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.
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.
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.
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.
"With fuckin' sand covering our bodies, I feel like muhfucking 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 over Naturo. "Naruto, I gotta say. People be hating me for that shit 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-ass anime, man. That shit is old as fuck. 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."
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."