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Saturday, December 9, 2006

Rappin' the Canterbury Tales

WELLESLEY

The lights dim, the music pumps up - a steady beat that can be felt in the bones - and Baba Brinkman struts and bounces around the stage, belting out his rhymes about hard living, violence, sex and the secrets to true love, all in a seamless cadence. He gets his inspiration not from growing up in the 'hood, but from the musings of a 14th century English poet.

Brinkman, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia who has a master's degree in medieval and Renaissance English literature from the University of Victoria, has adapted some of "The Canterbury Tales" into rap songs.

"If Chaucer was around today, he'd probably rap," Brinkman told The Associated Press.

Brinkman stopped at Wellesley College during a recent tour of high schools and colleges across the eastern United States and Puerto Rico.

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