The Wire - Hip Hop Equivalents -- by Angus Crawford, January 2007
The Wire is the best television show ever. That's a bold statement but it unequivocally the greatest achievement in television or movie history (I know, I know that's an even bolder statement but its true). It's too difficult to summarizes what The Wire has accomplished in only 50 episodes. You just have to watch and luckily BET is airing the show beginning on January 10th so you can bask in the brilliance of creators David Simon and Ed Burns.
For those who have not seen the show, there are a lot of characters and it sometimes becomes difficult to keep track of them all. I have made a cliff notes version of most of them and compared them to rapper so it should be easier to remember. If you have seen the show, post some of your own comparisons in our forum section and maybe we can get another article with the best submissions.
Jay-Z - Stringer Bell
The brains of the Barksdale drug operation. Stringer takes college classes in economics and uses words like "elasticity" to describe the product his loyal soldiers sell. Tries to look past the drug dealing to bigger things like owning real estate and legitimate business. Has very "refined" tastes and his apartment looks like it belongs to a tenured college professor or successful attorney. Never seen in jerseys just a fresh pair of jeans and button ups.
Biggie Smalls - Avon Barksdale
The boss of the whole operation who takes a back seat to Stringer when its time to really make money. Beloved by more people although he does not have the same vision as Stringer. A natural leader who all the younger soldiers look up to. Stringer is envied but Avon is loved. Takes care of his family, even if they do not deserve his help.
Lil' Ceasar - D'Angelo Barksdale
No matter what D'Angelo does his uncle Avon will always look out for him. Has more of a conscience than the other dealers and it sometimes affects his decision making. Avon and Stringer often disagree about D'Angelo's role in the business because Stringer feels he is undeserving of his opportunities.
Freddie Foxx - Wee Bey (Roland Brice)
Simple and plain, Wee Bey does not give a fuck. Other than Omar, he is probably the hardest character on the show. Grew up with Avon and Stringer and become their number one muscle (assassin). Very professional and will slap someone up with the quickness and right in the studio if he has to.
Ghostface - Bodie
An underrated character on the show as the Barksdale drug family takes his work for granted. He is remarkably consistent from episode to episode and season to season like Ghostface with every album. At the beginning he is overlooked by viewers but by the 4th season, he is one of everyone's favorite characters. I was late realizing what Bodie's character brought to the show. Don't make the same mistake as me.
Raekwon - Poot
Bodie's right hand man who shares many of the same characteristics but lacks the focus and remains a step below Bodie in the Barksdale hierarchy. Rarely seen without each other but eventually they learn to coexist on their own. Also does not have the same charisma and savvy that Bodie has with the dealers and even the police.