For years, rappers have voiced their appreciation for anime through their rhymes, their album art, and even their fashion choices. Lately, though, the folks who work in anime have been returning that attention, from giving rappers shout outs in their work to meeting with some of their biggest fans in hip-hop. Over the weekend, one such meet-and-greet went down with one of the standout artists of the past decade and another special guest.
Big Sean posted a video to Instagram on Sunday in which he introduces his mom to Seán Schemmel, the voice actor who famously plays the character Goku in the Dragon Ball franchise of series. As excited as the Detroit native must be as a child of the Dragon Ball generation, his mom seems just as enthused about the moment, telling Schemmel how much her Sean “loved, loved, loved, and still loves” the massively popular franchise that Schemmel has been part of for decades.
“I didn’t know Big Sean,” Schemmel says of his mentality when recording lines. “But in my head I’m thinking, ‘That little kid needs to be flipping out. I gotta make him believe this guy is real… To hear it come back after all these years is astounding.’” The video finishes out, naturally, with the elder Seán throwing on that familiar voice and doing the signature “powering up” yell from so, so many epiosdes that the younger Sean undoubtedly grew up enjoying.
A few weeks ago, another well-noted anime fan in hip-hop got a nod from a voice actor as well. Jujutsu Kaisen voice actor Adam McArthur took a fan’s challenge to update a very specific reference in the show to name-check Megan Thee Stallion, delighting fans of both the rapper and the show. At this rate, it’s probably only a matter of time before the rappers and the voice actors are one and the same.
Watch Big Sean’s big moment with Goku above.