Top Five Most Tired Rap Cliches
Last week we brought you the 60 worst Lil Wayne lines on Tha Carter IV. Those lyrics are bad mainly because Wayne has stopped exerting effort; he clearly used the first thing that came into his head, even if said thing was, "Nothing standing in my way/ Like nothing's my security."
But give Wayne a little credit. Though his wordplay inspires facepalms, the themes of his songs don't plumb the depths of rap cliche hell like those of many of his contemporaries. Today's hip-hop songs generally tackle the same handful of topics, issues that were maybe interesting two decades ago but now make you want to get back into shoegaze or grunge or whatever. Here are the top five most tired rap cliches.
5. I Like Weed
Notable Offenders: Curren$y, Wiz Khalifa
Back when Cypress Hill rapped about how they weren't into cops trying to snatch their crops, there was a certain novelty to weed rap, a bit of defiance. Nowadays, however, marijuana is practically legal in California and has lost most all connection to outsider culture elsewhere. So, here's some advice: Put the rolling papers down and wait for your mind to clear. Then, commence writing a new song about something less boring. Even better, how about a song about not liking weed? Now that would be rebellious! (Rob Bass where are you?)
4. I Still Live In The Hood
Notable Offenders: Biggie, Jadakiss
"Call the crib/ Same number, same hood," Biggie rapped on "Juicy," causing generations of rappers to believe that we care where they live. Usually, it's after regaling us with tales of their great wealth that they impart they're still living in the low-income community where they were raised. We tend not to believe them on either count, but no matter. The point is, continuing to reside on a destitute block when you're filthy rich doesn't show how committed to your community you are, it shows how likely to be harassed by people who need money you are. "I'm still in the hood/ But I probably should move," raps Jadakiss on "It's Good." Yes, exactly!
3. I Love My Mama
Notable Offenders: Jay-Z, Tupac
Your mother is really great, huh? Interesting. Wait, no it's not. Everyone on earth loves his mother. Even Tim Pawlenty. Your mother may be special to you, but that doesn't make her objectively special. Life is a pretty great thing, but there are six billion others who were gifted with it as well. Oh, and something else: Perhaps the reason Jay didn't cause you any pain, Jay-Z's mother, is that you already had had three other kids and your body was used to the stress of delivery by that point. (Also, riding a bike at four isn't that great. This kid can hit doubles to left center, and he's three.)
2. I Poop On People
Notable Offenders: Nicki Minaj, Juelz Santana
Shit metaphors have been popping out of rappers' mouths for many years, but recently the genre has come down with severe diarrhea. "I get money out the ass/ That's some expensive shit," bragged-for-some-reason Juelz Santana on 2008's "You Aint' Got Nuthin'." Even the normally sanitary Jay Electronica boasted of "Eatin' wack rappers alive/ Shittin' out chains." But the worst offender is Nicki Minaj, by way of her "Did It On'em" single, in which she encourages her fecal-fetishizing followers to "put your number twos in the air." Gross.