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Glam Rap

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"You diss me out of pride
But when you're finished talking about money and bitches you're simply out of rhymes."
Canibus, "Levitibus"

Glam Rap isn't so much a genre as it is a label for hip-hop with lyrical content about the rapper bragging about their expensive rich-person lifestyle, a style which originated in the '80s and became ubiquitously popular in the 2000s. Expect the music videos to feature the following motifs: sprawling mansions; long, luxury yachts; exotic, six-figure sports cars and luxury cars; pimped out cars with big DUB rims (which may or may not be spinning) and/or lowrider hydraulics; tons of stripperific models gyrating by the large infinity pool with glasses full of champagne; plus lots of big, gaudy jewelry and expensive watches.

Despite its reputation for being mindless party music, Glam Rap is not without social commentary. Many glam rappers are praised for writing thoughtful songs that link their wealth to their pride in overcoming oppressive poverty and racism, or to the rise of Hip-Hop culture overall.

Some rappers are also praised for using the subject matter as raw material for skilled wordplay — Rakim and Big Daddy Kane are pioneering and innovative rhymers who mostly wrote about getting money, Jay-Z spent a decades-long career building a drug-dealer-turned-Honest Corporate Executive persona with nuanced and clever writing, and Cash Money Records alum Lil Wayne uses a unique, improvised Hurricane of Puns style to write songs about cash and sex. Many female rappers (and pop stars inspired by hip-hop) that emerged in The New '10s use obsession with shopping and luxury goods to create Campy diva personas that appeal to an LGBT Fanbase.

From the "Shiny Suit Era" Sean Combs-mentored acts of the 90s, to the ringtone rap craze of the 2000s, to autotuned teens in The New '10s slurring about owning luxury items they obviously don't have, the subgenre attracts a lot of heat. A lot of listeners don't agree that materialism is something to celebrate (or, if they don't have any money, find the songs impossible to relate to), and may feel wealth-bragging has crowded out more socially conscious topics on the radio. While wealth-bragging is still a popular topic, the Glam Rap style became less dominant on the radio starting from the middle of The New '10s, with darker and more emotional topics like relationships and mental health becoming popular (although many artists did both these songs and glam rap, such as Juice WRLD).

There is a lot of overlap with Gangsta Rap, and Gangsta Rap's subgenres G-Funk and Trap Music, as many of these artists have a dark side. In fact, Glam Rap is arguably a Kinder and Cleaner version of Gangsta Rap that evolved to get through radio censorship — skipping over the controversial violence and political/religious/horror themes often found in Gangsta Rap leaves only the part of the story where the criminal is enjoying the spoils of their crimes. However, a lot of Gangsta Rap is unglamorous and concerned with survival, and a lot of Glam Rap is about getting rich from a legitimate music career.

The 2000s version of the genre can be seen as rap's analogue to the unapologetically commercial and hedonistic Hair Metal that dominated the metal scene (and rock music in general) in The '80s, and the antithesis to the old-school hip-hop that came out of that era. The names are even similar — one of the most common alternative names for hair metal (and which happens to be the one in use at The Other Wiki) is "glam metal".


Tropes associated with Glam Rap:

  • Billionaire Wristband — Watch brags are common.
  • Conspicuous Consumption — Basically the entire point of the genre.
  • Death by Materialism — While its serious version is a Gangsta Rap trope, funnier Glam Rap songs sometimes throw this in for hyperbolic punchlines about the sheer scale of the wealth involved (rappers wearing so much ice they freeze to death, and so on).
  • Gold Digger — The materialistic girlfriend personas used by many female glam rappers.
  • Hard Work Fallacy — A common way of justifying the consumption is that the rappers worked that much harder than anyone else, because if they hadn't, they wouldn't be richer than everyone else.
  • Meal Ticket — Many a Glam Rap Misogyny Song has been written about the kind of women who go after rich men. But many female glam rappers play characters who see men this way, for laughs.
  • Mock Millionaire — It's common that young rappers just starting out write songs full of money brags, because that's what they hear on the radio, while still a broke Burger Fool. Bhad Bhabie in particular was mocked for rapping about owning luxury cars while too young to drive.
  • Money Fetish — Some songs are about getting money to the exclusion of the things that can be done with the money.
  • Money Song — By definition.
  • Only in It for the Money — Many Glam Rappers brag about only making music to get paid, but often with tongue in cheek.
  • Rags to Riches — Even if not specifically mentioned in songs, this is the subtext that makes Glam Rap meaningful.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money! — Songs are often about rappers using their cash to get away with outrageous or criminal things... or, sometimes, to do nice things for other people.


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    Films — Live-Action 
  • Dr. Evil's rap in the third Austin Powers film parodies glam rap, which takes place while he's in prison. It's never explained where he and Mini-Me got the costumes, the props or the scantily-clad women for the "video", or where they went after the end of the track.

  • Eminem generally avoids wealth boasting (except as threat), but he's parodied it on occasion.
    • Eminem's writer's block phase in the mid-to-late 2000s was related to the saturation of this style of music on the radio, which he hated for its lack of craft. He wrote numerous extremely mean-spirited satires of this style during this time, including many that were ghostwritten for other artists but rejected, which have been bundled by fans into the King Mathers bootleg album. One notable example is "Ballin' Uncontrollably", in which Slim Shady sneers about his car:
      I got so much candy paint in my rims
      Paint be flyin' off my car be candy paintin' the neighborhood kids [...]
      32 inch rims, shit, I ain't even got no wheels
      Custom-fitted, custom-kitted wood grain
      Custom everything, what's that on the seat? Custom mustard stain
      Now let's go hit the mall, y'all know that we finna ball
      Get out the car, they be like, "Ah, there go them superstars!"
      Hit every single store, flash a fuckin' wad of cash
      But I ain't buying shit, bitch, kiss my candy-painted ass...
    • "Elevator" is a sardonic wealth-boasting song about him living in an impossibly enormous house 'with a fuckin' elevator'... into which Shady invites the fans who hassle him all day, cuts the cable, and goes to the kitchen to make a snack while he waits for them to fall to their death.
    • Eminem began making less ironic wealth brags in his music circa Music To Be Murdered By, though usually in the context of screaming at people who consider him a hasbeen.
    • "Killer":
      Now count it, five, ten, yeah, fifteen, twenty
      Twenty-five, thirty, yeah, get the money
      Throw it in the furnace, yeah, this shit be funny
      Earn it just to burn it

    Music Videos 
  • Monster Magnet's video for "Space Lord" is a parody of glam rap videos in general and Puff Daddy's in particular. For the sake of humorous contrast, the first minute or so of the video is stark, dimly lit, and artsy, parodying Surreal Music Video tropes prevalent in contemporary Alternative Rock videos.
  • Aphex Twin's video "Windowlicker" parodies glam rap.
  • Hobo Johnson's song and video "Subaru Crosstrek XV" parodies the "flashy cars and money" aspect of Glam Rap. Hobo raps about getting a new car, but he highlights the fact that he can't afford a Bentley and mocks people who get flashy cars for status reasons. The video features a lot of silly dancing next to, but not touching, expensive sports cars, and features glam rap-type car posing in a tamer Subaru, featuring the all-male band instead of some flashy cars.

  • Six has a send up in this trope in Ann of Cleves song "Get Down". Ann of Cleves sings about her life of luxury in a similar style to Glam Rap... But with luxuries that were common in the sixteenth century such as, hunting dogs, fast horses, and golden crosses. Ann of Cleves has the happiest song in the show because of the wealth she gained after Henry divorced her, so it doubles as a strange Female Empowerment Song as Ann celebrates not needing Henry or any other man anymore.

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


"I'm Minted"

Roman general and politician Marcus Licinius Crassus brags about how rich he is. Though if he doesn't have license to boast about his wealth, it's likely nobody does.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / BoastfulRap

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