History of Hip Hop and pugilism

By Jason Gonzalez


The genre of Hip Hop has always been intertwined with the sport of boxing. The flair, swag, and bravado of rapping typically resonates with most fighters. Usually rappers will engage in combat on wax, while a boxer employs physical aggression on his counterpart standing across from him in the ring.


Time has revealed an inseparable bond between the athletes and artists. Throughout the years, we have seen some of rap’s biggest stars provided entrance music for boxers, acts that included Lil’ Wayne for Floyd Mayweather, LL Cool J for Shane Mosley, Big Pun and Fat Joe for Felix Trinidad, and Jadakiss for Danny Garcia just to name a few.


But besides ring walks, rappers love to drop boxing references in their tracks. For example, Wu-Tang Clan members Raekwon and Ghostface Killah performed a song on the "Wu Tang Forever"album titled “MGM”. On the song Rae and Ghost refer to the Julio Cesar Chavez-Pernell Whitaker bout that took place in San Antonio, Texas back in 1993.


Although the bout was declared a draw, many feel that Whitaker deserved the nod. Rae and Ghost both suggested that outcome would have been different had the fight taken place at the MGM in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Other honorable mentions include Big Pun’s “Beware”, in which the late great then said, “We can go blow-for-blow, like Evander and [Riddick] Bowe.” As well as Jadakiss’ “The Champ is Here”, in which he samples a piece of the Ali movie, then there was DMX’s moniker of the “Grand Champ”, in which the Dark Man proposed that he was the best emcee pound-for-pound, and lastly there’s Mobb Deep who taught us all about the art of war, and the significance of the “Survival of the Fittest”.


But as Jay-Z once said on “Reasonable Doubt”, at its core Hip-Hop is just a mere cultural celebration of the life and times of those that preach their plight. This includes their trials and tribulations that they eventually overcame, to ultimately make all of their hopes and dreams, a reality. There is no disputing life itself is a fight. At best, it can be a blood-sport leaving no room for mercy. At times the art can mimic life, as in boxing, rap is about outhustling, outlasting, and most importantly outpointing your foe to victory.


But before the concept of urban culture was born, the pundits hinted to “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali as being a pre-modern day rapper. As they would say in the street vernacular, Ali could “spit”. He had bars for days. He had a unique style of verbal pugilism, in which he stringed short couplets to entertain the masses as well as infuriate his opponents before and after the bout.


Any Hip Hop historian or aficionado will tell you that they have a deep appreciation for the lingual brand of warfare. Our rap generals of the last two decades, such as the aforementioned Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, DMX, Jadakiss, and Mobb Deep may fall slightly short in comparison to Ali, but then again who was better than the great one? They are still Hip Hop heavyweights in their own right that are adept with a mic. Between the dates of April 21 and June 30, all of the previously mentioned artists will be invading the tri-state area to spew their lyrical exorcism.


On Friday, April 21, DMX, along with Jadakiss and their Ruff Ryder crew will be having a reunion show at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. Tickets range from $39.00-$358.00 and can be purchased by phone or on Ticketmaster.com.


On Friday, June 30, rapper/actor Ice-T will bring his documentary-turned-festival to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. The show titled Art of Rap has an all-star lineup that includes Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Mobb Deep, and DMX.


Tickets can also be purchased by phone and again on Ticketmaster.com Tickets for this show range between the prices of $49.00-$405.00.


Both shows are a must see!



The Ruff Ryders are introducing this new next generation rapper to their family! That’s right, the son of the CEO of Ruff Ryders, Lil Waah, is about to turn up the Hip Hop game in a new way. The multi- talented artist has been in the studio ever since he was four. Now, the 14- year old rapper is set to perform his new single “Dab N Dip” at the upcoming Ruff Ryders Reunion Tour.


In a recent interview, Lil Waah, sat down with celebrity interviewer Sicarah Fields, to discuss how his neighborhood motivated him to pursue his music career.


“I’m only 14 though… but I still think big like what happens if this happens, or what happens if this happens, cause any things possible, he said. So what really motivated me are the people that are struggling the most.”


Lil Waah ain’t here for the games and he’s making it known that he’s ready to take over! His new single “Dab N Dip” is set to release Sunday, April 9th.


Follow Lil Waah on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter



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