Glam rap. It glitters and it shines, but it don't reflect for me and mine.
Glam rap. We gonna burn it down, quick to wreck your body and say "turn the party out".
Glam rap. It's pretty-faced and perfect, we working the circuits just to bring the fans back."
But when you're finished talking about money and bitches you're simply out of rhymes."
Glam Rap isn't so much a genre as it is a label (usually pejoratively) that's thrown at most hip-hop in the Turn of the Millennium. The earliest form of hip-hop that showed shades of this was probably Eric B. & Rakim's Paid in Full album, followed by the works of Big Daddy Kane and eventually Cash Money Records. Jay-Z's "Big Pimpin" is the Trope Codifier. Glam Rap is arguably a good way for a rapper to be mainstream without losing "street cred". Sure, they talk about the streets, but not necessarily in the same way as in other, more controversial rap genres.
Their content is more or less the hip-hop equivalent of the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, and definitely lighter in tone and more radio-friendly. 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; and lots of big, gaudy jewelry.
The sub-genre gets a lot of heat because it's usually the only type of rap that seems to get played on the radio or covered in magazines, leaving people to believe that rap has gotten too commercial, and that acts tend to be less topical and reliant on novel lyrical flow. In this sense, it 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". There is some overlap with Gangsta Rap, as many of these artists have a dark side. One doesn't always indicate the other, however.
- 50 Cent (now short on dollars)
- Big Daddy Kane
- Ja Rule note
- Jay-Z: His song "Big Pimpin"
- Eric B. & Rakim
- Paid in Full (1987)
- Lil' Kim
- The Lonely Island's "I'm On a Boat" is a parody of this.
- Mars ILL's "Glam Rap" is the trope namer.
- Nelly: He has recorded a number of songs that involving living luxuriously and owning expensive items.
- P. Diddy, of course.
- This was Cashmoney Records' whole shtick.
- 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.