Proponents of mainstream hip/hop may have never heard of the “the only hip-hop show to ever be peer reviewed,” as I have heard it said, let alone understand the ideas being throw at its audience so swiftly those with the proper background can hardly grasp. The man behind this show goes by the name Baba Brinkman. With a Masters degree in Medieval and Renaissance Literature, Brinkman’s thesis “drew parallels between the worlds of hip-hop, music and literary poetry.” Should he be discounted for being born in Canada to a mother, a member of parliament, and a tree planting father, or placed on a pedestal for being able to string together coherent, thought provoking lyrics counter to stars popular and familiar to most?
My guess is neither. While being accused of offering overly provoking, almost offending, systematic breakdowns of topics like evolution, Baba Brinkman coupled his extensive knowledge on the subject and love for music and created a market to be able to practice what he enjoys most. He broke free.
For me, the most important aspect of Baba's approach was illustrated in a recent blog post on his website titled, Insult To Injury. In it he talks about critics questioning his ability to physically plant over one million tress. Baba Brinkman remarks, "In general I’m in favor of skepticism, but only the well-informed, intellectually curious kind, not the knee-jerk “it doesn’t sound intuitively realistic so I’ll disbelieve it without bothering to check” kind." Adding to the idea of positive skepticism he continues later in the post, "When our views are self-correcting and open to revision based on new evidence, they will continue to hone in on increasingly accurate representations of the real world. That’s good honest skepticism, and when it wins over bad, knee-jerk, “it’s hard to imagine” skepticism, that’s a beautiful thing."
When you live with closed eyes the betterment of the self is limited. It is not able to seek and absorb new information that will progress the multitude of ideas which make up the world. Living with closed eyes opens the individual only to becoming more blinded by its one sided opinion- we are not capable of "performance, feedback, revision." Your opinion should be expressed, but it is not Gospel. Be willing to challenge your self-centeredness to truly listen to what others are saying. After all, absorb what is useful, discard what is not- just do it with realistic skepticism.
Author's Note: A simple internet search will yield plenty of information to keep the curious Baba Brinkman newbie busy. However, to be transported through the interweb portal quicker, check out his Ted talks HERE and HERE , or visit his website, www.bababrinkman.com. If you would like to explore his music, do so at his Bandcamp page. It is my favorite place to discover new, independent musicians and the platform allows you to listen to full albums, for free.