Hip-hop and comic books have a long relationship
Hip-hop and comic books have more in common than it might seem. Both require creativity, artistic expression, and loyal cult followings. Anyone familiar with the great Wu-Tang clan will know all the comic book references dropped in albums like Liquid Swords and Iron Man. Method Man’s nickname is Jonny Blaze and Ghostface’s is Tony Stark. When the Human Torch and Iron Man get on a track like “Ice Cream” and flame it out, it becomes legendary.
Hip-hop and comic books both have clear cut sub-genres and numerous niche sectors. MF Doom and Czarface are known comic book heads, and it shows in their rhymes. It’s satisfying to dissect MF Doom’s intricate verses and catch all the nerd references. It makes listeners feel cool and connected to the rapper on a more personal level. As the rappers reveal something classically considered nerdy, and own it, making it cool. Add in the nostalgia the listener feels from hearing a dope Silver Surfer reference, and the parallel you can see from sneaker heads to comic book collectors is a no brainer.
Honestly, I think it’s awesome. It’s refreshing to see it be a cool thing to be black and smart. Hip-hop promoting an intellectual influence rather than the usual gangsterisms, drugs, and misogynyâ€”that are all too pervasive in the rap worldâ€”is a breath of fresh air. Hip-hop comes from neighborhoods that are notoriously dangerous. So smart kids that grew up poor would likely use comic books as an escape from the usual violence and police brutality that invade their daily lives. We’ve got the best rappers that nod their heads to the comic book world. Keep reading to check it out.
Donning a Dr. Doom mask, this lyrical mastermind breaks in his album where the old announcer from the old school fantastic 4 cartoon comes on the track and descries the evil that is Dr. Doom. That’s a very straightforward reference, where as most comic book references in hip-hop are a bit more below the surface, MF Doom starts his album like an episode of the super friends, announcer and all.
Black Hippie “U.O.E.N.O.”
“I took the game by storm, just to X-Men out/Iâ€™m crazy out my mind, I put my life on the line/The tortoise only makes progress when his neck sticks out.” The double entendre X-Men references make for a nostalgic and thought-provoking experience.
Q-tip “Dance on Glass”
Half of A Tribe Called Quest, Q-Tip, drops some comic book knowledge on this track. â€œThe Luke Cage of the loose leaf page/Run and hide, cominâ€™ out in the yard/Bona fide to be hard.â€