Last night HBO premiered its documentary Andre the Giant, a unique humanizing look at the life of one of the most mythologized figures in 20th century pop culture. In addition to be a touching series of stories about the real Andre Roussimouf’s life, the film followed his career in the ring and on the screen, as well as the impact he’s made in life that continues well beyond his death.
Passing away in 1993, a major part of Andre’s legacy was how being a real life giant made him an attraction in the pre-Smartphone pre-YouTube world that one had to pay in order to witness. As a result, the legends that have circulated surrounding his endeavors and incidents have weaved their way into the lexicon and memories of people who were born long after the Giant expired.
Naturally, such stories have found their way into hip-hop.
Perhaps the most overt tribute comes in the form of rapper A.G. of legendary New York supergroup D.I.T.C. Naming himself after the wrestler, but using just his initials to avoid all confusion, it matched his presence both on his albums with partner Showbiz as well as the D.I.T.C. records alongside Fat Joe, Big L and others.
The affinity New York rappers have for Andre makes sense as the Giant rose to his greatest fame during his time with Vince McMahon‘s WWF, the east coast based wrestling promotion affectionately referred to as “New York” in the 70s/80s wrestling industry. From mainstream artists like The Lox/Bad Boy/Ryff Ryders’ Styles P to underground stalwarts like The High & Mighty, Andre’s unique stature and charisma made him *the* cultural touchstone for “Giant.”
Of course, our favorite is probably the recent Prof video named “Andre the Giant” that features Go 95.3‘s own Mr. Peter Parker. 25 years following the big man’s passing, he’s still soundtracking parties all the way here in Minnesota. We haven’t checked to see if the track syncs up in any significant way with Andre’s scenes from The Princess Bride, but we wouldn’t entirely rule it out.