Rapper Baba Brinkman likes to think of his latest composition as a merger between Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" and Tupac Shakur's "Dear Mama".
The song, "Cooperation Time", promotes the candidacy of his mom, Vancouver Quadra MP Joyce Murray, who's seeking the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada.
Brinkman tells the Straight by phone from New York that hip-hop has always had a bit of a political edge.
"Only the political voice of hip-hop has often been the Public Enemy 'Fight the Power' mentality," he adds. "I think you can take the political and you can apply it to positive movements as well."
Murray, unlike the other seven Liberal leadership candidates, has called for a one-time electoral alliance with Greens and New Democrats at the riding level—should the associations agree.
"Cooperation Time" pays homage to this approach to defeat Stephen Harper's Conservative candidates.
"The fact that no one has really pulled it off in the past makes people naturally doubt whether it's possible," Brinkman said. "But I think it's clearly what the majority of Canadians want."
Brinkman is best known for his science-based theatre shows The Rap Guide to Evolution and The Canterbury Tales Revisited.
Having just concluded a seven-city tour along the U.S. east coast, Brinkman is now trying to rally Canadians to support his mother's goal of becoming the next Liberal prime minister of Canada.
"She's brilliant and she's a consensus builder," Brinkman says. "You can see that in a business context where she would bring all the employees together under a common vision. You can see that in a political context as a minister and then as an MP. And you know, I can attest to that quality from a family perspective as well."
He wrote the lyrics to "Cooperation Time" while on a plane. The playful beat came from his producer and sound engineer, Mr. Simmonds.
"I just molded the words around that melody," Brinkman reveals.
Anyone can vote in the federal Liberal leadership race—and there's no requirement to join the party.
Meanwhile, Brinkman has launched an online fundraising campaign to produce the first-ever three-show hip-hop theatre cycle in New York this April.
On a Friday, he hopes to perform Ingenious Nature, followed by The Rap Guide to Evolution on a Saturday and Canterbury Tales Remixed on the Sunday.