Artists within any craft are constantly on the hunt for inspiration of any kind — anything that can bring about creative drive and lead to a masterpiece.
Whether it’s in the form of coy references or loud-and-proud samples and dedications, a plethora of beloved television shows find their way into songs, highlighting the practice of musical artists being inspired by another medium and incorporating it into their work.
Let’s go over some lit tracks that shoutout some memorable shows, specifically cartoons and anime, that hold a special place in many people’s hearts.
“Tomorrow 2” by GloRilla
Starting off with a track that’s still fairly new, we have to acknowledge that GloRilla included a brief sample from Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends at the very beginning of her collaboration with Cardi B, “Tomorrow 2.”
“Cheese, his name is Cheese,” listeners can hear at the start of the track, and it’s taken from a conversation that main characters Mac and Bloo are having about a side character named Cheese.
“Marceline” by WILLOW
WILLOW, aka Willow Smithreferenced another Cartoon Network fav in “Marceline,” a 2-part track off of her ARDIPITHECUS album that country homage to a character from Adventure Time.
In addition to giving Marceline the Vampire Queen a shoutout, Lady Rainicorn appears to be referenced, too.
“Pink Matter” by Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean gave a quick dragonball reference within “Pink Matter,” as he name-dropped a bubblegum-colored antagonist in the track.
“That soft pink matter, / Cotton candy, Majin Buu,” Frank Ocean sings in the track, which genius describes as “a meditation on the female anatomy, desire, and fantasy.”
“Dragonball Durag” by Thundercat
While on the subject of dragonball references, we’d be given to leave off Thundercat’s “Dragonball Durag.”
A remix to this song notably features Smino and Guapdad 4000.
Hey Arnold by Rico Nasty
We have numerous examples of Rico Nasty shouting out some of her favorite shows; for one, she has a track centered around Hey Arnold!
Lil Yachty also jumped on the bumpable track to deliver a poppin’ remix.
Rick & Morty by Soulja Boy
To briefly jump to some adult cartoons, Soulja Boy pays homage to rick and morty in a song that’s directly named after the series.
A large portion of the track is made up of the Atlanta rapper continually repeating “Rick.”
“Rick and Morty” by LIL PHAG
Soulja Boy isn’t the only rapper to shoutout this cult classic, though, as LIL PHAG also dropped a track named after the series.
Notably, LIL PHAG teamed up with Rico Nasty for the song.
“Futurama” by Bali Baby
Babi Baby showed Futurama some love with a track of his own.
While the lyrics don’t contain many Futurama references, the song’s cover art is pretty killer and features the show’s beloved art style.
Moves by Rico Nasty
Going back to Rico Nasty, Scooby Doo gets a shoutout in “Moves,” which was included on her Tales of Tacobella album.
“Scary-ass b***hes remind me of Scooby-Doo,” the Maryland native raps in the track, acknowledging the eponymous character’s tendency to get totally freaked out during mystery investigations.
“LaLa” by Rico Nasty
Rico also samples an old episode of SpongeBob SquarePants in “La La.”
The song specifically opens with SpongeBob greeting a character named Kevin C. Cucumber by droning, “Hi Kevin.”
“Running Up Freestyle” by Megan Thee Stallion
Megan Thee Stallion is another female rapper who isn’t afraid to shoutout SpongeBob SquarePants.
“Always in Bikini Bottoms ’cause I got that Goo Lagoon,” she raps, referencing the city in which the series takes place as well as a beach spot that’s referenced in numerous episodes.
“Avril Lavigne” by TiaCorine
TiaCorine is a North Carolina rapper who samples Sailor Moon at the end of “Avril Lavigne.”
The track was included on her debut album, 34Corine.
“Wonderful Everyday: Arthur” by Chance the Rapper
Chance the Rapper took a more hands-on approach to paying tribute to a childhood fav, as he straight-up remixed the arthur theme song.
In a song called “Wonderful Everyday: Arthur,” Chance the Rapper lets fans in on his appreciation for the series (as well as its beloved opener).
“Swiper No Swiping” by Bali Baby
Dora the Explorer is another early-childhood jam that received a shoutout.
Bali Baby made a whole track around Dora’s “Swiper, no swiping!” command, which fends off a trifling fox.
“Girls in the Hood” by Megan Thee Stallion
In “Girls in the Hood,” Megan Thee Stallion gives a shoutout to an anime bad boy: Sasuke of naruto.
“Imma make him eat me out while I’m watchin’ anime / P***y like a wild fox, lookin’ for a Sasuke,” the H-Town Hottie raps on the 2020 track.
“Anime World” by Sah Babii
naruto is also paid tribute to in “Anime World” by SahBabii.
Unlike Megan Thee Stallion, SahBabii references numerous characters in his track, including Orochimaru, Itachi, Neji, Gaara and Kakashi; terms like jinchuriki and Byakugan are also incorporated.
“Dark Tournament” by Denzel Curry
Finally, we have “Dark Tournament” by Denzel Curry, which contains references to various different anime.
From Death Note to Bleach and naruto, Curry isn’t afraid to show off his appreciation for these poppin’ series. It also appears as though the title may be a reference to Yu Yu Hakushoas it’s the title of an arc within the anime (as well as a video game based on the show).
What do you think of the list, and what other tracks come to mind? Sound off down in the comment section to let us know.