Hip-Hop Artists and the Boxers They Emulate
It's no secret that the world of hip-hop and boxing has had a love affair since the mid 1980s. Many fighters, such as Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Roy Jones has engaged hip-hop with their entrance music.
Outside some tributes for some great artists that passed, such as Michael Jackson, most fighters even today walk out to some sort of hip-hop. So, it is only fitting that we give a top 10 to hip-hop superstars and their boxing counterparts.
LL Cool J and Bernard Hopkins
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This was a total given...considering LL has been on top of the music game since 1984, and is considered the old Vet. Bernard Hopkins has been on top since he came into the sport. Hopkins is still keeping his game on top at the ripe young age of 46.
While Cool J came out with the album G.O.A.T., Hopkins can really call himself that, the Greatest Middleweight of all time.
Kanye West and Prince Naseem Hamed
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The flashiest hip-hop star, meet the flashiest boxer, possibly ever.
While Kanye has made noise with his outlandish outfits and crazy musical sets during award shows, the Prince is no different. Who can ever forget the Prince coming out on a magic carpet prior to his bout with Marco Antonio Barrera? Or the wall silhouette prior to his bout against Augie Sanchez?
Say what you want about their antics, they both back it up. West is a hip-hop giant and one of the lyrically best. Hamed was, at the top of his game, one of the hardest hitting Featherweights alive.
Regardless on how many may feel about both, you can never take away either of their talent.
Eminem and Roberto Duran
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Wait, huh? Eminem and Roberto Duran? Well, they have more in common than what people think.
Remember when Duran was considered the unstoppable greatest Lightweight ever, then had his personal demons come up on him during the prime of his career? Enter Marshall Mathers.
Eminem, at one point, was considered one of the top-five MCs of all time. Then, with the death of D-12 member and best friend Proof, Shady went into a downfall. But just like Duran, he returned to greatness.
Now, Em is back, and just like the Hands of Stone, coming back to reclaim what is his...greatness.
Big Pun and Salvador Sanchez
When they were here, they were the best at their craft. And they were both taken too soon.
Big Pun was on top of the hip hop world back in the late 90s, some would say he was the best lyricist out there. A heart attack took Pun away from us at the young age of 29, but his legacy continues on today.
Sanchez was considered the greatest Super Featherweight ever. Had a legacy that emulated some of the greats. Sanchez was to taken at a young age, 23 to be exact, but his memories amongst many who had the pleasure to see him fight continues on to this day.
Rick Ross and Andre Ward
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Both have came up from the bottom. Both Ward and Ross have completed missions that has made them on top of their craft.
Ross has came up from just being another artist on a label to being the boss and making the executive decisions. Ward, a 2004 Gold medalist, came from being a hot American prospect to being in many people's eyes Pound-For-Pound one of the top two fighters in the world today.
It's amazing what a little tournament will do for your career.
Lil' Wayne and Floyd Mayweather
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While they may be different, the similarities are more than what people think.
Both just recently came out of a stint in jail, both enjoy the amount of money they have in their accounts and both are without question the best in the current craft today. While many believe there are better than both, there's no question that the two are running their perspective entity.
Jay-Z and Roy Jones, Jr
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Two of the greats, why wouldn't they be linked?
Jay and Roy has been on top of the game for as long as many can remember. Many consider both of these giants the greatest ever at their vocation. There' no more obvious link to be made than Roy and Jay.
Notorious B.I.G. and Muhammed Ali
The two greatest Heavyweights that the world has ever seen, both were charismatic, skillful and masterful. And lets face it, both were Notorious.
There will never be another Biggie Smalls or Ali. And while both changed the face of the game in all ways, some of their ways continue on today. We should be thankful to have been graced with the talents of both.
Tupac Shakur and Sugar Ray Robinson
In my humble opinion, the two greatest ever. If there was any boxer or hip-hop artist that wanted someone to emulate their craft after, it would be to these two.
From 1991-96 (his death), Tupac defied the odds and made hip-hop fun again. There were those instances where the Bad Boy/Death Row war overshadowed what Tupac was, but lyrically, physically, emotionally, he was the greatest ever.
Ray Robinson was the exact same way. Skillful, masterful, exquisite. He made the sport "fun" again. He skills were so masterful, it took almost 40 years for someone to even come as close to it. He represented what it was to be Pound-for-Pound, as he was Welterweight Champion and went up to become the Middleweight Champion of the world.
Never again will we see two iconic individuals master their craft on similar levels again.
Kid Rock and Manny Pacquiao
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I saved this one for last for one reason...their ability to adapt.
At one point before becoming a big-time country star, Kid Rock actually had a hand in hip-hop. And once he got done with hip-hop, he became a rock artists, and now, a country music star.
The same goes for one Manny Pacquiao. He went up and became champ at one weight and then went up and became champ at another. The only eight-division champion in history, the career paths of both are similar in all senses.