Cryme Tyme On Cena’s Rapping, Their Start In Wrestling, & More

Ricky Giri


Hiphopdx.com recently did an interview with Cryme Tyme. In the interview, Shad talks about qualifying for the first season of Tough Enough but having to drop out due to his blood work. Shad and JTG also talk about whether their gimmicks enforces negative stereotypes, Vince’s reaction to their characters and more. Here are some excerpts:

On their start in pro wrestling:

JTG: I always wanted to be a wrestler but I didnâ<80><99>t know how to go about it. Growing up in Brooklyn, everyone was like, â<80><9c>I wanna be a basketball playerâ<80> or â<80><9c>I wanna be a football player,â<80> so I just used to tell people I wanted to be an actor. I do love acting, but I knew what I really wanted to do.

Shad: My father started training me for boxing around five, I started martial arts when I was eight and amateur wrestling when I was about 10. As time went on, it seemed like a natural thing for me to do. I was working as a bodyguard, [MTV/WWE reality show] Tough Enough came along. I made the show but was eliminated after the qualifying round because there was a mix-up with my blood work and they thought I had Hepatitis C when it was actually a different contestant on the show. Later on, I was contacted by [WWE official] Dr. Tom Pritchard and recruited.

On who developed their characters:

JTG: The characters came from my Shad; I didnâ<80><99>t want to do it at first. He wanted to mix a bunch of mainstream Hip Hop artists. I was like â<80><9c>I donâ<80><99>t know if I want to do it, itâ<80><99>s very stereotypicalâ<80> but he sold me on it and the characters got over with the creative team.

Shad: When we went into [WWE Chairman] Vince McMahonâ<80><99>s office to tell him about it, he immediately liked the idea but he already knew there were gonna be people out there that are too sensitive to this. There are some people who think that if something doesnâ<80><99>t hold African Americans up to the best light itâ<80><99>s automatically bad but itâ<80><99>s not true; people need to learn to relax and laugh at themselves sometimes.

JTG: We brought the characters to the table so I ddinâ<80><99>t feel any sorta way. It wasnâ<80><99>t them coming to us and saying, â<80><9c>We want you to be gangsters and thugs,â<80> they just liked what we did.

On if Cena is a dope emcee:

Shad: You know what? People think Iâ<80><99>m lying but John Cena can rap his ass off. Heâ<80><99>s good with words, he thinks off the top of his head, heâ<80><99>s got a quick wit… Iâ<80><99>ve seen him drop rhymes on people to shut them up.

JTG: Yeah, heâ<80><99>s pretty damned good. Iâ<80><99>ve heard him freestyle.

You can check out the full interview from HipHopDX.com by clicking here. (Thanks to Marino)

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