Some rely on lyricism to garner attention; others use gimmicks and trends to promote their brand; few are blessed with the dualistic talent of rapping and producing. But the best artists leverage an interesting marketing tool that simultaneously bolsters their presence while offering a different side to their personality unexplored through music: ad libs.
Ad libs are simple by nature, but provide tremendous value when properly utilized. A terse “huh” or “yugh” effectively supplements artists’ brand reach by imparting an identifier for fans to latch onto. Sometimes when three-five rappers are featured on a track—who all have similar sounds and flows—it can be difficult to distinguish who’s controlling the mic. Ad libs help discern between rappers, creating a more user-friendly listening experience. As useful as they are for fans, ad libs contribute artist support as well.
When a rapper is deeply engaged in an intricate rhyme scheme, it almost seems that their mind escapes by operating independently. When Pusha T freestyles, his bulging eyes existentially suggest his brain’s submergence into the musical ethos. He’s engrossed in the poetry, in his message. However, the verbal departure from this planet sometimes finds rappers straying too far from their thesis, leaving them stranded. Yelling out that salvational ad lib can re-center their thought process, allowing them to resume their narrative and lyrical tirade. Additionally, ad libs take on a less serious role by supplying amusement, as they’re typically a nonsensical utterance. They’re a dynamic, essential tool in the modern Hip Hop game.
While some depend on just one staple ad lib, others enjoy employing a variety. Let’s see which rappers are yelling out the best ones.
CHANCE THE RAPPER