Without a doubt traces of popular culture can be found in popular rap songs of today. Intricately woven into rap lyrics, these references make the song more memorable.
Many shows have impacted Hip-Hop just like NBC’s Diff’rent Strokes. Considering Mrs. Garrett’s recent death, we have gathered some of Hip-Hop’s best bars that are derived from the show.
First up, we have The Notorious B.I.G.’s “The What” featuring Method Man. Released in 1994, the song appeared on B.I.G’s debut album, Ready To Die. Aside from an epic collaboration between Brooklyn and Staten Island, B.I.G.’s first verse referenced Arnold’s signature catchphrase: “Biggie Smalls is the illest, your style is played out Like Arnold on that, “What you talkin’ bout, Willis?””
Just like how the show lasted well into the 1980’s– Hip-Hop continued to show love for the show when rapper Lyrics Born referenced the show in 2009 on his “Funky Hit Records.” In verse two he says: “Now I see how Gary Coleman ain’t got anything I’m so funky like Arnold and Dudley.”
Diff’rent Strokes actor Gary Coleman was also a fan favorite and J.Cole paid his respects in 2010, shortly after the beloved actor passed away. Cole name drops the actor on “Blow Up,” a song from his Friday Night Lights mixtape. “And Gary Coleman just passed: life is short,” he says towards the end of verse one.
Unbeknownst to many, Coleman was an avid vibraphone player during his lifetime and appeared on a few Willie Hutch cuts which appeared on Foxy Brown (Original Soundtrack) in 1974.
Even as recent as 2014, Nicki Minaj name dropped actor Todd Bridges on the remix of YG’ breakout hit, “My N*gga”: ” I need a nigga with some different strokes, Todd Bridges,” said Minaj.
Clearly, Diff’rent Strokes was not just any sitcom, it became a cultural phenomenon.