Chem Trail Rap, also known as Tinfoil Hat Rap, Eff The Illuminati Rap or Flat Earther Rap, has been permanent fixture of hip-hop ever since it became passe to talk about the actual real problems that Public Enemy, Paris, X-Clan, and Brand Nubian addressed in their music. In an attempt to somehow be more ‘underground’ and edgy, it was deemed old hat to be hung-up on the subjects of institutional racism and the War on Drugs when there was wild-eyed conspiracy theories about government sanctioned UFOs to be plundered by every weed head with a copy of Milton William Cooper’s Behold A Pale Horse in their rucksack.
This trend was amplified once the internet provided new avenues for crackpot theories to be distributed, allowing them to reach a far wider audience than the photocopied leaflets and newsletters previously distributed through militia bookstores, incense shops, and gun conventions. The likes of Non-Phixion, Immortal Technique, and Jedi Mind Tricks nurtured a loyal audience of folks convinced that AIDS was made in a lab in order to kill off particular sections of the population, 9/11 was carried out under the instructions of George W. Bush, and JFK was shot to prevent him from revealing the secrets of aliens living amongst us.
As I’ve previously noted, B.O.B. is a strident Flat Earther, going as far as penning a song on the subject and engaging in heated debates on social media. According to Salon, B.O.B. has now moved on to Holocaust denial in an attempt to become this generation’s Professor Griff. I was also saddened to discover that D.I.T.C. stalwart A.G. also subscribes to the idea that we’re living on a flat disc covered by a giant dome and that space travel is a lie, which further strengthens my resolve that it’s a terrible idea to ever read the Facebook status of any rapper you have even the least bit of appreciation for.
There’s also a burgeoning field of hip-hop conspiracies to contend with, such as Jay Z being a major Illuminati power player, Tupac living on a tropical island, and Three 6 Mafia being active worshippers of Satan. Which begs the question – are rap fans more susceptible to conspiracy theories than other music fans? The short answer is no. Bizarre ideas and accusations of cover-ups have been going on since Paul McCartney was apparently ‘replaced’ by an imposter after ‘dying’ in 1966.
The format of rapping just happens to lend itself to more intricate ‘exposes’, as a rap song will typically contain far more information than any rock or heavy metal tune could ever squeeze into four and a half minutes. Add to that the potential to make yourself seem particularly clever and well-informed by revealing the ‘tricknology’ that permeates our every waking moment, and you have the ideal breeding ground for mentalist music. Take ol’ mate Prodigy from Mobb Deep, who in the latter half of his career has dedicated a significant portion of his rapping to teaching the ‘sheeple’ about the dangers of the various secret societies controlling us all. On 2008’s appropriately titled ‘Illuminati,’ Prodigy raps: “Illuminati want my mind, soul and my body, Secret Society trying to keep their eye on me/But I’mma stay incogni in places they can’t find me/Make my moves strategically.” Might I suggest that naming a song after the organisation from which you’re trying to keep a low profile isn’t exactly the best way to fly beneath their radar… unless it’s all part of an elaborate plan to bait them into publicly exposing themselves in a cunning game of cat and mouse?
There’s also a growing section of Fake Deep Rap for fans who want to appear ‘woke’ but prefer something a little less rabid than alien abductions and Freemason plots. This particular community can often be found enjoying the tranquil sounds of J. Cole, Joey Badass, and Lupe Fiasco, where vague spirituality meets even vaguer messages about being the best ‘you’ that you can be, all wrapped up in the warm embrace of smug self-satisfaction because you’re so much more sophisticated and evolved than those lowly Mumble Rap fans who just want to get wasted all the time.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to my underground bunker to boil the mind controlling drugs out of my tap water and complete my manifesto exposing how ‘the gay’ control the rap industry, as Fat Joe warned us all about years ago.