In today’s hip-hop landscape, references to the occult are pretty commonplace. People still talk about how Lil Uzi Vert’s name sounds like “Lucifer”, and his twitter bio doesn’t do much to dispute that connection (“I once w6s the DEVUL backw6rds…LUVED”). Drake’s title of “6 God” has been understood by some to have a double meaning. Draw what you want from various speculations, but fans and theorists have been chirping since Jay-Z threw up his Roc-A-Fella hand triangle for the first time, and perhaps even earlier.
Yesterday, Trippie Redd posted a video to his Instagram story to discuss his take on what “666” means, as his relationship with the number been a topic of discussion for his fans since he dropped the track titled “TR666” with Swae Lee. In the video, he says the following:
[They] be telling you “666” is the mark of the beast, explaining it’s a dark entity with wooly hair, and all this other s**t… N**ga, that’s black people! Six protons, six neutrons, six electrons, N**GA! Do your research. Don’t try to knock a black successful man and say I’m satanic or illuminati. I be trolling, you know what I’m saying? But this is not no troll, this is black power s**t.”
What Trippie Redd is referring to in the beginning of the video is the chemical composition of Carbon-12. Carbon is a basic building block of life as we know it, and Carbon-12 accounts for nearly 99% of all known forms of carbon. Because of this, “666” has been associated with melanin, a carbon-based substance responsible for dark pigment in people’s complexion. In other words, it’s what makes skin dark.
This interpretation of the number is shared by rapper SahBabii, who reps 666 as a part of his brand and views. He even has three 6’s tattooed on his forehead, surrounding an upside down cross, and rocks an upside down cross chain like Lil Uzi does. SahBabii is the leader of his own life philosophy called Unknownism, which rejects common interpretations of the upside down cross and 666 and advocates for seeking the truth.
Since Carbon-12 is found in all life forms, perhaps we all bear this “mark of the beast” by simply being human. Still, the argument could be made that there is a special relationship between the number and those of a darker skin color, seeing as Carbon-12 itself is essential to their pigmentation.
For those that still feel as though their favorite rapper is on some evil s**t, make sure you do a substantial amount of research on your own before you make your judgements. For example, many people are unaware that the origin of upside down cross is from an instance when Saint Simon Peter, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, was crucified upside down because he felt he wasn’t worthy of the same death as Jesus. XXXTentacion has gone on record to state that the upside down cross isn’t satanic as well, which can be seen in the video below.
It’s worth mentioning that orthodox Satanists don’t actually believe in Satan at all, so what is Satanic to one person may not hold any type of religious connotation to the next. When it comes to understanding the symbolism and ideas of the rappers that are causing controversy today, everyone benefits from getting the facts straight before any speculation happens.