Enter The Rapper: Martial Arts' Influence On Hip-Hop

Enter The Rapper: Martial Arts' Influence On Hip-Hop

Kendrick Lamar's new persona, "Kung Fu Kenny," is a reminder that martial arts and hip-hop are still tight.
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Since Kendrick Lamar's hot new album, "Damn." dropped earlier this month, the internet has been buzzing. While the well-crafted lyrics and K-Dot's undeniably meticulous flow is accumulating a lot of the attention, Lamar's new moniker, "New Kung Fu Kenny," has seemed to stick with fans. The alias, inspired by Don Cheadle's "Rush Hour 2" character, the "original Kung Fu Kenny," is referenced throughout the album and is portrayed by Lamar in the "DNA" music video (which also features Don Cheadle as an interrogation officer).

Lamar's new persona also pays tribute to the Hong Kong films of the 1970's, much like Wu-Tang Clan did in the 90's. On the surface, it may seem odd that martial arts and hip-hop would have any connection. After all, martial arts teaches simplicity and detaching oneself from material possessions, while hip-hop places a spotlight on an excessive lifestyle including money, women, and heavy drug and alcohol use. If you compare the history of the two, however, the relationship becomes evident.

Kung Fu films from Hong Kong were often purchased in packages by New York City movie theaters to save money. They were also shown on TV through programs such as "Drive-In Saturday." The films, primarily those produced by Bruce Lee and the Shaw Brothers, depicted an underdog overcoming an oppressive organization, or unjust leader, using nothing more than willpower and their hands and feet. This theme of rising above injustice with so little resonated with the African-American community of this time period. While hate-blinded police officers were equipped with guns and clubs, the oppressed had their fists and a voice through music, leading to the birth of hip-hop. Martial arts reinvigorated the warrior instincts African-Americans lost during slavery and the time of Jim Crow Laws. The films also gave young black and brown children non-white role models to look up to, which was quite rare in the 70's and early 80's.

There is no denying that tensions between the oppressed and the oppressive still stream through the cracks of this nation, making a hero like "Kung Fu Kenny" just as relevant today as he would have been in the 70's. The persona could also turn some people onto Lamar's music that never listened to him prior to "Damn." Wu-Tang Clan actually got me into hip-hop when I started listening to them in high school due to their martial arts-inspired music videos, personas, and lyrical imagery.

If you want to learn more about the historical connection between martial arts and hip-hop, check out Shawn Setaro's fascinating article "Kung Fu Kenny is Just the Latest Example of Hip-Hop's Fascination with Martial Arts."

Cover Image Credit: Reddit

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The 10 Stages Of A 2:30 P.M. Kickoff, As Told By Alabama Students

But we still say Roll MF Tide!

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We all have a love-hate relationship with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff at Bryant Denny Stadium, especially when it's 94 degrees.

1. Immediate sadness

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What do you mean I have to wake up at 9 a.m. to get ready?

2. Bracing yourself for the worst

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It's a marathon not a sprint ladies and gentleman.

3. Accepting the game is going to happen

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Rain or shine we are all in that student section screaming our heads off.

4. Trying to wear the least amount clothes possible without being naked on the Quad

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Is it me or does it get 10 times more hot the minute you walk on to the quad?

5. Shedding a tear when you walk out your front door once you feel the heat and humidity on your skin

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Is it fall yet?

6. Drowning your sorrows inside a Red Solo cup at 11:30 a.m. at a fraternity tailgate

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Maybe I'll forget about the humidity if I start frat hopping now.

7. Getting in line to go through security realizing it'll take an hour to actually get inside Bryant Denny

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More security is great and all but remember the heat index in Alabama? Yeah, it's not easy being smushed like sardines before even getting into Bryant Denny.

8. Feeling the sweat roll down every part of your body

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Oh yeah I am working on my tan and all but what is the point of showering before kick off?

9. Attempting to cheer on the Tide, but being whacked in the head with a shaker by the girl behind you. 

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Shakers are tradition, but do we have to spin it around in a full 360 every two seconds? I have a migraine from just thinking about it.

10. Leaving a quarter into the game because Alabama is kicking ass and you're about to have a heat stroke.

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I'll watch the rest in air conditioning thank you very much!

We may not love the 2:30 kickoffs but Roll Tide!

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I Made Emma Chamberlain's Mediocre Vegan Cookies, And They're Pretty Incredible

Emma and her vegan cookies have made their way into my heart, and are here to stay.

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One day, I went down the black hole that is 'YouTube at 3 am' and discovered my favorite social media influencer of all time: Emma Chamberlain. I started binge watching her videos every night for about a week, where I came across her "Cooking With Emma" series. I decided that I wanted to give her vegan antics a go for myself.

I've never cooked or baked anything with the intention of it being vegan, so not only is that new territory for me, but I've never even eaten a vegan cookie. The only reason I'm doing this is because Emma did, and she is aesthetic goals.

To start the journey of vegan baking, I took to Pinterest, just like Emma, and found this recipe to use. Although the video that inspired all of this used a gluten free recipe, I opted for only vegan, because I'm allergic to most of the ingredients that make things gluten-free.


In true Emma style, I used a whisk to combine the wet ingredients together, making sure to use her special technique.


Then, I did the same thing with the dry ingredients.


After that, I dumped everything together and combined all of the ingredients.


Once they were combined, I chopped up a vegan chocolate bar, because Emma and I like chocolate chunk cookies, not chocolate chip, there's a difference.


Now that everything is combined, I made balls of dough and stuck it on a pan, and baked them while I binged more Emma, because what else would I be doing in my spare time?



The recipe said to make the balls a lot smaller, but we aren't perfect, so I made them gigantic. In my head, I thought the worst thing that could happen was it turn into one big cookie, but that's a whole other video you need to watch.

I took them out of the oven, and they were brown on the top, but still a little doughy. At this point I was tired of waiting and eager to eat them, so I disappointingly set them aside to cool, which only lasted a minute or so before I snagged one up to try.



The taste was definitely one I've never associated with cookies, and came to the conclusion that if I decided to go vegan, it would be doable with these cookies and Emma Chamberlain by my side.



Emma inspired me to get out of my comfort zone, which is a reoccurring theme throughout her channel, and I'm happy to be apart of it. She taught me that even if mediocre cookies is all you have, eat them with pride because you made them yourself.

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