I question all things. As I stand before the festering and varnished facades of your haughtiest moral dogmas, I write thereon in letters of blazing scorn: Lo and behold; all this is fraud!Submit To Me || My Wicca Blog || Facebook || Twitter || Sinful's Hints || Filth And Unholiness
DID KANYE WEST AND JAY-Z WRITE THE MOST INTELLIGENT SONG OF RECENT MEMORY?
Kanye West and Jay-Z, not two men you’d normally expect to pen a song as deeply intelligent as “No Church In The Wild”
The song itself is a few years old now, but holy crap is it smart. Kanye and Jay-Z use complex theories of philosophy from Plato and Socrates as well as various early religious sources to paint a picture of man’s attempt at power over god.
This will be a long post.
The very name of the song itself is a reference to a concept that there are no churches found in nature, and that they are something that only came with man, and when man returns to the wild the church cannot follow him as it relies too heavily on control, something it will never have over nature.
It starts with them subverting something known as the Chain of Being, a mostly Christian concept, though one which was first put forward by Plato and Socrates that everything is placed on a hierarchy of importance starting with plants then increasing in importance through animals, man, kings and then finally God.
"Human beings in a mob, what’s a mob to a king? What’s a king to a god? What’s a god to a non-believer, who doesn’t believe in anything?"
Immediately they’ve laid the groundwork for something special, what does the mob care about individuality? What does a king really care about the mob as a whole? What does the king matter to God? Before finally subverting the whole system of thought, closing with - What does a god matter to a non-believer? Not only is the non-believer not ruled by God, he doesn’t even accept it’s existence. The ultimate act of defiance.
This is referencing an idea that power is created entirely by belief. The King is only more powerful than the mob, because the mob believes him to be. Ergo, the God is only more powerful than the man because man believes it so - by denying that belief of power Kanye and Jay-Z propose a new system where we each take our own power for ourselves and strip gods and kings of power over us, violently if necessary as there is implied regicide.
Later in the song, Jay-Z asks the question “Do a thug’s prayers reach?” in which he wonders aloud if God answers the prayers of those who have or continue to do bad things. Immediately after he asks “is pious pious because God loves pious?”
This is a reference to a philosophical dialogue by Plato called Euthyphro in which Plato asks if pious things by themselves are pious, or if they are only pious because the gods say they are and love them for it.
"Socrates asks who’s bias y’all seek" is a line which references Socrate’s take on the Euthyphro - If the gods love it for being pious there must be a natural goodness in the universe, if the gods love of something makes it pious however, then natural good is a completely subjective concept.
In the next line, Jay-Z sets himself, Kanye and Jesus up as a new ‘holy trinity’ of sorts. The reason they do this is not to offend or blaspheme, but rather to set up Kanye’s verse in which he will explore the concept of love and humanity replacing traditional religious dogma.
Kanye throws in the line “You will not control the threesome” - a reference to the earlier set up trinity of himself, Jay-Z and Jesus though he never makes it clear who he is denying control to - us the listener or the god he refuses to believe in.
Finally they just out and say “We formed a new religion, no sins as long as there’s permission” - a concept which is vastly out of tune with the major Abrahamic Religions with the rules and commandments that go with them. So long as you have permission, do what you want. Deception however, is the only felony so he states “Never fuck somebody without telling me”. Kanye is setting up his ‘religion’ based on the idea that so long as you have permission, you can do anything including sleeping around whilse in a committed relationship. This free attitude is one which has been explored many times in history and one which Kanye pushes forward now.
Kanye then speaks of two tattoos he has - one which reads “no aplogies” - his acceptance of criticism regarding his denial of traditional values even in his refusal to bow down to them, and the other reading “love is cursed by monogamy” - his attempt at explaining that there is no shame in rejecting traditional relationships if that is what works for you, as not doing so will curse your love and result in it breaking over time.
The song finishes with “This is something that the pastor don’t preach, this is something that a teacher can’t teach” - Their final attempt at breaking free from religion by explaining you will never be able to be free to live the life they’re describing if you only take your knowledge from teachers and preachers, because neither of the two will ever condone or teach what Kanye and Jay-Z are laying out.
The final lines of the song “When we die the money we can’t keep, but we’ll probably spend it all because the pain ain’t cheap” - When we die, everything we have here on earth is worthless - however all the excess materialistic bullshit - the cars, the money the jewelry is only there anyway to cover up the pain and suffering in our own lives anyway so it doesn’t matter.
And there you have it. Two men best known for rap songs about bling and bitches spat out a five minute discourse on the nature of man. Someone check on Hell please, I’m pretty sure it’s frozen over right now.
"And that’s why you shouldn’t cook while not wearing any pants!"
I yelled, sprinting upstairs to the shower whilst boiling oil scalded my leg.