Don’t Believe the Hype: Hip Hop and Fake News

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Fake news – it’s everywhere these days. And it seems it’s getting the better of us. Sure, fabrication of news stories has existed for donkey’s years, but never has it been so difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. It’s got so bad that Google is having to overhaul its search results in an effort to penalise websites promoting the stuff.

Kids are arguably at greatest risk from fake news. Teachers face an uphill struggle in educating children on the ways of the world, given the blurring that exists between what’s real and what’s imagined. Recent findings from The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers reveal that more 35% of children have quoted false information found online.

Who’s to blame, you ask? Well, Facebook are a large part of the problem. The social networking platform has landed itself in hot water for allowing users to freely share blatant lies. Naturally, MPs have pledged to address the problem in the lead up to election, but I sincerely doubt anything substantial will get done between now and June.

Now you’re probably wondering, how does all this link to rap music? If you think about it, hip hop artists are essentially celebrities: they perform, act, endorse products and, above all, influence people. And this makes them easy prey for spoofs and tall tales.

Earlier this month Rap producer turned criminal, Suge Knight, called bullshit on a new theory implicating him in the death of 2pac. *yawn*. Enough with the 2pac theories already.

According to the rumour, taken from the film Tupac Assassination III: Battle for Comptonformer Death Row head of security, Reggie Wright jnr arranged for Suge to be popped off in September 7th 1996, to which 2pac was killed in the process.

This got me thinking: what other examples of fake news exist in the hip hop community? I decided to do some research. Here’s what I found:

The DMX mugshot


Yes, DMX has done time, but not for sexual battery, as Breitbart Insider would have us believe. But that didn’t stop this article racking up an impressive number of Facebook engagements.

The Tyga mugshot


In a similar such example, Compton rapper, Tyga, unwittingly became the poster boy for a terrorist plot involving a “moslem teenager” (appalling spelling, I know), a synagogue and jet fuel.

The Troy Ave/TDE deal

In case you missed it, New York emcee, Troy Ave, was rumoured to have been on the brink of signing to Top Dawg Entertainment – the same label which houses Isaiah Rashad and Kendrick Lamar. Only, the story was a complete lie, apparently. Here is Troy dispelling the myth in an interview with Power 106:

A Donald Trump-Kanye West collaboration


Following that suspicious meeting between the two back in December, it was always expected that gossip might follow. HotNewHipHop used the opportunity to hit the streets with a claim that Trump and West were rewriting the national anthem together. The reactions from members of the public were hilarious.

The Wu Tang Babies


2014 was the year that new father, Dan Lieberman, hoodwinked the world into believing that he’d named his twin boys after the Wu Tang rappers Ghostface and Raekwon. He even went to the length of posting a picture on Twitter with the accompanying message “It’s for the children @Wu Tang Clan @GhostfaceKillah @Raekwon. What a lad!

Drake and Rihanna are making an album together 


Okay, so this story may be more believable than some of the other ones mentioned, but that doesn’t make it any less untrue. In August 2016, a mysterious website called  surfaced, containing a countdown clock to what fans thought was a once in a lifetime album drop. Turns out the site was a hoax. Branden Miller, the prankster behind it was later forced to issue a video apology explaining his behaviour.

The Real Slim Shady keeps coming back to life


Quick, someone check his pulse. Eminem  is said to have died not once but twice in violent accidents. First in a car crash and secondly to a knife attack. In the former example, his body was replaced by that of a replica; while in the latter case, a chilling photo purporting to the attack was released online. Rest assured, The Real Shady remains live and well.

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