Transcendentalism and pop culture


“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”

-Walden, Henry David Thoreau

Kanye West is an artist who first debuted himself in 2004 has always had a beat to his own drum. He was one of the first artists to use peoples voices to accompany his rap instead of beats. This style brought a whole new depth to rapping and the stigma that it previously had. It has gotten a lot of attention and has changed music forever. People are now open to the option of no longer using traditional musical instruments he uses the ultimate musical instrument which is the human voice.

Kanye west has always been only himself and found great success in it. Some people argue that he is the best rapper of our time. Even his fashion line "Yeezy" screams original. His nude tight body suits with leggings or his shirts littered with holes are very specific to him and his very original style. He steps to the music that he hears in his own head in a very literal way. He is the definition of Non-Conformity.

Self- Reliance

“A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best; but what he has said or done otherwise, shall give him no peace. It is a deliverance which does not deliver.”

Dr dre's work with rap hasn't started most lately, although NWA did regroup in 2015 and 2016. He has relied solely on himself for most of his career. Many people thought that a young black man who lived in poverty could not become successful because of his circumstances. He was stopped by friends who told him he couldn't make it, along with family and even his own government.

This is when dr. dre along with nwa made the song F.T.P which stated in slightly harsher terms that he didn't even need the police force to keep himself safe, because he had himself. In later years he wrote songs like "forget about dre". Where he talks about people needed him and him not needing others. Dr. Dre has always been a self reliant man, and always will be.

Importance of Nature

“In the woods, too, a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough, and at what period soever of life is always a child.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Alina Baraz has always been almost a modern day hippie. Often her songs are about love or nature. Her album "Urban Flora" came out in early 2013 and the whole album uses symbolism comparing nature to love of life. Usually she uses the ocean to persuade that. Or sometimes the nature of the human body to persuade the element of love.

In my example she uses the song drift to persuade love saying "swear you are like the palm trees you and me were poetry making stories with our lips." which she is very openly connecting the waving of the palm trees to her and her significant other. Then she goes to say "you're like a wave washing over me pulling me underneath drifting slowly.' where she compares their love to the ocean and the good and bad times.

Favoring Intuition over Reason

“That man is rich whose pleasures are the cheapest.” - “Journals 1856,”

-Walden, Henry David Thoreau

Sponge bob was first aired in 1999 although its most recent episode was in 2016. Spongebob although fictional has made me especially happy. He lives in a pineapple that is in no way a glorious lifestyle although he is so happy all the time.

Although I have not had the most amazing house and the most amazing lifestyle I can say that i have had food on my table and my parents have always favored their intuition over their reason. If their gut tells them something is wrong it most likely is. There has been very few times where it is wrong and its mostly because she second guessed herself. And spongebob always only goes for intuition over reason.

Simplified Life

“Live your life. Do your work. Then take your hat.”

-”Conscience”, Henry David Thoreau

Shrek is an unusual thing to be mentioned in something that has to do with philosophy yet it makes a lot of sense. The shrek i am talking about is the third movie released in May 18, 2007. Where as we know shreks wife is royalty who has a curse set onto her that she goes from beautiful to a monster every day at sundown. well when she meets shrek and they fall in love she stays an oger because he makes her feel beautiful.

She is willing to go from riches to rags, From living in a luxurious castle to living in a swamp for the man she loves. She also tries taking shrek to her luxurious castle but he turns it down. He enjoys his simplified life much more then the riches of that other world. He would rather be living simply and quietly with the one he loves then loudly and in riches which is simplified life at its finest.


Created with images by Pok_Rie - "wave water ocean" • PJaYOfficial - "Kanye West & Jay-Z | Watch The Throne Tour | Gelredome Arnhem, Netherlands | June 15" • demxx - "2 Chainz in Orange County" • narcah - "Ocean Sunset" • jennynighuidhir - "sponge bob" • PublicDomainPictures - "sunrise sky blue"

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