Many people overlook how the worlds of pro-wrestling and hip-hop run deep. In a lot of aspects, hip-hop is just like wrestling. Ask Hell Rell, and say he’s Vince McMahon if it is. With wrestling promotions being most prominent in the south and on the East Coast, and with some of the biggest stars on the planet being Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan and the Macho Man Randy Savage, it’s hard to say that there is no way hip-hop fans haven’t been influenced by wrestling in some fashion.
Let’s talk about some of the coolest and most notable moments in wrestling that were obviously influenced by hip-hop, and we’ve enjoyed it.
Pastor Troy: “This Tha City”
This video right here was the first time we’d seen a rapper with the WCW World title. When Pastor Troy had this on, my mind was blown because it looked like he literally had the belt that was most known for being worn by Sting, Lex Luger, Vader, Ron Simmons and Ric Flair. This was the first time I remember seeing a rapper wearing one.
Wyclef Jean ft. The Rock, Melky & Sedek: “It Doesn’t Matter”
In 2000, The Rock was becoming one of the biggest stars on the planet. As the Attitude Era gained global fame, The Rock was at the forefront of it all and slowly put the WWE in the global spotlight. In one of the first instances, The Rock was featured on Wyclef’s lead single “It Doesn’t Matter” for his sophomore album, The Ecleftic.
Project Pat Drops “Laying Da Smack Down”
This album title, in 2002, is no coincidence. The Rock had become one of the biggest stars in the world in 2002 and one of his favorite things do was Lay The Smackdown on a “Rooty Pooh Candya$$.” “Smackdown” was not only a phrase coined by The Rock, it was also the name of the WWE’s Thursday Night programming that’s still going strong today. Although Pat was incarcerated when this album released, it was clear the wrestling world and it’s biggest star at the time helped him come up with his album title.
Method Man & Redman: “Tear It Off”
Redman and Method Man make up one of the greatest duo’s in hip-hop ever. They went with a wrestling theme for their single “Tear It Off.” This song was also one of the lead tracks on the In Too Deep soundtrack. The movie, starring LL Cool J and Omar Epps that had absolutely nothing to do with wrestling. But the power and popularity of The Attitude Era was more than evident in the music.
Def Jam Vendetta
In 2003, Def Jam teamed up with EA Sports to create one of the greatest creations of my time. That creation was the video game known as Def Jam Vendetta. Vendetta was a storyline video game that combined Street Fighter, The Smackdown video game series and some of the greatest rappers to ever have a Def Jam contract. Body slams, suplexes and a squared circle complete with turnbuckles, made this game a huge hit whether you love hip-hop or wrestling and it made you fan out beyond belief if you loved both! The follow up, Def Jam: Fight For New York even better!
Smoke DZA The Ringside EP Series
For the third year, Smoke DZA has released a EP, “Ringside,”the day of Wrestlemania, where he raps over wrestling beats. It’s always interesting to see what Smoke will pick for these EP’s. Although I still hold the first one very high and don’t think it has been outdone yet, I love the fact that this is an annual hip-hop ode to wrestling. Final thought: Classy Freddie Blassie and The Iron Sheik for the cover, what’s messing with that!?
Action Bronson and Wiz Khalifa: “The Rockers”
The highly anticipated SAAB Stories project made a splash in 2013. Bronson, being the wrestling fan and Flushing, Queens emcee that he is, made a song called “The Rockers.” A song named after a very popular tag team that featured Shawn Michaels and his partner, Marty Jannetty. The hook for the song? YOU GUESSED IT! “Know I’ll hit you with the dropkick, Marty Jannetty.”
Action Bronson’s new album is called Mr. Wonderful wrestling tie? The Great Paul Orndorff
Killer Mike: “Ric Flair”
Although it’s been years since the song was recorded, the long-awaited Ric Flair video has finally released! The title, the hook, there’s really no explanation needed on this one.