Comics Alliance Examines How Hip-Hop and Superheroes Mix
Comic book culture Web site Comics Alliance put up a great piece on the long-standing relationship between rap and comics. It’s no secret that everyone from the Wu-Tang Clan and DOOM to blockbuster artists like Jay-Z and 50 Cent have often name checked and compared their rhyme prowess to having otherworldly powers. The blog cites the Sugarhill Gang‘s Big Bank Hank as on of the first to go there, rapping about Lois Lane on ‘Rappers Delight.’ Comics Alliance, not only traces back dutifully the relationship between hip-hoppers and superheros, but examines how they all stack up.
“Rap shares one very important thing with superheroes: it’s all about building a larger than life persona and entertaining people,” writes David Bruthers. “Dozens of rappers, if not more, have taken names directly from superheroes. Jean Grae, Big Pun, David Banner, and MF DOOM all took their names from comics, with Jean Grey, Frank Castle, The Incredible Hulk, and Dr. Doom, respectively, lending their names to the cause.”
While most of those acts do a great job of incorporating superhero lore and soundbytes into their recordings, many botch the job in hilarious ways. The post points out the hilarious ‘Batman & Robin’ by Snoop Dogg as an example. Snoop raps, “Holy mackerel, Batman! I think these clowns need a backhand!” Backhand? Sheesh.
But one of the most successful acts to have merged superhero and hip-hop imagery to the point where they are intimately connected is the Wu-Tang Clan. Not only do we have the hood heroics of Ghostface as Tony Starks, but Rza invented his own lifesaver in Bobby Digital.
Bruthers writes, “RZA has admitted to having spent part of 1998 as Bobby Digital, his superhero persona, and went looking for crime to fight. No, really. He tricked out a car, had a bulletproof suit, turned a Suburban bomb-proof, and had a butler ready to be his Alfred. Beat that, fanboys.” RZA just demonstrates what a ton of money, street cred and certifiable insanity can create. He took Jay-Z’s “Bruce Wayne of the game” to new levels on that one.
Head over to Comics Alliance to check out the rest of the in-depth post.