There can only be one.
The ad-lib has proven to be one of hip-hop's most underappreciated elements. Sure, lyricism is important, as are flow, swagger, and beat selection. Yet the ad-libs are the ties that bind. For decades, rappers have been expressing their eccentricities through various ad-libs; some rappers have even succeeded in elevating the art form to the next level. In fact, there seems to exist a realm of "ad-lib culture," in which homage videos specifically highlight the strangest, most hilarious, and memorable ad-libs in the game.
Sometimes, a simple laugh becomes iconic, as it did with Jadakiss' high pitched, yet menacing giggle.
Other times, they're more intense, as with Waka Flocka's "BOW!" For some context, over one million people have tuned in to watch Flocka laying down his ad-libs.
Migos ad-libs have sustained plenty of entertainment, from Quavo's "Mama!" to Offset's "Splash!" to Takeoff's "Pussy!" Lest we forget, the autotuned "skrrrt skrrrrt" or the unforgettable "Uh, Ou."
Everyone has a favorite ad-lib. It could be 21 Savage's "21, 21," or Xzibit's strange bird-call, or Lil Yachty's "Lil Boat." It could be Logic's "Who Can Relate!", or A$AP Rocky's pitched down "HUH," or any of Kanye West's cacophonous noises. It could be ScHoolboy Q's "Yawk Yawk Yawk," or Rick Ross' guttural "UGH," or 2 Chainz' "Truuuuu," or Guwop's "Burrrrrr!" And we can't forget about Eminem, who brought a wide range of sinister and cartoonish ad-libs to both The Slim Shady LP and The Marshall Mathers LP. Needless to say, the competition is fierce.
These days, if you don't have a dope arsenal of ad-libs on deck, you're all but lost. Therefore, it seems only fitting to ask the impossible. Which rapper deserves the title of ad-lib God? Think long and hard, for there can only be one. And feel free to sound off below with your suggestions, as long as they're presented in ad-lib format.
Poll Photo Credits:
Gucci Mane - Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images
2 Chainz - Jemal Countess / Getty Images
Quavo - Christopher Polk / Getty Images
Jadakiss - Mike Coppola / Getty Images
ScHoolboy Q - Mike Windle / Getty Images
Waka Flocka - Theo Wargo / Getty Images
Famous Dex - Image via HNHH
Pusha T - Mike Lawrie / Getty Images
Cardi B - Mike Coppola / Getty Images
Young Thug - Bennett Raglin / Getty Images
Lil Wayne - Nicholas Hunt / Getty Images
Eminem - Dave J Hogan / Getty Images
A$AP Rocky - Rick Kern / Getty Images
Rick Ross - Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
Kanye West - Michael Loccisano / Getty Images
Lil Uzi Vert - Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
50 Cent - Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images
Rich The Kid - John Phillips / Getty Images
Lil Yachty - Steven Ferdman / Getty Images
21 Savage - Paras Griffin / Getty Images
DMX - Streeter Lecka / Getty Images
Travis Scott - Ari Perilstein / Getty Images