​Konnan Claims “LAX” Were Inspired By ‘Public Enemy’, Discusses The Reaction To His Rap Music


During a recent interview with Public Enemy, former WCW and TNA Superstar Konnan discussed LAX, the reaction to his rap music and more. Here are some highliights:

On what music he loved growing up: “I loved Public Enemy because you could tell that they were influenced by the Black Panther movement, by Malcolm X, you know, and they just had those bomb beats by Hank Shocklee and they had a militant message. And then of course Flava Flav was in there as the hype man just clowning it up, and gave a little bit of funniness to the S1Ws who were these marching soldiers. I loved Public Enemy, they really resonated with me. But going backwards, hip-hop talked to me. You know, we were talking about stuff that was happening around where I grew up. For example, you loved punk rock and you grew up around punk rock—I could never understand punk rock but at the same time it’s kind of funny because hip-hop was a lot of anger and you guys had a lot of anger, but I think it was more like the way you guys dealt with white anger and maybe the way I dealt with Latin anger were two different things. It almost seems like most white guys hated their parents and we just hated the cops—we were afraid of our parents. I’d be afraid that when 911 first came out—I was afraid if I picked up the phone my dad might be on the other side. Nobody called 911 where I grew up. But, anyway, hip-hop was just something that, especially in Miami—Miami was infiltrated with New Yorkers year-round, half of it because of the weather in the summer, they’d come down and chill; a lot of New Yorkers had business in Miami, so you know we were really influenced by all the dances, all the rappers and everything that was happening in New York, and that’s where it all started.”

On wrestlers’ general reaction to rap music: “They didn’t like it, you know, there were a lot of racial comments made toward that type of music, but I always considered the source. I always said to myself, ‘You know, these guys are from the south, they probably went to school where all whites went to one, all blacks went to another. I’m sure they’re still getting over the shock that Tiger Woods is better than any white golfer.’ You know, that’s how it was back then. They were kind of a little bit narrow minded when it comes to that. Right now, we’re living in a multi-ethnic world, with so many mixed marriages and so many things that are crossing the boundaries that just weren’t accepted then. They didn’t have gay marriage in their day. So I just always considered the source, bro.”

On Public Enemy influencing LAX: “That’s exactly where it came from. I love a lot of the great civil rights leaders, and their militancy, and I looked at some of the Latino activists. I started LAX (Latin Americans Exchange) and basically the whole crux of the group was: if you weren’t Latino you couldn’t be with us. We were kind of reverse racist: just like whites hated minorities, we were Latinos that hated anything that wasn’t Latino…I mean, my promos were always different from anyone else. I never wanted to do a wrestling promo like, ‘I want to retire you, you’ll never come back.’ I always wanted to do promos that made you think, and that was the main thing. Like one time, I said a thing that we also got a lot of flack from the Orlando police department for. I said, ‘I’m just with the Orlando police department, I shoot first and ask questions later.’ Which is something we’re dealing with right now in 2016 and I said that back in 2006, you know? So, just a lot of issues, a lot of things that I actually felt. I would say how in TNA racial minorities don’t matter—that was something I actually felt. They were always like, ‘Wow, your promo it feels so real.’ And I thought to myself, ‘Well, yeah, because they are real!’”

On being a heel as LAX: I mean, I was fighting against all the things that were true in the wrestling industry and in society—mainly racism. A lot of it was just predicated on that, and I mean we’re still living in a racist world. When you look at the US right now—17 percent is Latino, 12 percent is black, and let’s say another 5 percent is other. At the end of the day, 70 percent of the rest of the US is still white Anglo-Saxon. You’ve got to figure: how much of that 70 percent agrees with a lot of the rhetoric that [Donald] Trump is spewing? How many of them are progressive and see it for what it is? How many are just following a lot of his ignorance, you know?”

On if there’s a place for a progressive wrestling company: “That’s the problem—there are no Latino agents, Latino producers or any Latinos in positions of power. It’s the same for minorities in general. Once somebody runs a company, let’s say he’s openly gay for example, and underneath him he’s got an African American, a Latino and Anglo-Saxon. Just a composite of what your demographic is, they’re not all white. But it’s been run by the same guy: Vince McMahon, a 70-year-old white billionaire. Do you think he really has a lot of interaction with poor people, Latinos, blacks, Samoans? Probably not! So, you know, like Dixie Carter (TNA Owner), she comes from a millionaire family from Dallas, Texas. It will happen.”

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