Top Ten Greatest Rap-Acronym Anthems

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Kanye West and Jay-Z's Lex Luger-produced "H.A.M." is a creative union of the two biggest currently recording rap stars in the world -- as the lead single to the duo's upcoming Watch the Throne project, it's a feisty statement of intent. But more importantly, it's a fresh edition to the canon of wonderful rap songs tagged with (usually) brilliantly bad acronyms. With "H.A.M." Fever still in full effect, here are 10 of rap's biggest acronym-based anthems.


Kanye West and Jay-Z, "H.A.M."
Just when you think rap's livestock lexicon is suitably comprehensive -- beef! chicken! pig! the humble goat! -- two of the genre's biggest cash cows come out "hard as a motherfucker" in a full-on rant directed at . . . hatin'-ass motherfuckers. Although with references to great white sharks and vultures (coupled with the declaration "Fuck the pig"), it seems Jigga's hinting at his involvement in the underground exotic-eating scene.


Wu-Tang Clan, "C.R.E.A.M."
RZA's disorderly mob of rappers are besotted with the art of the acronym. The Clan's name itself breaks down as either Witty Unpredictable Talent and Natural Game or the more nefarious We Usually Take All Niggas' Garments; for years, Raekwon and Ghostface were touting a project titled R.A.G.U. (Rae And Ghost United), while GZA has even dropped acronyms in rhyme ("Protons Electrons Always Cause Explosions"). But "C.R.E.A.M." is their crowning glory. Defined by the husky-voiced Method Man as "Cash rules everything around me," it's a remarkably sensible-sounding phrase for a crew more often specializing in esoteric slang. (See also: "B.I.B.L.E.", Killah Priest's elegiac solo song tacked on as a bonus cut on the CD version of GZA's Liquid Swords.)


Killer Mike feat. Big Boi and Sleepy Brown, "A.D.I.D.A.S."
"All day I dream about sex," declares Atlanta rapper Killer Mike on a song that hits all the traditional sex-rap notes. There are reassurances about the rapper's virility (though KM cops to tapping his grandfather's Viagra supply). There's a safe-sex message ("keep my weapon covered"). Disdain is cast on child predators ("Over 18 only 'cause baby I'm no perv"). And there are disclaimers against homosexuality, here courtesy of Outkast member Big Boi's observation, "No, I don't ever recall seeing a man turn up pregnant." Unfortunately, despite the ditty's jaunty, radio-friendly sound, it failed to catapult Killer Mike into the mainstream. Naming himself like a felonious rap character from an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit probably didn't help his cause.


Prodigy, "H.N.I.C."
Mobb Deep man Prodigy's recent contribution to hip-hop has been his winningly mentalist all-caps missives, which usually weave commentary about the Illuminati into wild insults fired off toward random lists of rappers. (Sample blast: "WHO THE FUCK REALLY LIKES ANY OF THESE OTHER RAP MU'FUCKAS? YOU REALLY LISTEN TO FAT JOE? YOU REALLY LISTEN TO CASSIDY? SHEEK LOOCH [sic]? MAX-B?") But his 2000 solo album is an underappreciated gem of a project with some enduring acronym action of its own. In a move showing the pomp of a young Donald Trump, the currently incarcerated P anointed himself the "Head Nigga In Charge," which at the very least shows more ambition than rappers insisting on calling themselves CEOs of their own fleeting record labels.


Screwball, "F.A.Y.B.A.N."
A hard-as-nails quartet of rappers from the Queensbridge housing projects, Screwball received brief notoriety toward the end of the '90s with an ode to assassinating then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, "Who Shot Rudy?" On the boldly uncouth "F.A.Y.B.A.N.," veteran rapper Poet dominates mic duties and charmingly declares, "Fuck all y'all bitch-ass niggas!" over a ruggedly funky DJ Premier production. Sadly, group member K.L. passed away three years ago, although the boom-bap appeal of their Y2K: The Album still endures.


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24 comments
H2O
H2O

The term "hamm" and the acronym H.A.M., have different meanings but are used the same ways. The term "ham" is a Southern slang word that's used to describe something out of control. The whole term is actually used as a "ham sammich"... which is also southern terminology for a "ham sandwich". With that being a favorite snack of the South, the term relates to magnifying the feeling of eating one. Anything that's either "on ham" or "goin' ham" is something of an intense value.

I would have to vote for C.R.E.A.M. as being the biggest due to its longevity and everyday usage... and like everyone else, i'm kinda shocked that T.R.O.Y & O.P.P. aren't up there. Funny thing about F.A.Y.B.A.N., i never knew nor asked what it meant, lol... and i have the vinyl for it.

Logan
Logan

"T.R.O.Y." being omitted is tragic, plus if it had been included here it could've done the addtional service of providing a nice title for this post ("Take the first letter out of each word in this joint"). I also have to nerd out for a sec and say that "DWYCK," while all in caps, is not an acronym--it was a Biz Markie slang word that was just important enough to be put in all caps. Thank you.

Buzzer
Buzzer

Basic instructions before leaving earth....

nick
nick

list could use some B.I.B.L.E. in my opinion (even if that means there's two wu entries)

rob
rob

i almost complained about the "T.R.O.Y." omission but i respect the integrity of this process

Anonymous
Anonymous

A.D.I.D.A.S was Korn, wasn't it?

young scuba
young scuba

You forgot one of the best, T.O.N.Y., when they reminisce over you, my god...

Bronxstrawberry
Bronxstrawberry

WHAT??? It means Hard as A Motherfucker...where you getting your info from fam? Did you google that?

Rickydollars
Rickydollars

"DWYCK" stands for "do what you can kid."

JohnT
JohnT

top of new york?

Young Scuba
Young Scuba

we all know that shoulda stood for Big Ass Motherfucker

JohnT
JohnT

its not a acronym, everyone knows that, just a nonsense word. its not even said int he song!

Logan
Logan

That is incorrect, sir. Guru cleared it up years ago.

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