In 1988, the West Coast hip-hop group N.W.A released a provocative song called "F**k tha Police," which stirred controversy and marked it as one of the most high-profile examples of tension between the black community in Los Angeles and authorities.
Peter Nash struts around a Hollywood soundstage, brandishing a silver-knobbed cane and spitting acid rhymes. "Getting paid to peddle sneakers and soda pop," he raps. "The thin ice you skate upon will break and set ya straight." In his boxy suit and slicked-back hair, Nash, 24, has a vaguely thuggish demeanor at odds with his Ivy League bachelor's degree in English. To his fans he is Prime Minister Pete Nice, of the interracial rap trio 3rd Bass. It is 1991, and the group is on The Arsenio Hall Show performing its biggest hit, the No. 1 rap single Pop Goes the Weasel. It's an extended verbal beat down of white rapper Vanilla Ice, whom it reviles as a culture thief, and it has helped pay for Nash's tinted-window Mercedes and his penthouse apartment in New York City. "Ya boosted the record, then ya looped it, ya looped it," Nash raps, "but now you're getting sued kinda stoopid."
1. Brad Daugherty, ESPN Nascar analyst: While John "Hot Rod" Williams clearly owns the better name for a racing analyst (at least among former Cavalier big men), Daugherty is the broadcaster to watch when the green flag drops on ESPN's live coverage next month. By virtue of his assignment, he becomes the most visible African-American media member in the sport's history. When SI interviewed him last month for a Q&A, he stated his desire to bring more people of color to racing. "I don't know any other way to have an impact on the sport other than getting out and being a voice, and speaking to some of the issues that are there," said Daugherty, a former Craftsman Truck Series team owner. "I'd like to open some eyes. Will it happen? I don't know. Am I going to try to make it happen? Heck, yeah. Without a question."