The New Style of Simile is Dope—Idiot

A few weeks ago, Drake made comments about a certain style of rhyming that he has become known for in his recent rise to superstardom. You know. The Simile’s Younger Cousin flow. The Not Quite a Full Punchline flow. The Let’s Pause Instead of Saying “Like” flow.

Drizzy said he felt that it was overused on the whole and, moreover, that certain rappers had no business using it, cause they weren’t doing it the right way. “A bunch of rappers started doing it and using the most terrible references in the world,” he said. No argument here; there’s definitely been some questionable uses.

But much like Drake, I feel like this specific kind of rhyming can, in some cases, foster some of the most creative rhymes, but in others encourage lazy and weak ones. Plus, they seem a bit easier to concoct than you’re typically well thought out punchline. A few months back, #fakedrake lines was a hashtag that was picking up some steam on Twitter. Jay Smooth over at ill/nildoctrine compiled some of what people were saying and talked a little about the use of the style, offering some criticisms. My personal favorite of the Twitter lines was, “I stay with a quarter in my system, payphone.”

I then made up a few with my friends, and I though they weren’t all that bad.

“I ride around all day with a Mac and cheese, Annie’s”
“I’m telling stories that are timeless, Brothers Grimm”
“Hit me and you won’t like what happens next, funny bone”
“None of these rappers can touch me, Shomer Negiah” (Look it up).

I think these lines are halfway decent, and I definitely don’t rap, nor do I attempt or pretend to. As a general rule, I like my rappers to be more skilled at their craft than I am. With this flow, sometimes they don’t need to be. That’s where I take issue with it. I like it often times. But others, it leaves me wanting more.

In that same quote, Drake said that the best way it had been used was in “Forever.” Not quite. “Forever” is a great song. After being beaten to death with it for a while there, I hadn’t heard it for a long time until I listened this morning. And that joint is sick. But it’s not the best use. However, Drake does mention the song that best used it in his quote, he just doesn’t say or realize that it was the best use.

The best use was, by Drizzy’s and most other’s accounts, also the first. On “Supa Dupa,” from his mixtape UKNOWBIGSEAN, Big Sean gives birth to and murders the style in a matter of three minutes. Instead of just dropping isolated lines, Sean does cartwheels and backflips, often connecting one line/semi-simile to the next, all while sprinkling in some double-entendres. To me, despite it’s use in numerous songs in the time since, the verses on “Supa Dupa” remain the best example of the style being all it can be. Army. A few excerpts:

“When they see me on my high horse, polo
See what I’m wearin’, I know those
Hoes’ll want the same thing, homo, Elton, Jojo”

Later…

“The story of my life is to get glory off the mics (Mikes), Quincy”

In this songs, the rhymes flow seamlessly from one line to the next, like it’s a perfectly dreamed stream of consciousness.

Now, in “Maybach Music 2,” Kanye used the style once, when he said, “So all the shit you talkin’ dead, coffin.” Maybe Kanye actually fathered it. Deeper Than Rap, the album that track appeared on, came out on April 21 of last year. UKNOWBIGSEAN came out five days earlier, on April 16. It’s likely the G.O.O.D. music mates heard one another doing it, played around with it, and talked about it together.

Whether or not he’s the father of it, which it seems he is, Big Sean certainly bodies the flow. But not everyone does.

What do you guys think of this rhyme style? Does it need to go? Is it a lyrical revolution? Or does the answer lie somewhere in the middle? Stuffing.—Adam Fleischer

“Supa Dupa”

  • DownSouth

    I was gonna say it seemed like Kanye was the first to bring that style out. I like Drake, but I alwayz considered his style like a combo of Kanye and Wayne.

    DOWN SOUTH!!!

  • TT

    When used right, it sounds tight. When used wrong, it sounds corny.

  • DownSouth

    Then Kanye has a lil bit of the Consequence style in him as well. Everybody is influenced by somebody.

    DOWN SOUTH!!!

  • http://ajcrew.com A.J. Crew

    There’s a few instances of this flow BEFORE Big Sean.

    1) Will Smith – “Freakin’ It” (1st verse)

    “How do you measure a rapper? What makes an MC ill?/Is it the sales? 20 mill. Is it the cars? Bentleys./Is it the women? Jada. Is it the money? PLEASE.”

    and 2) Jin – Get Ya Handz Off (3rd verse)

    “You already know the outcome. So how come you doubt son?/Going out by any means necessary — Malcolm.”

    But yeah, Big Sean most likely fathered this flow. Kanye bit the flow like the rest of the world did. Including Soulja Boy…. ughhh… Funny thing is, Donnis is such a hypebeast… but he used the Big Sean flow for the XXL Freshman 10 promo video!!! He even used the “robo/popo” line!!! SMHHHHH.

  • http://www.thehoodnerd.com thehoodnerd

    What about when Kanye used the flow in Good Life with T-Pain?

    • DV8

      EXACTLY!!!!!

      and I think he even used it on Late Registration a few time too.

      That Big Sean track is cool though. Still cant get into Drake son is mad corny B!!!!

      • DownSouth

        Kanye did use it on Graduation, I know. Good Morning:

        “Mr. Fresh, Mister – by hisself he’s so impressed/
        I mean damn, did you even see the test/
        You got D’s, m’uhfucker D’s~! Rosie Perez.”

        DOWN SOUTH!!!

  • avenger xl

    to quote a legend “To have emcees coming out sounding so similar/its quite confusing for you to remember the originator/” quote Big Daddy Kane.

    This style is just another example of how this new school shit is too loaded with shark as pop rappers. Bitting is the new creativity for mainstream cats and once the most popular new sucka does it all the clone as clowns run behind them. LAME as usual

  • Jay

    Big Sean def fathered the flow. It kinda sucks everyone took his flow and ran with it. But at least Drake gave credit where credit is due. Sean still gonna blow up.

  • http://screwjams.tumblr.com cramzy

    i know cam used this flow a few times too back in the dipset, pink hummer days but i cant think of the lines right now to save my life. The only one i can think of is “let me hit, sammy sosa”

  • http://HipHopSymposium.blogspot.com Rufus Smith

    He also made a direct reference to Ludacris using it in a corny way. I’m surprised it hasn’t been headlined as a “diss”. I also wrote about this (with even more details) a few days ago in my blog. Check it out… HipHopSymposium.blogspot.com

  • dronkmunk

    “As a general rule, I like my rappers to be more skilled at their craft than I am.”

    Don’t worry- they are.

  • El Tico Loco

    Sean Price (that Big Sean) was doing that way before in Monkey Bars (All that jaw tap paw- Gregory Hines) (trcks are for kids/David Blaine) I also heard Joe Budden drop a few linesthat was like what 04? 05? Now if Big Sean was around before that he get the credit but I don’t see it as likely maybe someone can learn me something.

    • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

      “Sean Price (that Big Sean) was doing that way before in Monkey Bars”

      ^ I was just gonna drop that gem on the floor Tico.

      This biting flows is giving me flashbacks when everybody bit the ‘diggety’ from Das Efx.

      • El Tico Loco

        Is one of those scenarios where the mainstream artist will take credit for creating a style that he bit off from an underground artist. Kinda like when people swear Mike invented the moonwalk.

        • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

          “Kinda like when people swear Mike invented the moonwalk.”

          ^ word-ums

          you could catch a b-boy doing that on cardboard around the way all day for quarters.

    • Slick Vic

      Word.. Joe Budden be usin this style a lot.. one of the best one liners from him was on a freestyle with green lantern he said “Ya Cowboys don’t like you, Bill Parcells” that line was hardbody

  • TUNED2IT

    hey I got one yo. I’m so kutt off the LIQUOR, SOCO (southern comfort)I destroy yo crew, yoko ono. THIS IS SO LAME, BUT someone is gonna use it. STORY POINT PROVEN.

    • JErod

      Man, I didn’t even realize that you used yoko ono in your lines, too!
      Mah bad homie I swear I didn’t know!
      That’s funny though.

      • TUNED2IT

        Case closed, “Diplomatico”.
        sorry this was another lame example. What?!
        google that.

  • Trin

    Camron was doing that shit back in the early 2000′s!

    these youngins love to take credit.

  • http://www.emcdl.com EmCDL

    I never really cared for that type of flow when Drake was using it….it sounds lazy to me for some reason. Didn’t know it was ‘fathered’ by another artist before him though; I like the way Big Sean uses it.

    But why bite somebody else’s style when you can create your own and improve on it?

  • ha

    this is my first post here after readin for like a year. and cam started this shit a long time ago. I heard that on killa season, and most likely on purple haze.

  • http://j-mace.deviantart.com Shawty J

    I agree, the usage, the delivery is what makes the line work.

    “They want us to work it out, but all we got is beef, Burger King”

    A good rapper could make the line work, a wack rapper can make it sound retarded. Hell, a good rapper can make it sound retarded. It works best in moderation. If every punchline in the rap is like that, there will be just as many good ones as bad ones. If there’s only two punchlines that in a song, chances are they will work better.

    Example, in Over Drake raps:

    “Bout to Set It Off in this bitch, Jada Pinkett”
    I didn’t like that line, it was to predictable and felt rush.

    “Two thumbs up, Ebert and Roper”
    I though that was kind of funny

    “I can teach you to speak my language, Rosetta Stone.”
    A bit rushed, but I liked that one as well.

    • Neji1k

      I don’t see why people think over is a tight song. first time I heard it, I wasn’t that surprised. But he did punch one unique line in the song every girl in the world

  • yoprince

    it’s cool when it’s done right. it has to be either a double entendre or something that’s not readily apparent, as in it takes a second to catch the match. or you can get points just for stringing a gang of them together line after line with a dope flow.

    drake was right that the luda lines are lame.

    “coming down the street like a parade, Macy’s.” that’s not clever at all… and “fill her up, balloons” is even worse.

  • JErod

    I like what Sean did with this song, pretty much every line ends with a one word or two-word conjunction so you know that’s what he wanted to do. The best time to use this tactic is when you want your audience to know that you just connected two topics that really most people wouldn’t, or couldn’t. Plus it has to fit the beat right?

    Just let a flow go
    Drowned em.
    Oh no!
    You know…
    Yoko.

    I’m shittin’ on em now John.
    No no… Mayor.
    I’ma do it Big man
    Get it, Sean?
    Major.

    I’m a dawg, ma… Most High
    Hip-hop/Bull frog
    With wings/Red bull
    …just a dream, closed eyes.

  • krime

    Hip hop is dead..

    It’s going down, basement.

    • that nigga

      Right on cue, Krime!!

    • DV8

      bullseye…perfect shot

  • jackdaniels@CPT

    flow stay 100 away from luda_restraining order l0l.y dd he even make tht song or tht album smh. G.o.o.d music needs to keep it, only bcoz out of the new dudes they use it best. Infact jst dead the flow. Its like the new autotune.

  • Anonymous

    haha

  • jackdaniels@CPT

    flow stay 100 away from luda_restraining order l0l.y dd he even make tht song or tht album ughh ughhhhh. Let the G.o.o.d music dudes keep it, coz out of the new school they use it best. In fact jst dead the flow. Its like the new autotune. Robots

  • http://www.candidbackshots.com Candid BACKshotS

    yeah LUDA does totally suck using that style…”fill her up,… Balloon!” wtf!! wack.
    but i guess every LUDA verse cant be great.

  • Q461

    i agree. it needs to be used in a clever way to be tight…otherwise it sounds wack and lazy….

    best examples I can think of : ” He don’t even go to class, Bueller”-Kanye from “Forever”

    ” Smart kids that smoke weed, honor roll”- Drake from “9am”

  • Clever

    Best thing to do is be yourself, and not everbody else. Craft your own style and ability, and with your own subject matter.

  • LetsBeHonest

    Not gonna argue that Big Sean was the first at using that kind of flow. But to say ANYONE, besides maybe the five Drake lines from Forever, really utilized that kind of style to its full potential besides Big Sean is pretty ridiculous. Yeah, many rappers sprinkle one or two good lines in a song, but Big Sean does it throughout the whole song. and please go check out Supa Dupa Lemonade by Big Sean and hear him kill that in this flow style too .

    • BULLETS

      It’s like your high Big sean isn’t that good one and two there is nothing NOTHING nothing that Drake or Big sean invented as far as rap is concerned nor is there anything that they made popular they are just new artists nothing more nothing less nothing great or spectacular your hot then you fizzle out but no creators over here………..and that style of rap is horrible thats why nobody does it as often there are moments that make lines like that good but drake and big sean over due that corny shit it makes the songs boring and predictable and takes away from the substance chasing a bs punchline

  • ParmenionUNK

    Yeah but can this be defined as rap, its more like singing – like kid cudi….
    SO a tighter flow might not work with such punchlines…

  • swype-matic

    You said the key phrase–when done RIGHT, it is clever. Otherwise, i think it’s just pretty lazy, and does come off as very simple, and can get irritating pretty fast. Big Sean and Drake to me have what I describe as an ‘enthusiatically monotone’ flow anyway, so it makes that type of similie ineffective anyway (doesn’t keep “supa dupa” from bein’ a good song tho). Hell, Soulja Boy did it, and there is no tellin’ how many other weak rappers will (or have) do it.

  • Darin

    “The shit on my chest by Mitchell & Ness, jersey”- Cam’ron from “Ground Zero” (2002)

    Cam definitely fathered this style.

  • Anonymous

    Wayne started it.

  • epinz

    pusha t

    i sell nose candy, willie wonka…..best use of the style. “we got it for cheap vol 2″ 05!!!!!

  • Paper Catcher

    GOAT line from Big Sean: “I’m tryna get a Milicic (mill-a-check)…Darko”

    • bullets

      wow thats what his greatest line is omg the fucking world should just blow up to stop people from degenerating any further…….

      • DV8

        ……nuclear holocaust

        this post should go on forever….eternity

        Ha ha I kill myself…..suicide

        see i did it again….repeat

        OK im done….finished

      • DV8

        i forgot LMAO @ bullets comment…..Im Gonna Get You Sucka.

        Watch the movie if you dont remember the reference.

  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    i was thinking i’ve heard kayne do this way way before. BUT big sean is signed so he coulda got it from him or big sean could’ve mastered it.

    its tight when done correctly. totally agree. puffy doing it. ludacris doing. = wack. i don’t even like jayz doing it.

    drake took it to another level tho.

    as for as biting. the mass media and the net are making it terribly hard to be orginal. mcs need to start checkin each other.

    maybe hip hop will come full circle

    • Major

      …Hiero

  • CJ

    i aint saying he the first but Jay droped it in friend or foe of reasonable doubt back in ’96

    “They don’t like to see me nervous you can understand that, right?
    You draw, better be picasso, y’know the best
    Cause if this is not so, ah, god bless”

    • kedordu

      that example was soo lame . but jay did do it all over reasonable doubt

  • kedordu

    CAMRON AND CHILDREN OF THE CORN FATHERED THIS STYLE ITS VERY OLD . ITS A HARLEM THING . JAYZ DID IT ON REASONABLE DOUBT TOO (BITING BIG L ) , KANYE DID IT ( BITING MASE ), PUSHA T DID IT ( BITING CAM ). ITS ONLY DRAKES DUMB ASS THAT THINKS HE UNCOVERED SOMETHING WITH THIS FLOW ITS PRETTY IRRITATING HOW THIS GENERATION IS SO LOST AND THEY DONT KNOW THEIR HISTORY .

  • Anonymous

    Nice post. I write hip hop lyrics and this style has been around before drake or kanye as mentioned above. It gives the lyricist more freedom to complete ILL rhyme schemes, and also as mentioned above, be more creative with the schemes. I personally don’t tend to use this method.

    to the above post kedordu, stop saying everyone bites everyone. That is the way of life and humans, get your head right. It is not biting, it is emulating. It is taking something old and putting a new spin on it, or using a style and putting your take into it. Also you can consider those pioneers, prototypes if you will, to pave the way for the future rhymers. It is not biting, it is using something that works. At this day in age everythings been done, so if your waiting for something new, hold your breathe and die.

  • bullets

    if your referring to lines like “I’m bout to set it off set it off jada pinkett” and “every time i hit the club a balled kimo” That shit is maaad wack and it’s not new and Drake is the one that does it with the corniest referrances jayz and big L did that shit years ago and with way more substance It’s like these young nigas that were born in the 90′s really think that these new wack nigas is original that shit is crazy. Big sean is an average mc sounds way too much like lil lame and kanye ……

  • Gee

    Actually Cam’Ron started it…”put my two arms up..Touchdown,”

  • sparkcity911

    Killa cam all day son…BUCK THAT..I WAS SPITTIN LIKE THAT BACK IN 89 FAM….IT IS CALLED SHORT CUT RAP YO…PLUS THAT GOOD WEED
    WILL HAVE YOUR SHIT CLOUDED UP..NIGGAS KNOW THAT SHIT TO POWERFUL WILL FUCK YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS UP….ON THE REAL..THATS THAT LET ME
    EXPLAIN MY PUNCH LINE SHIT…LIKE CATS ARE DUMB
    YO….

  • j quake

    folwing like that is ok but they need to get off it some

  • Joose

    im on the south side of chicago, lookin for a real hoe/ i dont see her touchdown, arms up, field goal

    More Gangsta Music – Cam’Ron (2004) Purple Haze

    Sorry Big Sean

  • J.6oo

    wow, supa dupa is borin as hell… :/

  • Anonymous

    Big Sean fathered the flow it was on his first mixtape that came out in november of 2007 when he was like 19.. this is just the final version that was on the last mixtape he released.. in interviews about the song Big Sean said that it was all a joke when he was freestyling it and knaye said hell naw that shits fire you need to keep that and record it

    • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

      Anonymous says:

      Big Sean fathered the flow it was on his first mixtape that came out in november of 2007 when he was like 19..

      ^ wow

      totally just skimmed over all of the proof & examples that dude did not father a style that goes back to the 90s.

      great job.

  • Jerod

    Bullets is right. Nothing is original. Nothing is BRAND NEW.
    However, since you know this… you should also know that this music shit can’t be judged on being original or not.

    I personally DO NOT CARE that it’s not. As long as it’s good it’s good.

    I just can’t stand these fucking internet thugs, and pretty boy swaggers, that decided it would be a good idea to rap after all the females started singing along to “Make it rain.”

    You can’t tell me that hip-hop didn’t fucking BLOW UP in the mainstream after that.

    I give props to SB for doing his own thing, but… EVERY artist on his label is just fucking terrible.

    Who is Lil’ B? Why does he still exist?
    Because hip-hop as a whole is lazy. I don’t get it… fuck Kat Stacks. She has nothing to do with the music.
    Why doesn’t Bun B, or KRS-one step in and personally fuck with these kids, and set them straight? Bitch slap a bitch you know what I mean?

    New School/Old School and absolute garbage. I would think a seasoned artist would be able to tell the difference.

    Oh yeah… rappers are about their money.

    You know… hip-hop as a whole is shitting on itself right now. Where the hell do I go for hip-hop when the only resources available would rather pay homage to street thugs, criminals, whores, dog fights, people getting beat up in the hood, lebron james, and lil’ B, with a small splattering of actual MUSIC?

    • DV8

      “Why doesn’t Bun B, or KRS-one step in and personally fuck with these kids, and set them straight? Bitch slap a bitch you know what I mean?”

      because these ignorant fools have guns and nobody short of the police or illuminati can tell them shit.

  • 555kinnyjon3555

    Look up COnceited, a battle rapper from Brooklyn. Him and his squad been using this style way before the rich jewish kid from Canada. SMH

  • toast144

    jay and kanye did it nice on haters off blueprint3

    “I am never sprung, but i springer, Jerry”
    -Kanye
    “King like T.I but in the chi, Larry”
    -Kanye
    “I stretch work, yoga”
    -JayZ

  • Chris S

    THANK GOD someone brought this up.

    i absolutely hate it!!

  • http://optimum.net Bronxbomma

    Somebody should tell Drake & Big Sean that Sean Price was doing that style on his Monkey Bars album way before they came out. He just doesn’t do it on damn near every bar like these cats do.

  • jamesbondpayment

    Everythng used nw goes way back. No one is original. The young money generation wil claim this (NW CORNY)flow is kanyes,big seans,lil waynes or drakes. To them ther was no hiphop b4 tha carter3(a toasted shit sandwich,spread with crap flavoured butter, processed with shit, of an album). Drake butchered it on forever,(kanye wz kinda cool tho) nd luda gave it a chainsaw to the throat. Lets stop cooning people, fill her up balloons wil never work.

  • coach

    50 cent off of guess whos back? track- 50 bars

    “all eyes on me.tupac.”

    im pretty sure that cd dropped before any of these refrences above

  • Shabere Is Here

    Killa cam used it in Dipset Anthem:

    Make me put my two arms us, Touchdown

  • Kay

    Jay dropped that style a few times I’m sure of. I’ve heard 50 use it. Cam’ron. I’ve also heard Eminem use it on the Marshall Mather’s LP.

  • LukeCage

    Was this post just an excuse for this kid to display his weak ass rhymes?

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  • Mr Carter

    Fabolus kills this kind of flow on “There Is No Competition 2″ Used it for the whole Mix Tape.

  • db

    man max b used that flow on the members of birdgang mixtape “big gun all in ur face.. 3-d”

  • __

    I’m glad you guys acknowledged “Supa Dupa” as the premier of that (now over used) style

    i fucks with drake, but he’s now being credited as the creator.

    pssshh

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