Rappers love anime. What was once a niche interest became a full-blown phenomenon as celebrities of all degrees have vocalized their love for the specific type of Japanese animation. Artists like Megan Thee Stallion have gone full cosplay, while Rob Bank$, for example, frequently name-drops his favorite animes on his records. Below, we’ve gathered a list of a few rappers who proudly showcase their love of anime.
Megan Thee Stallion
Megan Thee Stallion is one of the most popular rappers who like anime. She’s revealed her passion for the art form throughout her career, like dressing up as a Sailor Moon outfit for a Japan concert. However, her appreciation for Shoto Todokori has undoubtedly turned heads, specifically those who doubted whether her love for anime was merely an act. Her 2019 Paper Magazine cover included Shoto Todoroki cosplay as a tribute to My Hero Academia. In 2022, she cosplayed another character from the series, Mirko. Additionally, Megan’s taken inspiration from animes like Jojo’s Bizarre and Demon Slayer for stunning nail art. She has mentioned anime in most of her interviews and happily talks about why she enjoys it and how it inspires her.
Xavier Wulf is a rapper who captures his love for anime through his music and aesthetic. Songs like “Psycho Pass” directly reference the cyberpunk anime of the same name. Additionally, the rapper uses popular animes to form his various monikers (i.e. “Eren Wulf Yaeger”) within his bars. Project X is directly by the anime Initial D. But the influence extends to the soundbites from the show that are scattered across the project. Aesthetically, Xavier’s use of the Katana appears frequently in his music videos and social media posts. On top of it all, the rapper refers to his fanbase as “The Hollow Squad” — a direct reference to Bleach.
Denzel Curry never shied away from his love for anime, expressing it frequently across his catalog. On “ULTIMATE,” he raps, “Claim you the homie / I turn into Broly” — namedropping the popular character from the Dragon Ball Z/Super anime. Similar to Xavier Wulf, Curry also made his love for Bleach known on “Vigorous,” rapping, “Ichigo bullets cause you know the tips be hollow.” Beyond that, he’s also referenced shows like Naruto. The deeper you get into The more Denzel’s discography, the more anime references you will find. He cited the anime Cowboy Bebop as inspiration for his album Melt My Eyez See Your Future, while the deluxe cover art pulls inspiration from the anime.
RZA is a trailblazer in hip-hop culture, who has also carved out a space in anime. The de facto leader of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan scored the soundtrack for Afro Samurai. However, it’s his love for Dragonball Z that speaks volumes to how deep-rooted his connection to anime truly is. “Dragon Ball Z represents the journey of the black man in America,” he wrote in The Tao Of Wu. The lead character, Goku, was sent away from his home and has to adapt to a new environment as outside forces constantly try to stop his advancement. “Then one day, he gets stressed out beyond his limits and Hulks out into his alter ego, Super Saiyan – a n***a with dreadlocks,” RZA concluded. Naturally, this drew a lot of attention. RZA also voiced a character in the anime movie MFKZ.
Lil Uzi Vert
Lil Uzi Vert integrates his love for anime throughout his music and general aesthetic. Although his fashion sense has always been quite flamboyant, his love of anime only adds to his exuberant image. Uzi customized several of his luxury cars to include designs of popular anime characters. For example, his Bugatti boasts designs inspired by Spike Spiegel of Cowboy Bebop. On top of that, Uzi shared his love of anime through his music with the song titled “Sasuke” which is a character from the anime Naruto. The cover art for his hit “Futsal Shuffle 2020” featured him and some girls drawn in an anime style. However, Uzi previously admitted that One Piece serves as his favorite anime show.