Got Hands? Rappers Who Get Down In The Ring
The Sweet Science of Boxing transcends cultures and continues to excite blood thirsty fans globally. The “Knockout” is arguably the most exciting moment in all of sports. From the beginning of time pugilists have earned society’s awe, and admiration.
Hip Hop has always been a competitive and at times cut throat battle for prominence and respect. It’s no wonder that some of your favorite wordsmiths were “throwing hands” before they were throwing lyrical jabs. While many entertainers are willing to get “live” to impress the cameras, there are a select few who earned their respect in the ring.
Queensbridge street legend and extremely gifted rapper Cormega, has a mythical like reputation in New York City and around the world. He’s intrigued fans every since the now famous shout out Nas personally delivered to him on his break out smash album Illmatic.
Before Mega was dropping timeless classics like The Realness, he was quite the boxer. He reigned as champion during his time at Rikers Island (a notoriously tough New York correctional facility), and was a shoe-in for New York’s Golden Gloves before finding international success in Rap. It’s rumored he fought all challengers from all weight classes and was undefeated at Rikers Island.
Willie D – The Geto Boys kicked in the door of the music industry with a no holds barred approach to street poetry. Scarface, Willie D, and Bushwick Bill would bring the vivid imagery of Houston’s Wards to televisions and radios across the world. In the video for “My Minds Playing Tricks” Willie D jumps out of a tree, and proceeds to “drop them Fifth Ward b’s on em.”
It turns out that Willie took up boxing at the age of 11, and by 1985 he was the Golden Gloves Champion for the State of Texas. Many will remember the quick work he made of rapper Melle Mel, at a 1992 charity event.
50 Cent – Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson is a Southside Jamaica Queens native who got rich and almost died trying. After finding himself on the receiving end of nine gunshots, he would go on to become one of the most popular and profitable Hip Hop artists of all time.
Love or hate him, no one will deny 50 Cent’s track record for standing toe to toe with any perceived threat or enemy.
It’s been reported by credible outlets that 50 had the skills to compete in the Junior Olympics in Boxing. He’s been quoted as saying
“I was competitive in the ring and hip-hop is competitive too… I think rappers condition themselves like boxers, so they all kind of feel like they’re the champ.”
Dame Dash – Dame Dash is a Hip Hop mogul who was instrumental in the careers of Jay Z, Kanye West, Kevin Hart, and so many more to list them would be an article in itself.
The Harlem entrepreneur has always used his street smarts and natural instincts to not only fight for the culture, but to get the most for his business partners, family and himself. His passion and tenacity extends from the board room to the Boxing Gym.
In multiple interviews over the years Dame Dash has been a vocal advocate for the “fair one” (a slang term for a one on one fight.) In a world where the common citizen is getting “strapped” in a desperate attempt to avoid an a** whupin, it’s rare to see someone in the public eye who’s willing and eager to slug it out.
Dame Dash can be seen on his social media accounts hitting the heavy bag like clock work as part of his daily routine. No stranger to sparring, he was brave enough to exchange blows with professional boxer Andre Berto in a training session.
Lupe Fiasco – The Chicago rapper with a laidback flow influenced a whole generation when he kicked and pushed his way on to the Hip Hop Scene with his hit album Food and Liquor. It was evident early that Lupe would not only be a lyrical force, but would have serious staying power in the music business. We know Lupe Fiasco earned his props but did you know he earned his black belts as well?
Lupe’s father was a Martial Arts teacher in Chicago. In a previous interview Lupe Fiasco was quoted as saying he has “a black belt in karate, two black belts in the styles of samurai sword fighting, kendo and aido” as well as “the equivalent of a black belt in Chinese wushu.” It’s the quiet ones you have to worry about!