Let's talk about the Rap Critic (aka Masta Artisan, aka Daren Jackson).The resident reviewer of hip-hop and rap for Channel Awesome (until his departure in 2018). Along with Todd in the Shadows, Paw Dugan, and Rocked Reviews, he's a music critic. He is also found on RVT. He raps a little as well, but not in his reviews; well, not much anyway. In 2014 he started the "Goin' Off" podcast with Marc Mues. In 2015, he started a segment called "Music Skitteos", in which he riffs on hip-hop music videosHis work can be found here and here, and his Twitter is here. His YouTube is here.
This reviewer provides examples of:
- Aborted Arc: In the closest thing we've gotten to a Story Arc from the otherwise strictly review-based Rap Critic, Lil Wayne drags the Critic to hell and convinces him to stop criticizing his music. Not only does all of this happen off-screen, but a few videos later the Critic is back to bashing Lil Wayne like nothing happened.
- He mentions in "The Top 9 Worst Lyrics of 2011" that they settled matters amicably.
- Actually Pretty Funny: He got a chuckle from the "left nut" line of the otherwise execrable "Just Lose It".
- In the Crossover review with Diamanda Hagan on the Insane Clown Posse movie Big Money Rustlas, Rap Critic admits he actually found a decent number of the gags in the movie to be pretty funny (and in general found Rustlas to be a much better movie compared to it's predecessor, Big Money Hustlas), particularly Sugar Wolf's cartoon-like "pimp slap" scenes.
- When listening to this T-Pain's "Rap Song", he starts laughing uncontrollably at this little line, and couldn't bring himself to review the lyric (Which technically means I only have FIVE lyrics for this month...)
- Accidental Innuendo: Cracks up when he hears the line "I take sacks to the face whenever I can!" He knows the line is supposed to be referring to drugs, but it instead sounds like he enjoys taking...
- A Date with Rosie Palms: When Ill Mind of Hopsin 4 makes a reference to Nicki Minaj naked.
- Analogy Backfire: In the David Banner review, after David Banner's line, "I beat it like Mike when he fucked Billie Jean," Rap Critic exasperatedly points out that the point of that song was for Michael to say that he didn't have sex with her.
"His dick was as big as a tower! But not the Eiffel Tower, that would be ridiculous. More like a Lego figurine model of the Eiffel Tower, if I had to be precise."
- He points out that the "And she's a patient in my waiting room" line in Drake's "Best I Ever Had" could also mean that this girl is waiting for Drake while he's busy with somebody else.
- When discussing I Know You See It, Rap Critic is horrified when Yung Joc brags about a woman giving him a blowjob "like she's chewin' bubble gum."
- In "Top 5 Worst Lyrics- Aug 2014", Nelly manages to make it at #1 with the sentence "Shake it like a paraplegic." While Rick Ross came a close second with the line "I'm the biggest rapper alive, google me, expedia." Expedia's a travel site.
- He points out that the line "Dick bigger than a tower/I ain't talkin' 'bout Eiffel's" from Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" actually makes the guy's dick look pretty small.
- Angry Black Man: Averted to the point that even he's surprised at how calm he stays.
- Justified in his "Worst Lyrics I've Ever Heard... This Year (2011)" video, as he bemoans the horrible state mainstream rap music had become at the time.
- Appeal to Obscurity: In his review of Soulja Boy: The Movie with Mues:Mues: Then Soulja Boy shows off useless crap, like having 92 thousand friends on Myspace. Because you know, Tila Tequila had 2 million friends on Myspace, and we all see how important she is.Rap Critic: Who?Mues: Exactly.
Rap Critic: And if you don't remember who J-Kwon is, well, that's exactly my point.
- The RC sees Kid Ink as another version of J-Kwon.
- April Fools' Day: His review of "Redbone" in 2017, which starts off as usual enough, and then a quarter of the way through, it suddenly transitions into a Get Out-style hypnosis scene on the viewer, where he takes the opportunity to plug his Patreon. The second half of the video is extra snippets from the "Goin' Off" podcast.
- Auto-Tune: He doesn't seem to mind it in other contexts unlike most people, but he sees Auto-Tune when used in rap a flaccid attempt by producers to make lazy artists sound robotic and cool (despite rap not being based off of tonal pitch). Angrily discussed with "We Dem Boyz":Rap Critic: I don't know about you, but when I hear a rapper with Auto-Tune on, I immediately tune out, because I have yet to hear a rap verse with Auto-Tune on it that was ever good. Not even from Lil Wayne, not even from Kanye. Sure, maybe there were some songs where they sang the whole time and I liked it, but I can't name you one good auto-tuned rap verse.
- Berserk Button:
"Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up, Big Sean! Shut! The fuck! Up!"
- He can't stand the way Violent J says "my motherfuckin' money!"
- Repetitive verses and lines, especially prevalent in Big Sean's music.
- He's really not fond of when rappers don't even bother to try and rhyme.
- Better Than It Sounds: In-Universe, "No Love" is a classic example. Rap Critic starts out thinking that a song by a post-"Relapse" Eminem and Lil Wayne that samples "What is Love" by Haddaway could possibly be good. By the end of the review, he gives the song his second-ever six out of five rating.
- Big "NO!": In his "Worst Lyrics of April 2014", this is his reaction to a really bad sex brag.Yung Joc: She chewin' on the dick like a piece of bubble—Rap Critic: Whoa! No! You're not supposed to do that... at all!
- Black and Nerdy: Self-admitted.
- Boomerang Bigot:
"Way to stereotype your own people. ...Ya jerk."
- He accused Petey Pablo of being this in "Raise Up", regarding a line claiming that the artist spent jail time with half of the...black men in North Carolina.
- In his Ridin' review he notes that the song about racist cops uses Tiny Lister, a black man, to portray said racist cop. Despite his criticisms about the song, he doesn't think this is a flaw, citing this trope.
- Breathless Non Sequitur: He calls Lil Wayne out for doing this in "Love Me" by doing it himself:"I don't know about you, but linking two phrases together with the word 'and' is not the same thing as a transitional phrase and I like nipples."
- Brick Joke: Snoop Dogg leading an army of gummy bears in a Katy Perry music video.
- In "It Was A Good Day", he jokes at Ice Cube saying he is drinking and driving by editing the music video to show Ice Cube going out of control and crashing. Later in his "Worst Lyrics of October 2012" video, he parodies rap's obsession with "haters" by claiming that someone saying he shouldn't play near the road is just hating, only to be ran over by Ice Cube.
- Broke the Rating Scale:
- He's used both kinds of Type 1. He's given several 0 out of 5 ratings, and five 6 out of 5 ratings note .
- He refused to give a rating for "Loyal" because that would mean he would he have to actually acknowledge Chris Brown as a legit rapper.
- He was about to give a rating to "Lifestyle", but just before that he declared that the song was absolutely awful and refused to spend any more time with it, then the video ended.
- He gave "Bad and Boujee" by Migos ft. Lil Uzi Vert the following, scathing (non)rating:RC: Overall I give this a get the fuck out of my face.
- Broken Aesop: He points out that the message of "Ridin'" (about how cops resort to racial profiling to get away with police brutality) is completely invalidated when Chamillionaire & Krayzie Bone rap about not only fulfilling those negative stereotypes, but also by bragging about breaking the law and having warrants "in every city except Houston".
- Broken Pedestal: Devoted a large chunk of his "Worst Lyrics of 2012" video to explaining why Nicki Minaj's recent work has disappointed him so much.
- The Cameo:
- He appeared in Sad Panda's Q and A Episode 1, Paw Dugan's list of Top 9 Marx Brothers Music Moments, Todd in the Shadows' review of "Whip My Hair" and Atop the Fourth Wall's review of "Eminem/The Punisher #1".
- In return the Animetalchick appears in "Just Can't Get Enough" (though she only calls herself "the camera guy's sister", with her name appearing in her next appearance). She also returns in a Worst Lyrics of September 2011 to comment on two ("tokyo diamonds!" and "I like them black, white, Puerto Rican, or Haitian Like Japanese, Chinese, or even Asian!") and Kreayshawn's "Gucci Gucci" as a "Female Rap Critic".
- Bhargav, Demoversi, Todd in the Shadows, Il Neige, and Diamanda Hagan all have cameos in his crossover with Marc Mues.
- As The Nostalgia Critic had reviewed Kazaam, the Rap Critic tried to get him for a Shaq Diesel crossover. It doesn't work.
- He offers Marc Mues a rhyme in his Worst 6 Pop Songs of 2011 video.
- Long cameo in the Brows Held High episode for Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, explaining to Oancitizen who RZA is, and at the end, giving a 2/5 to Kyle's rap. Oan too assists with Rap Critic's review of "Picasso Baby" by Jay-Z.
- Provides a voice-over cameo in Film Brain's review of The Marine as a sitcom narrator.
- He provided an explanation of Vanilla Ice's career for Linkara's review of Ice's biographical comic. He notably did this after going on break to work on his album.
- Catch-Phrase:"Let's talk about (Artist Du Jour)"
(His early reviews) "I'm the Rap Critic. I analyze the rhymes, cause no one else does."
(After joining TGWTG) "You don't have to like my opinion, but I don't have to like your song."
- Comically Missing the Point: Does this in "Worst Lyrics I've Ever Heard... this Month" for September 2011.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Complained about the one which kicks off "Hustlin'".
- Drops one himself while reviewing "I Don't F—- With You" by Big Sean after losing patience with the sheer repetitiveness of the song.
- Cringe Comedy: Although he's often the only person in his Video Review Show, he still manages to do this in his review of "Whatta Man" by Salt 'N Pepa.
- With Todd in the Shadows for "It Wasn't Me", and the Animetalchick in a "Worst Lyrics" battle between rap and metal.
- And again to review Runaway.
- The Rap Critic ended up doing a cameo appearance for Todd's Best Songs of 2012 video, collaborated with him to review Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa's Mac & Devin Go To High School, and then had an appearance in Todd's review on Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire" just to help Todd with the A Wild Rapper Appears! in Nicki Minaj. What makes this notable was that it was for three straight Todd videos in a row that he had appeared in!note
- He and Todd jointly review Brad Paisley's "Accidental Racist", which eventually devolves into an argument over who makes the song suck, with the Rap Critic saying LL Cool J's guest lyrics ruin the message, while Todd claims that it's Brad Paisley's fault for coming up with the idea in the first place.
- With Marc Mues for "Raise Up" and Soulja Boy: The Movie.
- Pops up frequently enough in the Brows Held High review of Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai given the films context and score by The RZA to be more than just a cameo. Especially as he winds up reviewing Oancitizen's Rap-Analysis of the film and director Jim Jarmusch's style, Oan gets a 2 out of 5.
- He teamed up with Film Brain to review the 50 Cent movie "Set Up".
- With Todd in the Shadows for "It Wasn't Me", and the Animetalchick in a "Worst Lyrics" battle between rap and metal.
- Curse Cut Short: In the "Anaconda" review, when he gets tired of listening to the song, and just wants it to end. "END THE FU—*cut away* Overall, I'd give this..."
- Damned by Faint Praise: From the "We Dem Boyz" review:Rap Critic: Heck, I liked Young, Wild, and Free! *other Wiz Khalifa songs appear on-screen* And... eh... I... uh... er... uh, well, I liked Young, Wild, and Free.
- Deadpan Snarker: Often.Nelly: Your body is bangin' momma but where your brains at?
—>Rap Critic: You say that as if you care.
- Death Glare: He's a master.
- Department of Redundancy Department: From his very first review, of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's "Nothin' But a G Thang":"There's no creativity, there's no focus, and there's no... focus."
- Don't Explain the Joke: Nicki Minaj averts this in one of The Worst Lyrics of 2014, much to his exasperation:Nicki Minaj: I don't duck* nobody, but tape...
Rap Critic: Eh, that was kinda clever.
Nicki Minaj: YEAH! That was a setup...
Rap Critic: Uuhh...
Nicki Minaj: For a punchline...
Rap Critic: Grrrr...
Nicki Minaj: On duct* tape!
Rap Critic: GRRRR!
Jay-Z: 'Cause I kill at will like solid water, dude!Rap Critic: (shows the cover of the Kill at Will album) "Solid water"? Really?Jay-Z: Y'all niggas don't get it...Rap Critic: OK, we got it.Jay-Z: Kill at Will?Rap Critic: OK, we get it, it's not that funny...Jay-Z: Solid water?Rap Critic: Yes, thank you!Jay-Z: Ice Cube!
- In the Worst Lyrics I've Ever Heard... This Month (July 2013) episode, the RC tries to stop Jay-Z from explaining the joke to no avail.
- Epic Fail: His opinion of Rick Ross's confusing of Expedia (the traveling website) and Wikipedia, and Nelly's lyric "Shake it like a parapalegic.''
- Ending Fatigue: Says Mack Maine's verse (or outro) on Young Money's "Every Girl" qualifies as this because it broke the three verse structure and didn't add to the song.
- Enforced Plug: His album Polarity Switch at the end of the "Death of Autotune" review.
- Epileptic Trees: An In-Universe example in his review of Birthday Song by 2Chainz.Why did 2Chainz order a clown for his birthday anyway? And was that kid from earlier also supposed to be 2Chainz? Is this some sort of weird time warp dimension where 2Chainz went back in the past and crashed his own 10th birthday party or something? Maybe that's it. Maybe 2Chainz is causing a rift in time and space and that's why all these anomalies are happening. Like stripper origami here, or... whatever muscle spasms this gentlemen seems to be suffering.
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: His list of the top nine worst lyrics of 2016 has him wrapping up by putting the entirety of B.o.B.'s "Flatline" at #1. His discussion of the song's failings culminates in a massive "The Reason You Suck" Speech at conspiracy theorists, accusing them of poisoning the discourse such that actual problems with government and corporate corruption and malfeasance can't be discussed rationally without being lumped in with raving lunatics. He then realizes what he just said..."In fact, if I didn't know any better, I'd think that... oh my God. These conspiracy nuts are a plant by evil corporations! They're there to make any actual criticism of the effects of their tyranny look crazy! Oh my God, it's the perfect plan! To keep your mind occupied by fantasy that tells you that you're powerless, and misdirect people out there who want to be socially aware with gobbledygook about the Earth being flat! Because, y'know, that's what's ruining society! Listen to me, people! All you flat-earthers and 9/11 truthers out there, stop focusing your energy on this bulls**t! Remove the wool from over your eyes and realize that you should be using your energy to protest actual corrupt stuff like, like the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, or pushing for better police training! Stop talking about the weather machines or pizza parties or whatever bulls**t you're actually thinking about! That's just what the Illumi-Nazis or the Build-a-Bear Corporation want you to think! Open your eyes, sheeple!!!"
- Facepalm: His reaction to "Ass (Remix)" by Big Sean. He needs a moment before he can make any comments.
- Faux Symbolism: In-Universe. He and Mues debate the meaning of Nazi imagery in the Nicki Minaj Lyric Video "Only." After wondering what the third reich has to do with the Minaj/Drake/Lil' Wayne love triangle, they conclude that it's all just to look cool.
- Favorite Trope: In addition to being one himself, he really likes baritones. He gives both Fast Lane and 21 Questions props for picking baritones to do the hook, with the latter case being done by Nate Dogg himself.
- Flat "What.": His reaction to the lyric, "I got your grandma on my dick" in Tyga's song "Rack City."
- Flipping the Table: Literally in the music video for "Oh My God.
- Forced Meme: Brought up as a joke in his "Swimming Pools (Drank)" review. He wonders why no one has turned it into an internet meme yet and volunteers to get it started.Rap Critic: Realize the inability for this meme to catch on. *DRANK.*
- Fun with Subtitles: Whenever the lyrics are overtly stupid, the caption reads something along the line of *lyrics are too insulting to my intellect to type*...
- Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: ...and when they are unintelligible, they read "?". Mystikal combines this with attempts to trying to get lyrics other than "I came in here with my dick in my hand!"
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In Shaq Diesel, a particularly garbled song is interrupted with "*you don't pay me enough to do this...*"
- Also, during Tech N9NE's Motor Mouth lyrics, it says "what do you expect me to do here?", explaining that it's hard to type and the editing software can't paste text.
- This occurs multiple times in his review of "Lifestyle".
- In the Worst Lyrics of September 2011, the "Owned by [Record Label]" gets this twice: "Rubberband Banks" is "owned by label that's owned by one of the Big Four REAL record companies that own all the music you listen to" and "Balla Baby" is "...well, I'm not sure if ANYONE wants to take credit for this...".
- Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: ...and when they are unintelligible, they read "?". Mystikal combines this with attempts to trying to get lyrics other than "I came in here with my dick in my hand!"
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: In-Universe, Todd and the Critic argued that the cheated girlfriend on "It Wasn't Me" was following the action so closely that she probably wanted to be a part of it. And said the cheater would be a lucky guy for this!
"I'm not sure what I'm more offended by—how sexist that was, or that it wasn't even a LITTLE hot."
- In his cameo on Todd in the Shadows' "Girl On Fire," his reaction to the spirit of Marilyn Monroe inviting Nicki Minaj into her bed: "Niiiice!" (Which immediately turns to horror when said spirit apparently starts asking Nicki to commit suicide with her.)
- Averted in the Mac and Devin Go To High School review, again with Todd in the Shadows. At one point, Mac rejects the advances of two girls because he's supposedly fallen for the teacher from earlier. They ask Mac what they're supposed to do, and Mac suggests "each other." The girls promptly start making out. RC's reaction:
- Gold Digger: Notices that the singer in "Santa Baby" takes this Up to Eleven, as she would rather have a platinum mine instead.
- Go Mad from the Revelation:
- In the "Hustlin'" review, after Rick Ross rhymes "twenty-two" with "twenty-two" seven times.
- And after the Truck Driver's Gear Change in "Just Can't Get Enough".
- Got Me Doing It: Butting heads with Oancitizen over the themes of Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai.Rap Critic: Don't you even care that this movie — the first to feature a score by a major rap artist — created a major step toward solidifying the hip-hop aesthetic as a cultural, viable expression to an artistic crowd?! (beat) Damn, started to sound like you for a second."
Oan: It happens.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: His jacket.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: After listening to Rick Ross' "Hustlin'".
- After hearing Drake's line quoted under Too Much Information below, he decides to end the review by watching TV...
- Hope Spot: In his review of "Lifestyle" by Rich Gang, he sees a few bars about how Young Thug wants to do this so he can benefit his family, but then it goes back to the bragging and talking about hoes in the next verse.
- Horror Host: As (the frequently in-and-out-of-character) Black Thunder, the Ghost of Isaac Hayes.
- Eminem rapping "Now I would never dis my own mama just to get recognition" earns five hostile lyrics against Shady's mom.
- He calls 50 Cent out on this in his review of "21 Questions", in terms of both his rivalry with Ja Rule over his Rated G for Gangsta image (only to craft one for himself not long after) and his mockery of Kanye West for using Auto-Tune (only to go on to use it on his next album).
- Hypocritical Humor:
- In the "It Was a Good Day" review, when he tells Ice Cube that he should cook his own breakfast since he's like 24 at the time of the video - and then yelling "Hey Mom, where's my breakfast?!"
- In the "Just Can't Get Enough" review, Animetalchick cameos to mention that she was offended by the song quoting "Me Love You Long Time" from Full Metal Jacket, then claims Interchangeable Asian Cultures.
- Large Ham
- Lets See You Do Better:
- Addressed in his "Death of Autotune" review, where he notes he does rap.
- One of the songs from his album also is basically about how much better he is than the people he criticizes.
- Lyrical Dissonance:
- "Fucking" by David Banner has explicit lyrics with multiple f-bombs and a smooth R&B sound. It gets to the point where leads to Poe's Law territory. You'd think the censored version would be less unintentionally comedic by having less dissonance. But it's actually worse (or possibly better) in that regard.
- In "Top 6 Most Haunting Songs in Hip-Hop", he cites this trope as the reason "Mind Playing Tricks On Me" is not placed higher. It is about ghetto paranoia, yet the song uses a fairly upbeat instrumental typical of the era.
- Melismatic Vocals: Hilariously parodied in the beginning of his Rap-Lib of 'Put It In Your Mouth'.
- Mood Whiplash:
- He calls this on Drake's "Best I Ever Had", which goes from love song to sex song. He illustrates by juxtaposing a clip from The Jackson 5's "I'll Be There" with a clip from Nine Inch Nails' "Closer".
- He calls this on Lil Wayne's lyrics in "Every Girl", similarly illustrating it by combining a clip from Prince's "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" with Snoop Dogg and Lil Jon's "Step Ya Game Up".
- He criticizes the whiplash between the verses and chorus of Terror Squad's "Lean Back", and illustrates by combining the verse of Tupac Shakur's "Brenda's Got a Baby" with the chorus of a song by Shawty Put.
- Intentional on his album Rapper's Liebe. "It's Alright, It's Okay" is about the protagonist telling a girl that just rejected him he's okay with it. The Next Song, "Oh My God", reveals how he actually feels:Once again, this crap keeps happenin'
feeling like I took four shots to the abdomen
'cause every time I think I've come across some divine luck
Reality reminds me how much life sucks
- He invokes it in his Best of 2015 list. After picking the incredibly somber "Madonna [And Other Mothers in the Hood]" as his #4, he punks the audience into thinking he put "Hotline Bling" at #3 to lighten the mood a bit. It turns out his actual #3 (Pusha T's "Untouchable") is just as dark.
- Monkeys on a Typewriter: On "Just Can't Get Enough", he says that the monkeys need to be hired, as they could write a line better than "Love lovey, yeah you know you are my demon".
- My God, You Are Serious: During Wiz Khalifa's "We Dem Boys."The Rap Critic: "That is not the chorus.... Dear God, that is the chorus."
- In-Universe, He breaks out into hysterics after hearing Rick Ross' verse "Whip it, whip it real hard"... both times.
- Also, when he hears Master P's "I Miss My Homies" (specially because he expected a somber theme... and got a kinda cheery tune with a "Frankenstein's Monster moan") he laughs so much he stops talking about it.
- Has a similar reaction to T-Pain's "Rap Song" after hearing him say "And I'mma do you like Kanye and I'mma let you finish".
- Never Live It Down: Whenever the Critic does a review of a Lil Wayne song, you can bet he will always bring up his early-career proclamation that he is the "best rapper alive" and...failing to live up to it, shall we say.
- Nice Hat: He sports one in most of his episodes. If he doesn't have it, he'll usually mourn its loss.
- "No. Just... No" Reaction: He gives this expression several times, including:
- When choosing a Lil Wayne song and coming across "A Milli".
- At the line in "The Jump Off" where Lil Kim tells listeners of his race to pollute their britches by the mere presence of her and Timbaland.
- Topping off his review of "Hustlin'".
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer:
- This little gem.Rap Critic: "So let's see what this 'Young Thug' has to say."Young Thug: "PIKACHU!"Rap Critic: "Oh no, please, allow him to elaborate."
- And from his "Worst Lyrics I've Ever Heard June 2014"Rap Critic: "So please, Mr. Glasses, tell us why this song is called-"Glasses Malone: "Treat it like #Rihanna! Beat it up! Beat it up! 'Cause playin' with the pu**y ain't enough, I'mma treat it like Rihanna!"
- A more positive example comes from his review of "I'm Outstanding" from Shaq Diesel:Rap Critic: "Actually though this song is surprisingly really good. It serves as a mini-autobiography about Shaq growing up poor and being inspired to become a good basketball player, and following his dreams to one day be likened to his idol Dr. J. And you know the best part? I'm not kidding."
- This little gem.
- Not So Different: In his comparison of "Started From The Bottom" to "Juicy", he realises that despite his complaint that "Started From The Bottom" has an attention seeking producer who stalls the flow of the track, "Juicy" has a similar problem and may even be one of the Trope Makers.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: In his review of David Banner's Certified, he notes that in real life, David Banner comes off as a lot more intelligent and that he seems to purposely be playing up rap stereotypes to sell more records.
- Obligatory Frontin': In his review for "Always On Time", he notes that Ja Rule constantly boasts about how hardcore he is, even when the song in question is a smooth R'n'B number.
- Once Acceptable Targets: Discussed in his "Racist Cartoons" video. He concludes Part 1 by saying that the reason why these cartoons are appalling is not only because the cartoonists have a skewed perspective of black people and culture, but because they demonstrate a lack of knowledge in how humor works. He states that comedy works best when punching up, not down, as it's more satisfying seeing high figures (like politicians) brought down a peg rather than the disenfranchised (like minorities) looked down upon.
- Only Sane Man: Among the weird and wacky characters of Channel Awesome he stands out as just a regular guy with a love for rap music.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: RC hardly ever cusses in his reviews (the musicians he reviews already do it enough for him), but when 2Chainz compares himself to 2Pac, he loses it.
"Lu, what the hell are you doing?....What is going on here?"
- Usually, the Rap Critic approaches his reviews with an air of dry sarcasm. But when his "Worst Lyrics of 2014" video has a song by Lupe Fiasco, RC's reaction to the entry is legitimate confusion that Lupe Fiasco could make a song that bad.
- Overly Narrow Superlative: "Here are the worst lyrics I've ever heard. This month."
- Overshadowed by Awesome: He discusses this trope in the What's Luv review. He says that Fat Joe is a decent rapper who had the bad luck of being a frequent collaborator with Big Punisher. It got to the point when during his earlier review of Lean Back, he claimed that Big Pun was the leader of Terror Squad, and Fat Joe took over after his death when in reality Joe was always the leader. He corrects this mistake while admitting his surprise of it in What's Luv.
- Pandering to the Base: Invoked. In the "Whatta Man" review, someone "else" says he's not really critiquing the song and just pandering to the ladies by showing he knows a thing or two about relationships. To which the Rap Critic agrees and then starts hitting on his female viewers. It gets pretty awkward.
- Pet-Peeve Trope: In-Universe He has a few:"I need to find a rhyme for the word I just put at the end of this line, that will work in the context of the next line. But that sounds hard!"
- Piss-Take Rap
- Product Placement: Once he reacts with a plug of his own record.
- In The Worst Lyrics of 2014, the RC got very upset at P. Diddy for name-dropping his brand of vodka in a song against police brutality towards black people.
- Rhyming with Itself
- Having both verses end on the last four bars. He is especially hard on Pitbull's "Timber" for this.
- Shallow parodies that rely on Stylistic Suck rather than saying something about the music it's parodying. It's the major reason why "Pussy" ended up on his Worst of 2014 list.
- As mentioned above, Auto-Tune when used in rap.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion, mainly for when it's done out of sheer laziness rather than trying to use it for an actual clever design choice such as with Twenty One Pilots.
- Poe's Law: In-Universe.
- "Show Me" by Kid Ink ft. Chris Brown is based on a pick-up line so ineffective that he wonders if they're trying to parody the corny pick-up lines in songs by taking it to Seinfeldian levels and having a pick-up line about nothing. But then he realizes that's too existential for them.
- He says that David Banner's album, Certified is such an exaggeratedly stereotypical rap album that it's hard to tell whether or not one should take it seriously at the beginning. During the "Fucking" song, he says that it's so over the top that you'd think it was a parody, but no no they're serious.
- Poor Man's Substitute: In-Universe example. Rap Critic is this for Todd in the Shadows. The Nostalgia Chick calls him "Not Todd" in their crossover review of Will Smith's rap career.
- He accidentally calls himself "Not Todd" during the same review, and immediately lampshades it.
- Precision F-Strike: When he does one of these, it's VERY noticeable, since he tends to dislike unnecessary cussing. But sometimes, he just has to break his usual polite manner and vent with an f-bomb.
Rap Critic: What the *** is wrong with you?"
- His reaction to a line in Waka Flocka Flame's "O Let's Do It" referencing lynching and shooting a guy for talking bad about him. The other times he swears in the series could be counted on one hand.
Music video girl: Oh my gosh, that was amazing!Rap Critic: NO IT FUCKING WASN'T!
- Gives a proper, uncensored one in his "Worst Lyrics I've Ever Heard...This Year (2013)" review, in which he tells Lil Wayne that "there's a fucking limit" to how far you can take sexual hyperbole after Wayne compares having rough sex to the death of Emmett Till.
- He does another censored one at the end of his review of "Show Me": "You don't have to like my opinion, but *** this song!"
- The O.O.C. Is Serious Business example above. Not only an f-bomb, but an n-bomb as well.
- Drops one at the end of his review of Wiz Khalifa's "We Dem Boyz", after savaging the song for being lazy, uninspired tripe:
- Rage Breaking Point: In his review of "I Don't F—- With You" by Big Sean, the Rap Critic is trying to be patient with Big Sean's trademark repetitiveness. But then his patience runs out.
The Rap Critic: "Even the engineer is trying to cut you off. End the song. End the song. End the fuc-"
- And at the end of Anaconda, when the lyrical content (which he found to be terrible) was over, but the beat continued pointlessly after.
- Retreaux: He reviews Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five's "The Message" in the style of an early-80's public access TV show, going by the name of "The Hip-Hop Analyst."
- Running Gag: No one else from TGWTG knowing who he is, or mistaking him for Todd in the Shadows, or kicking him out of their reviews.Rap Critic: What do you mean 'who am I'? We're both on the same site! I've been on Channel Awesome longer than you have! I'm the Rap Critic!
Oan: (beat) OH, yes, yes, yes. ...So, uh, what do you do?
Rap Critic: (Death Glare)
Rap Critic: Ladies and gentlemen of the mainstream audience, your best rapper alive.
- His use of the "How romantic!" clip from The Aristocats as a reaction to something decidedly unromantic in an alleged love song.
- If Lil Wayne comes up, he will mention (with disbelief) that Wayne is the most popular rapper in America.
- Also, Lil Wayne's lack of skill with a guitar.
- Exasperation at cliche brags from rappers about being able to steal his girlfriend.
- Defenestration tends to pop up a lot in Rap Libs.
- Keeping a Lupe Fiasco CD handy for when he needs to cleanse his brain of a particularly stupid lyric.
- Naively assuming that a great performer will break sales records and chart highly on the Billboard. He is always sorely disappointed.
- Scare Chord: Used to do this whenever he Breaks The Rating Scale. When he gave a 6 out of 5 (for "No Love" by Eminem and Lil Wayne), he even lampshaded the Scare Chord by telling it to shut up.
- Sarcasm Failure: In the Worst lyrics I've heard… of 2012, he gets to Eminem's "Cleanin' Out my Closet" and the line "I would never diss my own mother just to get recognition". The lines is replayed three times, and every time RC tries but fails to make any comment. In the end he responds by playing various lines in Em's songs that contradict the above line.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: He teams up with Mues to review their top ten least favorite Eminem songs. When "Just Lose It" shows up on the countdown Rap Critic flatly states that if we want to know his opinion on this record that we should watch his old review because he refused to subject himself to the song. Mues is caught off guard by this and gets revenge before moving on to the next song.
- Self-Deprecating Humor / Hypocritical Humor:
- He often makes fun of his show's low production values.
- In the "No Love" review, he at one point compares his position on TGWTG to the Token Minority in Not Another Teen Movie. He frequently gets short cameos when someone wants to say something about black stereotypes in a work, but rather has a black person say it.
- Most of his TGWTG crossover reviews start with the other reviewer either totally failing to recognize him as a fellow contributor, or trying to weasel out of doing the review with him, or both.
- Shared Universe: As a member of Channel Awesome, and also because of his various cameos and crossovers, he's automatically part of the Reviewaverse.
- Shout-Out: Recommends Tech N9ne in a few videos.
- Mentions Lupe Fiasco quite frequently, as well.
- Kendrick Lamar is also now a favorite.
- In a more standard kind of Shout-Out, his build-up to the #2 worst lyric of 2014 has him attempt to guess which famous rap artists will appear, only to discover that, shall we say, only less-than-preferable artists bothered to show up for the song designed to call attention to a very important issue...in a manner very similar to Todd in the Shadows' review of We Are the World 25 for Haiti.
- Squick: Lil Wayne: She wanna be Weezy F. babysitter/ Say she wish she cut off my dick and take it with her.
Rap Critic: Ahhhh....
- After hearing Mack Maine's "I exchange V-Cards (virginity) with the retards" lyric in "Every Girl" he's so grossed out he abruptly ends the review and doesn't attempt to snark at it.
- Some of the lyrics found in Ghostface Killah's songs in his Top 9 Strangest Ghostface Killah Lyrics video involve this, especially when they go further down the line.
- Signing Off Catch Phrase: "I'm The Rap Critic. You don't have to like my opinion, but I don't have to like your song."
- Sophisticated as Hell: He seems to speak like this in general. But considering that he discusses Hip-Hop records using an intelligent and analytic tone it pretty much enforces this speaking style.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: After mocking the romantic lines in Drake's "Best I Ever Had":Rap Critic: I'm not mad because I don't have a girlfriend! Where did you get that idea?
- In The Worst Lyrics of 2014, P. Diddy claims in "Don't Shoot" that he "ain't talkin' 'bout Cîroc," but the RC points out that he mentioned his brand of vodka so people would hear about it.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: On his livestreams, RC plays games like Grand Theft Auto V and Injustice 2 while listening to happy pop music.
- Take That!: "Oh Really" is an entire song dedicated to criticizing rappers that are "gangsta" and their over-saturation.
- Tempting Fate: After "Hey Soul Sister"'s "So gangsta, I'm so thug", he says "Next, there's gonna be an Asian pop group who says they're gangsta too". Cut to a similar line of "Like a G6"...
Rap Critic: At least he's not doing something really annoying, like you know, just repeating a phrase like rappers seem to be doing nowadays, I mean he definitely wouldn't do that especially now that I pointed out-Yo Gotti: Headed on this choppa tool/Headed on this choppa tool
- And during his review of "Women Lie, Men Lie":
- Completely averted with his review of Lil Wayne and Eminem's "No Love" - after Lil Wayne's verse which he finds amazing, he gets to Eminem's chorus and keeps saying it's going to disappoint him, which it doesn't. Then the verse comes and the same thing happens and he ends up giving the song a 6 out of 5, one of two songs he's reviewed to get that honor.
- In his review of Fetty Wap's "Trap Queen", he expresses relief that the song does not use the "stealing your girlfriend" cliche, just before the song brings it up in the final few lines.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: Commented on in his Soulja Boy review.All up in my face/I'm startin' to get mad
Rap Critic: (monotone) And you can really tell by how angry I sound.
- The Letter Knew You Would Say That: In his review of J-Kwon's "Tipsy", the Critic receives a letter from the Hip Hop Community stating that "dissing" (i.e. making any kind of negative remark about) a rapper is punishable by Hip Hop Law and that other rappers from major labels may band against him.Rap Critic: I'm not even that famous yet! I mean, J-Kwon, I mean, he's completely irrelevant!
Letter: You underestimate the power of a rap beef.
Rap Critic: (Beat) The paper with the ability to respond to my statements is right!
- The Team Normal: Has pretty much the most simplistic set-up on the site, tied with Todd in the Shadows.
- Token Minority: According to a commentary, he used the clip from Not Another Teen Movie to lampshade his own status on the site.
- Too Much Information: His reaction to Drake saying "My shirt ain't got no stripes but I can make your pussy whistle, like the Andy Griffith theme song!"
- Top Ten List: He does a "Top 9 Worst Rhymes of 2010". And explaining the number, he does a reverse of The Nostalgia Critic's explanation/number.Why Top 9? Because I like to take it one step below, in honor to the subpar, underachieving lyrics we're about to face.
- To continue with the Top 9 worst lyrics for every year since 2010, he has also done "Top 8 Best Rap Songs" for every year, starting with 2011 as well. The first explaination for why it's top 8 involved him saying that Adele is not a rapper, while the second one involves how everyone expects a Top 10 these days.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: In his The Worst Lyrics I've Ever Heard of 2012, he expresses Squick at one of the song's ("Pretty Girl's Shake It") chorus.The Rap Critic: "...how old is this kid? No no no, I don't even want to hear the verse. Listen. Let me make one unmistakably clear - I don't want to hear a five-year-old kid telling pretty girls to 'shake it' and that 'he likes it like that.'"
- Viewers Are Morons: When he discovers that Little Brother's "Lovin' It" was banned from BET for being "too intelligent" for their target audience, he isn't exactly thrilled.
- What the Hell, Hero?: In his "Worst Lyrics of 2012", he does this to Nicki Minaj for not trying and to her fans for buying music from her that had no effort put into it.
Rap Critic: "Okay, stop. Stop. What is going on here? This is just bad. Unfocused, repetitive, and bad."
- In his "Worst Lyrics of 2014", Lupe Fiasco - whom the Rap Critic still has a lot of respect for - was #3. The Rap Critic's reaction to the song was at first complete confusion but then he calls him out for it.
- Word Salad Lyrics: Some songs he reviews and the Rap-Libs.
- Younger Than They Look: Believe it or not, he's a whole two years younger than Film Brain, making The Rap Critic TGWTG's youngest main contributor. The guy can easily pass for mid-twenties, early thirties. It's the much deeper voice that does it.