As many of you know, I am an avid Hip Hop fan as well as lifelong WWF/E fan. The worlds haven't often intersected and its all good because each hold a place in the pantheon of my problematic faves. With that said, over the years I've definitely noticed a few parallels between my favorite wrestlers and my favorite rappers. They are showmen, react to the crowds energy, and know how to perform, tell a story in the ring or on stage, and of course know their way around a mic.
This is a list of Rappers and their WWE counterparts. I based this list off of their careers, impact, style and trajectory. Lets get into it.
Jay Z is Triple H
You can draw comparisons from the accomplishments alone. Jay Z has 21 grammys and 13 Number 1 albums. Triple H has 14 World Title Reigns, multiple Royal Rumble Wins, and has headlined Wrestlemania numerous times. The parallels go even further though. At their best they have been villains. People love to hate on Hov and though HHH will always have the respect of his fans, the Cerebral assassin is at his best when he makes you want to hate him. Both in the later stages of their careers now work mostly behind the scenes and are helping to shape the future of their respective industries. Hov has Rocnation and Tidal and HHH has NXT and works behind the scenes at WWE in other facets. Don't get it twisted though, because even though Jay works mostly behind the scenes now, he can still lace you with an incredible 16 (for example when he featured on Pusha T's Drug Dealer's Anonymous). HHH still gets in the ring and mixes it up a few times a year as a way of elevating upcoming talents. He hasn't lost a step either and if these young wrestlers don't bring their all, HHH will definitely out shine them in the Ring.
Also did you think I'd forget the fact that both Jigga and Hunter are married to two of the most powerful women in this country? Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are THE power couple in WWE and she is arguably a bigger villain than he is. Beyoncé is Queen Bey, one of, if not the greatest artist of our time and the greatest performer since Janet Jackson. Together they are the most powerful tandem in the music industry. The King of Kings, The Game, The Cerebral Assassin, Hunter Hearst Helmsley is Hov, Jigga, S.Dot, Jay Z.
Drake is John Cena
This one is so obvious. Drake and John Cena are THE most divisive and polarizing figures in their respective industries. Since Drake has arrived he has divided hip hop fans. Many don't like his style or appreciate the way he carries himself and Hip Hop "purists" are mad he's breaking many of their accustomed rules and norms. People claim he politics in the industry and rides waves, burying artists in the process and some say he's corny and fake. This can all be said about Cena.
Cena blew up in the WWE when he came out with his Word Life (white rapper) gimmick and in the subsequent years fans began to turn on him when he dawned the Hustle, Loyalty, Respect catchphrase. Wrestling purists/ Marks would say he couldn't wrestle, his character was stale, and he buries the other talent. Cena hardly would lose clean and dominated the main event scene. He is currently tied with Ric Flair for the most world title reigns at 16. Dual chants of "lets go Cena!, Cena Sucks!" rage on at every arena and he has completely divided the WWE universe. But the numbers don't lie, Cena has made WWE a lot of money of the years with his Clash against The Rock at Wrestlemania 28 being the highest grossing ever.
The thing is whether you love or hate Drake and Cena, they can be counted on to produce. Every year you can count on Drake to drop 3 or 4 hits that dominate the airwaves, and with Cena WWE routinely has counted on him to shoulder high profile storylines and pack those arenas. They might seem corny, but they put asses in seats and produce at a high level. They are going to continue to piss off their respective "purists" but that isn't going to stop them. The reality is Drake is going to have a lot more number one records and John Cena is going to break Flair's record. Deal with it. Not to mention the kids love these guys.
Big Pun is Vader
Both Pun and Vader were the complete package. They were big and menacing but also charismatic and comedic. The dexterity that each had for their size is incredible. Big Pun was a verbal acrobat with a supreme flow and control that was unmatched. I work out all the time and there's no way I can have the breath control that Pun had. Vader was 400 plus pounds and pulling moonsalts and splashes off the top rope. They shined with smaller guys and showed they could keep up the pace. Pun held his own and shined on verses with Raekwon, Nas, Black Thought and countless others. Vader had some stellar matches with Sting, Flair, Cactus Jack and Shawn Michaels. Outside of a botched elbow drop, Vader's match against Michaels at Summerslam is one of my favorites all time. Big Pun and Vader were essentially freak athletes and a sight to behold. Both were people you could build around, and both were people you wouldn't want to step to.
Also there is some comedic charm to both Vader and the Punisher. Pun had some hilarious skits and verses and Vader was a recurring character on Boy Meets World, not to mention he also starred in that horrible WCW movie. Vader was a World Champion in WCW and Pun had a classic in Capital Punishment. Two legendary Big men of their industries. Also Pun's finisher would definitely be a Powerbomb if he ever wrestled.
Fabolous is Randy Orton
Admittedly I am huge fans of both these phenomenal talents but I've always felt like there was something missing.
Randy Orton has all the gifts. He has the ability to go down as the greatest of all time and its as if his skill comes naturally. The same can be said about Fab.
Fab has all the tools to go down as one of the greatest. It seems as his skills are effortless. You can always count on Fabolous to give us a summer banger and an ill mixtape but some of us are greedy and are still waiting on that classic album. The Young OG project, like Orton's stellar bout with CM Punk at Wrestlemania might be the closest we see to either these men making a classic. Orton has had 13 World Title Reigns and amazing moments over the years but we are still waiting on that career defining moment.
The question is will we get those moments from them? They have both had amazing careers that most people would love to have. So why would they even want to push the envelop any further? Fab has shared the stage with Hov, made hit after hit, and he can go bar for bar with anyone in the industry. Orton was in Evolution with Triple H, gave Undertaker one of his greatest Wrestlemania matches, and not to mention his powerslam and superplex are the best in the industry. Randy is incapable of having a bad match, but the hunger doesn't seem there anymore. The RKO is like a Fab punchline and can hit you from out of no where, and arguably is the best finishing move in the industry. Fab has quotable for days, so many that I'm not even going to narrow it down. Do yourself a favor and go listen to the Soul Tapes.
Another thing they have in common is the legacies and shadows they've had to come out of. Fab is a 4th generation Brooklyn emcee who has fought to rep the city like Kane, BIG and Jay, while Orton is a 3rd generation superstar. Both have had a lot to prove and did,, both can be considered legendary, and both still might have their best to come. We just have to wait and see.
G-Unit is The NWO
In the mid 1990s Hulk Hogan had to reinvent himself because he was becoming stale and fans had begun turning against him. 50 Cent had an underground following but upset a lot of folks in the industry. His re-emergence in the early 2000s, like Hogan's reinvention changed everything. Led by 50 Cent, G-Unit was the most intimidating group in the industry at the time. Charting out hit after hit G-Unit was untouchable in the early 2000s. They were the villains that everyone wanted to be and didn't want to get in the way of.
When Get Rich or Die Tryin' came out, everyone in my hood thought they were gangsta (even those who really weren't). Chants of "G-G-G-G-Unit would ring out" in junior high during fights and yeah some folks even rocked those G-unit wifebeaters. Everyone wanted to be down with G-Unit and they were getting at emcees left and right. Also every artist that got with G-Unit from Buck to Game saw success right out the gates.
The NWO blew up in the late 90s and changed the landscape of wrestling. They were edgy, thugged out and took out everyone who didn't join them. At the top of that group was Hogan, Hall and Nash. They'd later add Macho Man and damn near the whole WCW locker room to the fold, but that was because you either had to get down or lay down. The NWO also had all the gold. Everyone on that stable was winning belts, much like everyone on G-unit was dropping Platinum albums,
Also much like G-Unit, everyone in school wanted to be the NWO. That NWO shirt is still one of the most popular wrestling shirts. Good guys were no longer in. Luckily Flair's fan base didn't do him like Ja rule. See Flair had to play to the backstage politics of the NWO and Ja Rule's career never fully recovered from going to toe with 50. like the NWO, not many people could stand up to the juggernaut that was G-Unit. I have to also add that both reunion tours didn't live up to their original massive hype, and were pretty lackluster. That doesn't take away at all from the fact that their respective runs were amazing. 50, Banks and Yayo are Hogan, Hall and Nash. Also F*ck Hogan for being a racist.
Be sure to comment below what you think of this list. This is only part 1, I'm going to be updating this list periodically. Wait until you see who I have pegged as Macho Man, Chyna, AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan.
It's been a long road for me as an artist. Especially one who does everything from my beats to my videos and literally everything in between. Its definitely been tough but I feel that ultimately it has made me a better and stronger artist in the long run. Being completely independent means I don't have to sacrifice my integrity to put out content and I am excited about what that means for B26 so stay tuned.
In the coming months I'll be delivering new music as well as documenting the B26 process as well as the ideas and people that helped shape the project. Also going to be updating this site weekly so tune in for more blog postings (we're going to have a lot more pop culture based posts as well).
At this time I also thought It was fitting that I dropped the "Justus" and fully became Civil. I will always be about Justice for US but I think its time I step forward into this new phase of my artistry and career. Also I want to show people how diverse and multidimensional I truly am.
Once again thank you for the support, and everything I do from here forward is for all those who have supported me since day one and all the new folks who show up everyday.
Always Moving Forward,
Really don't get why something that should be common sense got so much attention. Likely has to do with privilege and me being "woke bae" but we really need to step our shit up fellas.
Always Moving Forward.
Checkout the brand new visual to my single Fantasies! Comment below and let us know what you think!
Happy New Year!
We're back for 2016 and shaping up to be better than ever. I'm so excited for this new year as we've got Civil's #WCW shaping up in a big way, brand new merchandise, & of course some great music as I'm gearing up to drop my debut album B26.
With that said, checkout the latest visual I dropped for the first track off of b26 entitled "Buggin' Out". This track and video pays homage to Do The Right Thing and Buggin' Out, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Ghostface's Mighty Healthy, and has a slew of other nods. You know I always have to rep for BK in everything I do and this embodies it right here. Check out Buggin' Out, Written, Produced & Directed by Civil JustUs and filmed by Yung Grandfather.
Always Moving Forward,
Its been over a year since I've dropped a project but I wanted to make sure the timing was right. No better way to celebrate the cypher than to put out this project showcasing my growth. The Uncle Billy Tape part 2, is dedicated to my Uncle Billy who is the inspiration behind this work. This mixtape is composed exclusively of soul samples and produced by me. Hope you take from this journey between my uncle and I. This is only the beginning.
You can listen to it and download it for free below. The Mixtape is also available here on Datpiff.com
For context here's my Uncle Billy breaking some things down for ya.
-Always Moving Forward.
At CivilJustus.com we are pleased to announce our latest addition to the site, Civil's #WCW. Civil's #WCW will feature amazing WOC (women of color) doing their thing in music, fashion, visual arts, performing arts, activism, organizing and just overall empowering and ill things.
Our first such feature is Danielle Camp. I came across her Instagram page (Dani_Dope_Tho ) and immediately felt impacted, not only by her art, but the manner by which she presents her work. As you'll see evidenced in her art, its no doubt that she has the talent but she also has the community and business mindset that will set her apart in this industry. This isn't surprising at all when you factor in that she also graduated Summa Cum Laude from Mississippi State University in 2013. Not only has Dani Camp been featured in a plethora of competitions and events in the states, Dani has also studied in Europe and had her work showcased in Italy. Her resume really speaks for herself.
Dani is out here hustling and making sure her work is seen, she recently launched her own business, DANI CAMP BLVD, which is starting to take her work into further heights. She was recently chosen by VitaminWater to be funded $50,000 to help get her work to new heights. If you would like to support her art, you can do so by “hydrating her hustle.” All you have to do is purchase vitaminwater with a black cap on it. Uncap your code and plug it in at www.projecthustle.com. Choose the Dani Camp Blvd project on the website as your choice to back and be rewarded with awesome prizes for yourself! Through funding Danielle hopes to reach the masses with her artwork.
Dani's art explores a wide spectrum of topics and she enjoys exploring humanity and different cultures through her painting. What inspires her and what she simultaneously enjoys most about her work is the ability to generate and communicate not just feelings, but senses and logic as well. Check out Dani and some of her work below.
Here's some new music by yours truly off of my upcoming mixtape The Uncle Billy Tape part 2
Happy 4th of July
Didn't sit well with some folks
Peace everybody, We're gearing up for the summer so I have a ton of new content coming for yall. This summer we're finally dropping The Uncle Billy Tape Part 2. Bluenote is the second video from that project. Peep the "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" nod in the video.
Thank you to everyone for your support! I was recently voted in as a semi-finalist to compete for a chance to perform at AFROPUNK in Brooklyn and now this Thursday June 25th at Beasts of Bourbon, I'm competing against 3 other bands for my chance to advance to the Finals on July 10th. I plan on putting on a great show and premiering tons of new music this next. You can get tickets here. This is one of the last times you're going to be able to say that you saw Civil live before he blew up. Come see the artist that Culturetrip.com listed as one of 10 (Afro)Latinos In NYC to watch.
Always Moving Forward.
Let me preface this by saying I'm no psychologist, psychiatrist or expert within the field. This post isn't going to have a bunch of statistics and numbers thrown at you. I'm just writing and speaking from the heart and my experiences, but it is clear that depression is a big issue in our community. Many of us have been programmed in ways in which we have no idea how to deal with such a thing. Many of us who have been or are depressed don't even want to acknowledge it as such and thats because there are so many stigmas within our community in regards to depression. This line of thinking is hurting us.
As men we are taught to "man up" and hold our feelings inside as to not seem vulnerable. No one wants to seem vulnerable when in our communities we have to be continuously on guard and always defending ourselves. You don't want to seem weak because you don't want to be a target. Also you don't want to seem weak because patriarchy tells you that you have to be "the Man" of the house. This often leads to destructive and unhealthy behaviors as you are conditioned to bottle all of your emotions in. Such has been the case with me.
Women often are tasked with raising our families on their own, so they often don't want to risk breaking down because feel like they are holding our family's up. Again comes the bottling up.
Also at times when you do open up, people will try to tell you that you aren't unique and that "we all go through it". This to me is another unhealthy way of going about things. If we are all going through it, then we should be more constructive when it comes to discussing this issue. Too often we write people off as "complainers" or "whiners" when they are talking about what they are going through, and it only makes people want to bottle it in further.
There is also this stigma against seeking help. We don't want people to think we're "crazy". We also go really hard to convince ourselves that our issues aren't that bad and we can fight it. We are a very strong and resilient people, but sometimes we do need help whether it is professional help or reaching out to loved ones. We can't continue being afraid of being vulnerable, especially with regards to each other because there's a lot more of us going through these things than people are letting on.
I just wanted to get this off my chest because I've seen the impact that bottling all this stuff in can have on you, and if you think about it you probably have too. Often our depression manifests in alcoholism, drug abuse and other unhealthy ways because we don't know what else to do. Instead of opening up about my problems I damaged relationships with those I deeply cared about because I was so scared of being weak and being open. Its unfair in our community that we always have to be strong and it shouldn't be that way. Your pain should not be trivialized. If you need to talk about it, talk about it. If you need to write, then do that. And if you need to get help, please seek help. I'm speaking to the brothers and sisters out there who because of our culture are scared to vocalize what they are going through. I've been there, I'm there now. I love my culture and people but we need to grow in the empathy department, especially in regards to men. We raise our sons to never shed a tear and often that pain comes out in different ways.
Depression is an illness and has nothing to do with you as a person. With all these stigmas we are silencing a huge portion of our community and we need to look out for each other a little bit more if we're all going to grow.
So if you're currently going through it get the help and/or resolve that you need and fuck the stigmas (for lack of a better word). If you need to cry, If you need to talk about it, if you need to get help, if you need to call someone, its ok.
We need to be more supportive of those going through depression. Instead of telling them what they need to do to get better how about we listen?
Sorry if this reads all over the place, I just felt compelled to write this.
Always Moving Forward
Civil is back!
The Uncle Billy Tape: Part 2 coming soon. Triangle Trade is the first video off of that.
Shoutout to Roszella Turner for her great acting in the video.
Always Moving Forward
The fact that #ALLLIVESMATTER has gained traction as an alternative to #BlackLivesMatter shows just how much Black lives really don't matter to a lot of people. They (specifically white people under the guise as ("allies") feel bothered that Black people are speaking out and organizing against the system that has been designed to oppress them. ALL LIVES aren't the target of consistent police brutality and corruption. Yes the victims of police brutality spend across many ethnicities and colors. But It is Us who go through this shit EVERYDAY. Everyday we have to worry if we are going to be the next Eric Garner or Anthony Baez, or Aiyana Jones or Rekia Boyd. Instead of listening and supporting as allies people let their egos derail other's experience just so they can say they were "down with the movement". If you need further evidence of this just check out some of the responses to this tweet. Fuck that. Black Lives are going to matter one way or the other, and we are showing that everyday fighting whether online or the streets. Wherever your voice can be heard.
Also don't hesitate on checking people, thats how we grow. If you see people partaking in problematic behavior, or those refusing to check their privilege call them on it. Our comrades will be willing to do introspection and want to know why what they are doing is problematic. Those who refuse to are not your allies or comrades.
Always Moving Forward. Siempre Palante!
All Power to OUR People
(Photos taken and lookout by @YungGrandfather
Loved this track off Jeezy's latest album so I felt compelled to do my thing on it. Let me know what you think.