Rappers have never shied away from pop culture references, and few series have been has pervasive in recent memory as the Harry Potter franchise. So maybe that’s why, as seen in this new video from Genius, every damn rapper has talked about the boy who lived. It’s not just Harry getting the shoutouts either: Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Dumbledore, and even Dobby the house elf have gotten name checked in various hip-hop songs over the years.
The sheer number of these references undoubtedly has something to do with the age of the current crop of popular rappers. Vic Mensa, Tyler The Creator, Vince Staples, and Chance The Rapper are all in their mid-20s, meaning they grew up in a world where the Harry Potter books were required YA reading and a new installment of the film franchise hit theaters every couple years. Whether you’re a diehard fan of the series or not, those cultural references are bound to creep their way into your lexicon.
It also helps that the classic good-versus-evil dichotomy of the books is perfect fodder for rap music. Whether you’re positioning yourself as the battle-scarred hero or the big bad He-Who-Shall-Not—Be-Named, referencing Harry Potter is quick way to add some magical drama to your next verse.
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