Rapping While White: The Celebrity Edition

The future of hip-hop? Three budding white rappers ride high on family fame.


Who: Chet Haze, 21
Child of Actor Tom Hanks

Behind the music: Tom Hanks’ budding lyricist of a son doesn’t feign some hood life, so there’s little grit to his rap. In his Wiz Khalifa remix “White and Purple,” he reps his school, Northwestern University, while rapping about a cushy student life in Evanston, Ill. Haze’s “West Side L.A.” plays like a contemporary hip-hop take on something straight out of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, with lofty descriptions of the good life in sunny Santa Monica, Calif. — Pacific Palisades, to be exact.

With four of his songs swarming their way around the Internet — including the pop-heavy, Swizz Beatz-produced ode to his hometown “Hollywood” — opinions are strong, venomous and divisive. Well, as the astute aphorism goes, “haters gonna hate,” including the professed arbiters of anything and everything at Gawker. But why are we so opinionated about a collegiate thespian-turned-rapper?