As the primary composer of WWE music and entrance themes for more than three decades, Jim Johnston often worked with wrestlers when their voices were used on tracks. While Johnston acknowledged that there were hardly a bunch of musically gifted grapplers in the locker room, almost everyone could at least carry a tune.
Note the emphasis on almost.
In his first interview since leaving WWE in the latter part of 2017, Johnston talked with Sean Mooney on his Prime Time with Sean Mooney podcast about how Rikishi absolutely, positively could not sing.
"When I did the album 'Originals", where the whole thing was the talent singing a song, and I was working with Rikishi on a song that still, to this day, I just love, called 'Put A Little Ass On It' and he could not sing. It's rare when someone—not that many people have a great voice but everyone can kind of stumble thru and basically sing. He can't sing. Truly, both pitch or rhythm."
To successfully record the track, Johnston ended up getting Rikishi into the studio one-on-one, with both wearing headphones. Johnston would sing a line or even half a line, and have Rikishi sing back what was sung to him.
"I had a great time doing this with him and he was utterly cool with it," Johnston said.
Rikishi, whose sons The Usos are the current Smackdown Tag Champions, was enshrined into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015.
Click here to listen to Johnston's complete appearance on Prime Time with Sean Mooney.