During the Renaissance, The Arts had a profound effect on the population as a whole, both in that era & going forward. It helped to activate many imaginations and curiousities due to the inherent beauty of its content.
This time period did a lot in the way of introducing the “common citizen” to divine & esoteric knowledge that previously was limited to people who were considered of a certain elite status.
These protected wisdoms steadily became manifest in art, architecture, politics, science and literature. If one were keen to study the details of these now more accessible works, one could learn to “see”.
Time is cyclical & close to 360 years after the previous Renaissance began to wane, a similar one began to increasingly emerge in the world around us.
One powerful form of this has been Hip-Hop music. Hip-Hop music has been key in introducing us “have-nots” to poweful aspects of language, along with very impactful metaphor & analogy usages.
Many of the artists, especially in the golden era had a great amount of esoteric awareness. This shows up in their work, either to educate or to positively effect record sales, sometimes both.
Some might think it is absurd to compare Rap Music to Shakespeare, but it actually is a surprisingly easy comparison to make. During the time that Shakespeare’s work was being actively created & initially performed, it was shunned as obscene and many playwrights were subsequently labeled as heretical by the ruling class. Being labeled a heretic in this time was usually punishable by death.
While many of the noble class & even the royal class enjoyed theatre, they would never publicly admit to that fact and instead admonished it whenever on record.
It was dangerous to be involved in the arts in this time in regards to the monarchy & church, which were one and the same for the most part. Compare this to certain Hip-Hop artists in the late 80’s thru early 2000’s & their relationship with local & federal government.
I dont know when people began to notice & isolate the Golden Ratio in the work of Leonardo Da Vinci , but i imagine that it was quite awhile before it was common knowledge.
What I’ll attempt to do here is to introduce a similar concept closer to the time that the material was conceived.
RE-WIND 2 EIGHTY NINE
Let me take you back in time, rewind to eighty-nine Introduced me to this life of crime, but we was blind – MY CLOSEST ROADDOGZ – 2Pac
Your flight leaves at eight Her flight lands at nine, my game just rewinds Lyrically I’m supposed to represent I’m not only a client, I’m the player President – ONE MORE CHANCE ( Remix ) – Notorious B.I.G.
Isn’t this great, my flight leaves at eight Her flight lands at nine, my game just rewinds – GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS, PT 2 – JAY-Z
I reminisce And wish, I could go back in time to eighty-nine When there was just’ ‘sunshine‘ – BOOK OF LIFE- COMMON
Shit brand new, back in ’89, the same way The God P walk with a limp see, but simply To simplify shit, no man can go against me Test me, you must be bent, G, don’t tempt me – FRONT LINES – MOBB DEEP – PRODIGY
That was ’95, when Cube was in his prime You brought yo Lethal Injection, and I brought mine Rewind to ’89, got my first mixtape – 360 BARS – GAME
Let’s rewind it to ’89 when I was a boy On the east side of Detroit, crossin’ 8 Mile into Warren Into hick territory; I’d like to share a story This is my story, and can’t nobody tell it for me – YELLOW BRICK ROAD – EMINEM
Hustler turn your page to nineteen eighty-nine When a young nigga first signed the dotted line, I was Bang bang, boogie with the music – THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY – WC
I refuse to get a 9 to 5, I’mma flip my keys Been paying my dues since ’89, tryna get my cheese Diamonds gleam when I’m on the scene, they know it’s me – 24’s T.I.
I gots to grind just like in eighty-nine When a niggas 25 cent pieces look just like baby dimes I’m on the corner selling whole eights I don’t remember being this fuckin paranoid since I sold weight – FOR REAL – SCARFACE
Across the street you was wildin’ Talkin’ about how you ran the Island in ’89 Layin’ up, playin’ the yard with crazy shine I cocked the baby 9, that nigga gravy mine – THE MESSAGE – NAS
The basement’s cool, but the pools unreal Where that millionaire lives, shit remains concealed So pop a pill, put on your blindfold I’m hitting the dance floor, and grab eighty-nine more Let em’ know we on the way where they been trying to go – GET YA $HIT TOGETHER – LIL KIM w/ T.I.
Niggas will never win, this whole rap game is mine Hot as you ever been, I was that in eighty nine Seek and you shall find, look within and you will know Where you coming from, and where you gotta go – COMING FROM DMX
You rappin’ ’bout the same shit I rapped about in ’89 Tryin’ to be the new fiend (never), with raps complex They love you one minute and they hate you the next Push my lex thru the california sunshine Look back on my life and say “damn I’ve done fine” – 24 MO HOURS – ICE CUBE
Yo, cause back in eighty-nine I was doin the wop Back and forth, forth and back I’m from the streets now I’m a straight mack – RETURN OF THE B-BOY – THE PHARCYDE – IMANI
Thinking bout back in the days when the year was ’89 Little nigga on the grind Gotta get mine doing my crime – E 1999 – BTnH – LAYZIE BONE
I’ve been Staten Island since ’85 My thing was rapping, ain’t get a package ’til ’89 That trick jacket, that bomber cracking that baby 9 – SO STATEN – METHOD MAN
I remember when we all used to stop at the spot Back then my nigga-name was Snoop Rock It was all so clear, ’87, ’88, then ’89s the year You say everywhere we roll, you can say we roll thick Way back then 2-1-3 was the clique Something to stay paid I was just a young hog Warren G, Snoop Rock and Nate Dogg – DO YOU SEE – WARREN G
Not to mention, Pharoahe Mon-Chi-Chi, eighty-nine percent Of the time I’m sure of my rhyme like Shank Redemption – NUMBERS –PHAROAHE MONCH
On the rhyme since eighty-nine It’s all in your mind, but what’s yours is mines Your dough and your hoes Bump N Grind to my rhymes – WE RUN N.Y. – REDMAN
I let her hit the smoke Me knowing this how lady’s like it We counting thousand stacks I’m on my 89th She on her 21st Feel like a pretty curse But then the tables turn – WRONG LOVER – RICK ROSS
At nine, I was into crime, sex, and drugs Pushin’ an ’89 Box Chevy sittin’ on dubs Nine thugs all ski masks, black suited with gloves Break the imprinted chest with at least nine slugs …… I got four forty-fours on a rip on the floor – 1ST AND TEN – LUDACRIS
Used to get 18 when my G was alive, now a key is 13-5 ‘89s the number, another summer Police ain’t get no dumber – WHAT CAN I DO – ICE CUBE
My whole clique pop bottles galore It’s no secret the hood done peeped it When we come through son, we look like bread My ’89 grind, make my old nine shine Like we been moving bricks round this – I GET IT IN – 50 CENT
There Is Something DIVINE about 89.
One quick note: Hip Hop music wasn’t the only source for potential furthering of enlightenment to come along in this time period. Without going too much into it now, Kurt Cobain has a similar abundance of “Number Magic(k)” in his life & work as 2Pac does. Neither man is an island unto himself, so much like i examine the surrounding scenes here, the same can be done with Nirvana & related.
The Author of this piece can be found on Twitter at @ZenOfTupac