Who better captures the essence of human spirituality and provides direction in their lyrics -- heavy metal musicians, or rappers?
I just received a book titled Time Flies When You're In a Coma: The Wisdom of the Metal Gods (A Plume Book), a funny little tome filled with lyrical adages from the world of heavy metal music. Edited by Mike Daly (formerly of alt. country band Whiskeytown), the book is divided into four sections: Meditations, Zen Questions, Daily Affirmations, and Words of Wisdom. The glossy, full-color format of the book is slick, but after reading through it, I was still lacking enlightenment, so I turned to the gurus of another genre: hip-hop.
Below are some excerpts from the book (in italics), juxtaposed with words of wisdom from the world of hip-hop. Ultimately, whether it's a bustle in your hedgerow or a cap in your ass, you pick your path to nirvana.
"In the four corners of life are the golden mirrors reflecting what you are and what you are to be." -- Fates Warning, "The Apparition"
"Ain't no love for no busta, no fear for no coward, no respect from no stunt, and no money without power." -- Lil' Wayne, "Tha Block Is Hot"
"I'm gonna force you at gun point to eat me alive." -- Judas Priest, "Eat Me Alive"
"Swing down, sweet chariot, stop and let me ride, hell yeah." -- Dr. Dre, "Let Me Ride"
"A heart filled with greed is planting a seed with no shame." -- Stryper, "The Reign"
"Yeah, I've always been a psycho, psycho-psycho-sick-psycho-sick-psycho-psycho." -- Insane Clown Posse, "Psychopathic"
Yes, Dr. Dre does look like he's been medicating -- er, meditating.
II. ZEN QUESTIONS
"Perhaps you think that when you're dead you just stay in your grave?" -- Black Sabbath, "After Forever"
"Is it you, me, or her or she or he? Who would live to see the long age of 23?" -- Master P, "Things Ain't What They Used to Be"
"Why behave in public if you're livin' on a playground?" -- Van Halen, "Fools"
"Now we all alone, why the lights on?" -- Tupac Shakur, "I Get Around"
"Don't you know that it's our love that's burning?" -- Dokken, "Burning Like a Flame"
"Do ya wanna getcha teeth knocked the fuck out?" -- Wu-Tang Clan, "Shame on a Nigga"
III. DAILY AFFIRMATIONS
"Satan's child now stalks the Earth, born from my demon seed." -- Slayer, "Captor of Sin"
"Some say I have a dirty mind, sometimes that might be true, but these are just dirty times, I ain't trippin' on you." -- Too $hort, "I Ain't Trippin'"
"I have the power to make my evil take its course." -- Iron Maiden, "The Number of the Beast."
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"I could flip that flow, I could stick that ho, I could get that dough, you know I'm with that yo." -- DMX, "Stop Being Greedy"
"I'm like a fine wine, I'm better with time." -- Motley Crue, "Angela"
"Hi, my name's Ludacris and I'm high as giraffe pussy." -- Ludacris, "Hip-Hop Quotables"
IV. WORDS OF WISDOM
"Like a dog in heat, all dirty love is a treat." -- W.A.S.P., "Sex Drive"
"If you believe in having sex, say 'Hell yeah!'" -- 2 Live Crew, "If You Believe in Having Sex"
"Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song, every rose has its thorn." -- Poison, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn"
"Fuck that! Do that shit! Shoot that bitch!" -- Eminem, "Guilty Conscience"
"Don't dance in darkness, you may stumble and you're sure to fall." -- Dio, "Don't Talk to Strangers"
"Keep your nose out the sky, keep your heart to God, and keep your face to the risin' sun." -- Kanye West, "Family Business"
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So there you have it -- tiny pearls of uh, wisdom, from two opposing sides of the musical spectrum. If you seek further lessons in lyrical inanity, check out www.timeflieswhenyoureinacoma.com. -- Niki D'Andrea