Marty McFly loved sneakers and flashy cars, he had a disdain for authority figures, he loved loud music, it's not hard to believe that Back To The Future influenced hip-hop. McFly, Biff Tannen, Doc Brown, and the rest of the gang have been immortalized through music just as much as they’ve been through the movie. Similiar to ways that other classic films have, we’ve found rappers who named projects and songs after the trilogy, the Delorean, and dropped rhymes referencing the series.
In Back To The Future 2, Doc and Marty traveled to the future to October 21, 2015 at 4:29pm (that's right now for those not paying attention). So in honor of Back To The Future day, we’ve compiled a list of all the times the classic movie's made it's way into hip-hop.
Over the years, countless rappers have name-dropped Back To The Future. A$AP Rocky and D’Angelo both have song titles after film. On “Hovi Baby” JAY Z spit, “Look behind you, I'm bout to pass you twice / Back to the future and gotta slow up for the present.” Nas referenced it on “Land Of Promise” in regards to going back to the motherland. Pusha T addressed criticism in “Dreams Money Can Buy” with:
“Dreams money can buy, three racks just spent on my Marty McFly's/ Now I’m back to the future, my career deja-vu you.”
And that's just scratching the lyrical surface. Here are some other notable examples:
- “I pop up in that coupe 'bout to go back to the future” - Lil Wayne (“Typa Way Freestyle”)
- “Send your ass back to the future/ No Delorean/ Aventador and shit” - The Game (“The Documentary 2”)
- “Let's take them back to the future (bars)” - Eminem (“Sway In The Morning Freestyle”)
- “My life like Benjamin Button, let's go back to the future” - Hoodie Allen (“Movie”)
- “I'm a Back to the Future, new game kind of nigga” - Mac Dre (“Not My Job”)
- “Sick boy bitch and it's back to the future/ Cause I'm McFly and it's not what I'm used to” - Childish Gambino (“Both Hands”)
Aside from the film’s title, several other elements from the motion picture have made their way into hip-hop. Lupe Fiasco released “Marty McFly,” while Kanye West (“Like This”), Capital Steez (“Survival Tactics”), and XV (“Hi-Life”) merely just dropped a line or two about him. EL-P and Eric Bellinger loved the Delorean so much that they both have song titles in honor of it. Kanye's long been a huge fan of the car, as evidenced by lines in Rihanna’s “Diamonds (Remix)” and “Good Morning.” Even more, Ludacris, Jay Electronica (“Road To Perdition”) and Killah Priest (“The Winged People”) have all specifically used 1.21 Gigawatts in their rhymes.
While song lyrics date back much earlier, mixtapes that were based around BTTF didn’t start until about 2009. Wale and 9th Wonder teamed up for Back To The Feature, a collaborative tape that found the two flexing in the highest amount of guest features they could secure, everybody from J. Cole to Memphis Bleek were present. A few years later, Ludacris, in between trying to put out an album and be an actor, released 1.21 Gigawatts (Back To The First Time), based on the amount of electricity needed to power the Delorean. The tape is mostly remembered for his jabs at Big Sean and Drake on “Bada Boom.” Rockie Fresh also put out his Driving ‘88 tape in 2013, a reference to the speed the Delorean needs to hit.
Even more, some rappers essentially have been building their careers around the movie. Up and coming rapper Dusty McFly adopted Marty Mcfly’s name, and the Delorean is so fresh that it made a Houston rapper want to use the car as his stage name.
Obviously the influence of Back To The Future runs deep in hip-hop. For many years, rappers have utilized their music to show love to an important piece of film history. Seeing how the trilogy still gets a lot of love in this day and age, it’s not hard to believe that a new generation of artists will watch them and one day portray their own BTTF lyrics, and when they do, we'll be here loving every minute.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a parking lot meeting with some Libyans I can't be late for.