We’re always shocked to find out that celebrities with no physical resemblance to one another are related. Rashida Jones is Quincy Jones’ daughter, and Al Roker and Lenny Kravitz are first cousins twice removed. Strange, but true.
This situation exists in all realms of fame, including with rappers. Hip hop artists with completely different styles can come from the same household. Here are some prominent rappers who are closely related to each other.
1. Dr. Dre and Warren G.
We knew these two must know each other since they each had success with Nate Dogg. Warren G. teamed up with the late rapper for the hit song “Regulators,” which still gets regular airplay 20 years later; Dr. Dre featured Nate Dogg doling out unforgettable advice at the end of 2001’s “The Next Episode.”
It turns out that Dr. Dre and Warren G. have much more in common than collaborating with Nate Dogg: The two rappers are actually stepbrothers. Dre even requested Warren to provide some beats and samples for Dre’s solo debut, The Chronic.
2. Ice Cube and Del the Funky Homosapien
Ice Cube has mellowed out now that he stars in comedies and kids movies. But back in the day, he was one of the first to rap about being a gangster. Del, not so much. While he did write lyrics for Cube’s band Da Lench Mob, Del delves less into the “gangsta” lifestyle and more into the surreal.
Given the difference in styles between the two, it’s surprising that the two are first cousins. And while Del took a few more years before he had real success with the Gorillaz, the two are about the same age (Cube is three years older) and spent some time together as children.
3. RZA, GZA, and Ol’ Dirty Bastard
Hardcore Wu-Tang fans already know this, but these three talented stars were first cousins (ODB tragically died at the young age of 35). They spent their formative years dueling it out with hip hop battles.
From their humble Staten Island roots, these three made up a full third of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan. Their debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), is still considered one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time.
4. Redman and Method Man
Most people came to know Method Man after the aforementioned Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). The prominent member of Wu-Tang became a valuable commodity as the group toured and recorded less.
Method Man used his stardom to launch a record with his cousin Redman. Unlike Wu-Tang’s gritty lyrics, the two jokesters rapped about much lighter fare on their hit record Blackout!
5. Russell Simmons and Reverend Run
These two godfathers of rap are brothers. Russell doesn’t actually rap, but he built the ultra-successful Def Jam empire with Rick Rubin.
Run (whose given name is Joseph Simmons) was part of seminal hip-hop group Run-D.M.C. but may be just as famous for his reality TV show, Run’s House, which detailed his life as a pastor. The two clearly had a genetic predisposition to being successful, as they have both excelled in a variety of ways through their lives.