Rap’s Odd Affair With Puppetry

Hive Five: Our daily listicle of musical musings

Thanks to EL-P, squirrel puppets are officially the hottest new accessory in hip-hop! Having cavorted around with Mr. Killums, one of the bushy rodents in the flick to his “The Full Retard” track (see above), the Brooklyn-based rapper and producer can now rest easily and stake his claim in the great hip-hop puppet pantheon. But as we’ve noted below, rappers and puppets make for strange bedfellows throughout hip-hop’s history.

1. Masta Ace’s Biz Markie Puppet

The Biz Markie puppet from Masta Ace’s “Me And The Biz” flick is the pinnacle of hip-hop puppetry. Oversized, livin’ large and in charge!

2. Eminem vs. Triumph the Insult Comic Dog

Proving that rappers and puppets can bicker and beef with the best of them, Eminem enjoyed something of a dis war with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog around the release of his Encore album. Cue a reconciliation that involved Triumph starring in the “Ass Like That” video, flanked by puppet Em, a belly dancer, and some stuffed cops.

3. Outkast’s “Da Art Of Story Telling”

When you’re Andre 3000, you’re never going to be content with simply basking in the glory a puppet version of yourself – instead you have to get all artistic and portray yourself painting a picture that then becomes the puppet. Or is the puppet painting reality? Ooh, it’s a real puppet master conundrum! Although, sorry Andre – the eye-patch-rocking Slick Rick doll looks the coolest.

4. Charlie the Rapping Dummy

A pioneering hip-hop puppet, Charlie the Rapping Dummy was a ventriloquist doll that opened up shows in the Bronx in ye olden school days. Solidifying his ground-breaking status, he also cut a record with his master “Wayne” on the Sugarhill label, titled “Check It Out.”

5. Kanye West: The Puppet Mysteries

There are three important puppet-related facts you need to know about Mr. West. First, lots of people on the Internet believe he is a puppet of the Illuminati. Secondly, the video to Kanye’s “Champion” stars a puppet version of himself competing in a 100m sprint, and he once attempted to launch a puppet-based TV show titled Alligator Boots. Thirdly, footage of the above two puppet moments is mysteriously missing from YouTube. Refer back to point one and shudder…

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