The Rap Guide to Wilderness
While we wait on the full length release of Brinkman’s upcoming Rap Guide To Religion this gifted BC rapscallion takes a short detour from his urban NYC base to direct his rhymes toward the great outdoors.
The Rap Guide To Wilderness is part of an ongoing series of “Rap Guides” released by Brinkman tackling such heady subjects as Evolution, Business and Human Behaviour. It now seems quite apparent that Brinkman has departed from his early tendencies toward interpreting classic literature into hip hop verse and is now deeply focused on non-fiction subject matter.
These Rap Guides, including the aforementioned Rap Guide To Religion, have been at the centre of several recent one man performances that Brinkman has been producing off-Broadway for the past few years.
For the Wilderness edition Brinkman both celebrates the biosphere and shoots down a few myths perpetuated by the back to the land movement.
What I love about Brinkman’s hip hop is that he can drop some clever wisdom and education while motivating the dance floor.
Clocking in at seven tracks The Rap Guide To Wilderness is more an EP than a full length album, nevertheless it’s still a solid addition to the ever increasing Rap Guide series.
The title track Go Wild delivers some skanky electro grooves while the BC rhyme-smith waxes on about the human connection to the natural world and how our egocentric tendencies can make we homo sapiens blind to the needs of the other inhabitants of this blue planet.
The Boom Booms Aaron Nazrul, sounding a bit too Phil Collins for my ears, lays some smooth vocals over the soulful Tranquility Bank where we find Brinkman promoting urban living for the sake of sustainability. Pointing out that the best thing our massive human population could do was to set our sights on more sustainable city living while we give the natural world a reprieve from our aggressive encroachment.
Walden Pond references Henry D. Thoreau while pondering our tendency toward opportunistic adaptation and how this relates to the so called eco tourism industry. The backing on the track is an infectious combination of deep burbling bass and some jammin’ violin.
Brinkman spins complex and well constructed narratives that are so clever they make most superstar rappers look like schoolyard braggarts.
Bottleneck provides a extensive history of species extinction highlighted by Sean Ross’ haunting vocal atmospherics, while roots rocker Wyckham Porteous sings the chorus on Never Cry Wolf. A song that investigates the evolutionary relationship between humans and wolves, examining how we slaughter these majestic apex predators out of fear while at the same time spoiling their domesticated cousins to the point of deification.
Although quite sophisticated lyrically, musically The Rap Guide To Wilderness can be a bit hit and miss. If I had to pick a favourite track it’s no contest. Without a doubt I love the rawness of Party Of Life with its sparse horn squawks and chunky organ breaks. Best of all it features the alluring old timey vocal stylings of Canadian Jazz singer Tia Brazda on the chorus, which adds the perfect spice to the party.
The best part is that Brinkman makes all his releases available for download by donation. So, you can check out Brinkman’s substantial recorded output, including this new edition to the Rap Guide series and the Religion Evolves sampler, which is a preview of his future Rap Guide To Religion release. You can get your fill at bababrinkman.com
See also Dave’s review of the Baba Brinkman, BC’s Raconteur.
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