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Wrestlers love hip-hop music and hip-hop artists love wrestling. Just days ago, Snoop Dogg, Kid Ink and legendary producer Rick Rubin all appeared on Monday Night Raw. And this weekend, LL Cool J will be part of the festivities for Wrestlemania 31 in San Francisco.

To celebrate the rap and wrestling connection, XXL spoke with WWE superstars Tyson Kidd, Big E. Langston, Kofi Kingston and R-Truth about their love of hip-hop, who they consider the best in the game and the rappers that they feel are ready to enter a WWE ring.

What song will be blasting in Tyson Kidd's Beats as he prepares to defend the WWE Tag Titles with his partner, Cesaro? What track will motivate R-Truth as he readies to fight for the Intercontinental Title in a huge ladder match? Will Lil Wayne's music help Kofi and The New Day score a win at Wrestlemania? Can 50 Cent successfully enter the squared circle? We answer all the questions. —Roger Krastz and Layne Weiss


Big E

On What Hip-Hop He's Listening To Right Now: 
Big E: I’m really into the ScHoolboy Q Oxymoron project. That’s an album for me that has had a lot of legs, something that I really enjoy. I’m listening to some Bronson. I’m listening to some Blu—Below The Heavens is still one of my favorite albums of all time. So yeah, a lot of stuff that came out a year or two ago.

Oh, I love [Lupe Fiasco's] Tetsuo & Youth. I thought it was the Lupe that people really enjoy from previous albums like The Cool and Food & Liquor. That was an album that felt like a return to Lupe rapping the way he wanted to. A lot of people heard about the issues with the label and them trying to force him to try to put out a record that they wanted and a lot of people believe that the quality suffered because of that, with some of the albums like Lasers. But to me, I love Lupe, and to me "Mural" is one those tracks where you just hear a cat like that rapping for eight straight minutes and it's complex stuff. That’s one of those records that I’ll go back and listen to, because obviously with eight minutes, no hooks, just rapping, obviously you miss stuff. So that was, for me, one of my favorite records at the present time.

On Which Rappers Could Transition To WWE:
Big E: I would definitely start with Action Bronson. Again, another dude who’s a big wrestling fan and he’s a stout dude, for one, so he’s got that. He’s got this charisma and a presence that I think, as far as style goes, I think he’s a natural fit. I’d also go with Ghostface. When I think of Ghost I think about that picture of him wearing a hockey mask, the eagle bracelet all decked out and to me that’s the perfect Wrestlemania entrance gear, coming out with something like that. And Ghost has great charisma, so I think that would work as well. And just as far as substance goes and being one of the best MC’s of our time, definitely Kendrick Lamar.

On The Best MC In The Game Right Now: 
Big E: Undeniably it’s Kendrick, especially with the release of the new album. I think one of the coolest things is, he’s become an MC that’s crossed over as far as commercial appeal is concerned, but to me he reminds me a bit of Nas as far as guys who have been able to get the ear of most casual listeners but also have a lot impact with his direction. And I'm not trying to demonize commercial hip-hip or party records, but with Kendrick you get a lot of political, thought-provoking records and Black Pride-feel records. I think it's pretty cool that he's able to drop messages in his music. —As told to Roger Krastz


Kofi Kingston

On Which Rappers Could Transition To WWE:
Kofi Kingston: Oh, man. There’s a lot of them out there, man. Game is pretty good at talking the trash. He’s real like subtle with it, ya know what I’m saying? I’d say either Game or Busta Rhymes. I like the way Game comes back in a very witty way, but also in a gritty and grimy way, too. Yeah, I’m gonna go with Game.

On What Hip-Hop He's Listening To Right Now: 
Kofi Kingston: I’m a real big Lil Wayne fan, to be honest. I just love the way he’s able to kind of reinvent himself. I love all his old stuff, Cash Money stuff, which I still bump to this day. And you know, a lot of people try to reinvent themselves and it kinda isn’t them, you know? And it doesn’t sound like them. And you don’t feel it. But for me, Wayne, I think he’s one of the best lyricists out there right now. Everything he does is good. It makes you think. It’s very witty, you know. And I just love his delivery, too.

And on top of that, he’s like this little guy with this big alter ego. You know what I’m saying? This little guy who’s not afraid, who won’t back down from any kind of fight. That’s the vibe that I get from him, ya know? So I identify with him a lot. If I had to pick like one guy, I could probably listen to Lil Wayne all day. —As told to Layne Weiss



On Which Rappers Could Transition To WWE:
R-Truth: I think 50 Cent can transition well into a wrestling ring because of his physique. LL Cool J would be great in the WWE and the Bawse, Ricky Rozay.

On What Hip-Hop He's Listening To Right Now: 
R-Truth: I love T.I., Meek Mill. I still listen to my Jay Z, Drake, Kendrick. Matter fact I’ve been trying to get up with J. Cole. I would really love to do something with him. B.o.B, Big Sean, and I can’t leave Lil Boosie out.

On Boosie's Impact After His Release From Prison:
R-Truth: Boosie never lost anything. He still has it. Matter fact, we was down South doing a show somewhere and Lil Boosie had just got out. He was doing a release party and I had wanted to go out there so bad, but we had a show at the same time. I would really love to work with him. —As told to Roger Krastz


Tyson Kidd

On What Hip-Hop He's Listening To Right Now: 
Tyson Kidd: There’s some J. Cole playing in these headphones. There’s some Jeezy playing in these headphones. Definitely 2pac. Some Eminem. Saigon. I listen to a lot of Nas. A lot of old stuff. A lot of varying stuff and they all get a chance to play me down to the ring in my headphones.

On His Favorite Rapper In The Game: 
Tyson Kidd: My favorite rapper right now is Jeezy. I loved his latest album. Even now, I can listen to it from track one to track 16 or whatever. And I don’t have to skip anything. I can listen all the way through. I did a show in Jacksonville, an NXT show, which is about three-and-a-half hours from my house, and I listened to the CD like three or four times on the drive home, on repeat.

On Which Rappers Could Transition To WWE:
Tyson Kidd: I think there was definitely a time where 50 Cent looked like he was out of the WWE mold. He’s pretty jacked. He jumps through the screen. He grabs your attention and then he talks a lot of trash. I don’t know if he’s still got the same size... But there was definitely a time where he was ready-made for WWE. —As told to Layne Weiss

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