The zodiac tends to mix with music in the sweat-drenched sauna of psychedelic rock, while the walls of the rap club more often hear praises to the god of Abraham, not Zeus. But successful rappers have to find the part of their true self that works as an exaggerated persona. This makes them excellent candidates for a full-blown astrological analysis.
Aries: Method Man, Q-Tip, Redman
Aries are the confident hotheads, so you might expect to see a lot of guns and ammo type thugs under this sign. But Aries confidence can come in the form of gutsy dead baby jokes. When I listen to Redman’s Tonight’s da Night, he shoots for funny, but calling a girl “booger breath” makes him come off more as a bit of an asshole.
Taurus: Busta Rhymes, Akon
Tauruses love to sing, and the bull’s principal erongenous zone is the neck. Busta Rhyme’s Break ya Neck pushes erogenous pretty far, but it’s so cute when he busts a little Chili Peppers “give it away” over the intro. It’s like he’s so jazzed to sing, he’d rather sing someone else’s song than have to wait to drop his own.
Gemini: Ice Cube, Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Kanye West
Rap is strong with Gemini. The Gemini on my Garfield mug had two faces, but Geminis are actually ruled by a set of Greek twin boys, Castor and Pollux. They’re very intelligent, and great communicators. Ice Cube communicates a lot in his overwhelmingly racist and homophobic diss song. Better examples are twin geniuses Biggie and Pac, who came in like smooth twins and went out the same. After Castor died, immortal Pollux asked Zeus to let him share his immortality with Castor, and they became a constellation. You can pour one out to that.
Cancer: 50 Cent, Lil Kim
Cancers are thin-skinned softies with a weird sense of humour so as expected this list is rather short. 50 Cent, despite being shot nine times, wrote a song that you just wouldn’t expect from such a hard thug: Window Shopper. See, he’s sensitive to the plight of the unmillionated. And that’s funny.
Leo: KRS-One, Chuck D, Chief Keef
Leos seem to be mascots, ambassadors, spokespersons, but often in rap it doesn’t come across quite right. Chuck D is good, but strikes me as preachy, or too clever, but also a bit boring. Chief Keef’s leo courage is on display in his attempt to carry a rap song with about twenty seven words in it for five minutes. Nevertheless, they’re natural communicators, regardless of their material… honorable leo rapper: President Obama.
Virgo: Beyonce, Foxy Brown, Ludacris, Nas
Virgos are hardcore self-critics who are all a little bipolar. You would expect that there should be a hard-working rapper on this list who is consedered one of the best of all time, and Nasir Jones is up there. Nas was just insane enough to make a rap record that was completely real and honest, cutting all the bullshit posturing out of it and giving us the best rhymes and flow possible, nothing more. He created a world in sound with Illmatic, with choice samples, a profound lyrical portrayal of his neighborhood, and his ultra-fresh flow.
Libra: Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Asap Rocky
Like Gemini, rap seems to be very strong in this sign. Libras are supposed to be respected for their fairness, which is possibly why Snoop is still alive. Represented by the scales, rappers with this sign feel may an affinity for the game because their zodiac house is a tool drug dealers use every day. It takes a sense of balance to pull off dry humor on national TV.
Scorpio: Puff Daddy, Big Pun, Ciara, Nelly, Pharoahe Monch
Scorpios are agents of necessary creative destruction, with beautiful eyes. Puffy was the first and remains the biggest myth-sized rapper/clothing giant/perfume entrepeneur, which destroyed a lot of the authenticity in rap’s image, but was also a very true expression of what so much of rap is about, making money and selling shit to people.
Sagittarius: DMX, Jay-Z, Kool Keith
Saggitarius are a complex combination of being somewhat stuck up at times, and also the most willing to make complete fools of themselves. Kool Keith is a goofy free-association rhymer who is hilarious and really real, but he also has this side of him where he’s too good to make a record with no vocals on it to rap over at shows.
Capricorn: Mary J Blige, L.L. Cool J, Slick Rick, Raekwon
Capricorns are the hard-assed ambitious take-no-prisoners types. Cold-blooded. Slick Rick had a huge hit record in the ’80s, then shot two people, went to jail for five years, recorded two flops, and then proceeded to not give up but instead got into the studio with Nas Snoop and Raekwon and recorded his biggest record ever. Never turn your back on these mofos, they never die.
Aquarius: Rakim, Dr. Dre, Ja Rule, Rick Ross, Big Boi
Aquarians tend to be caught up in their heads, intellectuals with not a lot of feeling on display. I go through the lyrics of “Forgot About Dre” or “Express Yourself” and there’s no ‘there’ there in terms of actual heart or true-to-life 2Pac type stuff. What aquarians are good at, however, is not losing their cool and being exceptionally smart, seeing opportunities where others don’t. Dre may not be the most soulful rhymer, but when faced with the opportunity to sign the first white rapper since Vanilla Ice, a kid who rhymed about magic mushrooms, Dre knew what to do.
Pisces: Eryka Badu, Bobby Valentino, Rihanna
We finish with the tragic Pisces, victim of circumstance, blown astray by the wind, drunk again, whatever. Addictive personalities who tolerate way more than they should. Rhianna, I’m looking in your direction. These extremely mellow souls are often pushovers, which means they find great melodies and also let the people they collaborate with come off like losers.