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10 Rappers and Their TV Show Counterparts

Hip-hop is no stranger to straight-up characters. Much like television, the genre has the class clowns, the Rico Suave types, the suited assassins and the cool charismatic villains. Thanks to rappers like Will Smith, Queen Latifah and LL Cool J, hip-hop has been offered the opportunity to take those acting skills to the small screen — and even the silver screen. However, before an artist even sets foot on a sitcom set, their character-esque personalities are often reflected in their music and videos. It’s no surprise that for every hip-hop character, a TV character exists, whether it’s because they share similar looks or personalities. Check out The BoomBox’s picks for 10 rappers and their TV counterparts.

10. & 9. Waka Flocka Flame & Gucci Mane
Cindy Ord,Getty Images | Ben Hider, Getty Images

TV Counterparts: Larry Appleton & Balki Bartokomous, ‘Perfect Strangers’
Two guys who act like they’re related, one of whom barely speaks English. See the
similarities? Just kidding. However, the play-cousin relationship between Gucci and Waka is definitely reminiscent of Larry and Balki, who worked side-by-side at a discount store on ‘Perfect Strangers.’ Waka and Gucci may not ring up customers’ orders like their counterparts but they do share a similar work ethic — in the studio. And where Larry and Balki chased white girls, Gucci Mane found pleasure in another kind of white girl. Whoops.

8. Jim Jones
Slaven Vlasic, Getty Images

TV Counterpart: Uncle Jesse Katsopolis, ‘Full House
OK, Jim Jones has really nothing to do with John Stamos’ character on ‘Full House.’ He doesn’t play the drums, he doesn’t have twin children with big hairdos and he definitely doesn’t live with his entire family. We actually picked him because he kind of looks like John Stamos. We’re not the first to point this out. Stare at pics of both side-by-side like a Magic Eye. You’ll find it.


7. Dr. Dre
MOHD FYROL, AFP / Getty

TV Counterpart: Wilson, ‘Home Improvement’
This one is more for Dr. Dre‘s ‘Detox’ project than Dr. Dre himself. Much like Tim “the Toolman” Taylor’s neighbor Wilson, we only got to see about 20 percent of ‘Detox’ and the rest was never revealed. If we’re really driving the point home, the actor who played Wilson, Earl Hindman, passed away in 2003, and Dr. Dre has basically advised that ‘Detox’ has also moved onto brighter pastures.

6. Wiz Khalifa

Prince Williams, FilmMagic

TV Counterpart: Steve Urkel, ‘Family Matters’
Steve Urkel was never really the poster child for pot the way Wiz Khalifa is. However, at the start of Wiz’s career, the Pittsburgh spitter had a geeky vibe about him. Then he evolved into someone of swag, a Stefan Urkel if you will. So wait, does that make Amber Rose the modern-day Laura Winslow? Maybe we should rethink this one.


5. T.I.
Maury Phillips, WireImage

TV Counterpart: Zack Morris, ‘Saved By the Bell’
Leader of the pack with total charisma? Getting in trouble for the dumbest reasons? The similarities between the two are kind of endless, since both show up as total troublemakers — read: T.I.‘s upcoming album ‘Trouble Man’ — and leave proving they have hearts of gold. For the record, we’re not calling Tiny the Kelly Kapowski of hip-hop.

4. & 3. Jay-Z & Kanye West
Getty Images

TV Counterparts: Dr. Sean McNamara & Dr. Christian Troy, ‘Nip/Tuck
Fans of ‘Nip/Tuck’ can appreciate the similarities here. Two of the most powerful men in their respective field, both pairs are slightly competitive, but manage to work together — McNamara & Troy in the operating room while Jay and ‘Ye combined forces to be The Throne. While both can come off at times as wealthy dogs, they win people over with their undying bromance. Oh, and the money too.

2. Nicki Minaj
John Parra, WireImage

TV Counterpart: Punky Brewster, ‘Punky Brewster’
We struggled a bit with finding the perfect counterpart to the Nickster. She had Marge Simpson hair at one time, and even dabbled in a Peg Bundy ‘do at some point. However, Nicki Minaj is quirky, eccentric and has a style all her own. If that isn’t Punky Brewster then who is? Does that make Lil Wayne the adoptive father Henry? Weird.

1. Drake
Johnny Nunez, WireImage

TV Counterpart: Carlton Banks, ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’
It would be too obvious to say Drake‘s TV counterpart is Jimmy from ‘DeGrassi.’ Besides, Drizzy has many more Carlton-esque qualities. Interesting patterned sweater collection? Check. Whining about the troubles with being rich? Check. Inexplicable charm with women that often backfires? Check. The real test would be to see how Drake dances to Tom Jones.

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