I have noted a distinction between artistic expressions and statements of fact. But I think these are the same thing. The world is a fleeting image, a mirage — a poem. The world is poetry, not prose. It is artistic expression, not a statement of fact. To make this case, let me draw on a philosophic critic of poetry: Plato.
For Plato, the epic poems of Homer corrupt our rational architecture in a manner that is analogous to how Athenians character-assassinated Socrates, before forcing him to drink a cup of hemlock. But Plato differed from Socrates in part, I think, due to his debt to Homer. For Plato, the Socratic call for the wise to rule completely and unreservedly rests on an optimism about reality that is, well, unrealistic. For reality is not fundamentally philosophical. It is poetical.
So when people ask, what does this proposition or that proposition mean, we should remember that all propositions are contained within the cage of the physical. As such, they are more poetical than philosophical. The only real philosophy is, thus, philosophical poetry — poetry aware of its status as poetry. The world is not all that it seems. But it’s not much more than that, either. It is a shadow of true reality, which is so abstract as to be ungraspable from almost all vantage-points in this fallen world.
In hip hop, the physical is at once deified and critiqued. By turning us away from fundamental philosophical questions, hip hop humbles us about what humans can achieve. It is, in this sense, more Platonic than Socratic. Philosophy cannot rule alone. It needs music, too. Because the world is poetry, and the word is Wambop.