8 Rap Clichés to Avoid Like the Plague

Written by Alex DeLarge. Posted in Lists, Music

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Published on October 11, 2010 with 6 Comments

Hip-hop has evolved through many stages since its humble beginnings in the Bronx Jungle. The by product of this evolution is a graveyard of leftover actions, trends, and phrases, now considered clichés. However, some rappers just don’t know when to let go of these clichés. Here’s a grand list of rap clichés.

The “Hold Me Down” Song
You’ve all heard that song about “that” girl who is always there and always holding her man down. Usually, the rapper is doing something inappropriate, but this girl is always willing to forgive, forget and work on the so-called relationship. I think this type of song is in everyone’s contract.

The Self-Conversation Before The Verse:
What the hell is this all about? What is up with these long ass conversations before they start their songs? I can’t figure out if it’s self-motivation or something else. I never understood it, and some rappers will go on and on talking about nonsense. That type of thing will make me skip a song.

Captain Save Hip-Hop:
It goes without saying that a large part of hip- hop is synthetic and manufactured. But hearing this message over and over isn’t solving anything. Why would anyone want to waste their time listening to people complain about the dying soul of hip hop? If anything, comments like those are going to drive people further away from your message. Tip! Just make good hip-hop music.

The Written “Freestyle”
At one point or another freestyling was held to a high esteem, a talent that gifted artists displayed. That was then. Now individuals are pre writing verses to freestyle, and in some cases releasing freestyles as songs. It has gotten so bad that freestyles are now recited through blackberrys *cough* Drake *cough*. This lame practice has run its course. Rappers, either drop a real freestyle when asked or pass on the request and save everyone the embarrassment.

Skits Or Other Dramatizations:
Rappers think they’re actors, and this is a problem. Two of the biggest clichés in hip-hop are the skits and scenes rappers do to add a cinematic effect to their albums/videos. Hate to break the news, but it doesn’t do anything but exercise my finger (skipping to the next song, that is).

Random Faces in Music Video:
This was actually a pretty nice touch in the early going. You know, when you see random straight faces in a video which usually symbolize hope or struggle. But after a while every rapper and their moms were using this approach. It usually goes along with songs about the ghetto or hard times or something along those lines.

The Comeback Album:
Lets face it, comeback artists need to come back because they lost their way in the first place. For the most part, those kinds of artists are trying to regain their revenue and the prestige they had in their prime. Relying on outdated methods that are now considered cliché.

“My music represents the struggle”
You have rappers that literally rap about the money they make, the bitches they get and the guns they hold, but when interviewed they say their verses represents the struggle….#cmonson! The booty shaking in your videos, while you throw cash around and pour out champagne, in no way represents any form of struggle. Matter of fact, it makes you as a rapper a red hot target for criticism, by the actual people struggling.

Can you think of any other rap clichés? Feel free to add them to the list.

(Alex Delarge is the founder of the entertainment & opinion blog, Live A Good Life. Be sure to follow him on twitter @alexofliveagl.)


Alex DeLarge

Alex Delarge is the founder of the entertainment & opinion blog, Live A Good Life. Be sure to follow him on twitter

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There are currently 6 Comments on 8 Rap Clichés to Avoid Like the Plague. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

  1. Every so often, the inner conversation is worthwhile.

    Case in point: Little Brother’s “After the Party.” You know… “I am making a total ass of myself… I am your conscience.”

    • In their defense, they were making a reference to when Jamie Fox embarassed a comedian (I just remember that his first name was Doug) at the Shaq roast. It was funny as hell.

  2. Lol so true so true

  3. This is EVERY rap album….you eliminated EVERTHING lol

  4. Someone needs to do their history –
    The original meaning of ‘freestyle’ was a written verse, Kool Moe Dee and Big Daddy Kane have both said this previously –

  5. The Roots What They Do video brilliantly illustrates every Hip Hop cliché every rapper should avoid!!

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