There's an anime fan inside everyone. Sure, it may seem hard to imagine, but that famous actor you're watching on the big screen, or that popular artist you're listening to on Spotify is probably a big anime fan like you. The hip hop world, in particular, is home to some of the biggest anime fans in the music industry. However, that's not really a big surprise, as anime and manga resonates strongly with the African American community. In this list of hip hop artists, you'll see how anime influenced the personal lives and musical work.
When's he not spending time with his anime waifu Neptune, Snoop Dogg has been known to show off some anime love to his fans. In an Instagram post he wrote, "#naruto aint over yet. Its snooprutos turn!" The Instagram video featured a cartoon version of the rapper dressed as Naruto smoking weed, because it's Snoop Dogg.
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The Wu-Tang Clan's RZA isn't just an anime fan, he's an anime composer. He scored the hip-hop soundtrack of the Afro Samurai anime series and movie sequel Afro Samurai: Resurrection. In his book, The Tao of Wu, cites Dragon Ball Z as the perfect allegory for growing up black in America.
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Hip hop feuds are nothing new, but who ever heard of a rapper dissing another for watching less anime? While likely not serious, it was amusing to see Chicago-born rapper Lupe Fiasco question the anime credentials of Childish Gambino. Fiasco is no anime wannabe, as evidenced by the Naruto references he dropped in "Mural," and the Lupin the Third verse he sang in Kanye West’s “Touch the Sky."
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Namedropping anime series is nothing new for rappers, but Curren$y actually sampled an anime voice clip for the song "Full Metal." The name of the anime? Most appropriately, it was Fullmetal Alchemist. Alphonse's English voice actor can be heard in the beginning of "Full Metal." The quote goes like this: "Brother hasn't been dead for long. Look there's still some color in his face...His soul is probably still at the gate.
I just have to pull it back, the same way he did." Also, his music video "Flying Iron" uses footage from Golgo 13: The Professional.