Rocks Off wonders what hip-hop would look like if rappers were true to who they really are, or should we say... who they were. Perhaps it would look like the video "Swagger Wagon," by The Sienna Family, the latest Internet phenomenon that has amassed 2.4 million hits in less than a month. Those G's out that Sienna be spittin' da real parental flow, tellin' it like it is in da rugged streets of suburbia. Know what I'm sayin? Dodgin' dirty diapers and stuff. Replace the big chains with big baby bottles; instead of the model chicks dancing in the background, put in the toddlers; remove the big shiny wheels and replace them with stock hubcaps and substitute the Escalade with a mini-wagon and you got something pretty ridiculous. Yeah, it's funny as all hell, but it's the truth. The Sienna Family is real with the rhymes they spit and the life they promote. They aren't being selective with parts of their life per se. Not everyone in hip-hop can say the same. Peep hip-hop's top five secret identities. Let's start with the honorable mentions. These don't break the top 5 because, well, they aren't exactly secret and they haven't exactly hid their past, but you do have to dig.
Dr. Dre/Mr. Electro-Hop: Before taking on the hard persona of N.W.A., Dr. Dre was shiny and flashy. There's footage floating around of him dancing. Gangsters don't dance, do they? God bless Wikipedia. They report Dre "joined the musical group World Class Wreckin' Cru under the independent Kru-Cut Records in 1984. The group would become stars of the electro-hop scene that dominated early 1980s West Coast hip hop, and their first hit "Surgery" would prominently feature Dr. Dre on the turntables and sell 50,000 copies within the Compton area. Check out the video. Wine-O/Nuwine: You'll remember this man, because he hit the scene hard with the 2005 track, "Pop My Trunk." But Wine-O was once Nuwine, a Christian rapper; rather, a self-proclaimed "spiritual rapper." Craig D. Lindsey wrote about about Wine-O's shift for the Houston Press back in 2005. Yahoo Music says:
"His precarious, crime-laden lifestyle came to a climax when he was shot at a convenience store - the bullet entered through his cheek and exited between his eyes, necessitating that he be airlifted to the hospital. Notwithstanding incredible odds, [Wine-O] survived. Nevertheless, it took another impending crisis - a possible 15-year prison sentence for another offense - before he found salvation in Christianity."
Yeah, after that, we would have found God too. Go easy on the dude. How many times have you gone to church when shit's gone awry and found yourself in the club a few weeks later when all was good? Don't judge lest you be judged, the man upstairs once said. David Banner/The Academic: Wikipedia reports, "After graduating from high school, he attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., his mother Carolyn's alma mater. At Southern, Crump served as president of the Student Government Association and received a bachelor's degree in business. He attended the University of Maryland to pursue a master's degree in education but dropped out to pursue his music career." Chris Rock's famous comedic skit must have gotten to him: "I just got outta school. Got my masters. So what? Don't come around here with all that readin' and shit. See I can count too... 1,2,4,9 So,what. You be countin' these rocks, byotch! But I got my masters! So what, you my master now?" Tupac/The Ballerina. We're sorry. We laughed our butts off when we saw his documentary and noticed a photo of him in a leotard and in a classic ballerina pose. See for yourself. On to the countdown.
5. Lil Flip/The Leprechaun: Many folks who aren't hip-hop heads don't know about this album cover. Yes, Lil Flip was a black leprechaun. After bursting onto the scene and breaking Houston hip-hop back into the mainstream with "The Way We Ball," the man has struggled to maintain his hip-hop credibility, but he hasn't helped his cause either, as he's gotten into the habit of spitting very mediocre rhymes. Rocks Off spoke to one underground hip-hop artist last night and he said Lil Flip might want him on his next mixtape. We said, "You'll murder him," and he responded "Yeah, that's the point." It might be time to head back to the other side of the rainbow, Flipper. 4. Plies/The Nurse: This rapper talks a mean game about dissing his parole officer and putting people on their back, but the last thing we need is another rapper in the world. What we do need are more nurses. We actually read that in an article recently. Plies could do it. According to he has a nursing degree and guess what? No criminal record. Yeah, we could diss parole officers all day, too, when they aren't assigned to us. 3. Lil Wayne & Baby/Kissing cousins: Just look at the photo underneath. Enough said.
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2. The Game/The Male Stripper: According to rapdirt.com, "SOHH.com reports that according to Gangsta Flip Records and Silverback Guerillas member Domination, Compton rapper and ousted G-Unit member The Game used to be a stripper while living in Los Angeles. There may even be video footage." Haven't seen the video, but there is a photo.
1. Rick Ross/The Parole Officer: His lyrics speak of slanging lots of drugs by the pound, but did Rick Ross play on the other side of the fence - the one opposite side of the criminal lifestyle he raps about? Say it ain't true, Ricky Ross. Say the photo of you being a parole officer is a fake. In a XXL cover story, Ross says, "Yes, it was me in those pictures. But I'ma tell you this. Me taking that job, I was doing my job. You understand what I mean?" All we gotta say is if you want some true and honest muthaf***as on your next mixtape to help with rebuilding your credibility, The Sienna Family might be available.