Some critics have pegged the Jay-Z and Kanye West collaboration, “Watch The Throne”, as one of the exciting and innovative alliances in recent music history. However, we feel like we’ve seen their bold, brazen attitude embodied elsewhere.
The fashion, fearlessness, and controversy seem all too familiar. Just like most men out there, at one point we all had a phase of being die-hard fans of professional wrestling. Back in the late 1990’s, the bad boy group of the WWF was known as D-Generation X.
The group was comprised of two primary members known as Triple H and Shawn Michaels. Both embodied characteristics that we all loved as developing young men. They were the bad boys of wrestling. They caused trouble, humiliated people, entertained us, and allowed the audience to connect with them on previously untouched levels.
They had an atypical attitude which we had never experienced before. The duo was fearless, controversial and explosive when together. They were able to capture the audience’s attention–making us fall in love with the bad guys and shun the heroes. They were the dream team of our time, and, for that, we can always be thankful.
They made the phrase,”Suck It” a household term. Our parents squirmed as they heard these words emitted from our young mouths. Each week, millions bore witness to their antics. They used military tanks to intimidate competition, attacked other networks, and sprayed the infamous DX graffitti on arenas across the country.
They attacked almost everyone who was a part of wrestling. They were the bad boys of our generation.
In this day and age, we have a new super-duo. Hip Hop artists Kanye West and Jay-Z have taken The Throne and ordered us all to bear witness to the magnificence. In many respects, the two have an air of superiority and excellence we have grown to love and have striven to emulate. They exhibit the same bold and brazen mentality through their music, personal lives, and achievements. The two are fearless, controversial, and explosive when together–striking us as reminiscent of the bad boys of generations past.
They have fun while entertaining the masses and spark trends like no other. Each artist is a legend in his own respect. But, like Shawn Michaels and Triple H, when combined, they provide an unmatched level of emotion and ferocity.
Watch the Throne’s tour has been extremely successful–already breaking records. These two hip hop titans have forged illustrious music careers and gained the sort of cult following that we haven’t seen since our childhood obsessions with DX.
Both of these duos embody the same qualities and have an affinity for rule breaking for their own enjoyment.
Each duo is comprised of an older veteran and a younger superstar on the rise. Shawn Michaels and Jay Z are and were both veterans in their respective industries, and they both took on a younger partner to team up with; Shawn choosing Triple H, and Jay-Z choosing Kanye West. The similarities between both duos reach as far as fashion: Shawn Michaels used to wear a kilt just as Kanye has been seen wearing a leather skirt during the Watch The Throne tour.
Both duos have used hand signals to engage their fans and interact with them. DX used the infamous “Suck It” hand signals for the household known crotch chop. This hand signal was a pop culture phenomenon everyone who wanted to be cool was doing it. Similarly, Kanye and Jay-Z used the “Diamond” symbol and encouraged fans to do the same.
The bottom line is, the appeal of bad boys to mainstream society is here to stay. Whether in professional wrestling, music, or sports: there is a certain appeal which everyone can connect to. Call it anti-establishment, call it unconventional, call it innovation; whatever it is, we are drawn in by it.
And if you’re not down with that, we’ve got two words for you…
Photo Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images