HNHH breaks down 10 of the best references to "The Wire" in hip-hop - not the "Top 10," necessarily - simply 10 of the best.
We both hope and assume y'all have seen or are at least familiar with HBO's "The Wire" at this point - if not, it's due time you did your homework. Created by former police reporter David Simon, the critically lauded television series is arguably one of the most definitive works of our generation, having struck chords far stronger than most of the shows that aired during its run from 2002 to 2008, within the hip-hop community especially.
For those unfamiliar, the series is set in Baltimore, Maryland (AKA Body-More, Murdaland), and each of the five seasons focuses on a different aspect of the city, from the illegal drug trade and investigative police operations to the workings of the seaport, the various levels of government and the public school system, maintaining a gritty realism throughout.Â Method ManÂ actually appeared in the show regularly, playing the role of secondary character Cheese, the nephew of drug bossÂ Joseph "Proposition Joe" Stewart.Â Emerging R&B artist Mack Wilds, AKA Tristan Wilds, got his start in the entertainment business portraying the young character Michael.Â The soundtrack is also rife with rap music, helping set much of the tone throughout. Â
The inspiration rappers have drawn from "The Wire"Â is undeniable. One glaring example is the member of Troy Ave's BSB crew who chose the uninspired but earnest moniker Avon Blocksdale, after the prominent character Avon Barksdale, a ruthless drug kingpin.Â From pioneers such as Eminem, Sean PriceÂ and Common to more contemporary acts such as Los, Kool A.D. and Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, emcees have been referencing the show since the first episode aired in early June 2002.Â
Read on for a breakdown of some of the best references toÂ "The Wire" since its debut, including but not limited to lyrics, song and album titles, dialogue samples and character comparisons. Keep in mind, they appear in no particular order, and forgive us for all those we've omitted. There are also spoilers throughout this list, for those unfortunate souls who've yet to watch it.Â
(Check out our previous superhero references list here, if you wish.)