Thoughts

Horcruxes and Hennessy (pt. 1): A rap recasting of the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise

From Dumbledore to Draco, assigning a hip-hop comparison to each of the series' most important characters

From Dumbledore to Draco, assigning a hip-hop comparison to 19 of the series’ most important characters

The parallels between the wizarding world and the rap world are as endless as the contents of Heroine enchanted handbag.

In both, individuals are judged solely by how well they use their voices to manipulate a singular, handheld device (wands for wizards, mics for emcees). Both are also highly competitive, with rivaling factions (different houses, different schools, different labels, different coasts) constantly competing to prove themselves as the dominant group.

For both, sports are a huge cultural touchstone—rappers like comparing themselves to pro athletes almost as much as Ron loves talking about Viktor Krum. Then there’s the references to specific alcoholic drinks, the prevalence of improvisational battles or duels and the importance of fashion branding (shoutout to Dobby’s incredibly exclusive sock collection).

And here’s the thing: rappers go nuts for Harry Potter. Hip-hop references to the franchise date back nearly as far the first film, and it doesn’t take an auror to track down a few dozen trap remixes of the series’ theme music.

But why should the rappers have all the fun? Shouldn’t witches and wizards get a chance to explore their hip-hop side as well?

With the latest Fantastic Beasts film hitting theaters this weekend, it seemed like the perfect time to do exactly that. So, with the help of my blog boy pen pal Jake Foote (a former Head Boy and a Ben Simmons-esque threat during a Quidditch fast break) I conjured up a rapper comparison for 18 of the series’ Most Important characters.

These analogies aren’t scientific (because, well, magic), but they are based a variety of factors including backstory, personality and overall ability. Part one of Horcruxes and Hennessy features nine characters, and the second edition—which you can read here—includes the other 10. Now, let’s head to the Great Hall, assemble the first years and get to sorting.

Ron Weasley – Flava Flav

Jake Foote: Flava Flav, like Ron Weasley, is the perfect supportive sidekick. He’s most famous for helping Chuck D along his own hip hop bildungsroman, but I’d also argue that Ron’s exploits during Half Blood Prince are similar to Flava’s dating show, Flavor of Love.

One big difference: Flava Flav didn’t let that giant clock around his neck poison his mind like Ron did with Slytherin’s locket.

Rubeus Hagrid – 50 Cent

Dillon Thompson: These freakishly strong men both began their careers with tragedy (Hagrid was expelled from Hogwarts, 50 Cent was shot nine times), but found redemption and professional success when a wise mentor (Dumbledore and Dr. Dre, respectively) gave them a second chance. 50 Cent also famously made it well into his mid-30s before understanding what a grapefruit was, and there’s about a 0.001 percent chance Hagrid has ever eaten a fruit in his life.

Minerva McGonagall – Snoop Dogg

JF: Minerva and Snoop: aloof OGs; unabashed homers; everyone’s auntie and uncle. They may seem difficult to approach at first, but once you win them over, these are two of the truest ride or dies in pop culture. Anyone else remember during the Goblet of Fire movie when McGonagall is showing Ron how to dance and tells him to “drop it like it’s hot?”

Draco Malfoy – J. Cole

DT: Search your feelings J. Cole stans, you know it’s true: Hated on by many, but passionately supported some; views himself as an outsider; never afraid to beef with his rivals; unable to resist dissing people in the corniest way possible.

Does it even matter which one I’m describing here?

Crabbe and Goyle – Lil Pump and Lil Xan

JF: I think this is pretty self explanatory.

Remus Lupin – Will Smith

DT: Much like Will Smith’s character in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Lupin was a troublemaker in his teenage years before ultimately growing into a respected and mature father figure. And getting turned into a werewolf definitely classifies as having your life get “flipped-turned upside down.”

Luna Lovegood – Noname

JF: Both Luna and Noname are critically underrated and underappreciated. In two parallel worlds where the Cho Changs and Nicki Minajs get all the attention, I want to pay a little respect to our weird and eccentric homies.

Noname has stated that she purposely disregards thematic cohesion, which for anyone who knows Luna, is pretty on brand: nothing smacks the proverbial Wrackspurts out of your head like a smooth Noname verse.

Dumbledore – Ms. Lauryn Hill

DT: Lauryn Hill’s early years were largely defined by romantic tension with a creative partner (Wyclef Jean), and Dumbledore is no different—although the “tension” in his case was deciding he didn’t really vibe with Grindelwald’s whole “wizards are a superior race” thing. Either way, both legends went solo, then receded from the spotlight, all while maintaining a universal respect for their influence and talents.

Action Bronson – Peeves the Poltergeist

JF: Imagine Bronson at his most devious here. Soaring through the halls of Hogwarts, preferably in his blonde wig from his “The Chairman’s Intent” video, dropping water balloons and blowing weed smoke into teachers’ ears. Still, Bronson’s iteration of Peeves might be spending even more time nicking food from the kitchens than his literary contemporary.

On his song “La Luna,” Bronson says he will “suplex ’em through the salad bar.” Replace the salad bar with one of those giant tables in the Great Hall, and count me in.

Photo: Lesley Choa/Flickr

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