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.
There's a couple of memes going around (because of course, there is) pointing out how Gemini season brought out everyone's inner partygoer. Now, that wave of carefree spontaneity has passed, it's time to wallow in all the feels. After all, what better way to spend one's time during Cancer season? The sign is infamous for being sensitive. A recipe that makes them one of the most challenging signs to truly get to know.
Symbolized by the crab, those born between June 21 and July 22 are typically no strangers to embodying the traits of the popular crustacean. With a hard exterior and a soft, delicate and assumedly delicious core (I'm allergic, shrugs), the crab is guided by their emotions... for better AND for worse. With this sign being ultra-sensitive, they require extra protection and care. Without being approached with caution in this regard, things can go from 0-to-100 real quick. The crab is tasked with navigating their intuition without letting their hot-headedness take precedence over their deeply personal vision.
Those whose birthdays fall under the Cancerian sun are characteristically unwaveringly loyal, and on the other side of that coin, have the power to hold grudges for years when the people they trust cross them. Cancers, who like to keep it close to home whether in a literal and/or figurative sense, are often slow to trust others and find it difficult to let things go. They are direct and blunt with their communication. In contrary, due to their emphatic natures, they are often compassionate. This somewhat contradictory nature can get them in trouble. A Cancer isn't losing sleep over offending someone by speaking their truth.
You know how whenever it's a full moon, people often wonder aloud what craziness is about to go down? Even the word "lunatic" is derived from the Latin word "luna," which means moons. The belief that the full moon brings intensity, heightened emotions and the coincidence that things can go a little haywire is one that has been explored for ages, both in scientific research and throughout pop culture. Many are intrigued by how the moon impacts the tides and how it influences humans, given that our bodies are comprised of roughly 60% water. With Cancer, such conversations are essentially amplified.
The sign is ruled by the moon and also belongs to the element water. So, when we're talking about their emotional nature, we gotta get deep with it. For example, with someone like 50 Cent, it's less about the fact that people owe him money and more about the principle behind it, like what that says about the person's character compared to his own. As he's shown through his recent campaign to hold others accountable for repaying their past debts to him now with urgency, he may forgive over time, but he will never forget. There is humor in his antics. But, also a deeper quest to understand more about his complexities when it comes to asserting power.
Similarly, fellow Cancers such as, Lil' Kim, Missy Elliott, Rhymefest, M.I.A. and RZA, each possess a multilayered personality that changes as much as it remains consistent. Which is revealed tactfully, turning their selectively revealed emotions into art and using their introspective natures to move the culture forward. With Lil' Kim, her hard-shelled persona helped pave the way for other women in rap to embrace their sexuality without apology, while Missy Elliott's legacy lies in creating a futuristic world of her own making. Both women inspire others to be themselves and challenge the status quo. With members of the newer generation of Cancerian creators, such as Saweetie, 6lack, Vince Staples and Post Malone, they are investing in themselves and their careers alike, finding ways to navigate achieving longevity in the rap game.
Passionate, vulnerable, deeply caring, occasionally negative, unpredictable, skeptical and intuitive, Cancers can be as complex as it gets, often finding comfort in being near a body of water. There's much to learn from this sign and now that we have covered some of the basic groundwork, let's take a look at some lyrical takeaways to keep in mind, and when the mood strikes, on repeat.
Song: "Many Men" - 50 Cent
Lyrical Mantra: "I'm the diamond in the dirt that ain't been found / I'm the underground king and I ain't been crowned / When I rhyme somethin' special happen every time / I'm the greatest, somethin' like Ali in his prime."
Cancer'ism: Nothing like tackling a deep subject like 50 Cent's infamous brush with death and layering it with outward confidence about being slept on. His skepticism, petty nature and perseverance are seriously unmatched.
Song: "ICY GRL" - Saweetie
Lyrical Mantra: "Judging from my vibe, you can feel it in my energy / Stacking paper steadily so I can live in luxury / Looking in the mirror, I thank God for what I'm about to be / You beefing with my enemy does not make you a friend of me."
Cancer'ism: Saweetie's breakout single is littered with gems that 100% make sense coming from a Cancer. This banger was written with wisdom woven in, speaking from her experience on how the work she put in helped her to elevate, and inspire others along the way. This song symbolized a perfect balance between growth, motivation and a flex that only a Cancerian could pull off with such ease.
Song: "Congratulations" - Post Malone
Lyrical Mantra: "And I know I sound dramatic, yeah / But I know I had to have it, yeah / For the money, I'm a savage, yeah / I be itching like a addict, yeah / I'm surrounded, 20 bad bitches, yeah / But they didn't know me last year, yeah."
Cancer'ism: While Post Malone may now be a household name, that doesn't mean he's going to let anyone forget that wasn't always the case. He will remain skeptical of the true intentions of others, with that jaded edge becoming synonymous with his personal brand as a creator. Post certainly knows how to put his emotions on his sleeve, even though he may not always be able to fully handle the consequences that may come from doing so.
Song: "No Matter What They Say" - Lil' Kim
Lyrical Mantra: "Everywhere I go red carpet / Gave the keys to valet tell 'em to park it / Then I jumps out the Azure, a Lil' Kim aura / Girls making faces like Ace Ventura / And my B-A-D G-I-R-L-S is in the stretch LX / Ain't s--t you can tell us / Even got some of these n----s jealous / But tonight ain't about the fellas."
Cancer'ism: I love Lil' Kim. That is all. But in all seriousness, Lil' Kim's confidence has transcended across generations, with her now-classic catalog helping to provide a soundtrack guaranteed to bring out one's inner badass and, especially for women, encourage them to hone their sexuality the same way men traditionally have. Lil' Kim is a resilient Cancer who refuses to be anything but exactly who she is.
Song: "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" - Missy Elliott
Lyrical Mantra: "Beep beep, who got the keys to the Jeep, vroom / I'm driving to the beach / Top down, loud sounds, see my peeps / Give them pounds, now look who it be / It be me me me and Timothy / Look like it's bout to rain, what a shame / I got the Armor-All to shine up the stain / Oh Missy try to maintain / Icky-icky-icky-icky-icky-icky-icky"
Cancer'ism: This song is interesting to think about through the lens of astrology, especially when factoring in how Missy's Cancerian nature should find comfort in the element water, but this song explores how it can bring out a more melancholy vibe. Regardless the shout to her day-one Timbaland is very on brand for a Cancer, as is the proclamation that she is supa dupa fly. Where is the lie, may I ask?
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