Earlier this year, the very excellent Baba Brinkman was awarded a grant from the Wellcome Trust to make a series of music videos for the Rap Guide to Evolution, to “promote the public understanding of science”. He’s been working on with a crew in London to shoot the videos; the above clip is a preview.
But over the course of making the videos, he’s upped his ambition. From an email he sent out the other day:
…we want to take them to the next level by weaving in original animation, digital effects, and high-quality nature footage licensed from sources like the BBC. Imagine a four-minute short film, part Eminem-style rap music video, part David Attenborough-style nature documentary, illustrating themes such as the common descent of all human beings from African ancestors and the processes of natural and sexual selection that shaped our bodies and minds and the rest of nature.
To pay for it, Baba and his partners have decided to try “crowdfunding” — essentially you pay upfront for the DVD, when they get their target they’ll produce the videos. If they don’t reach the target in sixty days you get your money back. If you like the project and want to support it, you have options: £10 gets you a download of the finished videos, £20 gets you a DVD, and £30 buys you immortality: they will put your photo in one of the videos, representing a branch on the human family tree. HOW COOL A XMAS PRESENT IS THAT?