Rappers have long been revered, if not for anything else, for their entrepreneurial spirit. Always knowing how to hustle their way straight to the bank, they’ve started record labels and clothing lines, endorsed everything from energy drinks to lipsticks and made money of off just about anything else imaginable. But Drake’s recent shot at Walgreens and Macy’s, along with just about everyone else, trying to profit off of his YOLO way of life has exposed one thing rappers have yet to capitalize off of, the trademarking of their hip-hop lingo. For years, a slew of MCs have taken local and/or regional slang and introduced it to the masses, subsequently making it mainstream. With that in mind, XXL decided to take a look at some of these legendary phrases (other than YOLO) that rappers should have trademarked. —Kai Acevedo
Remember when Lil’ Jon & The Eastside Boys ruled the world? Socialites like Paris Hilton were screaming “What?!” on red carpets. Comedian Dave Chappelle based skits off of Jon on the Chappelle’s Show. Even superstar Usher was caught riding the King of Crunk’s wave when he released his No. 1 smash-hit “Yeah!” Some of the simplest words in the English language had taken the world by storm. Thank you, Lil’ Jon. Okay!
"Free my nigga B.G., he’s a gangster mothrfucker."
Fans of the incarcerated Harlem rapper claim Biggaveli is responsible for everything from Jim Jones’ style to French Montana’s rise and just about anything else they can think of. But one thing Max can definitely take credit for is his introducing wavy to the rap game. Even while serving a 75-year prison sentence, Max’s favorite adjective managed to stay relevant. The Game named a song after it and Jay-Z even mentioned “Stuntin’ to the max, like wavy.” Oh shit!
Though it would be virtually impossible to find the originator of swag there has been some key players in hip-hop’s obsession with the term. Hov let us know he had gotten his swagger back on The Blueprint, Dipset claimed there had been some swagga-jackin’ going on in the mid 2000s and Lil B sort of ushered in a resurgence of the usage of swag in 2010. No matter how you look at it, whoever did decide swag was an acceptable hip-hop phrase could be getting a whole lot of mula right about now.