Rappers and people in Hip-Hop are already often looked to with great admiration. So for those in the culture who couple that with characteristics of super heroes, the mystique of masks, capes, and alter-egos, it creates an even greater risk that their abilities will not amount to the level of amazement that one would expect. But the greater the risk, the greater the reward.
And for some, the risk paid off. With the release of Iron Man 3 on May 3 (tomorrow), AllHipHop took a moment to recognize how some of rap’s finest have embraced the “super hero” status. On more than one occasion, they have helped save Hip-Hop with their skills and ultimately lived up to the proclamations that their personas project.
Here are AllHipHop.com’s Top 5 Super Hero Hip-Hop Figures:
5). DJ Green Lantern: In addition to being Shady Records’ DJ at a time when the label was white-hot, Green Lantern also produced Ludacris’ Grammy-nominated banger, “Number One Spot.” Even after leaving Shady as a result of a dispute with 50 Cent, Green kept it moving. He was on the 1s and 2s for Jay-Z’s first international tour in 2006 and he currently resides in Atlanta where he works with radio station V-103 FM and hosts a show on Sirius XM’s Hip-Hop Nation.
4). David Banner: As a rapper and producer, David Banner capitalized on the emergence of southern rap in the 2000s and released a series successful albums and singles. However, always being one to change with the times, Banner and producer 9th Wonder released Death of a Pop Star in 2010, an album about the demise of the music industry. Two years later, Banner’s independent album, Sex, Drugs, and Video Games, was released online for free.
3). Jean Grae: It’s no surprise that Jean Grae adapted her name from Jean Gray, a super-heroine who possesses telekinetic powers. The thought and focus of Grae’s rhymes move listeners on a regular basis. She is a skilled lyricist who has a flow to match. And even though she has seemingly come in and out of the industry in the past decade, her material has real staying power. Her collaborations with Talib Kweli, Immortal Technique, and Masta Ace (among others) don’t hurt either.
2). MF Doom: Considering Doom’s experiences (losing his brother to a car crash, having his group dropped and second album shelved), one can’t blame him for abandoning Five Percent Nation raps and then re-emerging years later as a rap super villan bent on revenge. Ironically though, the man who “came to destroy rap” upon his return to it ended up doing just the opposite by simply destroying the competition with his avant-garde style.
1). Ghostface Killah: While aliases and cinematic albums cripple lesser artists, Ghostface (a/k/a Tony Starks) is able to embrace it all and that has made him one of rap’s greatest storytellers ever. Wether talking tough on “Crimonology” or paying respect to his mother on “All That I Got is You,” the man is equally convincing in both scenarios. And that leaves many people wondering the same thing he did on 2006’s “The Champ”: “While y’all stuck on Laffy Taffy/ Wondering how y’all n****s get past me/I been doing this since before Nas dropped the Nasty”
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