The hip-hop community is filled with movie buffs, and few films have left an impact on the culture like the 1993 american-crime drama A Bronx Tale, which originally hit theaters 25 years ago. Directed by Robert De Niro in the actor's directorial debut, A Bronx Tale tells the fictional coming-of-age story of Calogero Anello (Francis Capra/Lillo Brancato, Jr.) who is taken under the wing of a neighborhood mafia boss named Sonny LosPecchio (Chazz Palminteri) after giving police false information in relation to a murder he'd witnessed.
As Calogero grows into a young man, he is tasked with deciding between following in Sonny's footsteps and pursuing a life of a crime or becoming a law-abiding citizen like his father, Lorenzo Anello (Robert De Niro), who takes umbrage with Sonny's influence on his son's life, creating friction between the two parties. However, when Calogero becomes smitten with Jane Williams, an African-American girl, the racial tension brewing in the Bronx threatens their budding romance and places both of their lives in danger, making for a classic tale of forbidden romance in the form of the quintessential gangster flick.
Despite being a modest hit, A Bronx Tale would gross $17 million at the box office and jumpstart Robert De Niro's career as a director, as well as become a cult classic due to the classic dialogue between its cast of characters, particularly Calogero and Sonny, who passed down wise gems about love, life, and what it takes to be a man and to stand for what you believe in. The message resonated in a big way with the hip-hop community, with a number of rappers and producers giving the film their co-sign, whether by titling songs after it or name-dropping the film and its characters in their lyrics, ultimately helping introduce A Bronx Tale to new generations of viewers in the process.
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of this universal classic, we compiled a list of 25 rap lyrics that have paid homage to A Bronx Tale and its memorable cast of characters over the years. And press 'play' on our playlist below!
Fat Joe, "Bronx Tale" ft. KRS-One: "The coke connector, sweating leather with reflectors/Don't get caught up in my sector, or I'ma havta inject ya/With a slab of this lyrical dope shit/Fake MCs and wannabes best to quote this/Fat Joe, the true and living will prevail/Kingpin like Sonny up in 'Bronx Tale'" — Fat Joe
DMX, "Blackout" ft. The LOX & JAY-Z: "L.O.X. get respect like Sonny from 'Bronx Tale'/Us and DMX, the Ruff Ryder cartel/Thirsty to live, or y'all niggas eager to die?/I tell all my niggas ride, you won't leave with a dime" — Styles P
Lil Wayne, "Inkredible" ft. Raw Dizzy, Flow, and Thugga: "I get loaded 'til I motherfucking overload/Been rapping, flows still tight like aerobics clothes/Ask them bitches, I told 'em hoes/They back it up like Sonny drive in 'Bronx Tale,' Calogero" — Lil Wayne
Lil Wayne, "B.M.J.R. II": "And you ask why my bitch stuck up/Blood, she got crack up her butt/I back up the truck like Sonny in 'Bronx Tale'/Or Gotti in Southside, highly intoxide, that high"
X Ambassadors, "Jungle (Remix)" ft. Jamie N Commons and JAY-Z: "If your guy is bigger than my guy up there/My God bigger than your God down here, whom shall I fear?/It's foretold by Calogero, most Bronx tales don't end well/Especially when your own country treats you like an infidel" — JAY-Z
Nicki Minaj, "I Am Your Leader" ft. Rick Ross & Cam'ron: "Well-off, wealthy, LV logo/Middle of July but the wrist on snowflow/Only do the Aspens, y'all can have the Poconos/I'm Sonny and you must suck, Calogero" — Cam'ron
Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y, "Landing": "Talk about what's gon' get done to a nigga, until I run in to niggas/Might dress kinda funny to niggas, I got more money than niggas/These niggas lackin' positive influence so I'm son'ing these niggas/You niggas more Calogero, I'm more Sonny to niggas" — Wiz Khalifa
Chief Keef, "Flattered": "Boy, don't go Luigi on me/Don't get caught what's in my tummy/Hi-Tech that's what's in my tummy/Pull up, now you niggas bunnies/Bronx tale, nigga, you know I keep it Sonny/Coffee cake, nigga, I got fajita on me"
Ruff Ryders, "WW III" ft. Scarface, Jadakiss, Snoop Dogg and Yung Wun: "If you fuckin wit the 'Kiss, you ain't gon' breathe/The only time I lick in the air is New Year's Eve/Sonny from 'Bronx Tale,' you can't leave/Get kissed on yo' cheek then you meant to die/'Cause when the gun start poppin then my temperature rise" — Jadakiss
Beanie Sigel, "Man's World": "It's a man's world, how it's supposed to go/Only the soldiers roll, you young like Calogero/I move like Sonny, but never backwards/Weave in and out of traffic, holdin' that package"
Lloyd, "ATL Tales/Ride Wit Me" ft. Ja Rule: "Trust me, I'm like that old gangsta named Lucky/Niggas know that my hands are dirty, but still can't touch me/In this game, if you clean, you can get all the money/When it starts gettin' dirty, they look at you funny/'Cause it's 'A Bronx Tale' like Calogero and Sonny/And that bus don't stop for everybody who call it" — Ja Rule
Flatbush Zombies, "Still Palm Trees (G-Mix)" ft. Snoop Dogg: "See I'm on some new shit, they stole my swag, they can have it/But I'm on some magic shit, Jordan at the garden lit/Brooklyn made me this, 'Bronx Tale,' I'm on some Sonny shit/Flatbush screaming 'till I die, still they hate on the messiah" — Zombie Juice
Crooked I, "Make Me Better (Freestyle)": "Yeah, I spit like I'm a Long Beach Pharoahe Monch/Keep your eyes on the sparrow when the double barrel launch/I'm g'd like a character from Robert De Niro's 'Bronx/Tale,' hell, tell me why the hell I wear a watch"**
CyHi The Prynce, "Far Removed": "I'm the real life Calogero/'Bronx Tale,' but I ain't never told befo'/Like I ain't took them things up the road befo'/Listen cowboy, this ain't my first rodeo/We had so much produce from Cali, nigga/You gotta weigh it with the scales in the grocery sto'"
EPMD, "Intrigued" ft. Das EFX: "To the hot shit, I'm the tale of that Bronx shit/Call me Sonny, with pounds of money/Bringin' raw music, call my style, swoosh/Please say Mister when you introduce me" — Erick Sermon
Your Old Droog, "Loosey in the Store with Pennies": "Used to be a scammer/now I no longer go to Western Union and Moneygram, I get money off the grammar/And the endeavor, never ends/Receivin' checks from the Netherlands, no time for fairweather friends/Come around when it's sunny, and it'll be a 'Bronx Tale'/Have your organs on the black market in Yonkers on sale"
Slaughterhouse, "Tim Westwood Freestyle": "Bar none, we the best you got bars, well/Toss bars, we'll treat you like them bikers in 'A Bronx Tale'/You chasing hoodrats who underarms smell/Me, I get drunk and R.Kell' a blonde bombshell/Let them know who the Yoawa is/Take the chickenhead to Nandos then pluck her on the tower bridge" — Joell Ortiz
Smoke DZA, "Goodtalk" ft. Dom Kennedy: "Fuck a nigga owe you? I'm Goku, Mr. Miyagi/Sonny from 'Bronx Tale,' or the nigga that gave Leroy his blow/I mean, I taught you everything that you know/Lil ungrateful, lil bastard, tryna outshine the master/Closed casket, cremation/Had to Marvin Gaye my kids that ain't behaving" — Smoke DZA
Conway, "Steroids": "I'm on steroids 'til niggas overdose/'Cause it's an overflow of fuck niggas I came to overthrow/My youngins aim sticks, that's how my soldiers go/I still be talking to 'em like Sonny with Calogero"
Dumbfoundead, "Ancestors" ft. Year of the Ox & Donyea G: "I remember eating oxtail watching 'Bronx Tale,' my father bought the soap opera bento/'Who's a real gangster to you son?,' my father asked me, 'is it Sonny or Lorenzo?'/He said, 'true strength is love,' but I was young and I didn't understand what he meant though/See, that way of thinking, it was stupid of me and I looked at my dad like, 'what are you talking about?'" — Year of the Ox
Bishop Lamont, "Get My Gun" ft. Twiz, Kellen The Criminal and Frank Ocean: "I'm too fashion-savvy, indecisive, plus I'm happy/Fuck jail and I'm allergic to them hot shells/Grew up in it, tell you 'bout it like 'A Bronx Tale'/I got a bone to pick, big as an ox tail" — Bishop Lamont
Cannibal Ox, "A B-Boy's Alpha": "Flows be banging in the paint, throwing elbows/My first fight was me against five boroughs/I lost my first wish, but remembered every detail of my first kiss/That's that 'Bronx Tale' bliss" — Vast Aire
Ransom, "Jade": "All these bitches adore Sonny/'A Bronx Tale,' Taral Hicks, Fidel chips/I'm real slick, she never could take a real dick/She still thick, waist thinner than Jada Pinkett's, I'm Will Smith"
Chill Moody, "James Evans": "We rolling yo, one thing before it's over though/Grip myself a Lisa McDowell, I bet my Soul a Glo/Make sure she's reaching over, I'm Calogero/Driving slow, far from sober though"
PUSH! Montana, "Last of the Mohicans" ft. Maino: "I'm respected like Sonny from 'Bronx Tale'/BK's version of Barksdale/But I was too bright for that dark cell/I bought a blue Benz of off hard sales" — PUSH! Montana
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