With the recent release of Netflix’s Voltron reboot from the same stable that bred champion animations like The Legend of Korra, I suddenly realised that I’d never actually seen it. This confused me slightly as for some reason I felt like I’d known Voltron for many a year, shared jokes with him, watched him form and un-form countless times, had our first pint together.
Then it dawned on me, all my experience of the lion-appendaged defender had been supplanted in my mind through hip-hop. Hip-hop loves anime, just look at Noveliss and you’ll see what I mean. With that in mind, I set out to find all those references that over the years had so convinced me of a love affair with Voltron that never actually happened.
#1. Warren G – This DJ
Verse two, (uh-huh), now what the fuck I do?
Catch the bus to Cal State, or chill with the Voltron crew
#2. Busta Rhymes – Everything Remains Raw
Word to the holy Qu’ran, I rock on and on
On and on, hey, on and on and on
You won’t understand when I form Voltron
#3. Eminem – I Just Don’t Give A Fuck
This is lyrical combat, gentlemen; hold your pistols
But I form like Voltron and blast you with my shoulder missiles
#4. Nelly – Shake Ya Tailfeather
Come on you know the tics connect like Voltron
Collect so much grass popo thinking we mow lawns
#5. Chance The Rapper – Cocoa Butter Kisses
And when it come to rapping fast, I’m the Higgs Boson
And though my style freakish
I could still break your body down to five pieces like I did Voltron
#6. Talib Kweli – Great Day In The Mourning
Hold on Roc Raida ’bout to go on
Perfect timing, combine it like Voltron
#7. Killarmy – Red Dawn
Pass on, transform, arm leg leg arm
Supreme head, infra-red, we form like Voltron
#8. Wu-Tang Clan – Shame On A Nigga
So, when you see me on the real, forming like Voltron
Remember I got deep like a Navy Seal
#9. Jedi Mind Tricks – The Immaculate Conception
The decaton, the higher arc modron
Encompass my soul in a beam like proton
I am Voltron
#10. Slaughterhouse – Sound Off
We a outfit, equivalent to Voltron’s
That boy Crooked I’s equivalent to four arms
#11. Edan – Funky Voltron
E: And if the live show is strong… [YEEEESSSS?]
I: Shit, we form like Voltron (E: Let’s get it on)
Obey Your Thirst
With these reference laden tracks left, right and centre, it was little surprise to find a Hip-hop X Voltron X Sprite advert (they connected A LOT with hip-hop icons in the 80s and 90s, just look at this NaS & AZ advert) featuring the likes of Common, Fat Joe, Mack 10, Goodie Mob and the recently much maligned Afrika Bambaataa.
Safe in the knowledge that the cartoon had been subliminally introduced to me via the medium of hip-hop, I now feel the need to gorge on the recently released Netflix series to see if the hype is justified. See you on the other side.