Much like the name suggests, 'Rapstrology' celebrates the beautiful (and curiously slept-on) intersection between hip-hop and astrology. Whether exploring the Zodiac is a guilty pleasure hobby, something to roll one's eyes at, or a swear-by daily guide to WTF is going on, this column aims to explore the roadmap that is astrology, through the context of hip-hop, lyrics and current events.
Pisces is a sign of transcendence. Even though it's technically the early chapters of the Gregorian calendar year and still the middle of winter somehow, in astrology, Pisces marks the twelfth and final sign of the Zodiac. Most commonly represented by two fish swimming in opposite directions, Pisces is all about the duality found within.
Often, those born between February 19 and March 20 find themselves caught up between intellectual thought and deep emotions. Known for being extremely intuitive, sensitive, artistic, compassionate and wise; Pisces have certain gifts that can fall under the "blessing and a curse" type of category. Just ask any empath. Or look in Erykah Badu's direction and feel yourself being seen.
Highly evolved, Pisces has been through it all and is still swimming its way through the unknown -- pardon the pun, that one wrote itself. While this sign has an innate and otherworldly understanding of the human experience in ways others may never fully understand or comprehend, Pisces are characteristically prone to escaping reality. They often lose themselves in their work, art or partake in other escapist tendencies. Due to their spiritual and introspective natures, Pisces require ample alone time; whether it's spent sleeping, dreaming, recharging by a body of water, working tirelessly to advance a goal or going to the movies.
Artists such as Tyler The Creator, Earl Sweatshirt and the paradigmatic icon Erykah Badu have boundless creative energy that allows them to create music that is innovative, goes against the current and requires multiple listens. Pisces often recognize at an early age that they are different from others, a realization that encourages the desire to explore and develop various creative, self-expressive talents.
From pushing boundaries artistically to creating work that can be simultaneously brilliant and misunderstood, the isolation that comes organically with being different can either be approached with positive coping mechanisms or disastrous ones. Pair that with a fear of one's past coming back to haunt them and a particular sensitivity to criticism or cruelty, it makes sense that many Pisces avoid alcohol or drugs, knowing full well the effect taking it too far could have on them. Because of their susceptibility to addiction, depression and letting their emotions take the wheel; Pisces' environments, as well as the company they keep closest, must be selected with cautious intention.
Whether one's music career is built on activism and contributing positively to changing the world at large, such as Common's, or rooted in eccentricities, such as Flava Flav's or Badu's; artists born under the Piscean sun really do represent a mixed bag of personalities and perspectives. A collaboration between Bad Bunny, Lil Dicky and Method Man would make for the most random posse-cut of 2019. But hey, weirder things have happened. Enter Ja Rule. The veteran rapper spent the last year dodging any acknowledgement of his involvement in the infamous failure of Fyre Festival just to turn around and say he's plotting his next luxury festival, as if nothing had gone awry. One has to admire his ability to see the world through rose-tinted glasses, even if his redemptive vision never comes to fruition.
Adding to their individual depth is the fact that Pisces is willing to help others even if it comes to their own detriment, making it easy for Pisces to fixate on other people's dramas and avoid tending to their own. On a friendship level, this sign is adaptive and agreeable, making it easy for Pisces to connect with nearly everyone they initially come across. Their presence can be strong, and their acceptance of others is both visionary and appreciated.
While some qualities of a Pisces may seem conflicting by nature, just keep in mind that they are aware of those complicated nuances, too. Similar to the dualistic Gemini, Pisces are multifaceted and mutable. In other words, Pisces generally is balancing multiple personalities and analyzing which components of their character best represent their authenticity, and continued evolution. With infinite wisdom, gentle kindness and a complex but romantic outlook on life; Pisces is one of the most fascinating signs to explore. Dive in and go deep.
Now that we have scratched the surface to the many layers of Pisces, here are some lyrical gems to keep in mind and when the mood strikes, keep on repeat.
Song: "See You Again" by Tyler, The Creator featuring Kali Uchis
Lyrical Mantra: "You live in my dream state / Relocate my fantasy / I stay in reality / You live in my dream state."
Pisces'ism: Piscean love language is a dreamy one, especially if you have a good understanding of where one's hopeful optimism and contrasting cynicism stems from. Tyler, The Creator is looking for his ideal version of love, even though he struggles with the reality that the wait is easier in theory than practice. Either way, he's not fully letting anyone in on his secrets. This, in turn, makes his cryptic expressions pertaining to love all the more captivating and mysterious.
Song: "Eclipse" by Earl Sweatshirt
Lyrical Mantra: "Say goodbye to my openness, total eclipse / Of my shine that I've grown to miss when holding shit in / Open my lids, my eyes said my soul is amiss (Soul is)."
Pisces'ism: This track, which appears on Earl's third studio albumn Some Rap Songs, speaks to how his journey towards enlightenment has been anything but a smooth ride. He's figuring out a lot and turning to his music to make sense of his own complexities, all while operating on his own timeline and in his own manner. Similar to that of Tyler's, Earl's self-awareness has been hard-earned and the process has been far from perfect. The rapper's 2018 album was born out of a place of loss and longing, especially when factoring in how he was denied a reconciliation with his estranged father, South African poet Keorapeste Kgositsile, who passed away in January 2018. Earl covers a lot of ground in this project and "Eclipse" makes for a powerful and personal offering (Pisces' specialty).
Song: "Save That Money" by Lil Dicky featuring Rich Homie Quan and Fetty Wap
Lyrical Mantra: "The rap game got it all wrong / We ain't 'bout to go and spend money just to flex on 'em / We ain't really got it like y'all (Yeah, baby!)"
Pisces'ism: Lil Dicky just wants to be great, okay? And in this circumstance, thrifty and quirky. Given the song's viral success, it worked in his favor. The music video, which cost $0 to make and featured cameos from Sarah Silverman, Hannibal Buress, T-Pain and Mark Cuban, among other celebrities; speaks to his desire to connect with others without compromising who he is and what he stands for.
Song: "I Used to Love H.E.R." by Common
Lyrical Mantra: "I met this girl when I was 10 years old / And what I loved most she had so much soul / She was old school when I was just a shorty / Never knew throughout my life she would be there for me."
Pisces'ism: This classic entry in Common's discography speaks to his deeper understanding; appreciation and analysis of the historic, and cultural evolution of hip hop; as told through the lens of various chapters of a woman's life. This song has been unpacked, digested and celebrated consistently since its 1994 release, speaking to Common's Piscean wisdom and confident, elevated storytelling.
Song: "On and On" by Erykah Badu
Lyrical Mantra: The entire song, but particularly: "Peace and blessings manifest with every lesson learned / If your knowledge were your wealth, then it would be well-earned / If we were made in his image, then call us by our names / Most intellects do not believe in God but they fear us just the same."
Pisces'ism: Erykah Badu's 1997 debut album, Baduizm, is both an in-depth study and a mere glimpse into her magic. Her first-ever single, which won a Grammy in 1998 for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, features lyrical gem after gem, all while helping put Neo-soul on the map in an impactful, definitive way. Astrological fun fact, Erykah Badu is a double Pisces, meaning it appears in her chart as both her sun and moon sign. In other words, put on Baduizm and tap in. Her unique frequency remains appreciated and right on time two decades later.
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