Baba Brinkman Apocalyptic Utopian Dreams in the Western Wilderness

Baba BrinkmanApocalyptic Utopian Dreams in the Western Wilderness
As befits an MC who has won accolades for his one-man Chaucer adaptation The Rap Canterbury Tales and his more recent The Rap Guide to Evolution, the fifth album from Vancouver, BC's Baba Brinkman's is an intellectual, literate take on hip-hop. Amongst brags about himself ("Art of Seduction") and his territory ("The Road Northwest"), Brinkman also offers up a plea for humanity to return to the wild on funk rocker "Gutter Green," provides a realistic first-person profile of a private heading into battle on hip-hop march "Do or Die" and on the groovy "Seven Veils," he argues the case for strippers and burlesque dancers with turns of phrase that would make Uncle Climax proud. He's also got a diverse range of beats, pulling in country music ("The Road Northwest" and "Valediction"), reggae ("A Buck and Change") and jazz ("Paraphrase" and "Creeper"), in addition to the already-mentioned funk of "Gutter Green" and "Seven Veils." A few of these hybrids cross over into cheese, and some of the faster beats are a little too much for Brinkman's loose, Buck 65-ish, almost-spoken word flow, but it works often enough, and Brinkman is engaging as both an entertainer and an educator, so it's easy to forgive his faults. (Lit Fuse)