Dr Charlton DeRyan explores the unusual condition of not being able to recognise faces in the rap community with the help of Tupac et al. in their 1996 release All about U (you).       

Who? Prosopagnosia in the rap community      

In 1996, an astounding coincidence occurred. Four friends, Tupac Shakur, Nate Dogg, YGD Tha Top Dogg and Snoop Dogg, discovered that they all suffered from the same condition: the rare prosopagnosia.      

Prosopagnosia is a congenital or acquired mental disorder resulting in the inability to distinguish between faces. For the seriously affected, no facial features at all will be identifiable — not even teeth grills or tattoos of tears. This has obvious impacts on social life, making interactions considerably harder, especially for the emotionally immature.      

completely unrecognisable


It affects approximately 2.5% of the population in it’s mild form, and considerably fewer still suffer with greater severity, so the chance of four best friends finding they were all struck with extreme prosopagnosia is astronomical. Read the rest of this entry »


Dr Charlton DeRyan digs deeper into Earl Simmons’ fourth studio album in search of hidden meanings to illuminate the uninformed.

Pull out: DMX on anachronistic contraception

DMX’s album the Great Depression was a remarkably prescient work, predicting the economic troubles nearing the end of this millennium’s first decade. Past it’s hard hitting, doom saying financial analysis, however, it contained an easy to ignore album skit concerning the rap artist’s honest view of coitus interruptus.

For the younger or less sexually aware readers, coitus interruptus can be thought of as the contraceptive equivalent of playing dodge the train: fine if performed correctly, but if timing is late or you lose your nerve and freeze, you’re wishing you had played it safer. If you’re still unsure, go down to your local sperm donation centre — they’ll explain it with their helpful (and extensive) blue literature libraries.

This ancient practice is now erring on the side of anachronistic contraception, viewed by many as unreliable. Combined with the fact it fails to protect from STD contraction, it’s use has been in steady decline for two millennia. Read the rest of this entry »

Ne Yo: the dance of schizophrenic indecision

Closer is about Ne Yo yearning for the physical contact of a stranger, but failing to get closer due to his schizophrenic delusions.

He pursues a woman in a club and imagines with intense realism his quarry whispering in his ear; telling me/ she wants to own me/ control me/ come closer. Ne Yo can’t break himself away and indulges in sexual fantasies; I can taste her on my tongue/ she’s the sweetest taste of sin.

Were this not expanded upon, it would simply be another love in the club song and dance, but Ne Yo’s accompanying moves provide the conceptual depth needed to make it unique. Read the rest of this entry »

A Robert Kelly relationship analysis: insecurities, control struggle and the true meaning of ‘Real Talk’

As sensitive young men, we are often concerned about the welfare of others, especially their emotional well being. Whether this is a moral obligation for the more empathetic among us is not for debate here. Instead we are here to offer our unconditional support to one of our spirit brethren, Robert Kelly, the rhythm and blues star.

The subtle tones and harmonies of his R&B stylings are very pleasing to many SPOCSYM subscribers, but the content is too often on subjects well outside of our comfort zones. The mere fact that in the seminal Ignition: Remix, Robert says The way you do the things you do reminds me of my Lexus Coupé, belies exceptionally alien frames of reference; I can literally think of no time when I’ve favourably compared a woman to a car.

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Jona Lewie: a dance study of social bondage

In you’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties, Jona Lewie decries his lack of popularity at social events, perpetually relegated to the party no dancing dungeon, the kitchen. Shiny linoleum, sharp corners, possibilities of broken glass; the kitchen’s unsuitability for swinging arms and legs is well deserved.

Lewie explores this awkward location with jilting, staccato movements; a jerking head twist to avoid a cupboard corner, an arm thrust to catch a falling mug. A commendable realism of kitchen dancing peril is created and Lewie breathes a corporeality into the stilted actions. Whilst at times it may appear that he is barely moving, this is instead a carefully crafted physical metaphor for his lack of social and sexual success. Lewie’s shy head bob is a nod of agreement. Read the rest of this entry »

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