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I was dropped into Sub C (Sydney hip hop record label Sub Conscious Records) at the tender age of 16. From there I learnt as much as I could take in about music, hip hop culture and lyricism. I pride myself on excellent lyrical content and use of superior internals and metaphors, and I only ever make tracks that I would love to listen to. I am a fan first and foremost. But I’ll let you be the judge of my music…. People often ask me “What does Nihilist mean?” A lot of people don’t even know how to pronounce the word. Those who do have a vague idea of what nihilism is usually have negative misconceptions about it. It is not a religion; in fact it is not even a philosophy. Nihilism is more of a tool kit or set of skills, which allow the user to challenge what he has been taught in terms of morals, values, perceived inherent facts and ideologies. To be a nihilist is to take a step into the unknown and challenge what we think we know and what we think is right and wrong. To put it simply, a nihilist comes to the conclusion that nothing he has ever been told is inherently true, and after accepting that he rebuilds his morals and beliefs based on what he finds. My interest in nihilism started when I was looking for a stage alias. At the time I considered myself an atheist, but thought that wouldn’t sound to cool as a rap name. I had heard the word ‘nihilist’ before but didn’t know what it meant, apart from the faint idea that it had something to do with being evil or depressed. Either way it sounded cool as fuck. It certainly isn’t an easy thing to understand, and the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche are hardly an exciting read for a sixteen year old kid, so after a bit of surface research I came to the conclusion that a nihilist was someone with no beliefs, but that suited me because I didn’t really care about anything much at the time except for music. As the years went by I became less concerned with being seen as someone who ‘didn’t give a fuck’ and more interested in finding out who I was as a person. I have never been able to believe in the existence of a higher being or divine entity, and I saw the new age ideals of atheism as rhetorical and hypocritical; basically another branch of Christianity without the God bit. This considered I decided to look a bit further into the idea that I had named myself after. At first, all that I could gather from my research was that there were a lot of different forms of nihilism, and everyone had a different opinion on what they entailed. Metaphysical nihilists say that it is possible that nothing exists and that reality is just imagination. That seemed as ridiculous as the idea of God to me. Existential nihilists claim that nothing has any value, meaning or purpose. That just seemed bleak and pointless. Moral nihilism, however, is the school of thought that suggests that morals and institutions such as the concept of ‘government’ do not inherently exist in the universe, but they are formed by people and the environments that they grow up and live in, meaning that they are not unequivocally true or right. Sort of like Neo taking the red pill in the Matrix. That had me interested. Instead of just accepting that I was ‘weird’, like I had for my whole life up to that point, I wanted to use my rejection of certain ideas and morals to become a stronger person and to help with my issues with attention deficit, anxiety and depression. So ‘Nihilist’ went from being just my rap name, to being a skill that I would develop alongside my rapping. I am in no way yet a perfect or even accomplished nihilist. It is incredibly hard to truly challenge everything you think you know, and everything you think is right or wrong. However, the first verse of my track ‘The Word’ explains where I am trying to go perfectly: Life is a symphony, waiting for me to compose it, The weather’s this way because I chose it, So you all know about it if I’m having a bum day, But if I feel like it I could be a fucking sunray, Fuck the sun [son], you should look at the sky and say, We don’t need your light today, Nihilist is shining his rays When I say, “fuck the sun”, I am referring to the Son, as in Jesus the Son of God as well as the sun, the star that brings light to our planet. This is because the sun has been represented as a God in most major religions throughout history, from the ancient Egyptians to modern Christians, so I am basically disregarding all Gods. I also compare myself to God when I say “Nihilist is shining his rays” and “Life is a symphony, waiting for me to compose it”. This is because to become a true nihilist, as Nietzsche said, you must accept that “God is dead” and become your own God. This relates to the concept of the ‘Ubermensch’, ‘overman’ or ‘super-human’. The Ubermensch is basically someone who is different and more powerful in a mental capacity than the rest of his fellow humans. He is a leader, not a follower, and someone who has paved the way for himself and created his own set of values and morals. I compare myself to an overman by saying that I am someone who “changes clothes in a phone box”, a reference to the popular culture super hero ‘Superman’. Nihilism to me is about happiness, fulfilment and love rather than depression, emptiness and hate. It is about becoming the best person that I can be, and becoming the best lyricist that I can be. It also means being aware of and prepared for the manipulations and greed of powerful entities and institutions within our society who want us to believe certain things for their own benefit. It is about being in control of my own life. Starting from square one and realising that everything you know could be a lie is a painful process, but when you lose everything you are free to do anything.