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The Porn-To-Rap Connection

The Porn-To-Rap Connection

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LAS VEGAS -- Rap music has always had a fascination with the flesh. Be it the OG sex stylings of Ice T and Too Short, the big pimpin' of Jay Z, or the sex crazed lyrical gymnastics of Kool Keith, sex has always gone hand in hand with hip hop.rnrn

Recently, this union has been cemented by a slew of soft and hard-core porn videos directed by or starring major rap artists. The likes of Snoop Dogg, Digital Underground, Mystikal, Kid Frost, and the aforementioned Too Short and Ice T have been lending their platinum names to tapes that would certainly ruffle the feathers of mainstream media outlets such as MTV and BET. But rap has always been about the streets and these artists seem to fear no backlash from their peers for getting down and dirty with porn girls or hosting porn parties on camera. And they certainly don't give a damn what the mainstream thinks about, fans, press or otherwise.rnrn

At the AVN Adult Expo in Las Vegas, the porn-to-rap connection was in full effect, with a cadre of top name MCs on hand to represent their cliques and flaunt their porn products. AVN.com had a chance to chat with some of these rhyme slingers about why they decided to cross over into porn, what they are doing at the AEE, and what lies ahead for them now that they've stepped into the fleshy realm that few mainstream artists ever venture into.rnrn

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The biggest player in the rap game to side-step into porn is Snoop Dogg. Unlike many, Snoop is still on top of his game and manages to cross over into the mainstream all the time via outlets like film (Bones, The Wash), music videos, TV cameos (Moesha, King of the Hill) and even an appearance on Sesame Street. When a guy like Snoop decides to get involved, he goes straight to the top, so it was no surprise that he united with Larry Flynt's Hustler empire to launch his porn debut. Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle and its follow up Snoop Dogg's Hustlaz: Diary Of a Pimp. rnrn

Though Snoop gets much of the credit for bridging porn and rap, it was actually DJ Yella from NWA that first crossed the bridge. "I've been in the business for eight years -- shooting, producing, editing, doing music -- but I just started putting my name and face to it just about two years ago," Yella told AVN.com. "All these people jumping on the bandwagon, but I was already there."rnrn

Indeed, MCs branding porn videos is all the rage these days but the fad is already getting a little played out according to Yella. "The trend is a little funny now. The people that are jumping into it now don't do the production part of it, they just use the name. Me, I'm like a real worker. I don't go outside for anything."rnrn

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"If any famous singer would decide to direct a porno movie I think it's going to make news and be successful," Hustler founder/publisher Larry Flynt told AVN. "The rappers have this 'don't give a damn' attitude which is great. They don't care who criticizes them for what. So it's been a pleasure working for Snoop and it's been a successful relationship for both of us."rnrn

One might even say that the rappers have more rock n' roll attitude than rockers these days. "Yeah, in a way they do," agrees Flynt, who helped bridge the porn-to-rock connection as far back as the '80s when he put bands like Motley Crue on the cover of his magazine and started the rock publication Rip. "We're going to be expanding in future productions with others as well, maybe even mainstream musicians."rnrn

"Snoop really opened the doors for all of us that are doing it now," admits Lil' Jon, of Lil' Jon and the East Side Boyz, who is just entering the porn game. "We are out here negotiating, talking about some deals now with our series called Lil' Jon and the Eastside Boyz World Wide Sex Tour, Volumes 1 through whatever, goddammit! We already shot one, actually three movies in one, and we gonna keep it going. So we just out here getting some deals now and getting them out there."rnrn

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"We're gonna be the first Southern group to put shit out the way we're gonna do it. We're gonna try to flip it and do soundtracks to the movies, our music is high energy as it is, so when we put that into the porn it's gonna be a whole new level of pornography. Rap and porn is already so intertwined as it is, with the groupies and what we talk about on the records."rnrn

Digital Underground's Money B, whose group is legendary and is among the latest to delve into porn with its Sex and the Studio series, agrees wholeheartedly. "If you've ever been to a Digital Underground show, we kind of do this anyway. We just finally decided to tape it. Just look at the titles of our songs, 'Sex Packets,' 'Freaks of the Industry,' so it's like where we've always been. It was a natural progression."rnrn

A natural progression indeed, agrees New Orleans rapper Mystikal, who performs (music) in AVN Award winner Liquid City. "It was easy. I mean that's 90% of our lyrics. 'Pussy that,' 'suck this.' It just works real good together."rnrn

So why would a multi-platinum, MTV-friendly artist get into the porn industry? "It was something I was always curious about, just to see, and it was real fun. It was my first time really being on a live porno video set and it was nice."rnrn

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His co-star in the video, Chaos, has another theory. "Making history," she says bluntly. Chaos is the first female rapper to actually have sex in a porn video and enjoyed every minute of it. She sees it as a way to take the game to another level and break some boundaries. "I consider myself a rap artist and an adult actress. I've been rapping for eight years now but Liquid City was my second scene and I look forward to doing more in the future. I don't know how many though, I don't want to throw my back out!"rnrn

The man behind Liquid City was director D. Sparky (Ghetto Booty, Black and Wild), who also doubles as the CEO of rap label Forefront Entertainment, and has his own theories on why rap and porn go so well together. "Because the rap game is so raw, it comes from the street corner," he theorized. "When you look at the porn thing, it's not soft, it's hardcore. That's what people want, they want it hardcore In that respect they are similar and people from both industries attract each other. I had a choice when I made Liquid City [which features porn stars and homeboys cavorting while at a record release party for Chaos], I could have just had the record release party and filmed it, but nooooo, they want real fuckin', so that's what we did."rnrn

Another label head that was glad-handing AEE was Jonathan Shecter of Game Records. Game is a label, a website (Game.com), and is soon to be a magazine. They began carving their niche by putting porn stars such as Midori on the covers to their 12" singles and have evolved into a producer of soft-core porn DVDs, such as their biggest hit, Hip Hop Honeys. "I've seen the niche for a long time, that there wasn't anybody doing what Playboy does but for the hip hop generation. So when I started putting out records out I decided to combine my interests and mix the music with some sexy imagery. It ended up striking a chord with the hip hop audience, the industry, fans, and DJs. It sort of took on a life of it's own and I realized pretty early that I'd have to start doing some content that was specifically focused on the girls so I started working the DVD that became the first Hip Hop Honeys. It's two great things, where music and sex comes together. And who doesn't like that?"rnrn

"My goal is to be as mainstream as possible," says Shecter. "A lot of these others guys are into being as hardcore as possible but out goal is to be very comfortable in our niche and to be as mainstream and reach as many people as we can. We're comfortable doing soft-core content and taking it as far as it will go."rnrn

So with rappers endorsing, hosting and directing, and even performing in porn videos and both porn and hip hop getting more and more extreme every year, what is the next step? Where can it possibly go from here'rnrn

"I have no clue," says Chaos.rnrn

"Who knows," says Mystikal. "To the moon! We're just going with the flow. Whatever people want to see, we're just gonna try to please them." rnrn

"...And people are greedy. They want more and more," continues Chaos. "So that's what we give 'em."

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