Reading Hip-Hop’s Birth Chart For Its 50th Anniversary
50 years of hip-hop, astrology edition.
On August 11, 1973, hip-hop was born. A true Leo, the genre and culture has spent the last 50 years proudly shape shifting and changing the world around it. But was it within hip-hop’s destiny to go out there and remix the world? Did all signs (or some signs) point to this pursuit of greatness? Well, there’s only one way to find out, and that’s by reading hip-hop’s birth chart.
Now, astrology isn’t at all new to hip-hop. Artists have consistently name-checked their astrological signs over the years. TakeEve who titled her 2001 follow-up album Scorpion because she’s a proud Scorpio, or G-Eazy, who refers to himself as a “crazy f*uckin’ Gemini” on “Him & I” with Halsey. But what about hip-hop as a whole? What is its collective personality? And when you deconstruct the sum of its parts — from its moon to its outer planets — what makes it as magnetic as it is? And who are some of the artists that embody those traits?
There’s a few key details on hip-hop’s full birthing moment, based on a replica flyer for the infamous party thrown by Cindy Campbell, where her brother Clive — better known as DJ Kool Herc — deejayed and has since been named as the birthdate of hip-hop. The party kicked off on August 11, 1973. at 9 PM ET on 1520 Sedgwick Ave in the Morris Heights section of the Bronx, NY (the street has since been affectionately co-named “Hip Hop Blvd”). With this, we have everything we need.
SUN: LEO (19°11'13") SIXTH HOUSE
For hip-hop, having its sixth house in Leo makes all of the sense in the world. Leos are lions: they’re proud, they’re unapologetic, and they love to show off. But get them mad, and they’ll show you their teeth. That’s hip-hop, an art form built on braggadocio and at times aggression. Having Leo as its sun shows that this is really the center of hip-hop’s identity. Your sun controls your ego and everything that comes with it. With it being in the sixth House, there’s an even greater need for individuality and the desire to stand out. It’s the reason why so many rappers are reliant on the need to embody their own individual identities to stray from the pack by any means necessary.
A famous hip-hop Leo is Lil Uzi Vert. His birth chart may differ in other aspects, but with his sun in Leo, he embodies all of those central characteristics. He’s bold and unique, and proud of who he is. A true rock star. Maybe he doesn’t fit the traditional mold of hip-hop, but Leos love a good reinvention anyway.
RISING: PISCES (15°16'2") FIRST HOUSE
Have you ever heard of the concept of showing people “your representative”? Well, in many ways, that’s what your rising sign entails, and for hip-hop, that’s Pisces. The fish can come across as creative, full of imagination and depth, but can also be pretty emotional. There’s a desire with your rising sign in Pisces to “show out,” so to speak, and sometimes posture, while changing styles up at the flip of a switch. This is emblematic of hip-hop’s many sub-genres. From drill to mumble rap, anything forward facing to the world as a Pisces Rising can change with the tides. Maybe that’s why so many trends have come and gone in hip-hop.
A famous hip-hop Pisces? Tyler, the Creator. While again, that’s his Sun sign (as all of these artistic examples), Tyler can be charismatic and creative, but he does love to change it up. The switch alone from his Igor project to Call Me If You Get Lost was stark — and that was only a two-year time frame! But you know how Pisces are…they’re always plotting for their next creative reinvention.
MOON: CAPRICORN (26°2'13") 11th HOUSE
Your moon represents your feelings and emotions, or in this case a lack thereof. With hip-hop’s moon in Capricorn, raw emotions are often hidden and replaced with calculated moves instead. Remember how hip-hop’s rising sign is in Pisces, where it can temporarily come across as emotional? With a Moon in Capricorn, that defines how only emotional “outbursts” can happen from time to time, while, for the most part, the feelings are hidden. Think about those moments when rappers will go off on social media one day and the next day act like it never happened. We might write that off as a mood swing, when really it’s that temporary show of emotions, only to return to an emotionally repressed form. Sound familiar? But with a Capricorn Moon in the 11th house, there’s a huge onus placed on your optics. That can be anything from wearing the right clothes to being around the right people and showing up to the right clubs. Again, sound familiar?
A famous hip-hop Capricorn is Latto. While Latto loves style and the finer things in life, she’s also super regimented and pragmatic. She’s been rapping since she was a kid, so all of her fame is a culmination of a master plan that she set out for herself before she was even old enough to vote. Much like hip-hop in general, Latto has her eye on the prize and is focused at all times. She’s gonna have fun, but you’re gonna get that poker face, because there’s work to be done and no time to be emotional in front of everybody.
MERCURY: LEO (0°39'13") FIFTH HOUSE
The ruler of communication in hip-hop is a Leo, which means the messaging is always proud and aims to draw a crowd. The communication comes from the words and the swagger. Hip-hop loves getting everyone’s attention and doing so using its lyrics. There’s a value to the message, even if the message is to have a good time. With Mercury residing in the fifth house, there’s a degree of self-reflection and self-analysis, so while it may seem like hip-hop’s lyrics are freestyled off the top, sometimes they’re actually pre-written.
Another famous hip-hop Leo who embraced those qualities was the late Nipsey Hussle. He always had something to say. A true public leader, he wanted his words to count — whether in song or speech. Nipsey had a swag about him, and like the true Leo that he was, whenever he spoke, people were keen on listening. And he did love that. His roar is still forever missed.
VENUS: VIRGO (21°36'55") SEVENTH HOUSE
Venus is all about love, which can be the love of romance, family, friends, or even the self. With hip-hop’s Venus in Virgo, there’s this undying need to keep dissecting everything. We see that a lot in hip-hop, where an artist will question how much someone loves them and often want complete control of the situation. There’s this undertone and demand for absolute certainty, and when that’s not offered, then it’s exploring all of the options. Very rarely do you hear a hip-hop love song that doesn’t have some degree of a roaming eye — and there’s a reason for that. Virgos want to know for sure that they’re the one and only. And when they do? Then they’re all in. With Virgo in the seventh house, we see those loving relationships are rare and held close to the chest. This applies to rappers even having a very small circle of loved ones.
The best hip-hop Virgo example is Cordae. Cordae is on the other side of that Virgo hurdle, where he’s found the love he wants and is sticking beside her. Cordae started dating Naomi Osaka in 2019, and now they share a daughter. It’s hard to keep a loving relationship going in the spotlight, but like a real Virgo, once Cordae was all in, he made it work.
MARS: ARIES (29°44'22") SECOND HOUSE
Mars is full of fire, a planet that rules how you act and react. Isn’t it so perfect how hip-hop’s fiery planet is also a fire sign? With Mars in Aries, hip-hop has a temper about it. It can often fly off the rails, and then turn back around and change its mind. It operates with a short fuse. This again can relate to hip-hop’s often short-lived beefs or public outbursts, and even if the beefs are long-term, then the moments they flare up are temporary. With Mars in the second house, a lot of actions are ruled by the desire for money and nice things, hence where we get things like Wu-Tang Clan’s “C.R.E.A.M.” or “Cash Rules Everything Around Me.”
A famous hip-hop Aries is Travis Scott. While he may not be outwardly fiery and angry all the time, he can be impulsive and go into “Sicko Mode,” so to speak. He also likes the finer things in life, while also aiming to curate his own life experience. That’s why his album ASTROWORLD was named after his favorite childhood theme park that closed down and he followed up with UTOPIA. He wants it all. He’s the “Highest In the Room,” after all.
JUPITER: AQUARIUS (5°35'56") 11th HOUSE
With Jupiter’s rule, we get everything mental. This is how we open up our minds and either see the bigger picture or look for ways to zoom in with the lens. With hip-hop’s Jupiter in Aquarius, there’s a desire to seek a deeper meaning in things, kind of like cramming to understand the underlying chain reactions as to how these successes materialize. With the 11th house, this centers on manifestations and dreams. And not the kinds of dreams where your head is in the clouds. It’s actually the opposite, a kind with two feet on the ground as goals are laid out. Through all of hip-hop’s iterations — even at times when the goals border on the delusional — there’s a bigger hand at play.
A famous hip-hop Aquarian? J. Cole. He named his label Dreamville, after all, so he knows all about making dreams come true. A true philosopher and dissector of thoughts, he is constantly on the pursuit of a deeper meaning. One of his most seminal projects is titled Born Sinner, so he’s always in his Aquarian analytical mode when it comes to digging into the corners of his mind.
SATURN: CANCER (1°4'16") FOURTH HOUSE
If Jupiter expands dreams, then Saturn takes hold of nightmares. (Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but it does focus on all of the things that can go wrong as opposed to what can go right, personal roadblocks to fears, whether self-inflicted or otherwise.) Hip-hop’s Saturn in Cancer means there’s a battle with managing emotions, which can lead to some high level toxicity. The fourth house represents our actual home. Hip-hop’s home can be toxic at times, which can lead it to stay on the defensive. We see this often when a rapper has issues with their record labels and will publicly vent about it.
A famous hip-hop Cancer is 50 Cent, so that’s about all you need to know. Fifty had plenty of dramatic situations happening at his home of G-Unit Records back in the day, but like a true Cancer, Fifty will go on an emotional binge and then retract. How many times has he posted about other artists on Instagram, only to delete the posts an hour later?
URANUS: LIBRA (19°50'38") EIGHTH HOUSE
Uranus is a rebel, and with Uranus in Libra, there’s little regard for how anyone else processes that rebellion. In the eighth house, that’s taken a step further to bring this unapologetic rebellion against anything of the norm. Since Day One, this is how hip-hop rebels. We’ve witnessed this the most with women in hip-hop. They have risen above criticisms and dated concepts of how women should “behave” and moved on their own terms — be it through money, love, sex, power, friendship, motherhood, you name it. Sometimes those moves can be perceived as insincere, but really it can just be a defense mechanism for so many years of dealing with non-believers.
Cardi B is a Libra and is true to form through her rebellious tenets, which are more rooted in justice for women’s choices. Whether she’s guesting on a track like FendiDaRappa’s “Point Me To The Sluts” or co-conspiring with Megan Thee Stallion on “W.A.P.,” Cardi’s brand of diplomacy comes from a direct response to hip-hop’s lack of diplomacy for women over the last five decades. She can be sweet and kind, but then throw a microphone. Balance.
NEPTUNE: SAGITTARIUS (4°39'58") NINTH HOUSE
Neptune is the planet that controls our imaginations and dreams, but here it’s much different from Jupiter. With Neptune, there’s more of that deeper dreamer in all of us, and our signs provide the compass to which we navigate through those dreams. With Neptune in Sagittarius, it’s more or less a strong desire to have the freedom to pursue those dreams — no matter how wild they may be. The ninth house rules in that big world picture, the quintessential hip-hop mindset of dreaming up the unthinkable and then turning around and making it happen. It’s like the late Notorious B.I.G. said in “Juicy:” “It was all a dream…”
A hip-hop Sagittarius who has lived by that credo is Nicki Minaj. When Minaj delivered her debut album Pink Friday, we met various iterations of her persona — including Roman Zolanski, who was her vessel to be more childlike and outspoken. She has also created her own Barbie World; proof that her imagination can run wild and live out her wildest dreams.
PLUTO: LIBRA (2°38'30") SEVENTH HOUSE
Pluto is the tiny planet that carries all of the power. It’s small, but mighty, and having Pluto in Libra makes that power tend to oscillate. If Libras are defined by the scales of balance, then any degree of intensity will throw that balance off its course. And Pluto is full of intensity. With hip-hop, we often see that imbalance in the landscape of artists. Sometimes there are complaints that there are too much of one kind of rapper and not enough of another. But that’s what happens when you’re dealing with powerful beings all fighting to reach the top. It is possible to have too much of a good thing, and sometimes we get that with hip-hop. With the seventh house, there can be a focus on allies and strong business partners. Sometimes those connections can erupt right in front of us.
Another famous hip-hop Libra is Eminem. Here’s a guy who carries all of the intensity and the power, but with that comes a difficulty in staying balanced. That’s because he’s the kind of Libra whose energy is so strong it often can only be contained by retreating. Still, if you look at Eminem’s team — from his long-term manager Paul Rosenberg to his decades-long tie to Dr. Dre — they’re in it for the long haul, because that’s the kind of Libra that he is.
Overall Analysis of Hip-Hop’s Birth Chart
Believe it or not, while there is some turbulence in its chart, there’s quite a bit of consistency. Fiery, emotional, aggressive, yet pragmatic, and strategic, there’s a healthy balance of Fire signs, Water signs, Fire signs, and Air signs across the board. No wonder hip-hop has made it so far in 50 years. The universe conspires in its favor.
Kathy Iandoli is a veteran hip-hop journalist, professor, documentarian, and author of God Save The Queens: The Essential History of Women In Hip-Hop. She is also a birth chart and oracle card reader, having developed The Hip-Hop Queens Oracle Deck in 2021. You can catch some of your favorite rappers at her home in New Jersey getting their cards and charts read. No, seriously…