2017 is almost outta here, and with it will go a year of inventive memes, ruthless roasts and, probably, the line between unintentional self-parody and expert trolling.
In a moment that could've easily been an episode of The Boondocks, Chris Brown and Soulja Boy agreed to set up a pay-per-view boxing match at the top of the year. Even though the bout never happened, the weeks' worth of hilarious mock training videos and enough pettiness to make 50 Cent blush was more than good enough.
A bit later, we got to see Kodak Black debut his short-lived rat tail, and then a video of Meek Mill slipping and falling on his ass in the snow. To Meek's credit, he was totally cool with laughing at himself, which was honestly pretty refreshing, and probably served as some good PR considering his past of taking himself too serious. Post Malone ended up doing the same thing toward the end of the year.
A couple months after Soulja Boy, C. Breezy, Kodak and Meek Mill had their time in the comical spotlight, 21 Savage joined the club. Popping up during an episode of ESPN's Highly Questionable, the rapper quickly became the subject of a hilarious super villain meme. We'll let you read more about that one.
In an otherwise trying year, XXL looks back on the 20 most laughable moments that lightened the overall mood. Check out the list and relive the cackles below.
Chris Brown Vs. Soulja Boy and the Boxing Match That Never Was
At the top of the year, the funniest parts of extreme pettiness and social media voyeurism converged when Chris Brown challenged Soulja Boy to a boxing match.
The conflict went public when Soulja claimed that Breezy had threatened him for leaving heart emojis beneath photos his ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran uploaded to Instagram. In a response video of his own, Breezy officially challenged the Atlanta rapper to throw hands in the ring. Within days, there was talk of an epic pay-per-view matchup in Dubai, and 50 Cent claimed that Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s Mayweather Promotions would endorse the fight. Money Mayweather wanted the fight to support charities.
In the weeks that followed, several hilariously shameful promotional videos and Instagram posts were made to support the epic bout, including a Soulja Boy diss song from Mike Tyson. Nothing besides a ton of memes and some cheap laughs ever came of them, though. C. Breezy backed out of the match because the "wrong people, all the middle men got in the way."
Riff Raff Challenges 50 Cent to a $2 Million Boxing Match
In the midst of promotion for the Soulja Boy Vs. Chris Brown boxing match, RiFF RAFF jumped into the fun by using an elaborate Instagram post to challenge 50 Cent to a $2 million boxing match.
In the video, the Texas-bred rapper steps into the ring to do some sparring with a trainer as a slightly altered version of the Rocky theme song plays in the background. As far as we know, 50 never responded and it's unclear just how serious RiFF RAFF was being. After all, when a guy gets an MTV tattoo plastered across his neck, you can never be too sure.
Meek Mill Falls Down the Stairs and Laughs at Himself When Video Surfaces
Between his much-publicized beef with Drake and his split from Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill was branded as a walking L and—for a time—was the internet's designated punching bag.
Unsurprisingly, Meek was hip to that idea. The thing is, there's almost nothing a healthy dose of self-awareness and good humor can't cure, so when Meek uploaded a video of himself falling down icy steps, making fun of the dream-chasing rapper became just a bit harder.
"They spoke a L into existence," Meek wrote in the caption for the hilarious video, using laugh-cry emojis to poke fun at himself. "Leaving out my mom house was tragic for me! Icey ass steps!!! U fall get right back upppp! I ran I thought a ghost pushed me! I might sue yeezy! SINCE YALL WANNA SEE ME FALL SO BAD!!!!"
Kodak Black's Rat Tail Hair Cut
Kodak Black started off the new year with a new cut and just about everyone had something to say about it. Rocking a fade with a retro rat tail in the back, Kodak's hairstyle drew comparisons to Boosie Badazz's signature fade.
"This Ain't A Boosie Fade Fuck Nigga This A #KodakFade #Trendsetter I Keep Something New Going On ... I Cut The #KodakKnots," he captioned the pic showing off his cut back in January. Lil Kodak eventually adopted a new 'do, but his rat tail definitely left its mark.
21 Savage Gets Turned Into a Super Villain Meme
21 Savage found himself at the center of yet another hilarious meme when his appearance on ESPN's Highly Questionable went viral. With his cackling laugh and unruly hair, 21 looked more like a super villain giving an ultimatum to a captive city than a rapper in the midst of a press run. Within hours of the broadcast, the internet was knee-deep in memes infusing the Atlanta rapper's slang and day-to-day habits with comic book tropes.
Meryl Streep Meme Takes Over Hip-Hop
The famous image of Meryl Streep screaming her lungs out at the 2015 Screen Actors Guild Awards had already been floating around the web, but this past winter, rap Twitter took control of it, turning the flick into one of the best memes of 2017.
The premise is simple: Insert one part of a rap lyric on one line and insert the second part completing that set of lyrics on another. The result was a jarring image of an older White woman shouting out the lyrics to some of rap's most ratchet lyrics. We're gonna miss this one, for sure.
Lil Dicky Is LaVar Ball's Not-So-Popular Son
By his own account, Lil Dicky became a rapper in order to prove to the world he was one of the funniest guys around. With that in mind, it's only right he landed on our list.
In April, Dicky starred in a hilarious ESPN sketch titled The Truth About The Ball Brothers' Unknown Sibling. He teamed up with LaVar, Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball to play LiDicky Ball, the only Ball brother that isn't a Big Baller. In the pseudo documentary, Dicky's an aspiring rapper wondering why his father and his basketball phenom brothers barely ever acknowledge him. He's basically Meg from Family Guy. Check it out for yourself below.
Bow Wow Challenge Takes Over the Internet
If the internet's taught us anything, it's that fake flexes will almost always be met with ruthlessly swift justice. Bow Wow probably knows this better than anyone, but somehow, he still learned the hard way.
The moment that gave birth to the Bow Wow Challenge popped off when Bow Weezy was headed to New York City for his Growing Up Hip Hop press run last May. Just before making his trip, the 30-year-old uploaded an image of a private jet and a couple flossy whips in front of it, signifying he was about to board that particular plane for his trip.
A short time later, though, one Twitter user uploaded an image of the rapper typing on his phone while sitting in a seat on the same commercial flight he was taking. Making matters way worse, the opportunistic tweeter posted an image of the private jet Bow Wow uploaded earlier in the same tweet. Yikes. From there, the Bow Wow Challenge was born.
Young Dro Rocks an Outfit That Looks Like a Romper
Young Dro sent the internet into a frenzy in May when he was spotted wearing what looked like a floral romper in a photo. While people had their fun—one Twitter user said it looked like Dro was trapped inside of a tropical Skittles bag—a lot of ladies were feeling the look. The RompHim was a legit trend for a couple of weeks, and regardless of how you felt about the fit, seeing the hardened Atlanta rapper rocking that get-up was definitely jarring.
For his part, Dro denied the fit was a romper at all. "Ain't no muthafuckin' romper, man," Dro said in a Trae Tha Truth Instagram video a short time later. "You better get with this shit or get ran over. Man, we ain't putting no shit to connect our nuts...If I gotta take all my clothes off to get some head I'm not wearing it." You be the judge.
Drake Hosts the 2017 NBA Awards
When Drake was named as host of the inaugural NBA Awards in April, anyone who'd been paying attention knew that a barrage of flawlessly executed jokes were on the way. When the time came on that summer night late last June, Drizzy didn’t disappoint.
Presiding over a group of NBA players, coaches, their families and media luminaries, Drizzy made time to roast everyone from Kenny Smith (who threw a ghostwriting joke at Drizzy), LeBron James and even Drake himself. "I've said it time and time again: I have two teams," Drizzy said, setting up the punchline. "One for my hometown and whoever else is winning at the current time."
In the best bit of all, the Toronto rapper spoofed Steph Curry in a clever Get Out parody where he depicted the Golden State Warrior as a square who would almost be happier watching Belly and eating Blazing Hots than celebrating his newly minted second championship trophy ("DMX, you crazy!").
The funniest portion of the sketch is when the woman playing Steph's wife Ayesha Curry uses the Get Out hypnosis technique to send the baller to the sunken place.
50 Cent and Irv Gotti Trade Shots Over BET Shows
50 Cent's former rival, Murder Inc. CEO Irv Gotti, was just one month into the run of his TV series, Tales, which was airing on the same network as Fif's comedy series 50 Central, when a nearly 20-year-old beef was reactivated. The Queens rapper/mogul tapped into his typical "Terminate on Sight" self and the two rivals were soon trading shots on Instagram. Fif even got at Gabrielle Union, who, at the time, starred as the titular character on BET's Being Mary Jane.
Lil Uzi Vert's Shoulder Dance Becomes an Internet Craze
Lil Uzi Vert had just won the trophy for Song of the Summer at the 2017 MTV VMAs when he stepped in front of a camera for an interview. Refusing to engage in one of those cliched victory speeches, Uzi simply thanked his fans and promised to bring his award with him to concerts all over the country. From there, he delivered a shoulder shrug and made a facial expression that looked like a girl who'd just been told she was pretty. Naturally, the moment became a meme that's endured the rest of the year.
Big Shaq's "Man's Not Hot" Freestyle Is the Perfect Comedic Relief
This fall, London-based comedian Michael Dapaah started a phenomenon with a hilarious turn as the swaggering, dead-panning rapper, Roadman Shaq. For his bit on BBC Radio 1Xtra's Charlie Sloth-hosted show Fire in the Booth. After stepping to the hanging condenser mic, Dapaah, under his Big Shaq persona, spits in a fairly steady, straightforward rhyme pattern before randomly breaking out into some absurd gunshot onomatopoeia. "The ting goes: Grraahhh, pot, pot, cot, cot, cot, scat," he spit.
Within days, Big Shaq's mock rhyme became a meme, with folks from all over uploading images and videos with either the comedian's gunshot sounds or simply the lyrics themselves being added to the tweet. Since then, Shaq's delivered an official music video for the freestyle and performed it at live events. The best part of this whole phenomenon was definitely the memes, though.
Yung Joc Gets Roasted After Being Spotted in a Dress
Between his bizarre hairstyle and starring role on Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, Yung Joc's become an unexpected source of viral joy over the last few years. The latest bit of humor came when the Atlanta rapper was spotted wearing a blue dress in September. Defending his look, Joc used a few Instagram videos to explain that he had no choice but to "man up" and "put on a fucking dress." "All I'ma say is, quit being so judgmental, people. It's threads." He said he was just fulfilling a bet, but either way, the effect was the same.
Post Malone Stage Dives, No One Catches Him
Back in September, Post Malone was performing "Rockstar" at a St. Louis, Mo., concert when he decided to attempt a stage dive. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, fans weren't around for the move at that particular moment. As soon as he jumped, a small circle just wide enough for Post to fall through opened up, and the Texas-bred artist was lying on his ass. Taking it in stride, Post continued performing on the ground for a few bars before getting back up. He managed to laugh at the moment a short while later.
Wiz Khalifa Makes Weed Gesture While Throwing First Pitch at Pittsburgh Pirates Game
Rocking a "Legalize It" shirt, Wiz Khalifa was on brand when he threw the first pitch at the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game at the end of September. Just before tossing the baseball, Wiz saw fit to pretend he was smoking a joint. Needless to say, it didn't go over too well with Major League Baseball officials. It was pretty funny, though.
"For the Dick" and "For the Pussy" Challenges Take the Internet by Storm
"I'll kidnap myself for that dick/Make my parents pay the ransom for that dick/I'll go to trial for that dick/I ain't no snitch, but muthafucka, 'It was him' for that dick/Bury the block for that dick/Make Nicki and Remy talk for that dick," Cardi spits on her own hilarious iteration of the challenge. For his part, 21 Savage turned in an entry for the For the Pussy Challenge.
Tw1tter Picasso's Hilarious Drawings of Rappers Go Viral
Wollongong, Australia's own Tw1tter Picasso made viral waves in November when his caricature-esque illustrations reached the apex of their fame. Over the course of several months, the talented artist created deliberately grotesque renderings of artists like Kendrick Lamar, Offset, 6LACK, Migos, Chris Brown, Ty Dolla $ign, Cardi B and more. Check out some of his art for yourself below.
Woman Thinks Desiigner's Red Carpet Interview Is a Performance
Admittedly, Desiigner's world-famous adlibs could probably be considered songs unto themselves. Still, it was pretty hilarious and completely unexpected when one reporter actually began bobbing her head to the rhythm of one of his interviews. The moment took place during the American Music Awards in November, and to his credit, the G.O.O.D. Music artist took it in stride.
Chance The Rapper Kills It in Hilarious 'Saturday Night Live' Skits
Chance The Rapper solidified his status as a blooming multi-talented threat during his turn hosting an episode of Saturday Night Live in November. After delivering a solid sing-song opening monologue, Chano churned out a few standout skits. In one, he played the part of an inner-city kid calling out Batman's fascist and highly prejudicial methods of crime fighting. In another, he plays the role of a pizza delivery boy porn star dealing with an oblivious bystander. He also turned in a perfectly spot-on parody of 1990s R&B groups in an ode to former U.S. President, Barack Obama.