For nearly a decade, rock 'n' roll, rap music, and pornography have strutted hand in hand, flirting with the mainstream while staying firmly entrenched in the hardcore smut that brings home the bacon. The marriage between the mediums is almost too obvious, with all three reveling in sexual abandon and promiscuity. What began with Funkdoobiest rapper Son Doobie making a desperate career move by starring in a porn movie ended up instigating a popular trend: rap and rock stars using the porn world to market themselves. Stars like Snoop Dog, Too Short, Luther Campbell, Motley Crue's Vince Neil, and even superstar rapper 50 Cent have starred in or announced plans to star in porn movies in recent years, usually playing host and performing music as others cavort sexually around them.
"There is a rock 'n' roll spirit in porn, a kind of belligerent, fun enthusiasm there," says rock legend David Lee Roth, who has made a career of singing about sex. "The porn industry has grown tremendously in recent years. Also, you have the whole sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll thing."
The bond between music and porn, both as an art form and lifestyle, has found its way onto the Internet via a variety of Websites that cater to this new trend. Sites like GothicSluts.com, MK-Magazine.com, SleazeGrinder.com, FishnGrits.com, and 420Girls.com mix adult content with music coverage, artist interviews, and CD reviews, often featuring exclusive photos of rappers and rockers cavorting with porn stars.
"Now you've got Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Lil' Jon, all these cats are puttin' out porn videos," says porn star and former rock star Kurt Lockwood. "These aren't just run-of-the-mill guys, these are the top entertainers in the world right now putting porn videos out. Rap superstars aren't stupid. They smell money and pussy, and it smells good to them."
Where It's Been
Music has always been a part of adult films and videos. From the wah-wah funk sounds of the '70s to the drum machine-flavored rock riffs of the '80s to the techno sounds of today, people having sex on film has always been accompanied by music.
By the '80s, adult videos were even parodying music genres in such classics as 1985's New Wave Hookers (VCA), 1994's Rock Me (Coast To Coast), and 1989's Rock 'n' Roll Heaven (Evil Angel). Occasionally rock bands would turn up performing in the background of a porn movie or lend a song to soundtracks. Motley Crue turned up on the cover of magazines like Hustler and Oui, but in general the union of the genres was not cemented until the '90s, despite the road being paved a decade earlier.
"The performers of both genres are exhibitionists," says M-K Magazine founder Alex Zander. "They have remained controversial from their incarnation, and both rock music and pornography reflect sex, plain and simple. The term 'rock 'n' roll' is simply a metaphor for fucking.
"When KISS sings 'Rock 'n' Roll All Night,' you know they are not singing about listening to music."
In 1997, rapper Son Doobie of Cypress Hill cronies Funkdoobiest had the distinction of being the first musician to have sex on camera (for pay and public consumption, at least), starring in Vivid's Son Doobie, Porn King. Though former child actor Scott Schwartz (A Christmas Story, The Toy) had broken ground by getting hardcore in Scotty's X-Rated Adventure in 1996, few rappers had even appeared in porn at that time, let alone had sex in them. Though Son Doobie went on to star in 1999's Son Doobie, The Love Doctor, his career in porn was short-lived - just long enough to light the fuse and kick-start the trend.
"Back in '91, '92, I was bringing hip hop artists into my porn movies to do cameos," recalls Son Doobie, Porn King director Ron Hightower, one of the few porn performers/directors to become a successful mainstream director. "In return, they wanted me to direct their videos; but the labels were always leery because I didn't have a film reel, only a video reel. But then Tupac Shakur approached me at a Death Row party and asked me to direct his 'How Do You Want It' video with KC and Jo Jo. It was a classic, so after that I didn't have any problems getting more work."
Within a few years, MCs like N.W.A.'s DJ Yella and Latin rapper Kid Frost would start producing and appearing in porn videos and series like Bigtyme Recordz Presents: Banned (featuring UGK, Z-Ro, K-Rino, and others) and Hip Hop and Porn Stars (featuring rappers Dru Down and Compton's Most Wanted MC Eiht), showing lesser-known hardcore rappers cavorting with naked porn stars and strippers.
"Rap is a street-oriented game, and so is porn," says K-Rino. "Both have been made corporate, so the two are able to meet and come together. Rappers like porn, porn stars wanna rap. It all seems to coincide."
"[Sex] is 90 percent of our lyrics. 'Pussy that,' 'suck this,'" agrees rapper Mystikal. "It just works real good together."
The next major breakthrough came in 2001, when superstar rapper and actor Snoop Dogg (The Wash, Bones, Starsky & Hutch) teamed up with Hustler's Larry Flynt to unleash Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle, which defied all expectations and became the best-selling adult release of 2001, and was the first hardcore video ever listed on the Billboard music video sales chart. Not only did aligning himself with the pornography industry not hurt Snoop's career, it appeared to help, opening him up to a new audience that embraced him as quickly as the hip hop community did. The follow-up, Snoop Dogg's Hustlaz: Diary Of a Pimp, was the top-selling adult video of 2003.
"When any famous singer decides to direct a porno movie, it's going to make news and be successful," says Hustler founder/publisher Larry Flynt. "The rappers have this 'don't give a damn' attitude, which is great. They don't care who criticizes them for what."
Where It's At
Following in Snoop's wake, other major figures in hip hop began attaching themselves to porn productions. Soon the market was flooded with the likes of Mystikal's Liquid City (Hustler), Too Short's Get In Where You Fit In (Adam and Eve), Lil' Jon & The East Sidaz's Lil' Jon's American Sex Series (Video Team), and Ice-T's Pimpin' 101 (Pleasure Productions). Metro's Sex and the Studio was not only hosted by Digital Underground, but featured a veritable cornucopia of top-name rap stars, including Redman, Naughty By Nature, De La Soul, Warren G, and many others. Underground hip hop label Game Recordings began using black and Asian porn stars on the covers of all of their 12-inch singles. Even electronica artists started leaping into the fray, with producer AK 1200 producing porn star Raylene on a Deep Porn compilation album and topless DJ Portia Surreal making headlines.
"These wild sex parties make the talent feel like they're really part of something fun and glamorous, and not wrong and dirty," says Joanna Angel, co-founder of goth-punk-porn site BurningAngel.com. "Music with really overtly sexual lyrics is on the radio all the time, but porn, the visual graphic image of sex, is never on TV. So this is a way that porn can comfortably become more mainstream."
"Being in the porn industry will open up all the fucking perverts to my music," adds New York MC Necro, who released Sexy Sluts: Been There, Done That through his own Sexpert Video last year. "I'm a sick fuck, and porn is filled with sick fucks, so who better to buy my music?"
The biggest entry by far has to be mega-star 50 Cent and his G-Unit crew's recently announced Groupie Luv video/DVD. Digital Sin scored a major coup with that one... assuming it ever sees the light of day (there is speculation that 50's people are trying to put a stop to it, but no one would comment for this article).
"The trend is a little funny now," DJ Yella says with more than a hint of skepticism. "The people that we are jumping into it now don't do the production part of it; they just use the name."
Ska-punk legends Fishbone recently appeared in a Girls Gone Wild-style video advertised via TV commercials called World's Wildest Backyard Parties. Though the band doesn't get naked in it, they perform at a sexy soiree where much fornication takes place.
"I'm an entertainer, but I want to be entertained, too. What more can I be entertained by than tits, ass, and pussy shots?" wonders Fishbone bassist Norwood Fisher. "I watched the Snoop video and thought it looked like a load of fun. I'm glad he's breaking down the barrier and making it not so taboo for musicians to be that close to the porn industry. We grew up listening to Blowfly, Rudy Ray Moore, Red Foxx, Lenny Bruce, and Richard Pryor. This is the next logical step in the evolution of X-rated art in mainstream form."
"Everyone wants to be a porn star," agrees Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, who even co-starred in one himself. "I was in John Wayne Bobbit Uncut, but only as a cameo. I didn't get my dick up."
And that is what separates the Son Doobies from the rest of the pack: the commitment to onscreen sex. None of the other aforementioned rappers are actually having sex in the vids. Though both Too Short and Luther Campbell (Peepshow XXX, Exquisite Multimedia) have teased that they may indeed do the wild thing on camera in the future, neither has yet gone that extra step.
While rock stars like Motley Crue's Tommy Lee and Vince Neil, and Poison's Bret Michaels have inadvertently been the star of porno videos, they were unwitting participants in the release of stolen home movies. Ironically, for a reluctant porn star, Lee's Pam & Tommy Lee - Hardcore & Uncensored became the best-selling porn release of all time. Band mate Neil obviously wasn't scared away by the leaking of his home movies with porn star Janine Lindemulder (released as Vince Neil and Janine Lindemulder's Hawaiian XXX Vacation) as he has signed up to host Vince Neil's Rock Tails, a rock 'n' roll groupie-themed porn vid.
One rock star who is choosing to be seen having sex on camera is bassist/vocalist Evan Seinfeld of seminal rock-rap pioneers Biohazard. Seinfeld recently announced that he will be the sole onscreen male partner of porn star wife Tera Patrick, who recently signed with Vivid Entertainment Group as a contract star and runs her own company, Teravision. Was Seinfeld inspired by Casey Royer of Los Angeles punk legends D.I., who received an on camera blowjob from Julie Knight in 2002's Little Runaway? Probably not, but add Seinfeld and Royer to the growing list of musicians who ain't afraid to get nasty on screen.
"That ancient stigma about porn can't be mainstream is over... or at least Tera and I are about to break the mold. I am living out the ultimate fantasy," Seinfeld said.
Then there's Chaos, an up-and-coming female rapper who actually has sex in Hustler Video's Liquid City. "Making history," is how she describes it. "I consider myself a rap artist and an adult actress. I look forward to doing more [porn] in the future."
There are also several porn stars who dabbled in music before turning to the flesh trade (though none with as much success or credibility as Seinfeld). Blond stud Barrett Blade was in Warner Bros. recording artists Dial 7, while Kurt Lockwood was in several bands and even did a stint in legendary punk icon Dee Dee Ramone's solo group.
One porn star who turned to music after making his mark in hardcore is Matt Zane. Zane took over Zane Productions for father Chuck and soon started churning out rock-themed vids like the famed Backstage Sluts series, where rock stars relate their on-the-road exploits and porn stars act them out in graphic detail. These humorous tapes featured such heavy-hitter rock acts as Korn, Limp Bizkit, Motorhead, Sugar Ray, Insane Clown Posse, and Nashville Pussy.
Ironically, Zane left the business to pursue music full time with his band Society 1, who has released several albums.
All of this sloppy kissing between music and pornography has manifested itself online. Not only are all of these flicks available through various retailers, but sites like the aforementioned BurningAngel.com, GothicSluts.com, MK-Magazine.com, SleazeGrinder.com, FishnGrits.com, and 420Girls.com are catering to the ever-growing porn-music niche, featuring naked girls and even hardcore content alongside interviews and music by popular bands.
"Both rock and sexuality are forms of personal expression," says BurningAngel.com's Angel. "The two go hand in hand. They both provoke intense emotions, plus, rock stars and porn stars are depicted through the media to project a certain fantasy."
Where It's Going
If Ron Jeremy can get a role on a reality show like The Surreal Life, will a Jenna Jameson-hosted talk show be far behind? How about Meryl Streep in a dramatic remake of Deep Throat? Or a Bruce Springsteen party DVD called Born to Screw?
"There will be some young artists who come up who won't be afraid to fuck in the movies - that'll break the barrier," predicts Fisher. "The stigma around porn is the only reason I ain't fucked in a movie myself yet."
"The next step is going to be more rappers releasing their music videos on DVD with porn included in the videos or as extra scenes," says porn star Erika Kole, who starred in Necro's bondage-themed "White Slavery" rap video. "I think it is cool that our culture is finally relaxing and realizing that it's just sex. On the other hand, it might decrease sales if porn is no longer thought of as being 'dirty.' People like the dirty nature of it. I know I do."
"It still makes me crazy that we can see people getting their heads blown off on prime time, but they blur out a woman's breasts and blur out someone flipping off someone else. Both are pretty every day occurrences," rants porn star-turned-blues singer Candye Kane. "Why do censors think Americans can't handle it? It is my hope that we will become more civilized like in Europe, where you can see free porn on non-pay TV channels. I always told my kids I would rather have them watch the Playboy Channel than Texas Chainsaw Massacre."
"We've seen the ice broken superbly with the character of Samantha in Sex and The City," singer Roth says of how television has helped bridge the gap between sex culture and pop culture. "Porn stars represent that lurking Samantha in every working gal who wishes she was able to let her hair down and do what she does. What Samantha tries for in every single episode, what Samantha prays for, is literally what these girls are creating."
"The sky is the limit and it always has been," says Zander. "However, given the current political administration and its agenda, what will actually be considered acceptable and available to the public is another thing.... Like everything else, the further expansion of porn will take time, but the music-porn connection will sooner or later continue to expand. It's inevitable."
Socio-political issues aside, the real bottom line may be, as it often is, the bottom line.
"Everything is about money," Necro states. "As long as money can be made, it will be an open door to whoever hustles and wants to exploit and get paid; it can go anywhere, but as long money is made, it will never stop."
"The trick for musicians is to try to find a series they think has legs and will sell like Girls Gone Wild and get yourself a backend percentage," says Fisher. "It's a hit-or-miss situation, but we were willing to go that way because we believed in the power of the series.
"Another way it could go," continues Fisher, "is that musicians will start doing production deals with companies like the big porn stars. So a rapper might cut a deal to do a whole series of pornos, or a songwriter might do a package deal to score a whole gang of videos. The artist needs to start getting the studios to commit to them, the way studios get the contract girls to commit."
"Let the market decide," famed comedian George Carlin once told this writer when discussing the topic. "There are people who don't like certain kinds of language [and images], and they should be told there's an on and an off switch, and that you have another button that changes the radio station, and one that changes the TV station. This stuff is not being forced into your hands, you don't have to go buy it. Leave it alone."
If you find this playing field interesting, however, there are lots of opportunities for a creative marketer to seize upon. And if you can stay one step ahead of the wave, or ably ride the crest, you might even be able to make a fewbucks.