WWE superstar John Cena really loves Hip-Hop.
In an interview with Andrew Santino on the “Whiskey Ginger w/ Andrew Santino,” he revealed not only does he know bar-for-bar Lloyd Banks songs, but that rapping, a skill he used to get bullied for as a teen, saved his job with the largest wrestling company in the world.
During his early days of wrestling, he didn’t click with the audience and was on the road to being fired. He said while participating in a bus tour overseas with other new guys, he was in the back of the bus freestyling. Busting a rhyme for his friends changed the trajectory of his career.
“In the front of the bus was Stephanie McMahon and she was head of the writing team at the time,” he recalled. “She was like ‘How did you remember all that?’ and I kind of explained to her the concept of freestyle.”
She told him to make up something about her on the spot and after he ripped it, she asked him if he would be open to putting it into his routine and debuting it on the Halloween episode of Smackdown that year.
Ironically, though he practiced freestyling every day in high school and in college, sharpening his sword in a major way, growing up he was bullied for loving the culture.
He revealed to the host, “I got bullied for listening to Hip-Hop music growing up in West Newbury MA.”
His town, according to him, only had 1,200 people.
“It was all jeans and Rock N’ Roll,” he explained. “Like hair bands and metal. And in the late 80s, early 90s, I loved Hip-Hop.”
“I would dress like Kid ‘N Play … House Party style with rayon polka dots … wingtip shoes, you name it,” he proudly proclaimed, before adding he also rocked his pants like the So So Def group, Kriss Kross.
“I got harassed and beat up every day,” he shared on the podcast.
Though mild-mannered and even-toned, Cena does the beating up now— and surprisingly the culture that he used to be mocked over is the number one culture in the world.