There are enough people in the world who think Nas is the best rapper alive that they could form an army and put him in place as president of Columbia. But the man clearly lacked flash. That didn’t matter too much in the ’90s, but these days, a rapper’s got to be a brand, a business, man. Here are the 15 most fun, strange, electrifying, iconic ad-libs of hip-hop today.
15. Both of Danny Brown’s Adlibs
What is he saying? “Stop” or “style”? “Check” or “Church”? We know the answers, but it doesn’t really matter: at least we know The Hybrid’s on the track, and he’s about to warp your brain. Occasionally though, Danny‘s signature shouts can get kind of annoying.
14. Big Sean’s “Swerve”
This one hasn’t shown up in a while, but it was the biggest fad to come out of one of 2012’s biggest songs, and that says something. The cool command in Sean‘s voice was just what the menacing “Mercy” needed. Also, it’s the perfect antidote to his unbearably corny “Oh God!” that we see so much of.
13. Joell Ortiz’s “YOAWA”
Joell has explained “YAOWA” as having tons of meanings, ranging from “Yo, whatup,” pronounced by someone who’s faded, to “You’re Actually One World Away,” a taunt to other rappers. The chunkiest quarter of the Slaughterhouse sounds pretty alien when he drops his ad-lib, so the meanings are fitting.
12. Ab-Soul’s “Soul!”
11. Sean Price‘s “P”When Sean Price lets off a signature “P!!” it sounds like he’s throwing one of the many punches he’s promised the skinny jean generation through the years. Hats off to Sean P for slapping the mic around and making sure the gimmicks began and ended with this signature move.
10. Jadakiss’ Laugh
One of the most no-nonsense artists to ever do it has one of the most hilarious, absurd, bird-like, ad-libs in all of hip-hop. Go figure. No matter the mood of the track, Jada‘s always got something to squawk about.
9. Chief Keef‘s “Bang Bang“
8. A$AP Rocky’s
7. Kanye’s “Haannhh!?”
6. 2Chainz’ “Tru” and “2Chaaaiinz”
The fact that 2 Chainz is one of the most ridiculous exaggerators in the genre makes his ad-lib “Tru” all the more hilarious. Also, the clear glee in his voice when he shouts his name (wouldn’t you be glad to be anything but Tity Boi?) makes 2 Chainz Pokemon-inspired ad-lib a tru gift.
5. Smoke DZA –”Rooiiight”
4. Rick Ross‘ “AUHH”
Probably the most famous, most parodied, most imitated, and most recognizable while still just being a noise people make on a daily basis, Rick Ross‘ impossibly deep “AUHH” is even better than some of his entire verses. It’s just big. Big as hell.
3. Chance The Rapper’s “Igh!”
Fun, exciting, strange–the ad-lib can speak for the man himself, on a surface level. It’s almost impossible to make this noise the way Chance does for seemingly anyone but Chance himself. Now there’s a way to make sure that your signature remains yours.
2. ScHoolboy Q’s “Yawk Yawk”
The battle cry that launches Kendrick‘s “m.A.A.d. city” straight through the skulls of all within earshot, Q‘s “yawk yawk yawk yawk” has got to be one of the strangest sounds ever made up by an MC, and still one of the most instantly likeable. And he doesn’t overuse it either.
1. Pusha T’s “Yuugh”/”Yuchk”/”Egchk”
Pusha isn’t one to waste a word, and even his ad-lib serves a purpose. Pusha‘s unmistakable, invigorating, raw “Yuugh” always comes just after he’s said something so disgusting in one way or another (disgustingly honest, brutal, clever) that he just has to recoil at his mad genius. Be sure to check out our list of Pusha‘s best verses, where even Pusha‘s adlib gets a 1-5 rating.
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