As the old
cliché adage goes, there’s nothing new under the sun; word to J. Cole. This goes for life in general and especially hip-hop.
In the genre’s four decades of existence, we’ve pretty much seen and heard everything, and then seen and heard another artist repackage that thing, throw a new shelf life on it and try it again. For every The Notorious B.I.G., there is a Gorilla Black and Shyne. For every Kid Cudi, there is a (insert any number of emo SoundCloud rappers here). Honestly, after 40 years and hundreds of artists who have come and gone, it is to be somewhat expected.
The same is true when it comes to hip-hop lyrics. Despite a study proving that rap has the highest vocabulary among all the popular musical genres, there are but so many words that rhyme in the English language. At the same time, there seems to be a concentrated subject matter that most mainstream rappers constantly come back to. This leads to many rappers falling back on the same clichéd lines over and over throughout the years.
Tupac Shakur, considered one of rap’s greats, was known for rhyming “Hennessy” and “enemies” time and time again—a rhyme construction that a number of rappers have taken to, including Drake, Eminem and Meek Mill.
How many times have you heard a rapper say he'll take your girl or how he or she parties like a rockstar? Probably more than you can count. At this point, it’s time to put some of these overused platitudes to bed. XXL compiles 11 hip-hop lyrics clichés that have gone way past their expiration date.
"Like a rockstar"
“Smokin Rollin,” Juicy J
“Livin' like a rock star, I've never been sober, bruh”
“Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” Eminem Featuring D12
“That's only right, living like a rock star is the only life!” —Bizarre
“Goldie,” A$AP Rocky
"Party like a cowboy or a rock star/Everybody play the tough guy 'til shit pop off"
Drug kingpin comparisons
“She got me running like El Chapo/I sent my other bitch to Cabo”
“Trappa,” Young Dolph
“Ten foreigns outside, bitch I feel like big Meech”
"Take your girl"
“That’s Not Me,” Skepta
“I don't really care about your postcode/Take your girl, no dinner, no rose”
“Castro,” Yo Gotti Featuring 2 Chainz, Quavo, Big Sean and Kanye West
“Anti-lame, nigga/Take your girl like a pain killer” —2 Chainz
"Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe," Kendrick Lamar
"I'll take your girlfriend and put that pussy on a pedestal"
Lion King references
“Alphabet,” Lil Wayne
“Girl it’s a jungle out there, ask Mufasa”
"V. 3005," Childish Gambino
"Girl why is you lying, girl why you Mufasa"
“Back and Forth,” Gunna
“Rocking the Gucci with the lion like Simba”
“I shoot like…”
“Bank Account," 21 Savage
“Dunk up in your bitch like O’Neal, dawg/Plus I shoot like Reggie Mill’, dawg”
“Remember the Titans," Joe Budden
“I shoot like Kapono/Watch me own the show”
“XO Tour Llif3,” Lil Uzi Vert
“Medicine, lil' nigga, take some/Fast car, NASCAR, race on 'em”
“Your Life’s on the Line,” 50 Cent
“Leave it to them, and they say they got a fast car/NASCAR/ Truck with a crash bar”
"I Think They Like Me (Remix)," Dem Franchize Boyz Featuring Bow Wow, Da Brat and Jermaine Dupri
"I'm in a fast car, something like a NASCAR" —Bow Wow
“Freestyle,” Lil Baby
“I been getting faded/I’m sippin’ on maple”
“Do You Understand,” Shy Glizzy
“My bitch, she intelligent/I’m sippin’ on medicine”
"Stargazing," Travis Scott
"Sippin' on purp, feelin' like the Barre Baby"
“Hail Mary,” Tupac Shakur
“I ain’t a killer but don’t push me/Revenge is like the sweetest joy next getting pussy”
“Evil,” ScHoolboy Q
"Lift up your skirt if you play pussy, don't push me"
“Patty Cake,” YG
“The Maybach Benzo is like a limo/Her ass poppin’ like pimples”
“Suicide Note,” Wifisfuneral
“Hold up, man, like this shit get poppin’ like pimples/This shit get deeper than dimples”
"Shotta Flow," NLE Choppa
"Two bullets in your chest, that's a nipple/And if a nigga run up, I'ma pop him like a pimple"
Employing jersey numbers
“400 Bars,” The Game
“Two nines on your back, Warren Sapp”
“I Got Swag,” Q Money
“I'm clean like dish detergent/30 in the clip, Steph Curry”
"Y'all professional like DJ Clue, pullin' on my coattail/And why do you think you take a ho to a hotel?/Ho tell everybody"
"Cut Her Off Freestyle," Kevin Gates
"Oh well, left the ho at the hotel"
"Perks," D Savage
"Fuckin' on a bad ho from the hotel"
Here's the Ultimate Guide to Rappers With Acronyms in Their Name