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Johannes' World

Hi! I’m Johannes. I presently live in England to complete a PhD in philosophy at the University of Cambridge. My research is on Spinoza and his relation to the tradition of Neoplatonism on topics like pantheism and the love of God. Since eight years, I study spiritual practice with my spiritual guide Rohini Ralby. 

With 14, hearing some rap song on a friends iPod, Johannes was completely thunderstruck by its uniquely powerful combination of language, melody and rhythm. Around 16 he started to produce hip hop instrumentals on his computer and to practice rap himself, and never stopped. 


He found a very important catalyzer, rap partner and fellow philosopher in Florian Sumnitsch. Together with producer Johannes Stütz they founded their label Philosophical Warfare, and their common adventure has led to several concerts, collaborations, a growing Youtube channel and two albums. None of them would be the rapper that they are without the other, and very unexpected things emerge whenever they conspire.


Johannes’ rap persona is Phaedrus, in allusion to a figure in the dialogues of Plato, whose main characteristic is that he is a lover of language and speech, who deeply enjoys philosophical discourse and dialogue. Over the course of the dialogue Socrates teaches Phaedrus that speech is empty if it is not connected with truth, and that the true lover of speech has to be a lover of truth. And because truth ultimately resides with the divine, the most excellent forms of speech and philosophy are concerned with a deepening or articulation of the love of God. While engaging and exploring these profound themes, Phaedrus is not a teacher but a student, learner and traveler, one who enjoys entering into dialogue and wrestle with the big questions. As is Plato’s manner, the style is deeply serious yet utterly playful.


Rap, although not his profession, is nonetheless more than a hobby for Johannes. Contentwise, it’s an integral part of his search for truth, and is inseparable from his interests in philosophy and his spiritual practice. It is a free, artistic way of engaging with important themes, life lessons and challenges, while also connecting and sharing with people in a unique way. Rap can be a reflection about really any aspect of life, from important to trivial, and is also a great venue to be ridiculous, humorous, and combative. It’s a really cool playground for Johannes to develop skills, find his voice and connect with others.

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