Hip-hop has been obsessed with Italian culture since way back when…I mean fughetaboutit, we’ll never be able to pinpoint the exact moment. But what we can do is pay homage to rap’s long and fruitful relationship with all things from the boot. So without further ado XXLMag.com presents the Rap Paisan Awards…Dig in, or more appropriately, mange, mange!
Best Rap Gotti
Hip-hop has its share of John Gotti rap aliases, from Memphis trapstar Yo Gotti to Murder Inc CEO Irv Gotti, but none showed his true love for the Don like “Fiesta” guest MC Gotti. The former Cash Money affiliate spent a whole episode with the deceased Godfather’s daughter Victoria and her three sons in an episode of their now-defunct A&E series, Growing Up Gotti. As you can imagine, comedy ensued [Watch here].
MC Whose Raps Most Resemble Ziti?
Ghostface Killah. The other Wu-Gambinos don’t got noodles like Pretty Toney (II).
Best Italian R. Kelly Knock Off
Eamon. What can we say this Ecko-ed down crooner loves them hoes. Somebody get this dude a show on VH1.
Best Rappin’ Wiseguy
Joe Pesci. “You think this is funny? Funny how?”
Saigon’s Best “Manager”
While his career was first handled by the yet another “Gotti” (known for his stint at The Source), it took a Turtle named Jerry Ferrara to get this New York rapper out of his shell and onto HBO’s Entourage.
Most Ultra-Travolta-Dressed MC
Long before he was interrupting Taylor Swift onstage, Kanye West was showing off his taco meat at the ’05 Grammy Awards. He even emailed us his acceptance speech, sounds a lil defensive. “How I’m supposed to stand out/When everybody gets dressed up/So yeah at the Grammy’s I went ultra Travolta/Yeah, that tuxedo mighta been a little guido/But with my ego/I can stand there in a Speedo/And be looked at like a fuckin’ hero.”
Best Rap Appearance on The Sopranos
Sure, Lord Jamar made a cameo but it was Treach who stole the show. After getting shot in the ass by Bobby Bacala to bump up his street-cred, the Naughty By Nature frontman screamed like a girl. Big Pussy!
Best Rap Rip-Off of Saturday Night Fever
Ye might be ultra-Travolta, but Wyclef is just tryina stay alive. Get the CD from iTunes, hee hee.
Best Rocky-Inspired Music Video
In Boot Camp Clik’s “Heads Are Reddee Part 2” video the whole crew gets in on the Rocky theme. But it’s Sean P, who truly channels Sly Stone’s infamous character—running circles around one extra large ass pigeon—to shows off his inner-Italian Stallion (II).
Most Random Italian Actor in a Jay-Z Video
Vincent Gallo. We’re still scratching our heads.
Best Spokesperson for an Italian Clothing Company
Gucci Mane. You can’t pay for publicity than that.
Most Inmate Friendly “Bawse”
Tony Danza. Unlike Officer Ricky, the O.G. Boss, Tony D, was writing letters to Tupac during his stay behind bars. He was just letting Pac know, “there’s a brand new life, brand new life, brand new life around the bend.”
Just Blaze Song Most Likely to Cause a Guido Fist Pump
Exhibit G, F and P. Nuff Said.
Worst Reference to the Jersey Shore in a Rap Song
Coming in 3,2,1…—compiled by Jesse Gissen and Elan Mancini