Real Recognize Real (feat. Aaron Nazrul)

from by Baba Brinkman

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Overview:
This song introduces the “materialist perspective” and the idea that consciousness evolved via physical processes, interacting nerve cells producing ever-increasing awareness and reflection in at least one species. How can we determine reality from fantasy? What would it take to fully explain consciousness without magic? Do we have a soul? And if not, can we at least still have soulful music?

lyrics

Lyrics

Are we dreamin’ baby?
Or is this real?
(Real recognize real)
I’m tryin’ to find a sign
But I can’t tell
(Recognize real)
I can feel you
Inhale your smell
(Real recognize real)
Oh baby, let’s look
Behind the veil
(Recognize real)


I’m comin’ at you from a brain in a vat
A brain trapped in the skull of someone sayin’ a rap
You couldn’t see from my perspective if your brain was attached
To my optic nerve, ‘cause if your brain was intact
It wouldn’t work, you’d just end up bringin’ your mind along
So a better way to connect is via this dialogue
I have a thought, I find a beat to recite it on
And if it lands, you have a similar kind of thought
Igniting a spark in dark places
The fact that we can even share thoughts is amazing
What’s a thought made of, if not information
That’s contagious? I guess I caught the plague from
Black Thought, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest
They infected me with the memes to rhyme complex
Conscious hip-hop, what a fine concept
But I’m tryin’ to discover how I’m conscious
How I can say a line with a line on deck
Memorize rhymes and improvise content
How can I invent? Practice makes perfect
Okay, but what’s poppin’ up in the brain circuits?

Are we dreamin’ baby?
Or is this real?
(Real recognize real)
I’m tryin’ to find a sign
But I can’t tell
(Recognize real)
I can feel you
Inhale your smell
(Real recognize real)
Oh baby, let’s look
Behind the veil
(Recognize real)

The brain is a pattern finder
How much design work can you find in a rhyme verse?
To make a rhyme, first you need a rhymer
An organism with no intelligent designer
From Aristotle to Thomas Aquinas
People thought if you wanted design, you need a mind first
But it’s kinda the reverse, a mind is a product
Of a mindless process that builds it from the bottom up
Physical stuff pushing physical stuff
A perspective from a quintessence of dust
It was a blind watchmaker that perfected us
It took a billion years to make a brain and connect it up
Eighty billions neurons in a network
Each with seven thousand synaptic connectors
A minimum of fifty trillion intersections
Such a pretty materialistic picture

Daniel Dennett:
Yes we have a soul
But it’s made of lots of tiny robots
Not a single one of the cells that compose you
Knows who you are or cares

At the moment I recite these lyrics I'm conscious
Savouring experiential nuances
Forget objectives, it's all about the process
Of deriving subjectivity from objects
Tiny objects, with action potentials
Axons with potassium ion differentials
Thinkin’ people tend to think that thinkin’ is mental
But thinkin’ is physical too, it’s the blinkin’ of signals
So enter the present moment, and really notice it
How hot or cold is it? The details are so vivid
It’s encoded in your cells in a coalition
That's what your soul’s composed of if it's no fiction
Pay attention for a second or more
That’s enlightenment, like opening refrigerator doors
Check and check and check again in there, it’s like it’s never dark
But when you ain’t checkin’ tell me who’s really in charge?
Forget the mysticism, look for the mechanism
That differentiates oblivion from recognition
Either stay trapped in subjective intuitions
Or take the escape hatch: the scientific method

Are we dreamin’ baby?
Or is this real?
(Real recognize real)
I’m tryin’ to find a sign
But I can’t tell
(Recognize real)
I can feel you
Inhale your smell
(Real recognize real)
Oh baby, let’s look
Behind the veil
(Recognize real)

Daniel Dennett:
Each trillion robot team is gathered together
In a breathtakingly efficient regime that has no dictator
But manages to keep itself organized to repel outsiders
And serve as the headquarters of one conscious self
One mind

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 Alice Andrews
Guitar by John Ellis
Cuts by Mr. Simmonds

Further reading:
www.ted.com/talks/dan_dennett_on_our_consciousness
neurobanter.com/2016/02/04/tracing-the-edges-of-consciousness/
aeon.co/essays/the-hard-problem-of-consciousness-is-a-distraction-from-the-real-one

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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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