N​.​E​.​R​.​D.

from by Baba Brinkman

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Overview: Coming to terms with the material basis of consciousness means letting go of the idea that "No_one Ever Really Dies", and that may not be such a bad thing in the end. What science takes away in false consolation, it more than compensates for in veracity and wonder.

lyrics

No one ever really dies, have you heard?
That’s the moniker of the hip-hop group N.E.R.D.
You don’t die, you fly like a bird
To the spirit in the sky, and you merge
And sure, I find that oh so comforting
Brain dies, mind goes on functioning
Perceptions, thoughts and emotions
Within you get to continue to as “soul stuff”
Or resurrect in a body that’s fresh
Like a new set of kicks, stitched out of flesh
In which case, I guess Heaven’s Gate
Never made a mistake when sippin’ the Kool Aid
And maybe I really did reincarnate
From a mystical sage in the bronze age
My father called my Baba; he thought he saw some kinda
Dalai Llama-level karma, and I could sell nirvana
To Deepak Chopra’s audience, opening chakras
But opening Pandora’s box exposed me
To scientific approaches to consciousness
And oh, my soul got lost in it…


I never been the coolest nerd
Tellin’ you what you prefer
Just lookin’ for the truest words
Revealin’ this universe
And how you emerge
For a few short years
Until you return
Beautiful nerd


No! Everyone really dies
Beyond this existence oblivion lies
What’s it like? To be a person that’s dead?
What was it like for you, before your parents met?
It’s like nothing, it’s a dreamless sleep
It’s consciousness that’s completely ceased
Death is total, we don’t get to “go home” – no
We get one life, and this is it, YOLO
And if you have a soul, it’s distributed in code
Across your parietal, frontal, and temporal lobe
And when they disintegrate, it’s got nowhere to go
Unless we can learn to upload it to silicone
As a computer code, which would be super dope
It might happen in your life, except it probably won’t
So, there’s no encore, this is the show
And you’re just on for a minute or so


I never been the coolest nerd
Tellin’ you what you prefer
Just lookin’ for the truest words
Revealin’ this universe
And how you emerge
For a few short years
Until you return
Beautiful nerd


So, everyone really dies, great
Heaven’s Gate was a tragic waste
Life is sacred, ‘cause it can’t be replaced
No other brain has ever been connected that way
And you can change it, meditation is pretty useful
But I’m not here to tell you to take it like Metamucil
I’m just here to make a basic prediction
“No one ever really dies” is a comforting fiction
Life is complicated but the scientific method is
The best way to break it down, and make sense of it
Our existence is limited, not infinite
But that makes it more precious and intimate
I’m not tryin’ to be mean
I’m just tryin’ to reach out to sentient beings
With brains, pleasures and pains, hopes and dreams
Not to not die, but to live in between

I never been the coolest nerd
Tellin’ you what you prefer
Just lookin’ for the truest words
Revealin’ this universe
And how you emerge
For a few short years
Until you return
Beautiful nerd

credits

from The Rap Guide to Consciousness, released October 13, 2017
(D. Brinkman, T. Caruana, S. Kendall, A. Ross)
Produced and Mixed by Tom Caruana
Keys by Simon Kendall
Additional Vocals by Aaron Nazrul

Further reading:
www.theguardian.com/science/2011/may/15/stephen-hawking-interview-there-is-no-heaven
www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-the-ldquo-you-rdquo-in-an-afterlife-wouldnt-really-be-you/

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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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