In the past decade, Osama bin Laden became not only one of the most wanted men in recent history but also a handy metaphor. His ruthlessness became shorthand for a certain heartless clarity of vision that lyricists -- mostly rappers -- employed to describe a specific character type -- nearly unseating fictional drug kingpin Tony Montana, Al Pacino's "Scarface" character, as the name-drop of choice for angry rappers.
Once the initial shock of 9/11 had passed, Bin Laden started popping up in rhymes. Below are some of the more memorable usages (though we certainly missed some):
My life crazy like Obama's
you talk slick well I'm Osama
Bin Laden, what's happenin' I get it crackin'
-- Swizz Beats, from Kanye West's "Lord, Lord, Lord":
Hard body ... got the heart of a killer
Young God in the building 'bout to start a religion
'Bout to call Bin Laden up and order some missiles
Bring 'em straight to your block go to war with you ...
-- Lil Wayne, "Hard Body"
It's the return of Bin Laden, grab your armor
Smash pretty boy ..., crush they karma
-- Cappadonna, from Ghostface Killa's "9 Milli Bros."
The president just put a bounty on his head
He doesn't care if he's alive or if he's dead
We'll send commandos there to pump him full of lead
There must be 50 ways to get Bin Laden
50 ways to get Bin Laden
-- Weird Al Yankovic, "50 Ways to Get Bin Laden"
Things just ain't the same for Osama,
So much drama,
Since the World Trade bombings,
And the Pentagon got the whole world calling
Me to kill all of Congress, like...
The strangest things can happen to an Afghan
When people get wrapped up in Islam and Allah,
Then some ... fly planes and wreak havoc,
Then go drop the blame on Bin Laden.
-- Eminem, from "Osama Bin Laden Diss"