As each Zodiac sign is associated with a planetary ruler—which essentially governs the way that one acts, adding dimension to the qualities associated both with one's sign and the energies surrounding it—'Rapstrology' will celebrate 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.
The seasons are changing and as the crisp October air fills my basic ass lungs, I can't help but want to proudly take up residence in the seasonal aisle at Trader Joe's, force my friends to go apple picking upstate (even though it's still barely qualifying as hoodie season in NYC), and make sure my Netflix queue is on point with all the campy horror I can stomach.
Simply put, it's that time of year again and I, for one, am limiting my complaints that the days are getting shorter now that we finally have Lil Wayne's Tha Carter V to soundtrack the rest of 2018, as if the long-awaited album not coming close to bombing is the cure to my ever-lingering seasonal depression. On top of that, we can also take solace in the fact that Cardi B is still Cardi B despite her increasing fame, wearing an incredibly polished outfit—best described as an iconic "I'ma handle my business and keep it moving" look—to turn herself in to authorities for an alleged altercation that took place earlier this summer at a strip club in Queens.
From Eminem to T.I. to 21 Savage, there are countless examples of how some of our favorite celebrity figures born under the Libra sun personify the Zodiac sign in every season and in different ways, whether they like it or not: giving us gems of wisdom to pocket, memes to make and, overall, new ways to relate to one another. As I begin to become intolerable on social media (and IRL if we're being honest), utilizing the hashtags #LibraSeason and #OctoberThings at every beckoned call and update, let's take a closer look into why this particular time of year amplifies the desire to be social, focused and, let's admit it, idealistic all at once.
Fitting in with the grandiose aura that surrounds those who annually decorate their homes for the fall season in advance (and cannot wait to show off whatever it is they've been working on), Venus is ruling everything around us at the moment. For those who may not be necessarily fluent in astrology talk, there are a couple of reasons and layers as to why focusing on this planet is important right now, especially when it comes to using astrology as a tool for self-reflection and balancing guidance with free will. Venus, the planet of love, the arts and beauty, is the planetary ruler for Libra. As such, it is only natural for this sign to gravitate towards being a peacekeeper, always inherently knowing what to do to balance or elevate an experience, situation or relationship. In other words, Libras are experts at beautifying one's surroundings, such as A$AP Rocky's tastemaking work in fashion, and in bestowing critical thinking when called for it, as exemplified through T.I.'s desire to help combat racism through education and community initiatives.
Additionally, beginning today (Oct. 4), Venus is also entering a rare period of retrograde, which is calling for tough, reflective decisions to be made when it comes to letting go of who, or what, is no longer serving us. This period is essentially a lengthy meditation on relationships, both with one's self and with others, and there is a call-to-action behind it as well. That being said, it is important to remember that truth and love are powerful, especially when it comes to gaining a higher perspective that will better serve one's purpose, and these underlying virtues should be kept close when navigating the path that lays ahead of you. Stripping down Libra to its most basic form, as being represented by the scales, this sign is all about finding and maintaining balance, a desirable driving force that particularly comes to light once the calendar strikes September 23.
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: "Best Life," Cardi B feat. Chance the Rapper
Lyrical Mantra: "Ain't no more beefin', I'm just keepin' to myself / I'm my own competition, I'm competin' with myself"
Libra'ism: Cardi B is Libra AF. From defiantly speaking her mind to leveling up on her own terms to being open with her relationship to money and her appearance, one of the many lessons Cardi B can teach us lies in being true to oneself, no matter what. The best way to live one's best life is to keep in mind that you already are, whether you're working through hardship or celebrating wins with your best friends.
Song: "Uproar," Lil Wayne
Lyrical Mantra: "What the fuck though? Where the love go? / Five, four, three, two, I let one go"
Libra'ism: Yes, this song is possibly permanently stuck in my head and that's part of why it's sticking with me. But, take a second glance at this song and Lil Wayne is sprinkling all sorts of gems into what is an undeniable banger. Libra, the forever blunt charmer, knows that love lost is better than not having loved at all, and at the end of the day, things that you've truly earned or experienced cannot be taken away from you. *Makes mental note to start a poetic annotation account on Genius.*
Song: "About the Money," T.I. feat. Young Thug
Lyrical Mantra: "If it ain't about the money / Bitch, you can miss me with it"
Libra'ism: T.I., in true Libra fashion, doesn't put his time or energy into things that don't fulfill him or benefit him, either financially or emotionally or both. Libras get bored with the mundane, especially if they feel something isn't inspiring them or if they don't have the air to create or have a hand in justice being served. With that in mind, Libras have an ability to attract wealth, prosperity and pleasantries, something that we all can carry with us.
Song: "The Ringer," Eminem
Lyrical Mantra: "Has the court of public opinion reached a verdict / Or still yet to be determined? / 'Cause I'm determined to be me, critique the worship"
Libra'ism: I mostly wanted to include Eminem on this list because he did some true Libra ish recently. On top of having a good time roasting Machine Gun Kelly (let's admit it, that was hella fun for Eminem), he and his team took out a full-page advertisement boasting the commercial success of his recent Kamikaze album, despite critics citing his latest effort as a "stale misfire," among other less-than-flattering commentary. I'm not sorry, I love Eminem for that. Much like the song "The Ringer" suggests, it's best to call out what you see is worth the airtime, as speaking your truth will always hold weight, critics be damned.
Libra in question: Will Smith
Mantra: "Anytime I'm scared of something, I feel impelled to attack it. Life is hard but you still have to commit. Don't hesitate."
Libra'ism: While Will Smith has made some classic hits in his days as a rapper, right now, his medium of choice is Instagram. His self-described "new playground" is winning over the hearts of millions on a daily basis, adding a new chapter to his multifaceted legacy. Many have cited his social media usage as one of the saving graces of 2018, and overall, his choice to go with his intuition over his ego (when it comes to racking up numbers online) is resulting in some inspirational and much-needed authenticity. Look no further than Will Smith's decision to bungee jump over the Grand Canyon for his 50th birthday and you'll see how much we can learn from this motivational Libra, even if heights aren't your thing.
Additional Sources: Many Moons workbook by Modern Women, Linda Goodman's Sun Signs and Astrology for Happiness and Success by Mecca Woods