Words & Graphics by Alex Delarge of Liveagl.com
If you peel back the layers of most rappers and look past their jewelry, fast cars and outlaw outer shell, you’ll see that, deep down, they’re nerds just like the rest of us. Ghostface probably would much rather be reading an Iron Man comic than finger-banging a groupie right now. Just run up to your favorite rapper and talk about the newest X-Men story arc and he’ll surely high-five you and invite you to his tour bus to smoke tons of reefer and pour wine coolers on naked virgins. This love of comic books probably comes from the fact that many rappers grew up during the heyday of Saturday morning cartoons when so many comics were adapted to television. That’s why artists like Ghost and DOOM infuse so many of these cartoon clips into their work – it’s like they’re acting out their childhood fantasies on wax.
But what if these weren’t mere fantasies? What if our favorites rappers actually were Marvel Comics characters? We have an idea as to who each rapper would portray.
Jay-Z – Iron Man
Jay-Z is a bit of a tricky one but I think Tony Stark best fits his personality (sorry Ghost). When Iron Man is in his Tony Stark persona, he is extremely smart and charismatic like Jay when he’s Shawn. When both men “transform” into their alter egos, they possess an immense amount of power and ability. Tony and Jay also share a confident demeanor in their respective ability, whether it be Stark’s conviction in his powers or Jay’s in his rhyme style. To add one more point, Iron man is the leader of a superhero group who join forces and secretly work behind the scenes in the Marvel Universe. The group is called the Illumanti #jusssayin.
Kanye West – The Hulk
The obvious reason for this match is anger but remarkably there are more parallels. The humble and timid Bruce Banner represents Kanye during the earlier stages of his career when he was working with the Roc. Now Kanye is a force to be reckoned with much like the Hulk. The most interesting comparison is the regret both “characters” feel after their random, and sometimes tumultuous, outbursts. When Bruce Banner finishes his rampage as the Hulk, he tends to get remorseful. We saw the same reaction with Kanye during that infamous VMA incident.
Lupe Fiasco – Silver Surfer
Lupe and Silver are a great match due to their many similarities. Both characters board, both characters are extremely introspective and both spread a message of freedom and awareness: post-Galactus of course. In addition, Silver Surfer’s relationship with and eventual separation from Galactus can be compared to Lupe Fiasco’s label disputes with Atlantic Records being the gigantic planet-eating entity.
Nas – Namor
Namor is not as talked about as other comic book heroes since he was a popular hero during the Golden Age of the ’30s & ’40s. Now he tends to be a recluse and makes appearances only in certain story arcs. Nas really comes to mind when I think about Namor’s character because both men are well respected and have been around for a long time, but unfortunately, both men have become relics and walking clichés of themselves. However, all is not lost. Namor is the King of Atlantis and I would compare the Atlantis people of the comic world to hardcore Nas fans.