It says something about the state of rap music when the most consistently entertaining, comedic, and incisive lyrics come from parodies of rap rather than the genre itself. Aside from Kanye West’s schizophrenic introspection, Eminem’s mellifluous intensity, and Nicki Minaj’ all-encompassing insanity, there are no imaginative lyricists in today’s rap game.
It’s been about 15 years since gangsta rap degraded into the bland mash of braggadocio, materialism, and promiscuity that we call rap, and yet, 15 years on, audiences still aren’t tired of it. It seems as long as money, jewelry, and loose women exist, we will have unimaginative rap music.
That is why I support any attempt to satirize this genre, or really any genre of music. By laying bare the overused tropes and tiresome themes of their targets, these parodies, at their best, force artists to innovate or be reduced to a punch line. Weird Al Yankovic and The Lonely Island are the most successful examples of this kind of satire, but they are far from alone.