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Wednesday, August 6, 2008


posted by on August 6 at 15:19 PM


How can this be missed? Badu’s “Master Teacher,” which is on her superb new album New Amerykah Part One (4th World War), owes everything to Plato:

I am in the search of something new
(a beautiful world im trying to find)
Searchin’ me,
Searching inside of you
And thats fo’ real

What if it were no niggaz
Only master teachers?
I stay woke
What if there was no niggaz
Only master teachers?
I stay woke
What if it was no niggaz only master teachers now?
I stay woke

Searching for a “beautiful world” that’s “hard to find”? What if there were only “master teachers” and “no niggaz”? “I stay woke”? Has Badu been reading The Republic? This tune is an R&B translation of Plato’s chief concerns: the third wave (philosopher kings), the cave and ship allegory, and the establishment of a guardian class.

“What if it were no niggaz [hoi polli/doxa/commoners/common opinions]/Only master teachers [philosophers/truth/alitheia/forms]/I stay woke [I stay authentic/aware/in a state of thavmazo, philosophical wonder].” Badu’s beautiful world is Plato’s world of forms. Amazing.


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Burn! You totes called her out on that one, Charles.
(sound of Charles smiling and patting himself on his back)

Posted by whateva | August 6, 2008 2:53 PM

Say Charles, do you remember that comment someone made some time ago comparing one of your posts to a college freshman's philosophy paper?

Well, if seeking out the hidden parallels between contemporary music and THE REPUBLIC doesn't qualify, then nothing ever did or will.

Seriously, the Republic. Wow. Next big post: NEO WALKED OUT OF THE CAVE. THE MATRIX IS GREAT.

Posted by Nick | August 6, 2008 5:12 PM

nick, i had no idea there was a hole in my post until you fell into it.

Posted by charles mudede | August 6, 2008 5:35 PM

i think badu is being way more NOI than Plato


Posted by ndrwmtsn | August 8, 2008 9:41 AM

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