Arrogance in the hip-hop community is easily referred to as confidence. And clearly you have to have much of it to become a respected name in the game, and must keep a large amount of it to be known as a veteran. Here’s a few of our favorite arrogant moments in hip-hop, present and past. There’s no wonder as to how these arrogant rappers stay in the minds of the masses of hip-hop heads. This is essentially why we love it so much… and beg for more.
“Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time!”
Ah yes, the President-appointed “jackass” is still loved by millions. In fact, I’m not sure it affected much of his true hip-hop fans at all. Mostly because we love to love Kanye; even through the bad it just feels so G.O.O.D. In this instance in particular, which was most definitely a dick-move, the rationale behind it all made sense if you really took a minute to consider it as a Black music fan. For centuries, Black artists received neither proper recognition nor profit for their contribution to music which has been duplicated, replicated, and reinvented over and over and over again (as demonstrated through Industry Rule #4080). So this was–in some way, in his head–Kanye’s way of rectifying this wrong… He had confidence that his opinion on the matter of Best Female Video was superior to all the rest.
“The East Coast aint got no love for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg and Death Row?!”
I will always remember these words. Not because I actually remember the exact moment it happened (which I don’t); but because it’s one of those epic moments in history (thankfully caught on tape) that is forever etched into your memory and topped off with an echo and a fade-to-black. At this time in hip-hop, all emotions were high, and egos were soaring. Unfortunately, it led two of our most promising emcees soaring to Heaven as well. This statement wasn’t necessarily as arrogant as it was confident, and in disbelief. Like, really, who didn’t want to f*** with Death Row back then? It’s a telling moment in the Biggie/Tupac saga because it showed just how far the drama between the two camps stretched, with little legit reason. To Snoop’s defense, it really was Suge Knight’s fault in the first place for dissing Puffy (P. Diddy) in his hometown before trying to gain the respect of the New York crowd. Not the best move, but most definitely a move for the books. Snoop couldn’t fathom this reality being true. Folks on Death Row need love too…..
“Were you abused as a child? Scared to smile? They called you ugly?”
I’m not sure if this needs any more introduction. The thing about rap battles is that it’s the most entertaining debate of boastful, self-consumed, arrogant and stubborn rappers around; if only for the length of the diss songs. And this song in particular, “Ether,” is the mother of them all. In retaliation to a blatant show of disrespect on Jay-Z’s part on “The Takeover,” Nas responded with one of the most perfectly calculated and cleverly delivered disses of all time. You have no choice but to love such high-stakes battles that stay on wax because it’s actually no harm to either party; even though it’s been documented that Jay was a little hurt afterwards (first Hot97, then “SupaUgly“). But in the end, it’s all the love of the game. I mean, they’re even looking like best friends these days!
ASAP Rocky and ASAP MOB
One of the hottest, newest names to the scene is ASAP Rocky, as known leader of his crew, ASAP Mob. The reason for this is clearly the give-no-f**ks attitude he portrays, which often relates to arrogance. And though we have yet to see anything too out of hand from the rising artist, it’s basically written in the stars that we can expect some unexpected drama from him in the times to come. I mean, the introductory line to most of his audience today was “I be that pretty mother****er.” It’s no surprise he’s made allies all around the board and continues to build his standing amongst his peers… but that attitude can only guarantee one fate in the midst: an enemy and a battle… any guesses who the first will be?
Suge is probably the most stubborn person in the industry today. His arrogance stimulates from his fame in the game from having been the resurrecting force in Tupac’s career after his jail bid. But let’s be honest, if Tupac never teamed up with Suge… no…. ok….. I won’t say it. But, you may catch my drift. Back to the point, Suge has an arrogance that he carries around like a birthright. In reality, his role is equivalent to Judas from the Bible; he’s a vital detail in understanding the entirety of the story, but you can’t help but wonder what would’ve happened if his presence had never existed. Either way, the story is what it is. So when it comes to his recent dissing of Rick Ross for creating “Tupac Back,” there’s nothing left to do but stare through the closest window with a glass of the heaviest drink in your home and shake your head… admit that you love it though!
Azaelia Banks versus Iggy Azalea
While things seemed to have cooled down, today they proved to heat up again when an exchange between Azaelia and Iggy poured over to Azaelia and T.I./Tip. While arrogance and egos are being thrown around like Leyomi Mizrahi’s hair on a drop, it now seems to be moving with fast speed, but the destination is uncertain. There’s Azaelia’s disapproval of Iggy’s presence on the XXL’s Freshman List for her (now apologized) reference to “slave master“. Then, there’s T.I’s response to Banks’ criticism, and then T.I’s response to Banks’ response to his response? Welp. My head hurts. But things don’t change; only the people do.
But you love it. And so do I. If hip-hop wasn’t full of arrogance, what would it be like? I mean, even our uplifting, motivational, inspiring and anti-government songs are full of boasting. Such is life. *Sips tea and plays old Ice-T songs*
And now a few relevant words from Nicki….
Do you have a favorite artist/line full of arrogance? We all Do! SHARE!