rap rituals/inadvertent invocation


New member
heat have been prevalent in many cultures.

disco- inferno, heatwave, sunshine band,

reggae- fire, sunshine

is there much rap about warm things? there's lots about ice.

why did we need heat back then and not now?

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
to pick one random example you can think of how power, electricity, voltage
is talked about in rock (and roll) to stand for both amplified instruments, but more
importantly excitement, charisma and libido.
I immediately thought of all the evil + occult references metal, especially black metal and its forebears

cartoonish (shock) or sincere, they're really about nihilism - reaction to contradictions of modern society - mentioned this some other thread

i.e. Slayer - mutually assured destruction, 90s black metal - rebellion against post-cold war end of history, and so on

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
not to derail you from talking about rap specifically

just following on from luka's points about art always being about both the tangible and the metaphysical


New member
i don't care if it's about rap specifically. though it think the interesting thing is the unintended or subconscious element. so for example people talking about the devil metal is a conscious thing. there may be weird recurring words or concepts in metal or whatever that aren't so deliberate but may well be very revealing.

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
unintended or subconscious element
right that's what I was talking about - the evil, or whatever, is a (frequently, not always) unintended metaphor

i.e. the overt reaction to looming global thermonuclear is to sing protest songs of some kind

the metaphorical reaction, or one of them, is an obsession with death, artistic exploration of the death drive at a hyperreal level

the original death metal bands, the names (Death, Nuclear Death, Autopsy, Obituary, Entombed, Grave, Necrovore) and lyrical topics (death, rotting, zombies, evil) are a response to that particular moment, like Jackson Pollock is one level a direct response to the existence of the nuclear bomb

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
right anyway I didn't want to break up your guys flow

your initial couple posts did me make think of Drexciya in re conscious v. unconscious mythopoesis (and afrofuturism etc) but I don't really have anything to say on it rn

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
tho one other thing - all that stuff about liquid and rising sea levels, and Cardi B, makes me think of

"my pussy feel like a lake/he wanna swim with his face"

one of the only recent rap lines I know by heart, having heard Bodak Yellow at the gym ~10,000 times


Active member
what you are calling for sounds like a kind of Gaston Bachelard style response to rap lyrics

he was a sort of phenomenologist with a special focus on poetics and the elements as a source of imagery

some of his titles:

La psychanalyse du feu (The Psychoanalysis of Fire, 1938)
L'eau et les rêves (Water and Dreams, 1942)
L'air et les songes (Air and Dreams, 1943)
La terre et les rêveries du repos (Earth and Reveries of Repose, 1946)
La terre et les rêveries de la volonté (Earth and Reveries of Will, 1948)
La poétique de l'espace (The Poetics of Space)
La poétique de la rêverie (1960)
La flamme d'une chandelle (1961)

not that i've read any of them except for parts of The Poetics of Space


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actually right this second a Mr Eazi tune came on YouTube called "Pour me Water" - with a repeated line about "holy water"

which reminded me that the same phrase crops up on that J Hus tune "Did You See"

but there i got the impression that it had a salacious undertone

perhaps that's my dirty mind
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Active member
splash, drip, etc

- well on the first level, it's the idea of dripping with money

second level - iridiscence, things glistening

also perhaps in there a sense of sublime nonchalance and ease of spirit, things flowing along, no friction, cruise control in your lambhorgini

you get these nice mix-ups of incompatible states, where everything is simultaneously liquid and yet the wrist is frostbitten with so much ice etc

'fire' used to be part of the elemental poetics of rap, and still is i would have thought to some extent

blazing was a term in the Dirty South era i seem to recall

i managed to get a reference to Pater and his "to burn always with a hard gem-like flame" into a review of Lil Wayne's debut album - i think there was also a reference to Bataille maxim "to live like suns, spendour for its own sake, a will to glory" etc

"hard gem-like flame" obviously a trope for a kind of spiritual priapism

not a million miles from Jim Morrison


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Used this example probably on here at least once, but several times in that Gucci is the reverse of the Rakim phrase

"take a phrase that's rarely heard/flip it, now it's a daily word"

in that he deliberately made the same subjects and material as abstracted as possible. One of my faves is off "Photoshoot" where he says

"Photographic Chain
Photographic memory"

It's basically 1 line but it's going light years beyond "My chain is bright, my chain is expensive" it's "My chain will be imprinted in your brain, you're gonna remember the sight of me" without any allusions of pretense. It's perfect and it's a seeming throwaway in a record that's so enclustered with bars you'd never catch it.


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It follows as such then that everything has to do more in imagery. Everything's a next further abstracted sense, we've already transcended the diamonds are like ice, now they're ice and what does ice have to do? How do you transmute the extension of the metaphor, thus overruling the real material object


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Another one, less significant but still good, his verse comes in a bit around... 2:45 or whatever. The record is mostly inane, everyone pretty much goes with the simplest of bars. High like kite, girls bad like mean whatever whatever and then here comes Radric and he starts diving into talking about killing his foes and feeding them to the fishes. But he's naming specific fishes.

"Feed 'em to the octos"

I'd already at the time thought T.I. was clever for once saying "FEED EM TO THE DOLPHINS" on an unreleased song because Dolphins aren't particularly thought of as creatures that eat humans. They'll actually not only eat swimmers whom they're unfamiliar and bad-minded to but occasionally molest them.

"Leave you sleeping with the stingrays"

Bottom feeders! Gucci one ups the metaphor again and then

Ribbit Ribbit
Feed your (fingers/features)(? always unclear)
to the lizard"

I mean, there's a point where you throw your hands in the air with 07-09 Gucci and you just yell "What the fuck?"


New member
alright everyone; go through the last seven decades of popular music and pick out the buzzwords over in vogue at different points that have a deeper resonance than intended. suggest why those particular words resonated with society at the time.