I rap, therefore I am
October 03, 2021

Essay: Similarities between rappers and Philosophers

Level goes on an ambitious quest - tries to connect wordings of contemporary rappers with those of classic philosophers. One of the comparisons is between Kendrick Lamar and Plato, who both deal with issues of identity, reality and ideas:

“What money got to do with it / When I don’t know the full definition of a rap image? / I’m trapped inside the ghetto and I ain’t proud to admit it / Institutionalized, I keep runnin’ back for a visit” - Kendrick Lamar, 'Institutionalized'

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light” - Plato.

Opera singer and essayist Xenia Hanusiak wrote a philosophical text in the Psyche about how music helps us understand ourselves better: "The present pandemic has brought us closer to ourselves. There is dissonance. The rhythms are haphazard. Contrary motions of jangling melodies confront us. We seem to be living in a maze of minor keys and open-ended cadences. We move chromatically, step by step. The array of discord challenges us. We’re searching for resolution. If this gamut of expressions seems familiar, you’re right. They are the building blocks of music. We might not ordinarily say to ourselves, let’s modulate, or let’s change key, but every day we unconsciously conduct our lives as a musical composition, a symphonic masterpiece, an anthem, or a slice of hip-hop".

The third episode of Drillosophy - video blog where philosophy meets drill-rap - covers the topic of surveillance. Authors Ciaran and Reveal explain how English philosopher Jeremy Bentham's "panopticon" design can be used to understand systems of control in modern society. They also dissect the lyrics of M1llionz and M Huncho to explore why some UK rappers cover their faces. This episode features drill artists S1, F2 Anti, and RoadWorks ambassador, Demetri Addison.

I drill, therefore I am
May 05, 2020

How Plato's philosophy can be applied to drill rap?

Drillosophy is an original video-blog combining contemporary music culture, urban sociology and philosophy. In their first episode, they explore perception by applying Plato's Cave, an idea from ancient Ancient Greek philosophy, to UK drill music. It features Brixton drill duo Skengdo & AM, who talk about their lyrics. Watch the episode below.