We did an earlier Rock N’ Wrestling piece looking at musicians turned wrestlers (and wrestlers turned musicians) that looked at 10 wrestlers who made music in the rock, pop and metal genres, but those aren’t exclusive genres for wrestlers making music. This time, we look at the hip-hop and rap genre and the wrestlers who made music in this field (or the rappers who turned to wrestling). Like the first installment, rap “characters”, like PG-13 (Wolfie D & JC Ice), Slim J or Elvis Pridemore, are not included on the list.
Okay, so we did say we wouldn’t do any one-offs, but we’re making an exception for the Doctor of Style. Slick’s song “Jive Soul Bro” off of Piledriver was a solid entry into the sound of 80s old school hip hop. And while Slick would venture into the ministry after his wrestling career ended, we’re chalking this one up to wishful thinking that he perhaps he should have done more rap.
INSANE CLOWN POSSE (ICP)
Detroit’s Insane Clown Posse (ICP) are well known wrestling fanatics. As well as owning and running their own indie promotion, Juggalo Championship Wrestling (JCW), ICP also one of only two tag teams to work for the original ECW, WWE, WCW and Impact Wrestling (the other being The Steiner Brothers). Despite their love for wrestling, they’re first priority was always their music, starting in 1989 and continuing today with their upcoming album, Fearless Fred Fury.
“MACHO MAN” RANDY SAVAGE
On the “didn’t see THAT coming” list, following WCW’s demise in 2001, “Macho Man” Randy Savage drifted off the wrestling radar, only to emerge in 2003 with the rap album, Be A Man, which featured several scathing attacks on his wrestling rival Hulk Hogan. While a fun novelty, Savage’s foray into rap stalled with this album, and he returned for a short run with Impact Wrestling in 2004 before retiring in 2005.
Now switching to the “we definitely SHOULD have seen this coming”, John Cena took his rapping character, the Doctor of Thuganomics, and teamed up with his cousin, The Trademarc, to release his debut album, You Can’t See Me, on Columbia Records, debuting at #15 on the Billboard album charts in 2005. The album has since been certified platinum (meaning it sold over 1 million copies).
MELLE MEL, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
Melle Mel is one of hip-hop’s pioneers, as a member of Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, one of the innovators of rap in the late 1970s and 1980s. In 2007, he went to wrestling school at the age of 45, telling allhiphop.com that he was “going to try to take some of John Cena’s money and get with WWE and do my thing”. Well, safe to say he didn’t, but he did begin working with the Urban Wrestling Federation (UWF). His wrestling career was nowhere near as legendary as his musical one.
Ron Killings, aka R-Truth, has had a sporadic rap career going back to his days with Impact Wrestling and his debut album, Invinceable, in 2003. He wrote his own entrance song (“What’s Up?”) and in 2016 released his follow up album, Killingit.
NJPW’s Rocky Romero has been part of some stellar tag teams, including Forever Hooligans (with Alex Koslov) and Roppongi Vice (with Trent Beretta), but the grappler has also made a side gig out of producing his team’s music. He finally released a full length, Six Trees Vice, in 2016, with it’s follow up, Six Trees Vice 2, last year.
Good Hank Flanders has been taking his rapper gimmick to the next level with House of Glory, engaging in rap battles with actual MCs of late.
While ESW’s Andy Williams is shredding with Every Time I Die, another Buffalo wrestler from ESW, Kevin Bennett, is doing “The Remix” and pumping out hip hop. Much like Williams, Bennett is also a regular with Smash Wrestling, where his hip hop pop star is a reviled heel.
Okay, so this is another cheat. Flair only appears in the video to lend his “WHOOOS!”, but come on, if anyone deserved to spit fire about the bling, it’s The Nature Boy.