Baba Brinkman’s ‘The Rap Guide to Religion’


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Baba Brinkman released his album ‘The Rap Guide to Religion’ on Oct. 23.

Jimmieka Mills, News Editor

The Drama Desk Award nominated playwright, scholar and rapper is releasing his new album ‘The Rap Guide to Religion’ Oct. 23.

Brinkman has been crowned as a pioneer in the game of literary hip hop.

I would call his style more researchable rap, which is not an actual genre.  It has lyrical content laced with terms you are sure to want to Google during and after you listen. As in ‘Byproduct to Benefit’ when he introduces a religion I had never heard of:

You’re a Poseidon atheist, admit it
And you’re comfortable with it, which makes you a militant
Poseidon atheist – “Poseidon theology”
Used to be huge, but now we call it “oceanography”

We are taught as a memorization method in school to make a rhyme or lyrics out of the information provided in order to retain it. This album serves as that rhythmic tool to help you not only retain, but understand all the science behind religion (or lack thereof).

‘Spread it’ is an encouragement to spread the ideas of cultural evolution touches base on repetition as a learning tool:

When your brain absorbs information its kinda picky
So what makes a piece of information sticky?
Sticky-icky Sticky-icky-icky-icky
Repetition helps a little bit, definitely

‘Bad things happen’ sums up the research of Grey and Wegner in 4:00 minutes and touches on the fact that bad things happen to good people. It questions the belief in a God as a receiver of praise, but not the blame of circumstance.

Brinkman’s ability to put the most mundane subjects into good content is extremely entertaining. Even if you don’t care for the subject matter chances are you will still be asking yourself,”Did dude just rhyme philosophical naturalism?”

In high school, my U.S. History teacher excited us about the subject by relating Biggie Smalls to Native Americans. He cued the CD to a part of the verse that said,

“Navajo’s creep me in they teepee.” He stops the record and attempts to convince us that his rhymes could educate us on American History. It was an epic fail.

Baba Brinkman created a tool for those looking to link education with entertainment. This album is one I don’t mind getting stuck in my son’s head. The best thing is if one of these super-catchy hooks gets stuck in your head and you find yourself grooving at work; you sound like a literary genius. I encourage any lover of music to give this album a try and spread it, spread it spread it.


1. Invocation: A stream-of-consciousness flow of ideas, identifying the task at hand and the challenges involved.
2. Religion Evolves: A summary of the various hypotheses explored by evolutionary religious studies.
3. God of the Gaps (Feat. Gaiaisi): A look at religion’s roots in anthropomorphism and what makes science and religion different.
4. Sapiosexual: Using sexual desire as an analogy to distinguish the causes of beliefs.
5. Give Thanks: How hyperactive agency detection helps to explain thanking God at the Oscars.
6. Bad Things Happen: Grey and Wegner’s recent research on the link between suffering and faith offers new insight into the problem of theodicy.
7. Theory of Mind: “Theory of mind” is the ability to infer the contents of other minds by observing their actions, and is necessary for religious belief.
8. Byproduct to Benefit: Reconciling the “adaptation vs. spandrel” debate using dinosaur feathers.
9. Spread It: The Ten Commandments of cultural evolution as a collection of tactics for spreading ideas.
10. Virus of the Mind: Exploring the predictions, merits, and shortcomings of the “virus of the mind” theory.
11. Andrew Murray: A case study of the link between faith and reproductive success, using Baba’s ancestors as an example.
12. Fertility Gods: The mechanisms via which religion promotes fertility (and oppresses women).
13. Supernatural Punishment: Tracing the transition from local amoral tribal gods to omniscient, punitive, moralizing gods.
14. Neighborhood Atheism (Featuring Greydon Square): Atheism is on the rise, but atheists are still feared and mistrusted.
15. Imagine: A vision of the future with religion entirely naturalized.