of all my cousins from the same African mom And the black is for the melanin, which I guess I lost A mutation with benefits that offset the costs At least in the North, after massive glaciation My family passed through some adaptive radiations We started as Africans, and then became Eurasians And then one final migration made us Canadians But it’s back to my origin, ‘cause I understand For every colour of man, Africa is the motherland So I’m comin’ back, that’s my right of return I’m only speakin’ the facts, which I invite you to learn We came from Africa first; Charles Darwin predicted it ‘Cause that’s where modern chimps and gorillas live So the green is for the envy in the eyes of intelligent design Advocates and scientific illiterates I’m a African, I’m a African And I know what’s happenin’ I’m a African, I’m a African Archaeologists know what’s happenin’ You a African? You a African? Do you know what’s happenin’? I’m a African, I’m a African Geneticists know what’s happenin’ Yeah, C-A-N-A-D-A Asia, U-K, U-S-A Oz, Tazmania, and Ukraine No, it ain’t ‘bout where you stay It’s ‘bout the motherland M-O-N-G-O-L-I-A Saudi Arabia and Kuwait Sweden, Denmark, and Norway No, it ain’t ‘bout where you stay It’s ‘bout the motherland
4.
Humans are descended from ape-like ancestors That’s a scientific fact, but some people still question it Darwin does have detractors, religious detractors Not scientific detractors, don’t get the shit backwards And when they question I listen, they say: “If we came from Monkeys, then how come there’s monkeys still in existence?” Well how about this: I’m descended from Dutch immigrants But I still have second cousins who live in the Netherlands They’re not my ancestors; naw, they’re my relatives Since we have common genetic elements Inherited from our great grandparents, things like freckles And fair complexions and linguistic dexterousness But if you got back far enough, humans are all relatives And some of my relatives are religious fundamentalists Approximately twenty percent of them And at the dinner table we debate statistics … Creationist cousins, they’re my relations, I love ‘em But when they talk about Jesus and Revelations and Judges I’ve gotta take it up with them ‘Cause there’s a better explanation for the place that we come from, okay? Creationist cousins, they’re my relations, I love ‘em But at the dinner table we get on some crazy discussions I’m always questioning their basic assumptions And saying, “yes I believe we came from monkeys, okay?” So I say “Creationism is unscientific Ninety nine percent of practicing scientists think evolution Is the best explanation for living systems There’s overwhelming empirical evidence!” And they say “Baba, it’s not a scientific consensus If a significant one percent is still dissenting And risking black-listing in bold resistance To this fascist conspiracy to promote secularism And I say “Great, they can challenge the system If they can show us they have the evidence with them” And they “Evidence can be twisted And your presuppositions are materialistic Maybe the evidence scientists say they’ve collected Just proves that God wants our faith to be tested!” So I say “But that means your benevolent God Is the architect of a massive intellectual fraud! So either evolution is the victim of a frame job Which explains all of its predictive successes Or we have to take God out of the scientific method Otherwise he looks a bit deceptive… snap Creationist cousins they’re my relations I love ‘em But when they talk about how fossils all came from the flood I gotta take it up with them, ‘cause there’s a better explanation For the place that they come from, okay? Creationist cousins they’re my relations I love ‘em ‘Cause they gave me the patience to engage in discussions With people who believe in stuff that’s made up Without calling them crazy or dunces, okay? And that’s when my sister steps in and says “Baba, the Western scientific method Is just as subjective as every other cultural tradition Except it’s just better at pretending to be objective All behaviour is socially-constructed Gender roles have nothing to do with genitals They’re just a way for men to control women’s goals And try to turn us all into Playboy centerfolds Haven’t you heard about that tribe in the Amazon Where the woman does the man’s jobs and plants the crops And brings home the food for the man to wash? Um, I can’t remember exactly what that clan is called But I know it’s a published fact Because I read about it in my Women’s Studies class And it proves that gender is a socially constructed act So how does your theory explain that?” And all I can do is come back with more statistics About human sexual dimorphism And male versus female reproductive investments And, let’s just say, the discussions are endless Creationist cousins they’re my relations I love ‘em My gender feminist sister and my shamanist brother And my dad with his reiki practice and my naturopathic mother But I’m a rational fucker, okay? Creationist cousins they’re my relations I love ‘em ‘Cause they gave me the patience to engage in discussions With people who believe in stuff that’s blatantly made up Without calling them crazy or dunces, okay? So sometime I come across as a bit of an arsehole But I’m not impartial – it’s not about who’s is impartial; It’s about how much evidence you can marshal And how you deliver the parcel And when my relatives argue, I have to have faith That we can reach the genuine article in a rational way That’s a different kind of faith than my cousins have In divine creation, but hey, to all of my relatives And fellow primates, I say If it makes you feel better, go head and pray In fact, here’s how I pray in a secular way I say, “I have creationist relatives and relative apes And I wish them all happiness, whatever their faith And I wish myself patience, since I relish debates Let us all be respectful and still tell it straight” Okay? Okay?
5.
Yeah, sendin’ this one out To my evolutionary psychologists Daly and Wilson, Steven Pinker Robert Wright, David Sloan Wilson Geoffrey Miller, David Buss what up! Yeah, we livin’ this to the day that we die Survival of the fit, only the strong… There’s a war goin’ on outside no man is safe from You can run but you can’t hide forever If you come to my block, you’ll see some territoriality A place where kill or be killed is the mentality But get it straight, it’s just a necessary strategy You gotta play the hand you’re dealt; you can’t magically Escape from the habitat that you was born in Three homicides in my neighbourhood this mornin’ Cops came and kicked the crooked door in, with no warnin’ And started roughin’ up my young cousin She’s only seventeen and got a bun in the oven Plus a concussion, but she ain’t done nothin’ So keep your mouth shut and don’t jump to judgment On the lives we’re livin’ – just close your eyes and listen While I break down some homicide statistics If you’re thinkin’ the criminal mind is just vacant You’re mistaken, this is calculated risk takin’ We’re livin’ in a situation with a low Life-expectancy, and a major discrepancy Between the haves and have-nots, and you wonder Why the padlock on every cash box is smashed off C’mon, you can’t call it “pathological” Naw, that’s illogical; you can try to understand it But you can’t stop it though, not unless you address The root causes, the conscious and unconscious Decisions to discount future prospects C’mon, it’s obvious – the beat keeps bouncing The homicide rate keeps mounting, which leads To steep discounting, and a lot of violence But it’s not a virus; it’s a rational response To high risk environments and short time horizons With high stakes and highly visible prizes And you wonder why we’re criminal-minded Hey, you can’t say we’ll get satisfaction if we’re patient With self-control and delayed gratification When the only job that pays is casket-makin’ And death is the ultimate plan cancellation So check the facts and recent data releasin’ You’ll see a pattern of increasin’ competition A bunch of young guys all stugglin’ and status seekin’ And causin’ the crimes that make the social fabric weaken And life expectancy also predicts teen pregnancy The need to leave a legacy genetically Will never be completely controlled contraceptively Yeah, that’s transparent – imagine if your kids Would never meet their grandparents, unless you followed The Bristol Palen plan for parenthood And then they say, “Ooh, these young girls are so damn careless Getting’ pregnant before marriage; it’s such a tragedy” Apparently it’s also a reproductive strategy, Especially when you can see them adjusting actively When their circumstances change; in both the cases Of the young ladies with babies and the male risk-takers You see people adapting to their situations And it’s the same in different places and with different races This is not about ethical justifications It’s evolutionary psych, and it’s just the basics And still people call this behaviour “maladaptive” Because of our reaction when violence happens But if we really want to change the outcome Then maybe we should just start questioning how it’s adaptive And the bottom line is that inequity and life Expectancy are the ultimate causes of crime And the results of crime; to me that’s true The two combine together in a feedback loop But I got some moves to make, so I’ll be back soon Just don’t ask me what I’m about to do ‘Cause I can’t say, so it’s left to untold fact Until my death, my ghost will stay alive Survival of the fit, only the strong survive Yeah, we livin’ this ‘til the day that we die Survival of the fit, only the strong survive Yeah, on this block I stand Click-clack in my hand What it means to be a man Hope your gun don’t jam I’ma do what I can On this money-makin’ plan And if you never did before I hope now you understand
6.
Tribal unity styles Darwin’s right the logic’s tight Tribes that unite win the evolutionary fight “Survival of the fittest” that phrase gets twisted All the time to justify the meager existence That poor people live with; it gets enlisted By social parasites just in it for self-interest Like psychopaths and eugenicists And deregulated traders of economic derivatives But listen, “Social Darwinism” Is not scientific, it’s a kind of sickness Just ‘cause something exists in a state of nature Doesn’t give it a moral basis; that’s a false correlation Competition is a great motivator But humans are social, we’re supercooperators Why? ‘Cause we survive or we die in groups And the survivors make the best combined moves So, can’t we all just get along Whatever we try and do? Everybody’s thinkin’ survival, no Makin’ everybody their rival, no Unite the tribe, and we will rise Together, together Yeah, group selection puts me in an altruistic mood So don’t try to tell me that I’m just confused Haven’t you ever been part of a synergistic group That’s just 'in the groove'? Like: Yeah, love thy neighbour! What’s that? You need some sugar? Okay, come by later! Of course I’ll do you a favour; why’s that? ‘Cause I’ve got the compassion of a vampire bat If you need some food, I’ll do what I can So what if we’re not related; you’re still my man You’re still my sister; I feel high, man! This universal love is good stuff, god damn! This isn’t wishful thinking y’all This is how altruism evolves Some people say group selectionism is false But I say let the evidence call it Everybody’s thinkin’ survival, no Makin’ everybody their rival, no Unite the tribe, and we will rise Together, together There ain’t no need for direct reciprocation either Because “karma” is a sophisticated teacher Karma isn’t just energy waves in the ether! No, karma’s in the way everyone hates a cheater Cheater detection will keep you in check when People feel like you don’t treat ‘em with respect So go ahead and run me down ‘Cause I believe what goes around comes around You wanna be a pariah? That’s fine with me Liars and thieves and those who try to deceive Get dealt with by reputation and by the police All the immune systems of society And “survival of the fittest”? Don’t it baffle you “Fitness” is just another word for “aptitude” Between you and the habitat you’re adapted to So try to relax, and adapt your attitude The habitat you have to adapt to is the group ‘Cause without the group, man, you would be panther food So stop asking what the group can do for you And ask what you can do for the group Is that cool? Everybody’s thinkin’ survival, no Makin’ everybody their rival, no Unite the tribe, and we will rise Together, together Back to back We unite the wolfpack Unite the tribe, and we will rise Together, together
7.
Worst comes to worst, my people come first But my tribe lives on every country on earth I’ll do anything to protect them from hurt The human race is what I serve Some people got good friend; I’ve got disparate friends They live on different ends of earth, but just pretend We actually get to the end of the time of tribalism Like Obama said, and dissolve the lines of difference As man advances in civilization And small tribes expand into larger bases And communities, the truest reason tells each individual That’s it’s not that difficult to extend our instinctual Sympathies to all members of one nation Like, for instance, notice how everybody loves Canadians Overseas, even if they’re personally unknown Well so do I! But not so much when I come home When I meet them abroad, they’re just more fun to know Or maybe when I’m away, I just let the love go Either way, what’s to stop us extending these basic Sympathies to the people of all nations and all races I’m just takin’ Charles Darwin’s statements, and makin’ Them rhyme, he was a man ahead of his time Extending his imagination and formidable mind Into a future where all human sympathies combine Worst comes to worst, my peoples comes first But my tribe lives on every country on earth I’ll do anything to protect them from hurt The human race is what I serve In the South Pacific Islands, there’s certain animals that don’t Experience fear, like Galapagos iguanas They never had predators, so their adaptive responses Evolved to be as calm as a pack of Dalai Llamas So then, why do we have to live with violence When this whole planet could be like a pacifistic island? Do we need fear to escape invading aliens? The only predators here are called Homo sapiens And yeah, we can be dangerous, but we can also be Motivated by affection and positive reciprocity Stop the violence, right? We can all agree! But violence comes from the fear of predators stalkin’ me See, violence is never entirely senseless Natural selection, that’s how you make sense of it We just gotta identify what triggers a threat switch And redesign society to disconnect it And then instinct will take care of the rest of it It’s a simple idea, but when it’s widely comprehended Then I predict a world of aligned interests Where the people are as peaceful as Galapagos finches Worst comes to worst, my peoples comes first But my tribe lives on every country on earth I’ll do anything to protect them from hurt The human race is what I serve Where there’s no pain There will be joy And where there’s no fear There will be love There will be joy There will be love
8.
Dr. Tatiana 03:49
It’s all about sex Evolution… It’s all about sex Some people say my obsession with biodiversity Is a sign of perversity, but I find that it nurtures me Maybe it’s twisted, but I won’t give a lady a minute Unless she’s a Batesian mimic, does that make me a cynic? I’m into animal role-play, but fuck a barnyard I want some praying mantis open-mandible cannibal foreplay So read Dr. Tatiana if you need the basics She’s deeper than the fuzzies you find creepin’ on craigslist Plus she’s got a message board, full of insectivores Who are just itchin’ for it – she’s like a sex thesaurus I met a crab spider who was keen on finding a mate Her turn-ons included binding and trying to escape I met a gold-digger who told me fame was her weakness So I paid her like a cockroach, with anal secretions Yeah, I’m nasty as I wanna be, jerkin’ off in front of females Like juvenile marine iguanas on the beach ‘Cause I’m packin’ a eight-inch corkscrew, I’m a great fuck I wanna spin it in like an Argentinian lake duck Yeah, when natural selection reckons your sex practice The best action is always found in the mismatches Let’s make love like animals I think you know what I’m talkin’ about Let’s make love exactly like other animals Get your zoology textbook out This one girl was quite freakish, I wasn’t squeamish But we simply couldn’t fit it in - we tried to squeeze it But she had a six-inch long clitoris like a hyena’s And I had a spiky inflatable damselfly penis Ah, skip the spider’s kiss of death Just give me ten consecutive weeks of sex like stick insects I make solid sperm plugs to try to block girls But I hate when they pull it out and eat it like fox squirrels Those are precious resources, I’m really concerned Humans only bust a couple of hundred million sperm So we start to get depleted after the third shag Octopus have ten billion in a massive sperm bag And they die when they deposit it, that’s just one way Nature might try to persuade a guy to stay monogamous But we must have missed something compared to our chimp cousins ‘Cause those chicks’ll hit a dozen different studs and just love it So I feel like I’m overdressed for bonobo sex All I need is a swollen vulva and a vocal “Yes!” No? Okay, instead I’ll marry my soul-mate ‘Til death do us part, the prairie vole way Let’s make love like animals It’s been happening since the stone age Let’s make love exactly like other animals Open up that wikipedia page Let’s make love like angler fish It’s kind of complicated but it’s worth it You use your highly developed olfactory sense To swim towards me for several days And then you bite me And that releases an enzyme That dissolves your face and your bones and your fins Leaving only a pair of genitals attached To the side of my body For me to use when it’s convenient
9.
Charles Darwin saw natural selection, not sexual selection But natural selection as the most serious cause of evolution But what was going on with bird songs and peacocks? They follow mysterious laws – but then Darwin had a curious thought It probably occurred to him while he was trying to explain his theory To a young Victorian blond, whose face displayed A mixture of desire and feverish awe The immediate cause of which Darwin clearly saw… yee-ah So he said: “My dear, descent with modification comes from The struggle for survival and reproduction Hence, the reason for some structures must be seduction… wassup! In fact, Darwin’s brain was probably one such structure Just as peacocks’ tails show off the genes of the top males And likewise the songs of nightingales, the fighting skills of elephant seals And minnows with colourful scales, see these are all traits that sexual selection Has shaped through the female preference to get with the fittest mates But in the case of human brains that selective pressure goes both ways Male to female and female to male Pretty much anything in nature that’s just for display, just for showing off And isn’t meant dissuade or chase predators away, like camoflauge Must have been selected for in a sexual way, anything in nature That’s just for display and has no survival value… but wait Doesn’t that mean this is just such a display? Right now, at this very moment… no way, it’s a mistake I swear, I really did come here with something to say But, they’re telling me it’s just a demonstration of my DNA? And so what if it is? That’s great, what’s to explain? Okay, maybe a couple of things. First, when I say that something ornate Like language, originally evolved as a seductive display I am not arguing that people only use it just to get laid Darwin leaves Freud in the dustbin, okay? Something that evolved for one purpose can be used for a different purpose today For instance, I could use a urine stream to put out a fire But that doesn’t mean the penis evolved as bush fire fighter This is a theory of language function, a theory of where it comes from; What it’s used for now, well that is a separate discussion; So which was it? Was complex language originally a mechanism For survival or reproduction? It must have been one of them I’m talking about complex language now, not simple language Like “Ooh look, snake, don’t step!” Think about it How would complex language possible help you survive in the stone age? Can you talk a predator out of attacking? Can you talk a parasite out of infecting? Can you talk a potential mate in to consenting? Potentially, right? Not necessarily, but potentially Hence, presenting the grand unified theory of rhyme Where does rhyme come from? I’m talkin’ about Homer, Beowulf Chaucer, Shakespeare, Alexander Pope, Eminem, and Jay-Z, it’s all the same The mating mind uses lyrical signs, combined with wit and wordplay Conversation, humour and different narrative styles To appraise the fitness of mates, both for the purpose of marriage ties And for mates of the more temporary kind These are the humble roots of the literary sublime We are all Shakespearean primates verbalizing our cherry behinds But how could we possibly test this bizarre theory of mine? Not just mine, also Geoffrey Miller’s Ideally, we could use experimental holding zoos Filled with human subjects, we could feed them some booze And with an overhead view we could observe which breeding pairs reproduce And how often they use their verbal ornaments to seduce We could even separate them into control groups, to see whether male Or female vocals are more prone to be used in the stimulation of hormones Although, it’s true that this sort of experiment, on humans Isn’t normally approved – outside of nightclubs If only there existed in a state of nature some cultural group we could study That was preoccupied with makin’ paper, and parading Half-naked women shakin’ their money makers in front of competitive males Displaying mating behaviour while trading their creativity for sexual favours If such a group existed, I predict it would be a major player In the entertainment industry, and would be in major danger Of being overwhelmed by angry player haters But I may have to save some of my research for later And how do I answer the charge that I’m participating In this mating dance myself with these dazzling bars? That isn’t hard I plead guilty – I worked hard to achieve this ability And if it also gives my genes visibility for females Then I say “so be it” – But, I confess, if you look close It also reveals my unique disability See, my tendency to tell these monkey fables and funny medieval tales, It generally fails to attract any nubile young females It does attract women a lot though – all highly educated And post-menopausal! I know, isn’t it awful? I get mobbed after my shows By hoards of groupie grandmas who thank me for making it possible For them to appreciate a hip-hop flow And, you might ask, where are their granddaughters? My guess is, they’re all at gangster rap concerts But hey, that’s how sexual selection works Any mutation, such as myself, gets tested first And if it doesn’t get spread, well, then it gets purged So this experimental hip-hop mix where it gets crossed With classic scientific works and literature and lectures Will probably get the burial that it deserves That is, unless you spread it, like whispers So tell your friends about me, huh? Find me some new listeners Or write about me online, let the gossip disperse So that even if I die, my name survives in the Twitterverse
10.
Baba, Baba, Baba, can’t you see Sometimes your words just hypnotize me And I just love your turns of phrase So even though you’re still broke I love you anyway Sicker than your average; picture Any artistic practice, with musicians or actors Or visual craftsman; just pick an example And imagine the competitive advantages That would come with recognition if you have the gift Now picture the artist with unlimited cash, and with Picturesque women always givin’ him glances Or, if you’re picturing a woman, then picture the advances Of the handsome prince whose attention she catches Now, picture them livin’ happily ever after And havin’ kids faster than Angie and Brad Pitt All because they have this gift with craftsmanship Now take it from the master of the adjectives I think it’s adaptive; it has to be instinct In synch with the rhythm, just listen and sink Deep into the subconscious of the obnoxious Sexual selection, I’m just tickin’ the boxes And if you’re feelin’ it then mission accomplished Baba, Baba, Baba, can’t you see Sometimes your words just hypnotize me And I just love your turns of phrase So even though you’re still broke, I love you anyway Yeah, I could fill you with real scientific Lyrics, but I confess that my mind is twisted ‘Cause I’ve been listenin’ to Kanye, Nas and Jay While reading Richard Dawkins on the opposite page So now this whole rap thing seems awfully strange Talkin’ ‘bout, “He got game, and he’s not real And he’s got chains” but wait, that’s a peacock’s tail! ‘Cause you never hear them say they got it cheap on sale Which means that bling is meant to represent How much they really spent, and at the end of the day That’s the definition of a “fitness display” Like a bowerbird’s nest, which takes hours of work And makes the females catch a powerful urge Just like a style of verse or an amazing flow But it takes dedication and it takes a toll ‘Cause the best displays are unfakeable Baba, Baba, Baba, can’t you see Sometimes your words just hypnotize me And I just love your turns of phrase So even though you’re still broke, I love you anyway
11.
Back in the day I used to scrap I’m not a thug any more But some days I just wanna be the man again Back in the day it seemed like every angry Teen was talkin’ about packing a shank And gettin’ cream – what happened to the gangsta lean? Eric B and Rakim said: “What happened to peace?” Now they askin' what happened to strength? The women say they want girth now? Shit, what happened to length? Sperm count goin’ down so we packin’ some blanks And they laughin’ all the way to the bank Man, things done changed! Where has all the violence gone? Seems like people livin’ three times as long Life just goes on, it’s like survival of the strong Got swallowed by a Hobbesian Leviathan And why not? Shit, I ain’t tryin’ to abolish it Women dominate men in college, I acknowledge it So next they’re gonna take over science and politics And business, but I guess I’m just kinda nostalgic I mean, at least fighting men know who they are You meet a soldier he can show you some scars But muscle can’t win a contest over some jobs So now we’re just good for opening jars I used to be the man But time has gone on ahead of me And my strong hands But I'm still holdin' on, movin' on I was the man Time has not been so good to me And my hands I'm still holdin' on I was the man What a fuckin’ waste of upper body strength this is I can dangle it for women like I’m angler fishin’ I got a voice full of bass, listen, ain’t it pimpin’? But it came from male-on-male competition And I’m afraid that’s a thing of the past I mean things fall apart, don’t be thinkin’ they last But I keep lookin’ for some answers when I listen’ to rap Like lookin’ for the missing link in the grass So where the gangsters at? The males barin’ they teeth Starin’ at weak opponents like: “I dare you to speak” The Menace to Societies and American Me’s Not these wealthy, frail, weak, self-parodies I mean, things done changed! Can you believe it? Even the frickin’ crime rate seems to be dippin’ And some people give police credit, but I’m with Steven Levitt High risk fetuses are being rejected Just ‘cause females get to control their own fertility So murder and poverty drop, but not sociability What happened to the criminals on killing sprees Instead of fighting now, we all show civility I used to be the man But time has gone on ahead of me And my strong hands But I'm still holdin' on, movin' on I was the man Time has not been so good to me And my hands I'm still holdin' on I was the man Forty percent of men historically left descendents While six out of ten died young or got rejected Big winners and big losers, but women had it different Eight out of ten of them had children who had children And you wonder why we’re fuckin’ obsessed with competition Homo sapien males, yeah blazin’ a trail Makin’ amazing creative displays, and chasin’ tail That lasts an extra decade when it’s grey and frail Yeah, the Y Chromosome is a fucked-up mutation And it sucks to face it, they call her 'Mother Nature' But if you want love from her, well, get accustomed to waitin’ ‘Cause, brother, if you’re male she loves to hate you She gives us testosterone, rage, and frustration She gives us jealousy and lust, and a hunger for greatness Plus our obsession with female reproduction is basic But the women gotta have choice. Fuck the 'Bush Administration' Times change, this ain’t the Pleistocene Feminism and civil rights have arrived on the scene And not every guy is keen to let the violence be I'm just tryin' to tame the beast inside of me I used to be the man But time has gone on ahead of me And my strong hands But I'm still holdin' on, movin' on I was the man Time has not been so good to me And my hands I'm still holdin' on I was the man Back in the day I used to scrap I’m not a thug any more But some days I just wanna be the man again
12.
Yeah, this one goes out to the ladies! Yeah, citizens of the world, Let me tell you how it works if you’re new to this. You can change it for the better: Vote with your uterus! Sexual selection is twisted; it’s not balanced It gives us the best of our gifts and odd talents Anything that’s useless for survival like music Anything attractive, that charms and seduces Like language usage, my vocab is so fab I spin a web with it, and the centre is my gonads It’s nothing but a mating dance I can admit it But I can’t escape it, no chance, I’m locked in it Like a tree, deep rooted, so people see through it I’m a freak by nature thanks to evolution But so are you, the relevant dramas that you’re goin’ through Sexual selection selected them too So if you feel the hormone rush, testify! Try to see things objectively, but don’t objectify It’s the eyes, they can’t take the pressure They try to stare at your breasts but I can make an effort The hours pass, my power’s sapped I can’t choose an oblong physique over an hourglass So it might seem like “mean” includes me You can’t choose what to want, but you can choose what to eat Don’t sleep with mean people – that’s the anthem Please, think about your granddaughters and grandsons Don’t sleep with mean people – pretty or handsome Mean people hold the gene pool for ransom Don’t sleep with mean people – that’s the anthem Please, don’t reward your kids for throwin’ tantrums Don’t sleep with mean people – pretty or handsome If you wanna take the pledge, get your hands up So what if we really did it, this silly business? I mean use sex appeal to make a real difference Like a field mission, to seek and enjoy It’s gotta be the most powerful tool we can employ We don’t need Freud; Darwin has the answers Sexual selection can enhance us Let’s make a competition out of altruism If someone gives enough to charity, you’d better frolic with them Generosity should be rewarded And celibacy enforced on those who try to keep and hoard it Of course I’m speaking mostly to women ‘Cause when it comes to reproduction you control the system Men have a supporting role to play But where you lead, best believe we’ll follow with no complaint It’s time for a gender-based intifada Aristophanes got it right with Lysistrata More than two millennia ago, women in the know Realized that it’s a lie that ‘men are in control’ So ladies, please, every time you fornicate Just keep in mind, the future is yours to shape Don’t sleep with mean people – that’s the anthem Please, think about your granddaughters and grandsons Don’t sleep with mean people – pretty or handsome Mean people hold the gene pool for ransom Don’t sleep with mean people – that’s the anthem Please, don’t reward your kids for thrown’ tantrums Don’t sleep with mean people – pretty or handsome If you wanna take the pledge, get your hands up
13.
Performance, feedback, revision that’s how these vocals get written I got a book full of scribbles, put a rhyme to the test then I fix it Performance, feedback, revision that’s how I mastered this rhythm It took a bit of practice but I cracked it now I rap with mad precision Performance, feedback, revision that’s art and architecture And engineering, that’s how we peer into the dark with guesswork Performance, feedback, revision that’s the scientific method You put a hypothesis to a double blind test, and if it isn’t right then reject it Performance, feedback, revision that’s how your brain is wired Behaviors that fire together can bind together and change desires Performance, feedback, revision that’s your immune system Antibodies react to pathogens and reproduce when a new one gets in Performance, feedback, revision that’s natural selection Some genes die and others survive and which is which is fitness Performance, feedback, revision this isn’t just music It’s descent with modification, and you owe your whole existence to it Performance, feedback, revision repeat again Performance, feedback, revision repeat again Performance, feedback, revision repeat again I scratch with my pen Performance, feedback, revision repeat again Performance, feedback, revision repeat again Performance, feedback, revision repeat again Go tell a friend Every single strand of DNA in a cells is a masterpiece Written by a genius, not God, nah, selected naturally Performance, feedback, revision: evolution crafted genes Just like mine, so I could write rhymes, to entice your mind to attract to me Why? ‘Cause my passions just happen to get up in your synapses And that makes women wanna mate, and men wanna make strategic ties happen And sometimes women wanna make the ties, and that’s okay, I like friendships And sometimes men wanna mate… thanks, but that’s not my preference I got friends who lean that way, and that’s fine, it’s just a side-effect of How their gay genes got made – by leaving live descendents Yeah, you’re just a phenotype, performing all the genes inside Living things only seem designed, ‘cause you can’t see how they’ve been revised And the feedback lies in evolution’s brutal gaze Either you have babies who have babies or get boo-ed off stage But I ain’t evolution’s slave; just like you I like to get laid And we can choose not to reproduce in this conceptive age Performance, feedback, revision repeat again Performance, feedback, revision repeat again Performance, feedback, revision repeat again I scratch with my pen Performance, feedback, revision repeat again Performance, feedback, revision repeat again Performance, feedback, revision repeat again Go tell a friend So now you probably wanna know how a flow this dope gets written Performance, feedback, revision plus a beat by Mr. Simmonds My words impregnate your brain, does it give you morning sickness? Or do you wanna spread it like an epidemic, and try to get some folks to listen? Either way you can’t escape it, love me or hate me, you form an opinion And your feedback comes back to me, and I make an informed decision Should I change and adapt, or stick to the script and stay on track with it? Oh I don’t black enough? Okay, should I switch it and fake my accent? And if I did, and you call me a liar, then I’ll probably just say That I’m just caught up in the game, just doin’ my thing and I’m not just playing How you think I learned how to rap? You think I just turned on a track And the words just splashed on the page like magic, and I never had to turn nothin’ back? Performance, feedback, revision, that’s how I got this way And in spite of what they might say, it’s the same for Lady Gaga and Dr. Dre Performance, feedback, revision, that’s how you got your nature And that’s how you re-create yourself through improvisation Performance, feedback, revision repeat again Performance, feedback, revision repeat again Performance, feedback, revision repeat again I scratch with my pen Performance, feedback, revision repeat again Performance, feedback, revision repeat again Performance, feedback, revision repeat again Go tell a friend (freestyle) Every single word you heard on the track until this point was written rhymes But now it’s time for me to switch it up and give you something improvised ‘Cause just like Jay-Z and Lil Wayne I can freestyle for days With no mistakes, except it takes me eighty eight takes When I spit my shit that’s how I mutate my genes And you can interact with my lyrics like a Turing Machine Yup, ‘cause I’m reppin’ Darwinism everytime I record to the rhythm It takes a lotta mutations to make an organism It takes a whole lotta mutations to make an organism… shit
14.
In 1859 Darwin spilled the first splashes Of his universal acid, and the effects were like magic Burning human arrogance into ashes In pretty much the same way that Copernican math did No, the stars don’t shine just to improve the view from earth No, we’re not the centre of the universe No, we were not created in the image of Jupiter No, we’re not so special, and yes, the truth hurts But that’s how evolution works – once it’s been applied The acid burns into the superstitious side Of the human mind, and fills it with light It even dissolves the original sin of pride That pride that says: “I’m a special creation And my creator has given me dominion over nature And he has the power to replenish his creatures So if species go extinct, he can just recreate them later And if he doesn’t, well that’s just part of his plan” Ah, but Darwin’s acid is hard to withstand It plucks the arrogance deep from within the hearts of man And teaches us never to build our houses on sand But instead to try to understand why we’re here We are just one species among millions in this biosphere And we have millions of ancestors behind us, whose fighting spirits Combined to give us this great survival gear These minds, these limbs, these incredible tools Perfected by millennia of constant competitive use And yes, these attention-seeking genitals too Without them, these living forms could never improve It’s such an elegant view, so full of breadth and grandeur And yet, some people react with depression and anger Like: “It’s so unsympathetic, so viciously random! What’s the point of compassion, or ethical standards? If this is all just a game that these mindless organisms are trapped in And they’re just genetically adapting to environmental factors Then there’s no responsibility for individual actions! It’s nihilistic! Where’s the governing dynamic?!?” No it’s not, and once again Darwin gives us some answers He says yes, everything from violence to violets to viruses It’s all just organisms adapting to environments If you’re alive, it’s because your ancestors were the best survivalists They were the finalists in the genetic Olympic Games Every one of your ancestors survived to reproductive age And they were all better than their competitors at getting laid Otherwise, you wouldn’t be sitting here today Some say “that’s cynical” but I see something inspirational in this vision Of Darwin’s and it goes like this: organisms – like us – are not isolated Organisms are also part of the environmental mix So your decisions affect evolution – it isn’t directionless – we can direct it! Now, before you dismiss me as a mad environmentalist, just try To imagine how the process of natural selection applies To countries that have industrialized See, just like organisms, companies live and companies die And when customers buy based on a company’s ethics, or it’s green plan That affects the economy, just ask Alan Greenspan Cultural evolution is ours to reinvent Wait, can we affect current events? Yes We Can! And when we choose who to sleep with and reproduce Our sexual choices affect the gene pool So if we want things to improve, it’s simple, all we need to do Is refuse to sleep with mean people Especially women – on you the pressure is greater ‘Cause men will always do what it takes to get into your favour That’s just in our nature, so if selfish behaviour Was a sexual graveyard, the effects would be major! In each of these cases, our intentional efforts Can play the role of those environmental pressures I can say: “This is a space where a peaceful existence Will never be threatened by needless aggression” I can say: “This is an ecosystem where people listen Where justice increases over egotism” I can say: “This is a space where religions finally achieve co-existence And racism decreases with each coalition” This is my vision of Darwinism, and how we all factor in Each of us is a part of the environment; we each pass through it And we change it, and affect the way that others will adapt to it And after we get to look back and see how we impacted it And maybe have a laugh if our sense of humour is still alive And what did Charles Darwin do with his time? Darwin threw some light On the origin of humankind, and he left us with skewered pride But he taught us that, yes, there’s grandeur in this view of life There is grandeur in this view of life And the fact that it also happens to be true, is nice But I can’t say it as well as Mr. Charles Darwin So come on, let’s hear your version, from the Origin “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one, and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning, endless forms most beautiful, and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species

about

Scientifically peer-reviewed hip-hop album exploring Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by means of natural selection. Revised version produced by Mr. Simmonds.

Exclaim Magazine Review:
"An intelligent and fun album that will have you looking at music in a whole new way."
exclaim.ca/Reviews/HipHop/baba_brinkman-rap_guide_to_evolution_revised

New Scientist Magazine Review:
"Brinkman gives eloquent voice to pain without committing a fallacious appeal to nature."
blogs.scientificamerican.com/doing-good-science/2013/03/31/cd-review-baba-brinkman-the-rap-guide-to-evolution-revised/

off-Broadway touring production:
rapguidetoevolution.com

More about Baba Brinkman:
www.bababrinkman.com

Facebook:
www.facebook.com/bababrinkman

Twitter:
www.twitter.com/bababrinkman

More about Mr. Simmonds:
www.mrsimmondsmusic.com

credits

released June 26, 2011

All songs produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Mr. Simmonds.

Natural Selection 2.0
D. Brinkman, J. Simmonds
Additional Keys: Simon Kendall
Guitar: Tom Van Deursen
Cuts: Mr. Simmonds

Black-eyed Peas
D. Brinkman, J. Simmonds
Additional Keys: Simon Kendall
Cuts: Mr. Simmonds

I'm A African 2.0
D. Brinkman, J. Simmonds
Cuts: Mr. Simmonds

Creationist Cousins 2.0
D. Brinkman, J. Simmonds
Additional Keys: Simon Kendall

Survival Of The Fittest 2.0
D. Brinkman, J. Simmonds
Additional Keys: Simon Kendall

Group Selection 2.0
Featuring Smoky Tiger, The Boom Booms & Dizraeli
D. Brinkman, E. Brinkman, A. Courtnage,
A. Ross, S. Ross, J.Simmonds
Additional Keys: Simon Kendall
Chorus Vocals: Aaron Nazrul, Sean Ross,
Smoky Tiger, Dizraeli
Outro Vocals: Aaron Nazrul, Sean Ross,
Smoky Tiger, Dizraeli, Erik Brinkman

Worst Comes To Worst 2.0
Featuring Dizraeli
D. Brinkman, R. Sawday, J. Simmonds
Additional Keys: Simon Kendall
Guitar: Dizraeli

Dr. Tatiana
Featuring Helen Arney
H. Arney, D. Brinkman, J. Simmonds
Ukulele: Helen Arney

Sexual Selection 2.0
D. Brinkman, J. Simmonds
Additional Keys: Simon Kendall

Hypnotize 2.0
D. Brinkman, J. Simmonds
Additional Keys: Simon Kendall
Chorus Vocals: Noa Bodner

Used To Be The Man
Featuring Aaron Nazrul
D. Brinkman, A. Ross, J. Simmonds
Additional Keys: Simon Kendall
Guitar: Tom Van Deursen
Outro Vocals: The Boom Booms

Don't Sleep With Mean People
D. Brinkman, S. Kendall
Additional Keys: Simon Kendall
Guitars: Tom Van Deursen

Performance, Feedback, Revision 2.0
D. Brinkman, J. Simmonds
Additional Keys: Simon Kendall
Cuts: J. Simmonds

Darwin's Acid 2.0
D. Brinkman, J. Simmonds
Additional Keys: Simon Kendall

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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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