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Twin: Hi, is this, uh, Baba Brinkman?

Baba: Yeah, who’s this?

Twin: Baba Brinkman the “rapping evolutionist”

Baba: Yeah

Twin: I’m not sure how to tell you this
It’s a bit awkward, but, um, I’m your identical twin

Baba: No shit?

Twin: Yeah, I tracked you down with a Google search,
I’ve known for about two years, but I thought
No, it’s just too weird

Baba: What?!? No way, what’s your birthday?

Twin: It’s October 22nd 1978
The same as yours, I tracked you through an adoption agent
I’ve been watching you since about 2008
I can’t say why our biological parents would want to separate us
But anyway, I thought we should, you know, get acquainted

Baba: I’m sorry, I just don’t know what to say
I’m shocked, I can’t wait to talk to my mom
And dad and ask them what the hell they were on
Giving up an identical twin for adoption
But I guess they probably had their reasons

Twin: So I guess that means
You’re a pretty easy-going guy, ‘cause I thought you might
You know, be angry, or maybe even cry

Baba: Well, maybe when I see you I might need to dry
An eye but for now I’m just completely surprised
And curious as hell, I mean, what’s the deal?
What do you do, do you have kids, do you take care of yourself?
Are you married? I mean, this is very surreal
Have you ever read about “twin studies”?
It’s, like, the only way we can tell
Which elements of the personalities we develop
Can be called the result of the environmental field
Compared to the part that’s beem genetically built

Twin: Yeah, I’m not so into science, but my job is
That I teach creative writing at a community college
And yeah, I have a little girl, and a beautiful wife
We’ve been married since 2005

Baba: Creative writing?
When you were a kid did your adopted parents
Read to you at night

Twin: No, they weren’t really “book people”, why?

Baba: Oh, it’s just that my dad always likes to take credit
For my success as a rapper, ‘cause he read to me as an infant
But I always wondered whether my language instincts were genetic
And this is evidence

Twin: I really pictured this
Reunion as having a bit more emotional resonance

Baba: Yeah, well, you’re not exactly pouring on the expressiveness

Twin: I know, I’ve never seen the necessity
My wife tells me it’s an “emotional repression” thing
But I’m not unaffectionate, it just seems excessive to me

Baba: Yeah, that could be a description of me

Twin: Okay, if we’re questioning
What about you, wife, girlfriend?

Baba: No, I’m not really a relationship type of person
I mean, it’s not like an aversion, it’s just that I’m always on tour and
It’s tough to imagine how to even try to work it in

Twin: But rapping, you must get some attention from women

Baba: Attention, sure, but I’m not indiscriminate
I mostly tour colleges campuses, you can picture it
In town for one night, most women just aren’t into it
I mean, there’s been an occasional grad student incident

Twin: My wife is a grad student

Baba: Yeah, well, I’m envious
I wish I could have that kind of connection, intimate
My lifestyle could hardly be more itinerant

Twin: You came to my college, in 2006, you rapped
The Canterbury Tales for the medieval English class

Baba: What? Why didn’t you contact me?

Twin: Because I didn’t know
I only tracked you two years ago, remember?
Plus I was on sabbatical, me and my wife, we had this whole…
That time was stressful

Baba: Oh, sorry bro

Twin: Look, it’s not your fault, it’s just that
I turned into this guy, this safe provider type
And I panicked, and I left my wife, and I moved to the other side
Of the planet, to Europe, but it just didn’t fit me
I was just an anonymous writer in a big city
And I wasn’t confident with women so I lasted six weeks

Baba: And your wife took you back, huh?

Twin: Yup, I guess that’s love
And then nine months later along came little Rebecca

Baba: Nine months later?

Twin: Yeah, give or take
It’s funny how our lives have developed in different ways
I mean, I envy your lifestyle – it looks pretty flat-out
I decided to contact you when I saw you on Rachel Maddow

Baba: Yeah, she’s fantastic… so you and your wife
You’ve been happy since your little European crisis?

Twin: Yeah, she’s a good mother, I’m lucky to have her

Baba: And you’re never tempted to, you know, stray from the pasture?
Hook up with one of your students maybe, I don’t know
Do something crazy?

Twin: Yeah, I’m tempted, occasionally
But it’s a two-way street, right? I mean, basically
How can I trust her if she can’t trust me?

Baba: And you trust her?

Twin: Yes, now, but I’ve had some jealous times
I mean, when Rebecca was like two and half
I took her to the clinic and I got a check-up and I
Asked the doctor to give her a paternity test on the side

Baba: Really, why? Does she have like an “ethnic vibe”?

Twin: No, she looks like me, she’s freckled and white
She was just born a bit quickly after that difficult time
And I didn’t wanna be suspicious, but I…

Baba: And the verdict?

Twin: The doctor said she’s definitely mine
One hundred percent DNA test certified

Baba: Oh, that’s great then, I’d love to meet your kid

Twin: And my wife…

Baba: Yeah, I was gonna say that next
Okay, look, I have to go, there’s this thing for the Fringe
I’m writing this play about…

Twin: Yeah, Human Nature, yes
I’ve been tracking you through your Facebook friends
I’ll be interested to hear what you have to say about twins

Baba: Yeah, well, as soon as I can, I’ll come visit you

Twin: Okay, Baba, just call me when you’re ready to


from The Rap Guide to Human Nature, released August 1, 2010


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Baba Brinkman New York, New York

Science rapper and inventor of several novel hip-hop variants. Canadian transplant to New York. Pathological optimist.

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