Cartoons have long made their presence felt in hip-hop - from aerosol art masterpieces to countless references in lyrics (Scooby Doo, y'all!). Another manifestation of this influence: animated rap videos. Often jam packed with violence and lewd behavior, these bugged-out visions will never be confused with Disney productions (fall back, Lil' Mermaid).
But that's, of course, part of their beauty and charm; the ability for these clips to get away with a bit more than the average live action affair. Other times it just makes sense to shoot an animated joint - like when an artist is unavailable for whatever reason. (Not that rappers are unreliable - nope, no chance of that.)
Compiled here in chronological order are 20 cartoon rap vids — some of them funny, some controversial, all with their own unique style — from a 20-year span. 'Toon in.
1. Beastie Boys - "Shadrach" (1989).
Beasties van Gogh crazy with this innovative concert clip.
2. KRS-One (as Big Joe Krash) - "Break The Chain" (1994).
Cross 'em out and put a "K": Kris Parker and illustrator Kyle Baker also released a comic book/cassette single to go along with this cool clip.
3. Jeru The Damaja - "Can't Stop The Prophet" (1994).
A dope Daniel Hastings - Christian Cortes collab full of memorable foes like the fat man, Ignorance.
4. Slick Rick - "Behind Bars" (1994).
The great Rick the Ruler was locked up so Def Jam went with this drawn-out tale of incarcerated scarfaces.
5. Ghostface Killah feat. Raekwon, Cappadonna & The Force M.D.s - "Daytona 500" (1996).
Car jacking classic '60s episodes of Speed Racer was the way to go for this ever popular GFK clip.
6. 2Pac - "Do For Love" (1997).
Posthumous release features various visual artists' take on Pac.
7. Thirstin Howl III - "I Still Live With My Moms" (2000).
Funny as shit cartoon goodness from friend of ego trip, Todd James, a/k/a REAS. Dolemite vocals only push this Thirstin joint to the next level.
8. Masters of Illusion - "We All Over" (2000).
Kool Keith, Motion Man and Kutmasta Kurt are throwin' bombs at you. Boris and Natasha would be impressed.
9. DJ Q-Bert - "Sneak Attack" (2001).
From the awesome animated film Wave Twisters . Innovation courtesy of an Invisibl Skratch Pikl.
10. Gorillaz feat. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien "Clint Eastwood" (2001).
Huge international hit full of zombie apes actin' nuthin' nice. (Followed by another Deltron cameo. )
11. Madvillain - "All Caps" (2004).
Scientific mutations and heart-felt homages to comic book memories. An indie rap classic.
12. Eminem - "Mosh" (2004)
A courageous call for the people to am-Bush crooked politicians.
13. Quasimoto - "Bullyshit" (2005)
A technicolor visit to another dimension where real graf rules supreme.
14. Eminem feat. Nate Dogg - "Shake That" (2005)
Marshall and Nate go to the titty bar but all they see is ass, ass, and mo' ass.
15. Snoop Dogg feat. The Game - "Gangbangin' 101" (2006)
We're all in the same cartoon gang.
16. Kanye West - "Good Morning" (2007).
Dropout Bear stressed the eff out to get that degree. Poor Dropout Bear.
17. Kanye West - "Heartless" (2008).
Electro Heavy Metal for the Me Generation.
18. Alchemist feat. Jadakiss, Snoop Dogg & Pusha T - "Lose Your Life" (2009).
Zombie cannibalism gangsta style. All that's missing is Vincent Price's voice.
19. Gucci Mane - "Stoopid" (2009).
Enjoy Gucci's mini cartoon flick while you can 'cause greedy and desperate record companies are out to block your enjoyment.
20. Raekwon feat. Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah & Method Man - "House of Flying Daggers" (2009).
Epic Kung-Fu battles is the killah beez steez.