Young Money Rappers as Street Fighter II Characters
In celebration of Drake and Lil Wayne's upcoming, Capcom-inspired tour, we do something very, very, obvious.
Drake and Lil Wayne announced a joint tour this morning with a poster heavily inspired by Street Fighter II, so much so they threw a Capcom logo on the bottom of the poster. As a rap nerd who came of age perfecting my Hadouken motion, this was right up my alley. So, I did the only thing that’s natural for a rap blogger to do and compared the YMCMB roster to Street Fighter II characters.
RYU = LIL WAYNE / KEN = DRAKE
While Ryu and Ken originally had identical moves, subsequent versions of Street Fighter differentiated the two fighters. Ryu is the pure warrior, dedicated to his craft and for whom being the best was an end in and of itself. When you beat Street Fighter 2 with Ryu, he doesn’t even show up to get his trophy. He’s already gone in search of the next challenge. Ken, on the other hand, has more personality. Later versions of Street Fighter made Ken into a flashier version of Ryu while Ryu stayed more balanced.
Weezy and Drizzy are the Yin and Yang of modern hip-hop, similarly talented but fundamentally wired differently. Ever since his Carter-era awakening, Wayne has basically phased everything out of his life except rap and drugs. Drake started as a personable clone of Wayne but embraced his emotional tendencies and complex relationships with women to craft his own style. Over time, Lil Wayne has expanded his artistic range but his focus stays on the music. Meanwhile, Drake’s emotional tendencies often expose his vulnerabilities. And when Ken misses with that flaming uppercut, he’s vulnerable as fuck.
CHUN-LI = NICKI MINAJ
In middle school, your dumb ass goes through a phase of feeling weird about picking the girl in the fighting game. You try it a couple times and you jump off the wall and stomp on their head and everyone calls you cheap. Then you get over it, you learn a couple tricks and realize Chun-Li is brolic as fuck. Once she got the fireball in the Turbo edition, it was over.
Chun-Li wasn’t just good “for a girl,” she was good on her own terms. Nicki Minaj has gone through a similar progression. First she had to prove she was more than sex, then she had win over everyone who thought she only got a pass for being good by the lowered standards of female rappers. Eventually—maybe with “Monster”?—people realized she could rap her ass off by any standards.
GUILE = GUDDA GUDDA
This doesn’t seem like an obvious choice because Guile was really the most popular character in Street Fighter 2. The suplex looked really cool and he had two mid-air throws and nothing says “fuck your whole life” like jumping into a Flash Kick. But let’s be honest: Guile is corny as hell, the choice of people who peaked in high school and now work in local law enforcement or sell real estate.
Gudda Gudda’s enduring legacy is having the best/worst hashtag rap line of all time. “Grocery bag” is the rap equivalent of Adam Scott’s “are we having fun yet?” from Party Down, except Adam Scott never made a cringeworthy freestyle called “Exhibit G”. Gudda Gudda and Guile both begin with G so there’s your connection.
BLANKA = TYGA
Tyga and Blanka are both criminially underrated. Blanka got a bad rep because he was the go-to fighter for annoying-ass button-mashers who would jump around a lot, accidentally land a crucial two-hit headbutt and then shock you. But in skilled hands, Blanka could also beat you down without being cheap. And you learned to respect anyone who chose Blanka for their use of timing and for not being a little shit.
It’s easy to hate Tyga because Gym Class Heroes are corny and it’s easy to write off Tyga because DJ Mustard basically enabled his crossover career. But Tyga is secretly a really good rapper with funny lines and occassionally reaches Action Bronson-levels with his arbitrary references. He’s not just a little shit.
E. HONDA = JAE MILLZ
Nbody who knew what they were doing ever picked E. Honda on purpose. He was a bootleg Blanka, the property of button-mashers who weren’t invested enough to learn how to win while not really trying. Not that he wasn’t a formidible opponent but I feel like only the computer ever won with E. Honda. Jae Millz is a New York battle rap veteran who now gets his money ghostwriting for lesser Young Money artists, which seems like a good parallel to E. Honda here.
DHALSIM = MACK MAINE
Dhalsim literally spits fire and “I spit fire like Dhalsim” sounds like something Mack Maine might say. I’m not really going deep on this one.
ZANGIEF = LIL CHUCKEE
Chuckee’s only made one song worth a damn and that song is “Wop”. Zangief only has one move worth a damn and that’s the Spinning Pile Driver. Also what if Zangief had Chuckee’s haircut?
M. BISON = BIRDMAN
“Shadoloo. World domination. We doin this. Birdman. Stunna, the five star general. Headstompin. Movin them packs.” (Baby drives off in a Gallardo enveloped in blue fire.)
Skinny Friedman is actually an 8-bit figment of your imagination. He's on Twitter - @skinny412
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