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.
With the highly anticipated, star-studded remake of "The Lion King" finally in theaters nationwide and hot girl summer in full swing, the arrival of Leo season feels a bit amplified this year. Or maybe that's just every year, as this is Leo we are talking about.
As those born under the Leo sun can attest, the period that falls between July 23rd and August 22nd is a time for taking action, channeling passionand celebrating one's grandeur. Symbolized by the lion, this fire sign embodies the characteristics of the beloved king of the jungle; representing strength, courage, authority, boldness, wisdom, and leadership.
Furthermore, this sign is creative, fiercely independent, confident, loyal and generous. While one's own symbolic relationship with the lion can be personal, Leos are also the life of the party, serving as a reminder that while they may lead and take control, they traditionally do so with a loving heart. In contrary, Leos must also be mindful of their astronomical egos, as temptation (when it comes to things like overstepping a boundary, gambling, etc.) and arrogance can force them to learn life lessons the hard way.
Fittingly, on the Zodiac side, it doesn't come as a surprise that Barack Obama is a Leo. Known for his dignified and intellectual approach to politics (a stark contrast from the current administration who is out here giving Geminis a bad rep), Obama made history as the country's first Black president and continues to inspire the masses in a way that is as necessary as it is appreciated. Obama's self-confidence, paired with his kind-hearted nature and strong-willed determination, helps him to not only shine brightly, but also encourage others to pursue their dreams through determination, commitment and good old-fashioned hard work. There's a reason he found success with his iconic "Hope" campaignposters; he embodies it and inspires others to believe, too.
On the entertainment side, Jennifer Lopez is often praised as the quintessential Leo, with her allure as a multifaceted woman; an integral part of her legacy. Others, such as Young Thug, Lil Uzi Vert, Guapdad4000, Soulja Boy and Lil Pump, also give off Big Leo Energy through their eccentricities, winning over others with bravado and boldness. Another strong Leo was the great Nipsey Hussle who was someone that was extremely generous and committed to sharing what he learned through his own experiences; particularly when it came to down to expanding his business model beyond the vocal booth. As exemplified by the aforementioned Leos, this sign thrives both on their own and in the community, and proud, enthusiastic and occasionally set in their ways.
With a penchant for creation and pridefully moving forward, the fiery energy that Leo season brings is almost always universally welcomed. Now that we have covered some of the basic groundwork surrounding All Things Leo™, let's take a look at some lyrical takeaways to keep in mind, and when the mood strikes, on repeat.
Song: "Hussle & Motivate" - Nipsey Hussle
Lyrical Mantra: Pull up in motorcades, I got a show today / This all I'm tryna do, hustle and motivate / Choppers and throwaways, hustle the Hova way / That's why they follow me, huh? They think I know the way / Cause I took control of things, ballin' the solo way / And if you pattern my trend, I make you my protege
Leo'ism: A bonafide Leo in a multitude of ways, Nipsey Hussle sprinkled gem after gem into his releases and made sure to truly practice what he preached on wax. His magnetic personality, paired with his natural born leadership and ability to connect with others from all walks of life, helped Nipsey establish himself as a legend and local hero alike. Nip filled his days fully and with intention; he is both deeply missed and fondly remembered.
Song: "All the Way Up" - Fat Joe and Remy Ma featuring French Montana, Infared
Lyrical Mantra: Champion sound, yeah I got a few rings / And I'm all the way up And you can stay up / And if you ask anybody where I live / They'll point to the hills and say / Go all the way up
Leo'ism: As loyal and exuberant as they come, Fat Joe has built his reputation as a respected rap veteran by way of keeping an ear to the ground and an eye on the streets. From forming his own Terror Squadlabel to topping the Billboard charts with his solo music, Fat Joe's ambition is as big as his heart. With his 11th studio album having been in the pipeline and now being speculated for a 2019 release, his comebackis one conducted in true Leo fashion: calm, cool and collected; never rushed.
Song: "Too Cocky" - Guapdad 4000
Lyrical Mantra: Damn my b---h a whole five-star meal and dessert (five-star) / I'm the freeband phoenix, go broke, then rebirth (phoenix) / I'm a hood n---a, scam artist and a nerd / But I still know what I'm worth (it's a check)
Leo'ism: Recently, Guapdad 4000 was a standout featured guest on Dreamville's compilation album, Revenge of the Dreamers III, nestling right into his ascent to fame with lighthearted humor and undeniable raw talent. In his solo work, whether through his music, v-log or social media, his over-the-top charisma is often the first thing people notice. However, as far as Guapdad is concerned, it won't be long until people also come to terms with the fact he has as much star power as he does staying power. Regardless, he'll have a smile on his face and an eye on your wallet.
Song: "Super Saiyan Trunks" - Lil Uzi Vert
Lyrical Mantra: Ayy, one, two, three, four, five, I pint it (ooh) / Ayy, f--k with that chasers, dirt bike it (ooh) / Ayy, readin' her mind like I'm psychic (ooh) / Ayy, I am a Leo like lion (ooh) / Ayy, better than me then he lyin' (yeah) / Ayy, money older than Joe Biden (ooh)
Leo'ism: Lil Uzi Vert's warmhearted nature, notable taste-making tendencies and aptitude for expressing himself through fashion and music alike all point to his being a tried and true Leo. In this song, he shouts out his star sign, following up the mention with a signal boost to his ego. While he has a healthy sense of humor, this fire sign is fearless, sincere and energetic].
Song: "Daddy's Birthday" - Young Thug
Lyrical Mantra: Dropped out of school and bought myself a chain / I must've taught myself a million things / I'm out the trap, I can sell anything / I wish I would allow myself to hear this old dream
Leo'ism: Young Thug is known for his eccentricities, controversies and innovations. He is insanely talented and popular, with some heralding him as a legend while others fixate on his potential to get to such a revered status. Regardless of where the pendulum swings, Young Thug is a dynamic artist, with his braggadocio often more prevalent than his introspection. This song, however, reminds fans that even someone as quirky, carefree and unconventional as Thugger is, he can still humbly find solace in recognizing and celebrating how far he's come.