R.I.P. to the G.O.A.T.: Hip-Hop Reacts to the Passing of Muhammad Ali

153183, Sweaty US heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali after his training in Munich on 23 May 1976. Ali wants to defend his world championship title against Richard Dunne.Photograph: © Photoshot, PacificCoastNews. Los Angeles Office: +1 310.822.0419 UK Office: +44 (0) 20 7421 6000 sales@pacificcoastnews.com FEE MUST BE AGREED PRIOR TO USAGE

R.I.P. to the G.O.A.T.: Hip-Hop Reacts to the Passing of Muhammad Ali

Fat Joe, DJ Quik and more comment on Muhammad Ali's death.

Published June 6, 2016

To describe Muhammad Ali’s greatness as “once in a generation” would be an understatement. The former heavyweight champion of the world was as much of a trailblazer in the ring with his flamboyant yet effective style as he was for his battles against religious persecution.

Additionally, Ali was hip-hop before hip-hop even existed. His cunning verbal jabs were like the precursor to battle rap techniques and his bravado and machismo set a standard that hip-hop continues to adhere to when anointing its deities.

BET.com was behind the scenes at Power 106’s annual Powerhouse concert on June 3 in Los Angeles when the news broke that the G.O.A.T. passed away. Here, we offer exclusive reactions from some of the MCs that Muhammad Ali influenced.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 03:  Joey Badass performs on day 1 of the New Look Wireless Festival at Finsbury Park on July 3, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

(Photo: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

Joey Bada$$:
“Anybody who knows me, knows that Muhammad Ali is one of my greatest influences. I love his mindset, ‘The greatest.’ That’s the mindset we all gotta have. Come into the room and shine and don’t let anybody’s insecurities dull your brightness at all. He actually said ‘The more real you get, the more unreal it’s gonna get.’”

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07:  Rapper K Camp performs at Music Choice's "You & A" at Music Choice on May 7, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

(Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

K Camp:
“Everybody wanna be the greatest. 'Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,' that’s the ultimate quote if you wanna be great.”

(Photo: Johnny Louis/WENN.com)

Fat Joe:
“His impact in American culture was, man I can’t even explain it to you. It’s just like what he stood for. He stood by his beliefs, he’s the greatest of all time. Charismatic, beautiful, taught people how to promote and market. At the same time, believed in his God, his religion, his people. It’s not enough beautiful things to say about Muhammad Ali.”

AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 19:  Yo Gotti takes the stage with The Roots at the Bud Light Factory during the Bud Light Music Showcase on March 19, 2016 in Austin, Texas. Bud Light - America's most popular and inclusive beer brand, and first time sponsor of South By Southwest® - transformed Austins Brazos Hall into the Bud Light Factory, bringing exclusive performances to SXSW attendees from March 16-19.  (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Bud Light)

(Photo: Rick Kern/Getty Images for Bud Light)

Yo Gotti:
“Muhammad’s impact on the culture in general, he represents just strong individuals. An individual that stood on what he believed and still stood on what he believed in. He’s just one of the great people of our time.”

IRVINE, CA - JULY 18:  Producer/rapper DJ Quik performs onstage at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre on July 18, 2015 in Irvine, California.  (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

(Photo: Photoshot, PacificCoastNews)

DJ Quik:
“I’m trying not to cry in front of y’all. Muhammad Ali was the first rapper easily. Smooth rhymer, I wouldn’t say rap, he was quick with his rhymes so that lets you know what his thinking process was. How could you beat this man fighting when you can’t even beat him talking? You can’t beat him thinking? He was smooth on his feet too. He was dancing in the ring. We waited to see him dance and he knew it. Such a great marketing guy now that you look back cause he timed when it was time to do the shuffle. He timed it perfectly and nailed it.”

Written by Jake Rohn


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