Comic-Book Alter Egos For Top Houston Rappers

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The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good - so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email introducingliston@gmail.com.

This Week's Rapper: Airborne

This Week's Subject: Imagining Houston rappers as comic-book characters.

This Week's Prompt: Okay, listening to your tape it's pretty clear that you're a comic book guy. You even say so explicitly on the laser-ly "Villain."

So, sort of similar to what we did with A.D.D. and video games, we'd like to pull your card.

Airborne, "Villain"

Your challenge is to assign comic book characters to the following Houston rappers:

Bun B; Paul Wall; Chamillionaire

Trae; Z-Ro; Lil Flip; Scarface

J. Prince; K-Rino; Big Mello

Mali-booyah. Good luck.


Bun B: Beast. The reason I went with Beast for Bun B is Bun can destroy a microphone and a career if one was foolish enough to oppose him. But he's a cool brother in person and has the game down to a science, relating to Beast's real identity [as] Henry McCoy, the scientist.

Paul Wall: Iceman. This is sort of a given [laughs]. Not only does Pall have the ability to ice himself out, he can also do the same for others and turn anything from teeth, cups, and even stop signs into that very thing.

Chamillionaire: The Chameleon. Besides the name, Chamillionaire has a unique ability to transform and blend into whatever setting he's in and at the end of the day, still be Cham. When I first heard him on The Mixtape Messiah I was entertained and inspired by a sound that I never heard before out of Houston.

Then once his rhymes hit the mainstreem circuit, he adapted to it as if he'd been doing it his whole career, yet we (original fans) could still identify him, just the same as the cops were able to identify The Chameleon when he tried robbing a bank as Spider-Man.

Trae: Wolverine. I matched these two because Trae isn't necessarily a good or bad guy. He's more so a chill, neutral dude who has a cool vibe as long as you have one. But if you piss him off, from what I've seen with past feuds with another artist, it would probably be wise for you to take a trip out of the states... and stay there.

Z-Ro: The Punisher. For those who have listened to Ro's music, we know he's been through a lot. Now he punishes those that have wronged him and those looking to wrong him through song. His words can pierce and burn through his enemies like a bullet from The Punisher's gun.

Lil Flip: The Human Torch. Flip is flashy, and based off his lyrics, can probably steal the average guy's lady, like Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four. But he can back up his braggadocio persona by flamming on in the studio and dropping heat like "I Can Do Dat" and "Game Over" just to name a few of his classics.

Scarface: Professor X. One of the pioneers of Houston rap, Scarface helped polish a lot of emcees from the South, old and new. Though still a powerful lyricist, as Proffesor X is still a mutant of one of the highest levels, he can watch newer acts come and develope their skill through the doors he's opened the same way the Professor watches new mutants enter his school of the gifted.

J.Prince: The Kingpin. Pretty obvious if you ask me. They're both wealthy, powerful, heavyweight bosses.

K-Rino: Spawn. The only non-Marvel character on the list (DarkHorse). His stories bring you through the dark side of the streets of Houston and give me the same vibe as Spawns comics did. Just as dope as any other artist or hero, but the setting was more of a reality for the grim side of the city.

Big Mello: Captain America. Two OGs from two different universes. Big Mello made a huge mark in Houston hip hop and will never be forgotten. One, because to this day I can ride around with my homies bumpin Big Mello's Bone Hard Zaggin while ironically reading a Captain America comic. And two, his legacy continues just the same as Cap's with one of the homies I'm ridin with, his oldest son ADD.

Follow Airborne on Twitter at @airborne1990. Download his music from Bandcamp here.

Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.

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