They’re Not All Hardcore: Rappers Whose Reality Shows Revealed Their Soft Sides
Rappers might be all “bang, bang shoot ’em up, I only got love for the skrippers” in their lyrics, but one good thing that has come out of reality TV is seeing that these entertainers aren’t really about that life. Over the past few years, we’ve seen some of the most hardcore lyricists, not to mention criminals, go from dudes you’d be scared to cross in a parking lot to being soft as teddy bears when it comes to their ladies and their kids. Here are a few of those characters whose soft sides shine through brightly on their reality shows.
“I am a nightmare walking, psychopath talking/king of my jungle, just a gangsta stalking,” one of the most vicious lines ever spit by the man deemed the originator of gangsta rap, but on “Ice Loves Coco,” it’s evident that Mr. Eff the Police isn’t all that heartless. Apparently Coco is sweet enough to tame the beast in the west coast vet, and it’s pretty obvious that his son Tracy and Spartacus, the family bulldog, don’t do too bad of a job either.
For anyone’s who’s familiar with DMX, they know that he’s rowdy, wild and aggressive—probably one of the hardest rappers to ever record a track. But on his 2006 reality show,” Soul of a Man,” we caught glimpses of his softer side as we watched him interact with his kids and childhood sweetheart/ex-wife Tashera. Touching. Who would have thought, the rapper who calls himself Darkman X has a little light in him.
Respected as one of hip hop’s most influential pioneers, the Rev gave us our first dose of what life’s like as a Simmons when he premiered his family based series in 2005. The reality equivalent of “The Cosby Show,” “Run’s House” was funny, inspirational and gave us a positive representation of a married black man raising a strong family. For six seasons, we were able to see just how sweet family life is for Run DMC’s frontman. Plus, who knew that Angela would blossom into a well-respected fashion diva and little Diggy a gorgeous lady-killing rap star? With a family like the one he’s got, clearly Run is good at more than just rapping.
He may be a convicted felon with a rough past and hardcore Southern “trap muzik,” but it’s obvious that T.I. is also big on family. Raising a six-deep army (my favorite is Major—he’s so cute, and funny), TIP gives us a taste of the man behind the music on his hit reality show “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle.”
Years after winning multiple awards and earning platinum plagues for his hardcore raps, Coolio let us see a different part of his life on his 2008 show “Coolio’s Rules.” Balancing his career, love life and raising four teenaged kids, the rapper famous for living in a “Gangsta’s Paradise” was seen as a man focused on bonding with his family.
From his countless reality projects, not only did we see Diddy as a stern businessman and firm boss, but as a devoted father who does everything in his power to look out for his fam. He shelled out big cake for his sons’ Justin and Quincy on their installments of MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16,” and shared a few laughs and QT with his kids and ex-girlfriend Kim Porter on a special episode of “Making the Band 4.”
While he didn’t have his own show per se, a little of Weezy’s inner family man shined through on an episode of BET’s hit show “Tiny & Toya.” During his daughter Reginae’s 12th B-Day party, we caught snippets of Lil Tunechi laughing and singing with his little princess on her special day. She even pinpointed spending time with her dad as her favorite part of the night. Sweet right? I guess we can say that Wayne cares about more than just strip clubs, fast cars and loose women.
If you follow underground rap, then you know Dipset’s frontman is no stranger to street lyrics and the in-the-streets mentality. But he let the world see the most personal parts of his life when he showcased interactions between him and his long-time boo-boo Chrissy as well as his off-the-wall mother Mama Jones. Thanks to “Love & Hip Hop” and “Chrissy and Mr. Jones,” we saw the Harlem lyricist romance his lady, quell his ego and even witnessed him shed a few tears. From the looks of things, it’s clear that the street savvy Diplomat ain’t all bad.
He may be known for booty-bouncing music and explicit lyrics, but the raunchiest man in hip hop is also a husband and a father. That all became clear on his 2008 reality show “Luke’s Parental Advisory.” It shocked me too, but 2 Live Crew’s lewd hype man is actually attracted to smart women who do more than take their clothes off for a few bands. Yeah, that’s right, Mr. Nasty has a normal life outside of p-poppin’ strippers and music videos. Seems hard to believe, but it’s true.
We saw different dimensions of a few industry musicians on “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” and Lil Scrappy was definitely one of them. The ATLien connected with his mother, Momma Dee, and unveiled his emotional side with his then girlfriend and now fiancé Erica. He showed us that his fam is important to him and he’s definitely not afraid to bus a few heads to make that clear. Just ask Stevie J.
His new reality hit “Marrying the Game” shows us that there’s more to the Compton rapper than bullet wounds, gang life and gritty lyrics. From romancing his soon-to-be wife, Tiffney, to joking and acting silly with his two children, this new show exposes all the drama, love and intimacy that comes with The Game’s family life. And boy, let me tell you, he uncovers a side that most people would have never expected from the hardcore gangsta rapper.