There has always been a fascinating intersection between rap and animation. It's a place where the lyrical prowess of rap stars collides with the colorful, imaginative universe of cartoons and animated characters. Over the years, many rappers have lent their voices and creative talents to animated shows. This crossover between the mic and the toon has given rise to some unforgettable collaborations with animated characters bearing the personas of these rap legends. Here are a few.
Snoop Dogg: Smoove Move in "Turbo"
In 2013, iconic West Coast rapper Snoop Dogg, made a memorable leap into animation by lending his voice to the character Smoove Move aka Slo Mo in the 2013 DreamWorks Animation film "Turbo." Smoove Move is a snail with a need for speed, and Snoop's smooth voice adds a dose of sauve chillness to the character. The film revolves around Smoove Move's dream of becoming the fastest snail in the world, making it a fun and family-friendly venture for the rap legend.
50 Cent in "The Simpsons"
In The Simpsons' Season 16, Episode 9, titled "Pranksta Rap," viewers were in for a treat when 50 Cent, the renowned rapper and actor, appeared on the long-running animated series "The Simpsons." In the episode titled "Pranksta Rap" from Season 16, Episode 9, an animated 50 Cent interacts with Bart Simpson, adding a unique touch of hip-hop culture to the show's iconic universe. Meanwhile, fellow rapper Cypress Hill also made a memorable cameo on the show back in 1996 during the 24th episode.
MC Lyte, Tyler, The Creator, and Childish Gambino in "The Regular Show"
The Regular Show on Cartoon Network, created by J. G. Quintel, had a lot of entertainment value. In Season 3, Episode 9, titled "Rap It Up," MC Lyte, Tyler, The Creator, and Childish Gambino voiced members of the animated rap group called CrewCrew. In the episode, Pops, a lollipop-shaped character, engaged in a rap battle with the trio and eventually lost.
Will Smith: Oscar in "Shark Tale"
Will Smith who is Black Hollywood royalty, is also known for his chart-topping rap hits that rocked the late '80s and early '90s. Will has dabbled in several animations over his career, including voicing the character Oscar in DreamWorks' Shark Tale. Oscar is a lovable fish who is a blue-streaked cleaner wrasse and plays a pivotal role in the story. He is romantically involved with Angie and is also the former tongue-scrubber turned co-manager of the Whale Wash.
Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, will.iam, Quest Love on "The Cleveland Show"
In the fourth season premiere titled "Menace II Secret Society" of Fox News' "The Cleveland Show," Cleveland, feeling slighted over a co-writing credit for Kanye "Ye" West's "Be-Cleve in Yourself," is introduced to the hip-hop secret society. This episode features animated depictions of Nicki Minaj, Questlove, Bruno Mars, and will.i.am as members of Kanye's animated, enigmatic rap sect.
Several rappers have appeared in "The Boondocks"
Aaron McGruder's The Boondocks has always had a strong rap connection. Several rappers appeared on the series, including Ghostface Killah and Xzibit, who appeared as themselves in a season-two episode. Mos Def voiced Gangstalacious on the show, Snoop Dogg voiced Mucktastic, a member of Thugnificent's crew, along with Busta Rhymes who voiced Flonominal, another member of the animated rap crew.
In another episode, Lil Wayne joined the voice cast as Nique Freeman, who was the son of Jericho Freeman and second cousin once removed of Robert Freeman. He is in the episode, "Invasion of the Katrinians."
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