‘Saved by the Bell’ and Hip Hop: A Primer

Hive Five: Our daily listicle of musical musings

“I see we got motherfuckin’ Mr. Belding in the house!”

And with those words rapper Action Bronson solidified his place in the cult-TV Hall of Fame this past weekend. Actor Dennis Haskins, who held down principal duties at Bayside High during every incarnation of Saved by the Bell,  introduced Bronson on stage at Los Angeles club the Roxy. (It looked like this.) But this is hardly the first time rap has mingled with the Bayside Crew. History points to these five ways where hip-hop mingled with Saved by the Bell and vice-versa. Let’s review.

1. Snow White and the Seven Dorks

Here the gang raps through a version of Snow White live on the school stage. “Me and Snow White was nothing but hype/ Oh, I like her alright but see she’s not my type,” spits Zack while A.C. Slater proves his rap rep by wearing his baseball cap backwards. (See also: 1-900-CRUSHED, with a bizarro rapped dream sequence.)

2. The Zack Morris Fan Club

Ugly Duckling may have bragged about being “the mack like Zack Morris,” but it’s a hip-hopped-up Justin Bieber who wins as the ultimate white rapper Mark-Paul Gosselaar super fan. During his “Otis” freestyle, Young Beebs spat, “I thanked Jesus at the awards, I’m never going to hell/ Call me Zack Morris, I’m saving you by the bell.” Label him the second coming of Mac Miller.

3. The Zack and Kelly Hip-Hop Musical

As you might expect, Saved by the Bell has captivated a bevy of fans who love to mix and remix their own adventures into musical masterpieces. Check out “The Zack and Kelly Hip-Hop Musical” below, which pairs a classic Bayside dilemma and adds a solid beat and bam! You have Saved by the Bell mashup glory.

4. Bayside High Cruisin’

Southern rap chap Dorrough may be something of a half-hit wonder, but at least he was cultured enough to reference the Bayside High scene on his calling card, “Ice Cream Paint Job.” After explaining how the height of success involves owning a car with “screens on the dash watching Saved by the Bell,” he puns how he’s “Got a house by the bay side.” Acolytes of The Max will immediately appreciate the word play going on there.

5. Screech: The Lost Beastie Boy

A long-running (if spurious) rumor has the actor Dustin Diamond, who played curly geek genius Screech Powers in the show, as the brother of Mike D from the Beastie Boys. The evidence? Well, both share the same surname, and there’s definitely a facial similarity in young pictures of both Diamonds. But it’s a claim that (sadly) both parties have always refuted as well as this very succinct answer on WikiAnswers. Boo!

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