Anime Underground
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16 Rappers You Didn't Realize Love Anime

Updated April 17, 2020 7.5k votes 1.8k voters 79.2k views16 items

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 resonate 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. 

Ready to have your mind blown? Here are 16 rappers you didn't realize love anime. Want more shocking anime facts? Make sure to check out 15 celebrities who are surprisingly into anime

  • Photo: Eva Rinaldi / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

    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." 

    Does this rapper deserve otaku status?

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  • 6

    Robb Bank$

    Photo: Banksquait / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    "With f*ckin' sand covering our bodies, I feel like motherfucking / Gaara," is a verse from "Refined" by hip hop artist Robb Bank$. Bank$ isn't just a casual fan of Naruto but a diehard fanboy of the series.

    He delivered a bit of a diss at Dragon Ball Z when Nylon asked him if he preferred the Akira Toriyama series over Naturo. "Naruto, I gotta say. People be hating me for that sh*t but people are biased when they say Dragon Ball Z," Bank$ said. "It’s only because that’s the first anime they watched. It was great, Goku, blah blah blah, but it’s an old-a** anime, man. That shit is old as f*ck. Plus, Naruto has a better story than Dragon Ball Z. Naruto is really one of the best animes I’ve ever read in my life."

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  • Name-dropping 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.

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  • 8

    Childish Gambino

    While Lupe Fiasco may have said he watches more anime than Childish Gambino, that doesn't make the former Community star any less of a fan.

    In the 2011 song "My Shine," Childish Gambino throws a Dragon Ball Z reference into one of the verses: “Honesty, I’m rappin’ ’bout everything I go through / Everything I’m sayin’, I’m super sayin’ like Goku."

    Does this rapper deserve otaku status?