Lupe Fiasco, Ab-Soul Lines Among "10 Best Space References In Rap Lyrics"
Material from Jay Z & Kanye West, Ab-Soul and the Beastie Boys also among Activision's list of "The 10 Best Space References In Rap Lyrics."
Presented By Destiny.
The mysteries of space aren’t commonly explored in Hip Hop songs, because the unknown can be often difficult to convey. Scientific in nature, rappers such as Ab-Soul and Lupe Fiasco tend to find themselves more curious about the galaxy’s wonders, but the vast majority have just toyed with the topic if anything. Where Outkast’s sophomore album ATLiens compared themselves to foreign life forms, one of old-school pioneer Kool Keith’s many aliases built a story around life in another galaxy. As today’s musical leaders are driven by creativity, it will be no surprise the more topics surrounding the solar system come up in their rhymes. From big sellers to those slightly under the radar, here are ten instances of Rap songs with well-done references to space.
With the assistance of Pharrell, Buddy’s career begun to take flight with “Staircases” also thanks to a cameo from one of Hip Hop’s most ambitious acts, Kendrick Lamar. Here Kendrick creates a metaphor for his drive saying, “I catapult over your telescope and when I’m finished/I grab the fire that’s burning from Mars to light an incense.”
A bonus track from his third album Lasers, Lupe Fiasco created an anthem about progression and self-betterment with “I’m Beamin.” Seeking to inspire the world, he shined brightly from his opening words, “I get my energy from my inner G/I be in outer space, but I got inner peace.” Another amongst the countless examples of brilliance from The Neptunes, this served as a wake up call for Hip Hop.
The always innovative Beastie Boys took their music in a futuristic direction with the lead single to their 1997 LP, Hello Nasty. They fully hammered their point home, with space references such as “If you wanna battle you’re in denial/coming from Uranus to check my style” and “I’ll stir fry you in my wok/your knees will start shaking and your fingers pop/like a pinch on the neck from (Star Trek’s) Mr. Spock.”
Known for being a scientific deep thinker, one can often require Wikipedia to interpret Ab-Soul’s lines. On “Nibiru” he says, “You are now on Planet X/I’m the God, show your respect,” referencing a planet from Star Trek and possible conspiracy theories for Earth’s progression over time.
Aiming to make their Watch the Throne album larger than life, one of the more epic sounding moments came by way of “Lift Off.” Penned by Kanye, Beyoncé sings “We (gonna) take it to the moon, take it to the stars/How many people you know can take it this far?” Sticking to this theme, Jay Z says, “When you Earhart (earn hard) as me, eventually you hit a big wall.”
Known for having fun and saying whatever comes to mind, Eminem toyed with Star Wars references on this song 2013’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2. Flexing his creative muscle he says, “Back with the Yoda of rap (Rick Rubin) in a spasm/A Jedi in training, colossal brain and thoughts are entertaining.”
An unexpected collaboration given they come from different musical worlds, Katy Perry and Kanye West joined forces to make intergalactic magic on “E.T.” Always known for rapping about fashion, Kanye’s imagination says, “I know a bar out in Mars, where they driving spaceships instead of cars/Cop a Prada spacesuit up out the stars.”
A niche rapper whose music is often heard at nightclubs, on one of Future’s love songs, “Astronaut Chick,” he spends time courting a woman he finds to be out of this world. “Say you wanna go to Pluto me and you we are the same.” Naming his debut album after the same planet, it’s clear he has a running fascination with space.
Commonly known as Hip Hop’s Martian, Lil Wayne dedicated a whole song to explaining this concept telling his competition, “We are not the same.” He goes as far as to say, “They can’t get on my system, cause my system is the solar” and “I am so far from the others/I could eat them for supper/Get in my spaceship and just hover.”
Actor Donald Glover is known for clever lines that tend to go over people’s heads when rapping under his Childish Gambino persona. On “The Worst Guys” he says, “I’m out of this world like Tang/That’s a space bar,” referencing the powdered drink that increased in popularity after being used by NASA for space flights.