Monday, April 25, 2011

From the Totally Irrelevant Realm of Randomness: Is Nick Diaz the Schoolly D of MMA???

Nick Diaz in 'Momma said knock you out mode' (left), Schoolly D rockin' the fresh dookie roll chain (right).
50 Cent, Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane (whack), and Waka Flocka (whacker) should all seek thug advice from Nick Diaz a.k.a. the 209 Gangsta.

Call him utterly stupid or downright crazy, Strikeforce Welteweight Champion Nick Diaz is the token g-style personality of modern mixed martial arts. He could care less what anyone thinks, fighters, fans, or otherwise. He's cocky, "just wants to get paid," and generally carries himself with a 'eff da world' attitude. In any given field, especially sports, you will always find at least one hot head -- you know, the Ron Artest type. In MMA that would have to be Nick Diaz. His behavior is sometimes unruly, and his tongue often acts without restriction, but there's something catchy, in a strange Tony Soprano kind of way, that draws us to Nick.

Maybe I'm drawing on some vague mental connection here, but one person who came to mind while trying to formulate the perfect comparison to Nick Diaz was 1980's rapper Schooly D. Now, if you weren't on the East coast during the mid-1980's then you might not know who Schoolly was. Schoolly D, a Philadelphia rap artist, is arguably known as the first gangster rapper. He broke onto the bubbling rap music scene in 1985 with the hit "P.S.K. What Does It Mean" off his first album, the self titled "Schoolly D." P.S.K., which stands for 'Park Side Killas' was the first of it's kind, and as Wikipedia points out, " features incidents of graphic sex, gunplay, drug references and one of the first uses of the word "nigga" in a rap song."

In short Schoolly D was Hip Hop's first gangsta. He spits lyrics that were more like pornography on wax compared to the nursery rhymes of his contemporaries. His music, especially P.S.K, directly influenced another artist often toted as the first gangster rapper, West coast lyricist Ice T. Schoolly D's influece on Ice T helped spark the West coast gangster rap scene that gave birth to perhaps the most popular g-rap crew N.W.A. In short, Schoolly D paved the way for gangster rap.

Back to our boy Nick. Nick Diaz, unlike Schoolly D, is probably not the first of his kind in his respective vocation. Names like Tank Abbott, Jon "War Machine" Koppenhaver, and Junie Browning stand out among a list of fighters who helped raise the crime rate in MMA. But beyond the common two middle figure shout-outs to the crowd, post-fight brawls, and verbal lash-outs during recorded teleconferences, Nick Diaz's gangsteresque persona is unique in its own way. His I-don't-care personality is natural and convincing. The same way that Schoolly D put his sense of violent, sex-riddled urban realism on 7 inch vinyl, is the same way that Nick Diaz captures the attention of MMA fans -- with raw, catch-you-off-guard swagger.

So at this point, I'm not sure if this article has come together as I intended it to. Right now you're probably just as confused as Nick Diaz is during press interviews. I guess my point is Nick Diaz is a gangster. He's the thug of MMA (or boxing if that ever works out). He doesn't care about public opinion, and neither did Schoolly D. And if it weren't for Schoolly D, we wouldn't have the N.W.A, the Dr. Dre, the Eminem, or the 50 Cent. Call him what you will, but a thugged out retard like Nick Diaz might be influencing your next favorite fighter even as you read this article. So, the next time you hear P.S.K. blaring at an old school party, reflect on the generations of hip hop that it motivated. Then, the next time you see Nick flip us all the bird on national television, thank him for the next gen of post-fight brawlers that his public personality has groomed.

Nick Diaz is the gangster, the thug, the Schoolly D of MMA.

Listen to P.S.K. You might recognize the track as it has been sampled by too many artists to type:

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