6Lenny Kravitz and Al Roker Are Cousins
Lenny Kravitz, besides achieving the impossible when he managed to become an international sex symbol despite having the name of a Jewish accountant, has a pretty well-connected family: His mother was an actress, his father was an NBC producer, he was married to actress Lisa Bonet from The Cosby Show and A Different World (thus making him Cliff Huxtable's son-in-law), and he and Bonet spawned Zoe Kravitz, of X-Men: First Class and Californication fame.
What you might not know is that Kravitz is also a second cousin to Today weatherman Al Roker, of all people. Incidentally, in 2009, Roker interviewed the entire cast of The Cosby Show ... except Lisa Bonet. We're guessing she was too distraught by how much Roker looks like her ex-husband to do the interview.
We're pretty sure you could sculpt another Lenny Kravitz with all the weight Roker recently lost.
Speaking of sitcoms, Kravitz's mother was Roxie Roker, best known for her role as George and Weezie's neighbor on The Jeffersons, where she shocked '70s audiences by being married to a white guy. And, of course, she was also Al Roker's first cousin. Are we being cynical if our conclusion here is that Hollywood doesn't allow black people in unless they have a relative there who can vouch for them?
5Snow and the Barenaked Ladies Guy Are Cousins
Rapper Snow, Canada's polite response to Vanilla Ice, became famous in the '90s thanks to his instantly regrettable hit "Informer." The rapid-fire nonsense lyrics made it a novelty hit, and if you were alive back then, chances are you still catch yourself humming it every once in a while and wishing you could purge it from your brain. You might also remember the music video, which can be pinpointed squarely to 1992 due to its overuse of out-of-context jiggling butts.
In the same decade, Canadian rock band Barenaked Ladies jumped to fame with their single "One Week," also a novelty hit due to its rapid-fire nonsense lyrics. It included lines like "Chickity China the Chinese chicken / You have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin'," which makes Leonard Cohen cry every time the song is played, wherever he is. The Barenaked Ladies also like to cover Snow's "Informer" in their shows, but we wonder why they bother, since the two songs sound pretty much the same.
This, however, isn't plagiarism; it's simple genetics. Snow is the second cousin of Barenaked Ladies co-founder Steven Page.
The implications are vast and fascinating. Both musical acts rose to prominence just as white culture was coming to terms with their ability to enjoy hip-hop, and they are the only white Canadian musicians who had a major role in that movement. This means that "obnoxiously infectious nonsense rap that drives white people crazy in the '90s" is a family business in Canada.
It's so hard not to hear the Beastie Boys screaming "KICK IT" when we see this picture.
Another trait the two cousins have in common is their love for felonies. Snow served a year in prison for assault right before "Informer" made him a big star. Speaking of snow, Page prefers the kind that you snort: He was arrested in 2008 for possession of cocaine and marijuana. Say what you will about white Canadian rappers, at least they're devoted to the thug life.