The most self-obsessed rappers, according to their own lyrics


Originally published at:


Also interesting to note that the leaders in self-absorption are all recent generation rappers.
I sure miss the 80s sometimes.


He’s only analyzing current rappers, though. He’s also not comparing to other genres of music, either. I bet across the board you see a higher level of individualization and self-references, because that’s become our cultural expectation of pop music. That’s part of the influence of capitalism on the production of music. Being a music star requires some level of self-absorption I’d argue. I don’t think modern rappers are unique in that.


You’re right. There have been some very self-referencing rappers in the past. LL Cool J, Tone-Loc, Vanilla Ice, etc.


Some where Kapt’n K is reading this, taking a drag off a cigarette and whispering “amateurs”.


Not all self-referential rap is self-obsession:


Fair point, but Akala is more underground, not commercial (,ie, usually bullshit) mainstream.

Excellent points, to which I’d add that rapping basically started out as bragging/dissing contests between different crews at house parties in the Bronx, so self referential lyrics have been around since the birth of Hip Hop.

Braggadocio is one of the core tenets of being able to rhyme, but it’s not the only one, but since capitalism entered the picture, it’s often the aspect that’s most amplified these days.


I know, right? And those kids need to get off my lawn, too.




I’m disappointed he didn’t analyze Snoop Dogg


Before reading the source, I assumed the point would be more name-dropping for the sake of self-obsession, not simply using the pronoun “I.” This doesn’t seem all that remarkable, that a person telling a story in the first person would reference themself…


"Nicki Minaj woman of the 21st century, uses “I’m like” often in speech and lyrics

Film at 11"


Exactly. It goes to the root of the genre. I don’t think the study is particularly fair, or rather, I question why it was undertaken in the first place when they knew how the results would come out.

Based on their blog, they seem to be extensively interested in rap and hip-hop, so… I guess this was just an out-of-curiosity analysis.


Hey that got some P(uppy)-Funk


“…But first, ‘The Most Self-Obsessed Authors of the 20th Century,’ where we’ll review Ayn Rand’s Anthem and its exclusive use of plural pronouns! Stay tuned for the next episode!”


Here we go.


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Heads up, the payoff is at the end.


There’s plenty of modern talented rappers. You just won’t hear them played on Clear Channel.