Stuart Scott’s Hip-Hop Influence on ESPN

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Legendary ESPN anchor, Stuart Scott, died Sunday morning after a long battle with cancer. I will never say he ‘lost’ his battle with cancer, because Stuart kicked cancer’s butt for the last seven years of his life. Stuart’s speech at ESPN‘s ESPY Awards defined his fight with cancer, “When you die it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”

How did Stuart Scott live his life? Well, he fought against cancer with years of intense training and living with purpose. Stuart didn’t take a single day for granted. To be honest, even before living with cancer, Stuart didn’t take life for granted. That’s why we love and respect him so much. Stuart wasn’t ashamed to be himself. Consequently, his personality attracted the hip-hop generation. The first time I heard Stuart utter Chuck D‘s line, “Hear the drummer get wicked,” I knew sports anchoring would never be the same. His most popular catchphrases “Boo-yah” and “Cooler than the other side of the pillow” transcended sports and hip-hop culture. 

Just as the hip-hop generation faced backlash for sometimes being ‘too real,’ Stuart faced some of the same criticism. He proudly accepted being labeled a “hip-hop anchor.”  Not only did Stuart embrace hip-hop, but hip-hop embraced him too. Stuart’s name has been used in rap songs, and he has appeared in rap music videos. Hip-hop superstars Lil Wayne, LL Cool J, Nelly, and others made appearances on the sports news network due to Stuart Scott’s influence. He proclaimed, “I’m more of a hip-hop feel person. Music is how you feel. The younger the mind, that’s how I want to be.”

Upon hearing the sad news of his death, a lot rappers showed their respects to Stuart on social media. Nicki Minaj, Ludacris, Fabolous, and countless others tweeted their condolences. President Barack Obama issued the following statement, “I will miss Stuart Scott. Twenty years ago, Stu helped usher in a new way to talk about our favorite teams and the day’s best plays. For much of those twenty years, public service and campaigns have kept me from my family – but wherever I went, I could flip on the TV and Stu and his colleagues on SportsCenter were there. Over the years, he entertained us, and in the end, he inspired us – with courage and love. Michelle and I offer our thoughts and prayers to his family, friends, and colleagues.” Stuart Scott, you will be missed, but your legacy will forever live on. Rest peacefully.