Students will sing along with parts of “Natural Selection,” when the chorus intones the principle of natural selection: “The weak and the strong, Darwin got it goin’ on…whoever leaves the most spawn,” as the bearded rapper Darwin gyrates and twirls.....Brinkman describes Darwin as “the first to translate his amazement at the wonder of life into a way to explain it.”.... [In] “I’m a African,” in which Brinkman raps the origins of mankind: “Africa is where my momma got her mitochondria” accompanied by wild graphics. Don’t expect to hear the word “mitochondria” in a 50 Cent or Jay-Z rap. I’ve been humming “The fossil record has gaps but no contradictions” all morning.
In “Performance, Feedback, Revision,” Professor Baba compares the process of writing a rap with evolution and natural selection, showing how random changes due to mutations alter the text or performance piece (the genetic code). The altered text sees the light of day in the organism’s phenotype (the performance), which is accepted or rejected by natural selection (or the audience), feeding back on the endless creative cycle of life. The songs can be downloaded at http://bababrinkman.bandcamp.com/album/the-rap-guide-to-evolution.