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A Long Time Ago In A Hood Far, Far Away: 10 Star Wars References in Hip-Hop

written by: on June 20, 2011

Nothing solidifies a killer hip-hop verse quite like a shout out to the Star Wars universe. Below is a compilation of the 10 hottest. The result of a culture so street, with egos the size of space stations, combined with references to science fiction is always memorable.

Artists preferred different situations—some from prequels, others the original trilogy (many raps predated the prequels.) The ranks include such legends as B.I.G., Wu-Tang Clan and Jay-Z but also newcomers like MF Doom and Lupe Fiasco. Whether they summoned the force to blast haters, floss their wardrobe or jock themselves, this compilation includes some of the finest reps that have ever been laid on tape. While most MCs chose to pursue the way of the Jedi—whose ways aren’t as clumsy or as random as a blaster—some sided with the light and others were seduced by the dark.

Obi-Wan Kenobi was a perennial favorite among homage. There were of course references to Luke and Vader but also more obscure characters like Jabba the Hutt and Lando. Songs were rated threefold: you’ll see the rhyme as it appears on record, its contextual dopeness (i.e. rhythm, metaphor, delivery) and the reference’s accuracy with the canon of Star Wars. For the purposes of this study, more weight was given to geekness; it is about Star Wars, after all, and nothing’s lamer than a half-baked reference. So without further ado, you—you take these, and may the force be with you.

9. “Feel It” – House of Pain (Fine Malt)

The line: “So catch me if you can, you know I’m the man like Chewbacca knows Han…  Solo”

Dopemeter: It’s a little forced, like Everlast’s got something to prove. How do I know you’re the man? Nice truncated simile and big up for cutting the track out behind the rhyme.

Canonical Accuracy: The pilot and co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon are bound by life debt—so this connection is unmistakable. Everlast also pronounces Han the same way Lando does. Extra credit if it was on purpose.

8. “Change Clothes” – Jay-Z (The Black Album)

The line: “Let I breathe, Jedi Knight;/The more space I get the better I write/Whenever I write/But if ever I write/I need the space to say whatever I like”

Dopemeter: Ok, Jay. We’re all anxiously awaiting that memoir where you divulge all the dark and illicit details of your crack days. Until then, well… until then.

Canonical Accuracy: Clearly, HOV appreciates the spiritual aspect of being a Jedi (“Gotta keep the peace like a Buddhist”) and not merely the acrobatic, physics-defying moves. Is he too old though?

7. “Gone” – Kanye West (Late Registration)

The line: “If they ever flip sides like Anakin/You would sell everything, including the mannequin”

Dopemeter: Ye’s final verse on the track contemplates opening “a shop for aspiring MCs,” where he might teach them some game. The Louis Vuitton Don is notorious for rhyming every part of a word with every part of a word, maybe to a fault.

Canonical Accuracy: Anakin did flip sides—twice! In the rap game that doesn’t fly, lest you end up missing your legs and arms, immolated in a pile of molten lava.


6. “Do It” – Beastie Boys (Ill Communication)

The line: “Like gravy on potatoes/Luke to Darth Vader/I’m a souped-up sucker and I’ll see you all later.”

Dopemeter: Beats me. Once again, the Beasties have gone over my head with their profound lyricism.

Canonical Accuracy: Luke and Vader’s relationship forms the crux of the Star Wars trilogy—this analogy is complex. They’re saying that gravy to potatoes is like Luke and Vader’s relationship. But if anything the Dark Lord is the more souped up—his life preserved by all-black everything.


5. “Hoe Cakes” – MF Doom (Mm.. Food)

The line: “Smackin rookies, he is the super/Look like a black wookie when he let his beard grow/Weirdo”

Dopemeter: A little self-deprecating humor amid a stream of punches reveals another side to the devious, masked rapper.

Canonical Accuracy: No one wants to be slapped by a walking carpet, least of all a rookie. Let MF Doom win on this one.

4. (tie) “Shaolin Worldwide” – Wu-Tang Clan (Wu-Tang Corp.)

The Line: “The Jedi only use The Force if ya force me/Shaolin What? Don’t get it fucked up and cross me.”

Dopemeter: Dope rhyme, self-contained; it shows a desire for peace while still making clear the danger of provocation.

Canonical Accuracy: So it turns out Method Man is up on his Jedi Code—indeed, a Jedi never uses his powers for attack. Which is partially how they earned their role as intergalactic peacekeepers. Sort of like the UN, if the UN actually did something and carried lightsabers.

4. (tie) “Wild Hot” – A Tribe Called Quest (Rhyme and Reason)

The Line: “No, ’cause he move like the wind, in flight/Counter-attack like a Jedi Knight.”

Dopemeter: Leave it to A Tribe Called Quest to wax poetic.

Canonical Accuracy: Just when you thought Wu was the last time someone would realize Jedi act only in defense—there is another.

3. “Hypnotize” – The Notorious B.I.G. (Life After Death)

The line: “Take they clothes off slowly/Hit ’em with the force like Obi”

Dopemeter: For some reason, anything B.I.G. says sounds like gospel. Maybe because he’s been inflated by death to mythical status.

Canonical Accuracy: It only adds to Biggie’s legend that he accurately prophesized Obi’s combat steeze 10 years before the prequels came out showcasing the young Knight force-pushing droids, insects, a combinations of the two and then his own apprentice. Alas, the Alec Guinness incarnation of the desert hermit was also fairly trill. The point being that Obi-Wan and B.I.G. both hit us with a force we still feel.


2. “Failure” – Lupe Fiasco (Fahrenheit 1/15 Mixtape Part One: The Truth Is Among Us)

The line: “This is the drill/Mr. Chill gave me the green light like Yoda knife/So I’ma force my will like the Force I wield”

Dopemeter: When Lupe’s on, he can rhyme like a machine gun and this is no exception. The peril is when he starts rhyming for rhyming’s sake. It sounds good phonetically—then you think about it and it makes no sense.

Canonical Accuracy: Is Yoda a small creature bearing a green lightknife? Yes-yes, y’all. Bear in mind, Mr. Chill is a reference to Charles “Chilly” Patton, Lupe’s longtime friend and producer who was later sentenced to 40 years in prison.


1. “Happy Valentine’s Day” – Outkast (Speakerboxx/The Love Below)

The Line: “Han Solo till I’m hit by the bullet, so may the Force/Be with you, and I’ll hit you when better time permits.”

Dopemeter: Andre 3000 demonstrates a profound understanding of his own mortality whilst keeping his pussy poppin’ prospects open: most impressive.

Canonical Accuracy: Everyone reps Jedi, but why not the original swag king, Han Solo? In a way hip-hop music is “a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.” And ever since those days of drug smuggling, when he dumped an entire load of spice, Han’s been on the run—from the Empire, Boba Fett and the Hutts. But when the time permits and even when it doesn’t—he gets the girl.