10 of the best Dragon Ball Z lyrics in Hip-Hop: from Dave to Frank Ocean
14 June 2021, 21:50
Dragon Ball Z has had undeniable on-screen influence, but how has this greatness transpired into the Hip-Hop world?
The hit anime 'Dragon Ball Z' aired in the U.S. in the late ‘90s on both Toonami and Cartoon Network and has become a cult classic. The love for the show has gone on to evolve beyond the screen and into the Hip-Hop world.
Here are some of the greatest Hip-Hop songs that have referenced the classic show.
AJ Tracey - Spirit Bomb
"Ladies and gentlemen It's time to test the spirit bomb" - The songs introduction features a sample from Season 1, Episode 21 -'Counting Down', where Goku is taught to use the most powerful attack - the 'spirit bomb'.
"Spirit Bomb (let's go)" - The hook then refers back to the attack.
'Spirit Bomb' is a move used by Goku, the main character in Dragon Ball Z, that allows him to borrow energy from anything from grass and trees, people and animals to inanimate objects and the atmosphere.
AJ Tracey is famous for anime references in his rap and whilst this is one of his most famous, this isn't Traceys only DBZ reference. The rapper also makes references in songs such as 'Final Flash' and 'Blacked out' and he even has a Majin Buu tattoo .
Dave - Bl@ckbox Cypher
"I used to go ham like Goku's son" - Dave refers to Goku's son's strength when saying he used to "go ham". The 23 year old rapper also uses a play on words, as Goku's son is named Gohan.
He told readers: "I've always liked Dragonball Z and Neruto... my older brother draws so he was always drawing Dragonball Z characters and so I got into it from there."
He elaborated on his love saying: "Characters can look however they want, there's no constraints with CGI or storylines. You can create anything, a whole world".
Nines - Can't Blame Me
"The crop's green with orange hair look like android 16" - Here Nines makes reference to Goku's enemy, Android 16. Nines compares cannabis to the character, who has a green costume and ginger hair.
Nines also uses a DBZ metaphor in his 2014 song "lick shots" where he references character Majin Buu's famous pink colour.
Giggs ft. JME - Man Don't Care
"Man's like Buu, I'm back with that Majin" - Here, Giggs refers to antagonist Majin Buu to explain he's better than other rappers by playing on the words 'Majin' and 'Margin'.
Giggs also has a DBZ reference in his own song 'Goin in' ft Dubz where he says: "make his head light up like a super sayain".
Denzel Curry - Ultimate
Denzel makes two DBZ references in this song:
"Let him get the Senzu bean so he regenerate" - Here, the rapper is referring to a special bean the show's characters eat when injured in order to regain health.
"These n*ggas ain't homies. Claim you the homie, I turn into Broly" - Here, Denzel makes a threat that if his friends are really with him, he will turn into DBZ warrior Broly. This lyric could also reference the fact that In the movie 'Dragon Ball Z: Broly — The Legendary Super Saiyan', Broly attacks a group of visitors who thought they were his friends.
Chance the Rapper - Blessings
"Dying laughing with Krillin saying something bout blonde hair" - Chance raps about a metaphorical conversation with Krillin, one of DBZ's main characters.
In the show Goku achieves a new level of power called Super Saiyan after he witnesses Krillin’s death. The transformation into a 'Super Saiyan' also saw the characters hair turn from black to blonde.
The reference to blonde hair could also refer to Krillin's wife, Android 18 - who also has blonde hair.
The use of the word "saying" could also be a play on words with 'Saiyan'.
Frank Ocean ft. Andre 3000 - Pink Matter
"Cotton candy, Majin Buu" - Here, Frank compares cotton candy's colour to pink charater Majin Buu.
This is a clever comparison as one of Majin Buu's most well known powers involved turning characters into candy/sweets and eating them to gain strength.
Jay Rock ft.Kendrick Lamar - Hood Gone Love It
"Whip like a fire ball; call it Goku" - Here Jay Rock refers to Goku's ability to create fireballs to use as a weapon, amongst his many other powers, such as super strength.
Big Sean - Paradise
"I hit the booth and I just went Super Saiyan" - Big Sean is saying that when he is in the studio he can do unbelievable things by referring to the ability of Super Saiyans to harness power and do things that are beyond limits.
Joey Bada$$- Catharsis
Super Saiyan whenever the loops be playing - The comparison of rappers to Super Saiyans in Hip Hop is common, as all rappers consider themselves to be the best in the game, with Super Saiyan ability.
Joey also makes a DBZ reference in his song 'Christ Conscious' where he says "Got dragon balls like my name was Vegeta".
The show has not only inspired lyrics, artists such as J. Cole and Young Jezzy have sampled music from the Dragon Ball series in tracks.
The impact the Japanese show has had on HipHop is undeniable.