[[quoteright:275:[[Music/WuTangClan http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/CDAL2359_8523.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:275:[-Pictured: a man who talks about selling crack on a regular basis.-] ]]

->"''Lupe steal like Franchise/LupinIII''"
-->-- '''Music/LupeFiasco''', ''[[Music/KanyeWest 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. [[OneOfUs 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 TropeCodifier Wu-Tang Clan's song ''C.R.E.A.M.'', which stands for "'''C'''ash '''R'''ules '''E'''verything '''A'''round '''M'''e."

Subtrope of OneOfUs. Often overlaps with BlackAndNerdy.

Compare with HeavyMithril, the HeavyMetal equivalent, and {{Filk}}, the FolkMusic equivalent.


* As far back as the 80's, Big Daddy Kane referred to his style as "Transformin' on stage like a [[Franchise/{{Transformers}} Decepticon]]."
* The entire genre of {{Nerdcore}} is basically taking this trope and running with it like you had the [[ComicBook/TheFlash Speed Force]].
* Creator/{{Egoraptor}}'s project Music/{{Starbomb}} is composed of nearly constant video game references, though he's better known as a video game commentator than rapper.
* Music/DoctorSteel: Only thing keeping this guy from just being a comic book character? The fact that he isn't in a comic book.
* Music/{{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 {{Music/Danger Mouse}} on an Creator/AdultSwim sponsored album called ''The Mouse and the Mask'' that contained songs about ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce'', ''WesternAnimation/PerfectHairForever'', and more.
* The other ruling champions of this trope are the Music/WuTangClan. 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 [[ComicBook/IronMan Tony Starks]] and [[Comicbook/GhostRider Johnny Blaze]], respectively. The RZA does guest commentary for many [=DVDs=] 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. Ghostface Killah also made cameo appearances in ''Series/ThirtyRock'' and ''Film/IronMan'', although his part in the latter was cut.
** RZA also did the soundtracks for ''Film/GhostDogTheWayOfTheSamurai'' and ''Film/KillBill'' because of his skill as a musician and his knowledge of the genre, making him ideal to create a suitable score. He's also starring in/writing/directing ''The Man with the Iron Fists'', a martial arts film that features Creator/RussellCrowe, who took the role after working with RZA in ''Film/TheNextThreeDays''.
* Music/{{Eminem}}, of all people, loves comic books. He is an avid collector and especially a fan of Batman and Spiderman. In his single, "Business", he portrays himself and Dr. Dre as Robin and Batman respectively. And in the video for "Without Me", they are both in costumes reminiscent of the dynamic duo.
-->'''Music/DrDre:''' Marshall! Sounds like an S.O.S.!\\
'''Eminem:''' Holy wack unlyrical lyrics, Andre! You're fuckin' right!\\
'''Dr. Dre:''' To the Rapmobile! Let's go!
* Music/LupeFiasco loves anime and [=RPGs=], and has made this known in many of his songs (see page quote). He also has a punk band side project called Japanese Cartoon. While he denies naming his fifth album ''Tetsuo and Youth'' after the [[Manga/{{Akira}} character]], he does admit to being inspired by the character.
* Music/JCole sometimes comes across as this; on his verse on Music/JayZ's "A Star is Born"
-->Cole got the glow like a lil' [[Franchise/StarWars lightsaber]]
* Music/SnoopDogg did a track called "Batman & Robin". While ostensibly a cover/parody of the Creator/AdamWest ''Series/{{Batman}}'' series, Snoop mentions characters that weren't in the series, such as Clayface. Generally Snoop Dogg has proven himself to be quite nerdy, showing interest in a wide variety of areas, including Series/GameOfThrones and Anime/DragonBallZ.
* Pharrell Williams' rock band side project is called N.E.R.D., and their symbol is the [[Franchise/StarTrek Vulcan salute]].
* Music/KanyeWest recreated shots from ''Manga/{{Akira}}'' in his video for "Stronger".
** ''Graduation'' (the album "Stronger" is on) also includes the track "Good Morning", where West rhymes
-->Good morning and, look at the valedictorian\\
Scared of the future while I hop in the [[Franchise/BackToTheFuture Delorean]]
** Even his dark, brash [[NewSoundAlbum electro]] effort ''Music/{{Yeezus}}'' includes, on the song "Guilt Trip", the line
-->Franchise/StarWars fur, yeah I'm rockin' Chewbacca
* Even much-maligned rapper Music/SouljaBoy, of all people, has admitted to an anime obsession. He released a much-maligned mixtape that sampled the ''Manga/DeathNote'' soundtrack.
** Soulja Boy does this by the truckload in his mixtape-exclusive tracks "{{Anime}}" and "[[Anime/DragonBallZ Goku]]". [[WordSaladLyrics Too bad they don't make any sense...]]
* Music/LilWayne, of all people, 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 Film/{{Beetlejuice}}, Beetlejuice Beetlejuice
** He also [[http://www.engadget.com/2009/10/09/celebrity-nerds-lil-waynes-got-a-modded-xbox/ owns a modded Xbox and "every game from A to Z"]].
* Music/{{Ludacris}}'s song "Press the Start Button" is one video game reference after another.
** He also wrote and performed the theme for one iteration of the ''VideoGame/MaddenNFL'' series.
* Speaking of which... Italian rapper Music/{{Caparezza}} made a song about improving as an artist, that is, going to "the next level". Of course, it includes many references to video games from ''VideoGame/{{Arkanoid}}'' to ''Franchise/WonderBoy''. Oh, and the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od--00x73E8 video]] is a giant homage to ''Film/{{Tron}}''.
* Indie hip-hop group Furthermore ended their first album with "Melted Vinyl", which name-drops a downright ridiculous number of Creator/MarvelComics superheroes, then mentions a crossover with the Franchise/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica in the final verse.
* And then there's Ken Leavitt-Lawrence, a.k.a. [=MC=] Hawking, who performs his astrophysics-themed raps with a [=WillowTalk=] speech-to-text and represents himself as ''being'' UsefulNotes/StephenHawking.
* Rapper Greydon Square, who describes himself as "the black Carl Sagan."
* Radical leftist rapper Paris has a degree in economics from the University of California.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j50ZssEojtM The Large Hadron Rap]].
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9k_oKK4Teco This]] rap music video about gene regulation. There are [[http://www.youtube.com/user/tomcfad more of them]], too.
* The Cover for Music/OutKast's second album, "[= ATLiens =]", looks like a comic book cover, it even goes as far as having a date and price on it in the style of comic book covers. Most of the booklet actually ''is'' a mini-comic book, depicting the group as superheroes in a science fiction setting. Taking this one further, the CD single for Jazzy Belle comes in a standard jewel case with a booklet containing a sequel to this comic. The music on the album is quite spacey and sci-fi influenced and some of the lyrics are quite alien themed. It's pretty well known that André3000 is the nerd of the group, with a wide variety of pop cultural interests and a rather eccentric personality all expressed in his lyrics. Big Boi on the other hand models himself as the straight man with more straightforward hip hop image.
* Rapper Wale, who, although he nicely drops sports references in his rhymes (and refers to himself occasionally in songs as "Wale Ovechkin" as per the Washington Capitals player), gained notice for a critically acclaimed [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mixtape_About_Nothing mixtape that was inspired by (and used samples from)]] Seres/{{Seinfeld}}. He had a second Seinfeld-themed (and popular) mixtape some years later.
* Music/JayZ references several comic characters in his track "Kingdom Come" off the album of the same name. He compares himself to Franchise/{{Superman}}/Clark Kent, [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Bruce Wayne]], and [[ComicBook/SpiderMan Peter Parker]]. Plus the parallel between the state of Hip-Hop at the time of his album's release and the state of the world in DC's ''Comicbook/KingdomCome''.
** This was at the suggestion of his longtime engineer, [[BlackAndNerdy Young Guru]].
* Music/ChildishGambino is full of nerdy references, including to ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' in "Bonfire" and ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' in "Not Going Back". He also acted in ''Film/TheMartian'' and ''Film/SpiderManHomecoming'', and is the voice of ComicBook/MilesMorales in season 3 of ''WesternAnimation/UltimateSpiderMan''.
* Rapper [[http://www.flocotorres.com Floco Torres]] has released two albums which reference ''WesternAnimation/RockosModernLife'': ''Floco's Modern Life'' and ''Ralph [[AC: BIG]]head''.
* Music/BlissNEso stuffed their track "Destiny Lane" with pop culture references. ''Film/AliceInWonderland2010'', the ''[[Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean Black Pearl]]'', Creator/WilliamShakespeare, Creator/EdgarAllanPoe, Creator/TimBurton, Music/TheBeatles, and the list goes on... Other tracks also contain references to ''Franchise/TheMatrix'' among other things.
* Some of Music/{{Diafrix}}'s tracks and music videos have references to [[Literature/WheresWally Wally]], Franchise/{{Superman}}, and other pop culture characters.
* The High & Mighty include references to ''Franchise/StarWars'' in their tracks, for example in their most famous "B-Boy Document '99" Mr Eon claims: "I'm Jedi Master, Mace Windu".
* [=GMCFosho=] has songs referencing ''Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'', ''ComicBook/XMen'', ''VideoGame/StreetFighter'', ''Series/PowerRangers'' (among other things), and one of his music videos contains a [[Franchise/StarWars lightsaber]].
* [[Music/OddFuture Tyler, the Creator]] is a huge fan of the ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' franchise, even recording new music for the game's [[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV fifth installment]].
* Music/{{Deltron 3030}} weaves its own bizarre anime-inspired science-fictional continuity, but also drops liberal references to comics, anime, video games, and other nerd culture. Music/DelThaFunkeeHomoSapien has been known to do so in his solo work as well, one of the better examples being "Proto Culture," a love letter to classic video games.
* Some of the songs by ''Music/BarenakedLadies'' is just the lead singer rapping. Their hit "One Week" includes nods to Creator/AkiraKurosawa and ''Manga/SailorMoon''.
* Music/WeirdAlYankovic spoofed Chamillionaire's track "Ridin'" with "White and Nerdy", which is all about an extremely geeky white guy who wishes he could be accepted by the 'gangsters'. Given the title of the spoof, this was of course full of nerdy references, from collecting ''ComicBook/XMen'' comics to finding out if he liked [[Franchise/StarTrek Kirk or Picard]] better.
* Princess Nokia mentions being a fan of Marvel comics on the track "[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Bart Simpson]]", the reason being:
-->''Characters look just like me,\\
And women don't have roles that make them look too sexually''