Kategoriarkiv: hiphop

Marky Mark on steroids: John Cena

Many people believe that after Mr. Good Vibration, Funky Bunch having Marky Mark retired from rapping he turned into Mark Wahlberg, horrible actor of Boogie Nights and Planet of the Apes infamy. Not true.

What actually happened was, after Marky Mark’s shortlived rap-career and Calvin Klein add-jobs he gassed up on a crazy amount of steroids and became a professional wrestler. No shit. At least that’s the only way I can explain the phenomenon that is John Cena. The current WWE champion looks like Marky Mark, dresses like Marky Mark, acts like Marky Mark and raps like Marky Mark. Well, actually that’s the only difference – he raps better than Marky Mark.

But before we get to that, let me describe John Cena. Cena sports a baseball cap turned backwards, a pair of jeans cut into shorts, and a giant chain with a lock in it around his neck. His followers are known as the chain-gang, who will hoot and holla as Cena works the mic by reciting 8 Mile styled battle-rhymes like “Oh and Big Show, don’t think that I forgot about you homey! He’s a giant! Well I’m a giant whistle, so go ahead and blow me” to diss his opponent. His catch-phrases include You Can’t See Me and Word Life. While most hip-hoppers will remember these terms as classic mid-90’s rap-slang along the lines of everything is everything, these terms seem to puzzle the WWE-audience. Another popular Cena line is Ruck Fules which is funny if you’re trained in the art of bakke snagvendt.

Cena started out as a heel (slang for bad guy) but turned face fairly quickly because the younger audience really enjoyed his antics. Older fans were concerned that he: dosn’t look the part of a wrestler, wearing basketball boots instead of wrestling boots, devaluates the titles he holds by turning the title-belts into blingbling-styled spinners and of course the fact that his wrestling isn’t too scientific and his FU finisher is just a variation of a boring fire-man’s carry slam. However he’s grown with the challenge and his last match at Summerslam this past weekend was fairly good.

This isn’t the first time wrestling has taken it’s cue from rap. Men On A Mission were assisted by the horrible rapper Oscar, who made MC Hammer sound like Aesop Rock and other forgettable wrestlers such as PN News have tried to use rap as a gimmick. Even veterans like Macho Man Randy Savage have cut rap-records. What makes John Cena work is that behind all the Marky Mark and Eminem gimmicks he is a certified hip-hopper.

Esoteric of 7l and Esoteric and Rebel Alliance fame remembers this about John Cena in an Artofrhyme-interview: Trademarc would bring his cousin around every now and then and he was always this diesel muthafucker, John. Then all of the sudden he was in the World Wrestling Entertainment jumpoff and Trademarc told me he was spitting my old lyrics in the ring! So naturally we hooked up and 7L produced his ring music. The shit the crowd goes wild to every Thursday night on Smackdown, that’s a 7L beat.”

This year Cena along with Trademark released a CD aptly titled “You Can’t See Me”. While out thru WWE distribution the rhymes are credible, and Cena’s not only assisted by Esoteric and Trade Mark but also Freddie Foxxx who’s diesel as hell in his own right. If you want to check a clip of Cena rhyming he’s in the “Hustler” video by veteran west coast MC Murs from Living Legends. You can even see Cena body-slamming Murs into a dumpster! Yeah!

So while you may see this as hiphop being exploited by the wrestling entertainment industry I certainly see it as a case of Marky Mark surviving the small turd otherwise known as Donnie Wahlberg‘s baby-brother. Hopefully wrestling will save more rappers gone actors, so in the future we can all appreciate Mos Def dropkicking competition instead of embarrasing himself like he did in Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.

This guy at White Castle asked for my autograph…

I’ve been collecting autographs ever since famed Danish poet and writer of childrens books Benny Andersen signed my copy of Snøvsen back in 4th grade.

When I got into hip-hop I quickly realised that artists would stay after shows and sign autographs. I also noticed that if you had brought the artist’s album along (or even better bought it from his merchandice stand at the venue) the chance of getting the John Hancock heightened. For instance when I brought a 12 inch to an Arsonists show it was the first time they had seen the final print of that record so it got heavily signed. I think autographs on records are cool ’cause they tie the music together with meeting the actual artist.

Run and Jam Master Jay autographing my copy of their debut album at Rock Show in Aarhus was a pretty sweet deal. Run and DMC would mostly sign T-shirts, but Jay was walking around the crowd and seemed genuinly happy to see that old vinyl. Common Sense was another early autograph, and he added “just another case of PTA” which was a freshfest for me. On a rap-level Masta Ace writing “Death To The Wack MC’s” on Slaughta House is a top autograph too. Thes One of People Under The Stairs damn near wrote an entire essay on the back of their 12 after I pointed a misspelled word out, Double K just wrote “I’m Faded”.

A lot of the records I’ve had signed were due to me working as a helper at the Aarhus Took It hip-hop festival. Usually this involves picking the artist up at the airport and checking them into the hotel, making sure they can get to the venue and then later bringing pizzas for the festival crew. Foreign Legion were unknown to me when they arrived but they were real friendly and put on a hell of a show. Same deal with brittish Killa Kela and DJ Plus One. J-Live was a favorite rapper of mine, but he was mad stuck-up and his show wasn’t that good. JuJu of Beatnuts was a pretty cool guy but he stole a buncha records from my fave. store – so screw him. MOP, Pharoahe Monch and Big Daddy Kane are some other rappers to perform @ Took It. The nicest of the bunch was Last Emperor who not only signed my records but also helped me beat Jøden and J-Hef at table-fussball and invited me on stage.

A few of my autographs are from Copenhagen shows, for instance Souls of Mischief and Smut Peddlers @ Loppen, Christiania. I actually introduced Smut Peddlers and the rest of Eastern Conference ’cause DJ Noize had failed to show. Generally I never get autographs at shows @ Vega ’cause you’re not allowed to bring a recordbag into the venue, but I did manage to get Pete Rock‘s autograph. He musta been in a hurry cause all he wrote was PR!!!!

I’ve also gotten records signed during interviews like this Rise 12 inch and Dizzee Rascal‘s first album. Usually I don’t ask for autographs while interviewing but sometimes it just seems cool to do.

Autographs vary greatly in quality. For instance I was set to interview KRS-One, but someone else took up the time I guess cause I all I got was this crappy autograph that looks nothing his cool tag. Busy Bee was also on hand at that non-happening interview. Guru on the other hand has a fine autograph style and even wrote Gangstarr 4 Eva on the album – we’ll see how that turns out. Redman not only signed Whut Thee Album but also drew an extra mustache on his own image.

Some write more than others. Kut Masta Kurt and Motion Man not only signed my album but also a miniposter when I had brought to Billund Airport after their Took It show. Kurt’s note read: “Peter you’re a good driver but you need a new Run-DMC shirt”.

More recently I’ve gotten autographs from Tim Dog as well as Bootie Brown and Imani of Pharcyde @ Rust. Rust is really turning out to be a cool spot for autographs cause the artists usually stay for nightclubbing.

I almost never ask for or get autographs from Danish artists which is a shame, ’cause their music is just as memorable. Gísli wrote this cheeky comment on the innersleeve at his release party.

Some of the first autographs I got were unfortunately lost (or stolen!) so my Kool Keith/Dr. Octagon autograph from his show at Aarhus’ Ridehus circa. 97 is still MIA. Others like ?uestlove from Roots refused to sign autographs and instead opted to talk to the fans for a while, so he’s still cool in my book. There are only a few artists I’ve seen live I regret not getting autographs from, mainly Kool Herc, Jay-Z and Nas. Slug from Atmosphere as well as Eyedea who I was lucky enough to freestyle with would have also been great.

I’ll probably keep collecting autographs as long as I go to shows, but since I hardly ever buy new music these days. Tankpasser from Odense came up with the idea of having producers sign breaks they’ve sampled. I kinda like that. Maybe I’ll have to switch to a plain old autograph-book.