Rappers Is Role Models The influences

One of the underlying themes of "Rappers is Role Models" is how much of an influence lyrics and artists can have on listeners. I put a bunch of different lines from some of my favorite childhood music artists as the backdrop for my project cover and I wanted to walk listeners through what made me choose the artists that I chose. I hope you all enjoy.
Even though they've been disbanded for over a decade, I have to give an honorable mention to Derrick the Red, Chozn Prince, OB N.A.P.S, Iron Fist, and Sophisticated the Psalmist aka Walkin Dead for being one of my earliest influences to want to rap. They all came from my hometown and my home church and they really demonstrated how far your talent can take you. Everything from this album to the Loss Prevention Tapes really laid the groundwork for me to eventually pick up the pen.


Ludacris is one of my favorite rappers of all time and one of my biggest influences. I first started listening to him around the time he dropped "Word of Mouf" and the way he would blend witty lyricism, crazy flows, and a great sense of humor really spoke to me. He was funny without being corny and could still outrap your favorite rapper.
This was taken from his verse on Youngbloodz "Damn Remix" I always loved the contrast in these lines. He's lazy because he has an elevator but he had to grind like crazy to even afford that level of laziness.Just one of my favorite Ludacris verses.

The "Stand Up" video is one of my favorites. I feel like it was always between Luda, Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes when it came to having the most creative videos.. everything from the giant Afro to the midget hanging from his neck, this video was iconic to me.


I got into Outkast around the time ATLiens dropped. What's interesting is that when I was younger I was more into their style than their music. Everything about them was so different. The ATLiens cd came with an actual comic book. How many other Hip Hop artists were doing stuff like that at the time? They were ambassadors of the funkier side of modern day Hip Hop.
These lyrics were taken from Andre's verse on "Aquemini." I'm a sucker for metaphors and wordplay that help paint a picture I wouldn't have been able to see otherwise. To me, comparing the culinary arts to a hustler who's trying to make money was just really creative.

As I've gotten older, a lot of Outkast's big singles aren't necessarily my favorite songs from them. But Ms. Jackson is one of the exceptions. The beat alone is crazy, just off the fact that it samples the wedding march, but it's just one of those songs that has EVERYTHING: a great beat, amazing verses,and a super catchy hook that allows for the song to age flawlessly as time goes on.

Lloyd Banks

Let's be honest. If you were a fan of rap and not attached to any particular era or region, then it's safe to say you were a fan of G-unit at some point. Everyone had a favorite member and when it came to bodying beats I felt like Lloyd Banks was untouchable. He was battle rap levels of witty and I admired the way this man put punchlines together.
This verse was taken from the song "8 mile Road (G unit Remix)" in addition to being a rap fan, I was really into battle rap at the time as well and at the time I felt like Banks could've been taken over the battle rap scene when he was spitting lines like this.

The "On Fire/Warrior" video was the first time I Really gave Lloyd Banks a chance. Prior to this, I hadn't even listened to the Beg For Mercy album or any of the G-unit radio freestyles but there was something about his first verse on "Warrior" that really made me want to listen to everything this man had ever released up until this point, and I was not disappointed.

Kanye West

Easily my biggest influence when it came to me actually wanting to rap. When Kanye first came out I felt like I was listening to an older alternate version of myself. Virtually everything he did was a contrast to what was considered 'cool' in Hip Hop at the time. I mean honestly, the man put a teddy bear on the cover of his pink cd. He set the blueprint for my initial rap style.
This was taken from the song "Last Call."I've always admired Kanye's Drive over his talent(and I think he's extremely talented) his ego has gotten the best of him over the years but his belief that you can always carve out your own path was motivation for me to keep pushing past the boxes and labels that people tried to put on me over the years

It was difficult to choose between this video and "All Falls Down" but I think what makes this video so special to me is how personal all of it was. Showing everything that happened with the accident and all of the mini victories he had along the way that made everything possible for him to become a successful artist. It's as inspiring now as it was for me then.

Trick Daddy

I'm a very particular Trick Daddy fan. I probably know every single he's ever put out up until about 2006 but I can't tell you one of his albums that I've ever listened to in full.. Despite that, I feel like Trick Daddy was the one who really led the charge of rappers putting on from my city. Everything he did reminded me of south Florida.
These lyrics were taken from "Take It To Da House." Like I said earlier, Trick Daddy always put on for Miami and more specifically,for Dade County. There was a time period in Hip Hop where it was a lot harder to find big artists that were from the south, especially if it was a city that isn't known for Hip Hop music.

"In Da Wind" was a collaboration with Trick Daddy, Cee-Lo Green and Big boi of OutKast... Three of the biggest southern artists at the time, all of which had an influence on me.. need I say more?


I started listening to T.I. In high school. What I respected most about him wasn't just his wordplay but his swagger. T.I. Always came across as an absolutely self confident type of guy, somehow never coming across as egotistical but self assured.
These lyrics were taken from "U Don't Love Me." Something about the way T.I. Casually explaining someone getting murdered in a drive by ALWAYS stood out to me. That's the best reason I can give for choosing this one.

As I said, to me, T.I. Was a living embodiment of self confidence."U don't know Me"would come on and any self doubt that my 13 yr old self would have about anything would vanish for the length of the song haha.

Young Jeezy

Jeezy always had a very simple rhyme pattern to me but my goodness this man was witty. His adlibs always served as a perfect backdrop to his punchlines and just like T.I. He had a great balance of street presence and lyricism that I respect.
These lyrics were taken from "Go Crazy." Simple, witty and effective. It was a toss up between this and the opening lines of "thug motivation 101"

Trap Star is cool but that drum roll and those horns on "Go Crazy?" Between the 808s and soul samples,It felt like Jeezy could've dropped a Trap anthem over a gospel choir and I would've still wanted to listen. Can't ban the snowman.

Little Brother

Phonte, Rapper Big Pooh, and 9th Wonder provided the backdrop for my broke, early college experience. I got put onto them late, but for me it was the perfect timing. The soul samples, the relatable raps, the self depreciating humor. They helped cause a very significant shift in my rap style.
These lyrics were taken from the song "After the Party." What makes this line so dope to me is how honest and transparent it was. "Forget perception, this is my reality, embarrassing or not" was the outlook of Little Brother and I loved it.

"Loving It" isn't my favorite LB record but it does a really good sum up of what drew me to their sound. I always enjoyed that set up of the beat with the soul sample that you can't place matched with well written and well delivered verses that fit the beat just right.


No matter the genre, every type of music lover needs a healthy dose of balance. Life may not be one long sobering reality but it definitely isn't just one long party, and I felt like Common was instrumental to bringing that balance into my Hip Hop experience.
These lyrics were taken from the song "Chi-City." This line always stood out to me because it served as a reminder that rap always has more to offer, that it isn't always simply just entertaining content.

"The Food" is probably one of my favorite Common records. It's also a very unique record to me because I don't enjoy the studio version nearly as much as the live version,plus the live version technically features Dave Chapelle...which is all I need to say about that.

Lil' Wayne

Not to take anything away from him, but there was a period in rap where you couldn't be a Hip Hop fan and NOT like Wayne or at the very least,respect him. In the rap history books, " Mixtape Weezy" made his mark on your eardrums at some point and for me, Wayne won me over with Dedication 1 and 2.
These lyrics were taken from the song "They Still Like Me." Wayne was another example of unwavering self confidence and it especially showed up in his punchlines. There was a point in time where he was rapping about how attractive his SHADOW was...let that marinate.

There was once an unspoken rule in rap where at least once on every project, the rapper has to flex his or her lyrical talent. For Wayne, there were entire mixtapes dedicated to that ability and "They still like me" is easily one of my favorites.

Lupe Fiasco

There was a period of time where I'd make it a point to check out anyone that Kanye cosigned. I heard Lupe on "Touch the Sky" and I was impressed. Then I heard lupe on his mixtapes and album and for awhile I was scared to continue rapping.
These lyrics were taken from the song " Daydreamin.' One of the most endearing things about Lupe, especially when he first came out, was how smart this man was and, as a listener, how smart you felt once you finally got one of his references after the 45th listen. This isn't one of those lines BUT I enjoy it all the same.

I'll say this now, Lupe is one of the greatest modern day storytellers that we have in Hip Hop. There was a time where he could make very normal experiences seem like an audio adventure. "He Gets the Girl" is one of those records.

Rick Ross

Rick Ross is the only other artist on my list that had to win me over with time. He may be from my city but his initial rhyme patterns were so simple that it was hard to get into his raps. He had a really good ear for production though, and with every project he put out, his raps got better and better. I also felt like he put on for Miami in a vey underrated way, and I have a lot of respect for that.
These lyrics were taken from the song "Maybach Music." At one point rap was considered to be a competitor's sport and it wasn't enough to simply claim that you're the best, it was all show and prove. Ross is one of the few mainstream rap artists who actually showed growth and improvement as his career continued and the mindset in this line serves as a reminder as to what it takes.

The fact that Ross and the Justice League haven't teamed up yet to give an audio cinematic masterpiece to us Hip Hop fans is a crime against music.. but seriously the maybach music series is definitely what introduced me to what lush and lavish rap could and should sound like in Hip Hop.

Kid Cudi

Funny story. I somehow got it in my head that cudi was supposed to be the second coming of Kanye based on his "I poke Her Face" single so when his album dropped I instantly hated it. I don't know why I was so convinced that my early impression of him was correct but when I finally stopped being ridiculous, Man on the Moon would eventually become one of my favorite albums and I became a Kid Cudi fan.
These lyrics were taken from the song "Soundtrack 2 My Life." I struggle with anxiety and depression on the regular and in most urban communities,those are both topics that tend to not get publicly addressed very often. So when cudi came out talking about being depressed and thoughts of suicide, it resonated a lot with me. I appreciate when a public figure can be honest about not always being ok.

What would depression be without a sense of hope that things will eventually work out for the greater good? Otherwise how else would you rationalize finding the strength to continue on in this crazy world? This was one of those songs that lifted my spirits whenever I would get too caught up in my own head.

I want to shoutout and give a special thank you to Andrew Hoo of Hoo Designs for helping me bring this mixtape cover to life with all these quotes from my favorite artists.

Stream/DL Link: https://www.audiomack.com/album/antoniusdagreat/rappers-is-role-models

Created By
Antonius DaGreat

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.