A Brief History Of Hashtag Rap

Categories: Lists

big sean hashtag july3.JPG
Marco Torres
Big Sean at Reliant Arena Wednesday night
Every rapper brands himself as an original, but few merit that distinction. The ones that do rarely profit from their innovation.

When it comes to emceeing, those who favor intricate rhyme schemes will scoff at a technique known as "hashtag rap." G.O.O.D. Music rapper Big Sean is credited with pioneering the style. But I'm not even sure that Sean thinks it's a style worth pursuing full-time; he rarely employed it on his own debut, Finally Famous. Still, Sean wants his just dues.

"It's crazy because the whole rap game did it, so I was sitting back," he told Detroit's Big Boy in a recent interview. "At first, I was like, 'Man, this crazy! Everybody doing this!' But then I thought about it and I was like, that's not the way to be. You gotta keep it G, man. G's don't get mad. G's is like, that's what it is. They congratulate you. I changed the game, so I'ma keep changing the game. It is what it is."

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What the hell is "hashtag rap" anyway? It appears in many incarnations, but there are three main ingredients: a metaphor, a pause, and a one-word punchline, often placed at the end of a rhyme. Let's look at some examples: "You're the type to get wet [pause] -- diapers."

Here's another one, this one you might recognize: "Swimming in the money, come and find me - Nemo," from Drake's "Forever." Sean and Drake have been embroiled in a mini-feud lately over who truly pioneered that style.

"Drake is my homie," Sean said in the same interview, trying his best to remain diplomatic. "[Drake] gave me a lot of credit, because I came up with rhyme scheme a lot of people thought that he came up with," he said. "I called it 'Supa Dupa Flow,' but he kind of made it more popular on the song 'Forever' with him, Wayne and Drake, it was kind of the one-word punchline.

"I did that on my second mixtape I released in '09 where I was like, 'I'm supa dupa troopa/ Used to the bottom scoopa.' I just gave them line after line after line of bar-code. He kind of took that and used it on his track. A lot of people thought he did it. The thing is, he gave me credit for it like a real G."

Drake posted this presumed response on Twitter earlier this week: "Damn i just took the beard down and realized I'm still the same age as ya'll boys... 447,000 first week off my flows. See you in the fall." Ouch.

Now here's the ice cold truth, fellas: neither of you invented hashtag rap. It's not well-trod ground, but it's definitely been around before Sean and Drake.

Let's take a trip down memory lane and take a look at other MCs who espoused the style long before Big Sean and Drizzy. Boyeee.



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11 comments
beaton3
beaton3

None except Cam's were good examples of the same thing.  Clearly comprehension is not your strong suit.

E. Beach
E. Beach

The aliens they just landed/Any you in the way/Overthrow these niggas planet #independence day/fellons get slip melons...Method Man - Cradle Rock f. Left Eye - 1999

Manman
Manman

KANYE so I roll through good y'all pop the trunk I pop the hood; FERRARI& she got the goods and she got that a$$ I gots ta look; SORRYyo it's gotta be 'cuz I'm seasoned haters give me them salty looks; LAWRYS

Meo
Meo

Cam beat this so-called hashtag style up YEARS ago...

Konstanty Kaleson
Konstanty Kaleson

What's noteworthy, to me at least, is how this has now infiltrated the pop-rap universe. Bieber does it ("Kick it in Japan. #Kung Fu"), the rapping Timberlake does it ("The shit has got me amped up. #Ritalin"). Kind of like the word "swag".

Christophergrey843
Christophergrey843

My nigga Busta did one not to long ago. (It's not really his thing, even tho if he wanted to he would dominant shit!) It was Busta & The Chef! (A little quiz for ya!) Busta said "Posing like some type of Biblical Figure- King Solomon!"

psmys
psmys

Kanye:  'Now here's another hit #BarryBonds'

Nahshon Landrum
Nahshon Landrum

Feel the marijuana, snake bite. #Anaconda.-Big Punisher (Dream Shatterer)

KING
KING

"I mean loyalty, niggas bought me milk at lunch/ The milks was chocolate, cookies - Butter Crunch."

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