Created By: steampowered on March 6, 2011 Last Edited By: steampowered on March 12, 2011

Comics Rule Everything Around Me

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This man talks about selling crack on a regular basis.

"Lupe steals like Lupin the Third"
- Lupe Fiasco, Touch the Sky

Being a good rapper requires a deft command of the English language, as well as a large knowledge of popular culture. The best rappers pile wordplay upon wordplay, employing strange rhyme schemes and complicated metaphors, as well as references from every conceivable era and field. For rappers that produce tracks as well, they often have to search for the most obscure and esoteric samples possible, from old soul records to cartoon themes. All this requires a certain nerdy mindset. Thus, many good rappers tend to be nerds.

Tends to show up in rappers that are more critically acclaimed than popular, though there are exceptions.

Trope is named for Trope Codifier Wu-Tang Clan's song C.R.E.A.M., which stands for "Cash Rules Everything Around Me."

Subtrope of One of Us. For the punk rock version of this trope, see Scientific Progress Goes Oi. Often overlaps with Black and Nerdy


  • The entire genre of Nerdcore, obviously.
  • MF DOOM is one of the kings of this trope. After his brother was killed in a car accident, he reinvented himself with a Doctor Doom obsessed supervillain persona. His work contains references to numerous comic books, movies, and Saturday morning cartoons, and he collaborated with mega-producer Danger Mouse on an [adult swim] sponsored album called The Mouse and the Mask that contained songs about Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Perfect Hair Forever, and more.
  • The other ruling champions of this trope are the Wu-Tang Clan. All of them are massive Wuxia fans, as well as comic books and Blaxsploitation movies. Members Ghostface Killah and Method Man have rapped under the aliases Tony Starks and Johnny Blaze, respectively. The RZA does guest commentary for many DV Ds of kung-fu movies, often putting so-called experts in the genre to shame with his knowledge. These obsessions aren't mere gimmickry, though. Their debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) has been called the greatest rap album of all time by many, many sources.
  • Lupe Fiasco loves anime and RP Gs, and has made this known in many of his songs (see page quote). He also has a punk band side project called Japanese Cartoon.
  • Pharrell Williams' rock band side project is called N.E.R.D., and their symbol is the Vulcan salute.
  • Kanye West recreated shots from AKIRA in his video for "Stronger."
  • Even much-maligned rapper Soulja Boy has admitted to an anime obsession. He released a much-maligned mixtape that sampled the Death Note soundtrack.
  • Lil Wayne, arguably the biggest rapper in the world at this point, has some lines that fall under this. An example in "Mr. Carter":
    I'ma need a coupe, I won't need a roof
    Flyer than Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice Beetlejuice
He also owns a modded Xbox and "every game from A to Z."
  • Ludacris song "Press the Start Button" is one video game reference after another.

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