10 Times Reporters Have Weaved Rap Lyrics Into a News Broadcast
Rappers have long considered themselves news correspondents of the streets, reporting on the local happenings of their block, borough or city via their song lyrics. Now, as hip-hop becomes further entrenched in the mainstream, we've seen rap start to bleed into the actual television news reporting.
Buttoned-up places like a live newsroom might be the last place you'd expect to hear someone drop a line from 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G. or Phife Dawg, but more and more these days we've been catching reporters weaving rap lines into their narration for one reason or another.
Atlanta's WSB-TV reporters Fred Blankenship and Mark Arum might be the best example of this phenomenon, as there are a number of instances of them tossing out lines from some of your favorite artists, while delivering stone-faced reporting.
MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent Ari Melber may be one of the most well-known talking heads to incorporate hip-hop into his commentary, having plugged lines from 50 Cent, Jay-Z, and most recently, Mobb Deep into his thought-provoking monologues.
"The first rule of hip-hop is probably keep it real," he tells XXL. "And that can mean a lot of different things, but that's certainly important in reporting and storytelling. I think you get more credit for being real and honest instead of trying to be cool or always be the smartest person in the room."
As hip-hop continues its dominance as the most consumed genre in the United States, we can only think this will happen more and more often. For now, XXL has compiled a list of times news anchors and reporters have spit these bars while on the clock.
Colorado meteorologist Justin Chambers is clearly a Snoop Dogg fan. One day in 2012, he kicked off his report by rapping The Doggfather's "Ain't Nothin' But a G Thang."
Adam Lefkoe, of 11 News in Louisville, Ky., showed off his rap retention with a five-minute sports wrap-up, where he plugged more than 40 rap references from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, The Fresh Prince, Ice Cube and more, back in 2013.
Cleveland reporter Robin Swoboda fittingly flipped Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" when showing off her new ice-sculptured news desk back in 2014.
Midland, Texas reporter Kim Powell went viral after she posted a video of herself warming up her vocal chords before a live broadcast by rapping Blackalicious’ “Alphabet Aerobics.”
Blankenship and Arum never fail to come through. Following the death of A Tribe Called Quest member Phife Dawg, the two paid homage during a broadcast with a tag-team of lines from The Five-Foot Assassin.
Ari Melber knows the power of the president. He also knows 50 Cent's 2000 project Power of the Dollar, using lines from the track, "I'm a Hustler" to convey the dangers of No. 45 on a broadcast last year.
On 'Pac's birthday in 2017, Fred Blankenship and Mark Arum of WSB-TV in Atlanta paid homage to the late rap icon by sliding in some Shakur lines from "I Get Around" and "Me and My Girlfriend" to reference the traffic.
Atlanta reporters—and unabashed hip-hop heads—Fred Blankenship and Mark Arum slipped in several lines and references to the late Prodigy the day after his passing during their traffic report.
MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent Ari Melber isn't shy about calling out President Trump when he deems fit. In March 2018, he blasted the Commander in Chief by using lines from the 1995 classic Mobb Deep track, "Shook Ones Part II."
ATL's hip-hop news team of Fred Blankenship and Mark Arum paid homage to Christopher Wallace in a big way, by garnishing the traffic report with Biggie's lines on the 20th anniversary of the rapper's death in 2017.