I envy lots of things about rappers. Their sneaker collections. Their collections of Scarface memorabilia that cost more than my car. Their friendships with other rappers. It seems like they have everything I want! And I don’t even like Scarface!
What makes me most jealous, though, is the ability rappers have to brag. Not that they’re good at it (they are) but that they can just do it…and everyone’s okay with it. I imagine it goes back to the live roots of hip hop where rappers (or “toasters”) would boast about how good they were at rocking parties, and then people would believe them, and the parties would start rocking. Prophecy fulfilled! Confidence is a built in part of the art form.
I am not a wildly successful person. But I have minor achievements from time to time that make me feel proud. And I wish that I could just come out and say that the way rappers can. Rap bragging is so fun and versatile! Why not me? I would be so good at bragging! See, there was one right there.
Here are some of my favorite kinds of rap brags…
The Straight Up Mad Skillz Brag
“MCs unravellin’/Backstage whispering to management like ‘Change the order! There’s no way that we can rock after THEM!'”
Our hip hop performance is so good that other rappers refuse to go onstage after us for fear of appearing unfavorable by comparison.
The Legacy Brag
“Y’all kids better buy my rookie card now, ’cause after this year, the price ain’t coming down.” – Mos Def
My skills are so promising, that my commemorative products will continue increasing in value indefinitely in concert with my assured future successes.
The Graphic Sex Brag
“I wanna knock your block off, get my rocks off/Blow your socks off, make sure your G-spot’s soft.” – LL Cool J
I’m going to have sex in you! Also, my nickname is a sex brag. It is literally an entire sentence that means “Ladies love cool James.” Most nicknames make the original name shorter. Mine is stretched out to include a subject and predicate.
The Wanton Violence Brag
“I’d smack the shit out you twice, dog, and that’s before I start cursing.” – DMX
I’ll give you two beat downs. One because you deserve it, and the second presumably because you pointed out that I’d already started cursing.
The Cash Money Brag
“I’m not a businessman. I’m a business, man.” – Jay-Z
I am not a mogul. I myself constitute a corporation. Man.
The Hip Hop Humblebrag
“Not platinum on wax, but platinum in the streets.” – Redman
So what if I didn’t sell a million records! The people in my ‘hood love my rhymes!
The Nonsensical Brag
“I’ve got techniques dripping out my butt cheeks/Sleep on my stomach so I don’t fuck up my sheets.” – The Notorious BIG
So many great brags! And I’m probably missing some! Rappers just get to have that hubris! I’m so jealous! Teach me, rappers, teach me your ways!