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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37 Drake Lyrics From 'Scorpion' That Will Make Your Next Instagram Caption Go Double Platinum

Side A makes you want to be single, Side B make you want to be boo'd up.

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We all knew Scorpion was going to be the summer banger we wanted. However, Drake surprised us with two sides of an album and two sides of himself. Mixing rap and R&B; was genius on his part, so why not dedicate 37 of his lyrics to our Instagram captions?

1. "Don't tell me how knew it would be like this all along" — Emotionless

Definitely a "I'm too good" for you vibe.

2. "My mentions are jokes, but they never give me the facts" — Talk Up

This one's for my haters.

3. "I wanna thank God for workin' way harder than Satan" — Elevate

For when you're feeling blessed.

4. "I promise if I'm not dead then I'm dedicated" — March 14

In Drake's story about his son the world knows about now, we get a lyric of true love and dedication

5. "My Mount Rushmore is me with four different expressions" — Survival

6. "Pinky ring 'til I get a wedding ring" — Nonstop

7. "I gotta breathe in real deep when I catch an attitude" — 8 Out of 10

This first line of the song is about to be spread on the gram like a wildfire

8. "Heard all of the talkin', now it's quiet, now it's shush" — Mob Ties

9. "California girls sweeter than pieces of candy" — Sandra's Rose

This is gonna have every girl who has ever stayed in Cali all hot and heavy, watch it.

10. "I think you're changing your mind, starting to see it in your eyes" — Summer Games

Y'all know how these summer games go

11. "Look the new me is really still the real me" — In My Feelings

When you've got to profess that you've changed 200%

12. "Only beggin' that I do is me beggin' your pardon" — Is There More

13. "Shifted your focus, lens lookin' jaded" — Jaded

14. "Back and forth to Italy, my comment section killin' me" — Can't Take a Joke

Necessary for when you've got people hyping you up already

15. "People are only as tough as they phone allows them to be" — Peak

Y'all can't have this one, I'm stealing it

16. "Work all winter, shine all summer" — That's How You Feel

Put in the work so you can flex on 'em, summer 18

17. "Blue faces, I got blue diamonds, blue tint, yeah" — Blue Tint


18. "I stay busy workin' on me" — Elevate

19. "Ten of us, we movin' as one" — Talk Up

The perfect reason to get the largest group picture you've had on your gram

20. "October baby for irony sake, of course" — March 14

This statistically applies to 1/12 of y'all reading this, so take that as you will (we October babies are the best)

21. "She had an attitude in the summer but now she nice again" — Blue Tint

22. "I know you special girl 'cause I know too many" — In My Feelings


23. "Gotta hit the club like you hit them, hit them, hit them angles" — Nice for What

24. "She said 'Do you love me?' I tell her, 'Only partly,' I only love my ____ and my ____ I'm sorry" — God's Plan

If you haven't used this one yet, get to it

25. "But I'm blessed I just checked, hate me never met me in the flesh" — I'm Upset

26. "It's only good in my city because I said so" — 8 Out of 10

Follow this up with a location and shoutout your hometown

27. "My haters either on they way to work or they arrived" — Can't Take a Joke

28. "I always need a glass of wine by sundown" — Final Fantasy

Has Drake ever been more relatable?

29. "It's your f***in' birthday. Happy birthday" — Ratchet Happy Birthday

Let's go get kicked out of an Applebee's

30. "I move through London with the Eurostep" — Nonstop


31. "I stopped askin' myself and I started feelin' myself" — Survival

Mood all summer 18

32. "They keep tryna' get me for my soul" — I'm Upset

33. "I'm tryna see who's there on the other end of the shade" — Emotionless

34. "Only obligation is to tell it straight" — Elevate

35. "It don't matter to me what you say" — Don't Matter to Me


This line from the King of Pop (MJ) will give you chills. R.I.P.

36. "I'm the chosen one, flowers never pick themselves" — Sandra's Rose

37. "Say you'll never ever leave from beside me" — In My Feelings

Couple goals, amirite?

Cover Image Credit:

@champagnepapi / Instagram

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19 Struggles Every Retail Worker Faces

Because if things were easy then you wouldn't have any stories to share.

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At first, working in retail sounded so nice. Standing around folding clothes, talking to people, and getting paid. Sounds easy right...wrong. Here are just a few of the many struggles that retail workers face on the daily just to make their paycheck.

1. Screaming children

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So let me get this straight. Tommy is allowed to start screaming in the middle of the store because he wants to go home but I'm not. Unfair.

2. Shoplifters

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After working in retail for a bit, you get pretty good at reading body language. Nothing like getting to call security on a 13-year-old.

3. When the register freezes

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4. One word: Inventory

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Nothing like spending you're entire day counting out every single item in your store, right? The best is when you get distracted and loose your place.

5. When your coworker doesn't show up


Nothing like 10 people wanting your attention at once.

6. "Can I speak to your manager?"

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Yes. let me bring them over here so they can tell you the exact same thing i just told you. The best is when someone asks you this and you are the manager.

7. Using change

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Yes, please give me $20 worth of change that I can count out. Don't worry about the line, i'm sure they won't mind the wait.

8. Trying to bargain over prices

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This isn't a negotiation. Either pay the price listed, or leave.

9. People leaving a mess

Nothing is better then watching someone completely mess up an area that you just spent the last 30 minutes cleaning.

10. Customers who come in 5 minutes before close

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11. The boredom of a slow day

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12. And the rush of a sale day

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13. Overly-chatty customers

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14. Asking about rewards cards

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I get it. It's annoying and you probably don't have or want the card. We don't want to say it just as much as you don't want to hear it.

15. Checking the back

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People tend to think that the back of the store is some huge endless supply of everything we have in the store. Nope.

16. Customers who try to come inside when the store is closed

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Do you not see the sign?

17. Working long shifts with no breaks

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18. Working. Every. Single. Weekend.

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Because what's a social life anyway?

19. Waiting for someone to bring you change

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As bad as things get, though, the store discounts make it all worth it!

Cover Image Credit:

Photo by Hannah Morgan on Unsplash

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