Celebrity-named rap songs have been an occurrence for decades. It wouldn't be accurate to call them a trend because they never declined in popularity. At this point, they're a staple in the genre. Listeners that grew up before the streaming era took off may recall multiple artists dropping freestyles named after celebrities. These tracks may have only featured one bar about the star and maybe a sample of their voice. Yet, having the song named after them would grab people's attention.
Since those days, several artists have gone even further and built more layered songs and named them after a celebrity. When it happens these days, people often wonder if the celebrity has heard it - and what they thought of it. We've gathered seven celebrity-named songs in this list and discussed them.
"Forest Whitaker" - Migos (2015)
This is one of the rap songs with a celebrity name that goes all the way in with its theme. First things first, RIP Takeoff. Migos is one of the most popular groups of modern times. They certainly had a run where they seemed to be everywhere musically. Their hooks have always been one of the most magnetic things about their music. The hook on this song is a testament to that. Not only does it reference Forest Whitaker in a physical sense, but the verses reference several of his movie roles. The legendary actor even gave the song his stamp of approval. "I listened to it and it's really pretty brilliant," he said in an interview with MSNBC's Ari Melber in 2019. Whitaker being aware of the song (because of his daughter) and liking it is definitely a flex.
"Ric Flair Drip" - Offset & Metro Boomin (2017)
This celebrity-named rap song takes the concept to the next level. For the uninitiated, Ric Flair was a wrestler that appeared in various wrestling promotions. His character was known for his extravagant lifestyle, but those close to him have shared this aspect of him extended to real life. Naturally, for a rapper like Offset, this resonated with him.
The music video actually featured Ric Flair himself. And it wasn't a cameo - he was there the whole time. In terms of visuals, it's very interesting to see Ric dancing with people half his age but wearing jewelry just as expensive as theirs. Offset's hook references Ric's signature "Wooo!" catchphrase directly, and Ric does it himself in the music video. Rap and wrestling have been hand-in-hand for years as various celebrities have gotten in the ring. This crossover delighted fans of both worlds.
"Dua Lipa" - Jack Harlow (2022)
This celebrity-named rap song is named after a musical artist. Dua Lipa is one of the most popular artists in the pop world today. Jack Harlow is one of the most famous artists in the rap world. Naturally, fans on both sides were curious about what this song would sound like when the title was revealed. Truthfully, there's only one line in the song that Jack says that references her. However, that one line was him shooting his shot at her.
The timing of release and recording is often a mystery for listeners, as Harlow shared he FaceTimed Dua to play the song for her. Based on his retelling, she didn't exactly "love" it but it didn't stop him from releasing it either. Still, in terms of manifestation, the two of them were seen in public together a few times. Perhaps things worked out in his favor after all.
"Kobe" - Chief Keef (2012)
This is one of the older celebrity-named rap songs on our list. First things first, RIP Kobe Bryant. Chief Keef is hailed as a legend in the rap world to this day. This is one of his earlier underrated hits from when his career was just beginning to elevate. Naturally, the hook is where his reference to The Black Mamba is. Kobe himself is not in the music video, but shots of the Staples Center and a billboard with him on it are. Keef being in L.A. for the video adds to the theme of the song's title. Keef added another notch in his innovator belt by taking a line people have used in verses and turning it into the hook for the song.
"Tia Tamera" - Doja Cat feat. Rico Nasty (2019)
This celebrity-named rap song references two celebrities in its title. It's easily the most fun and lighthearted song on our list. This makes sense considering the type of artist Doja Cat is. Doja's supporters may remember seeing her lay the groundwork for this song while on Instagram Live. The song's name comes from twin sisters Tia and Tamera Mowry whose careers started on the sitcom Sister Sister.
Since then, they have appeared in several other roles, and Tia Mowry has started a top-rated YouTube channel. Doja's hook is where her reference to the sisters comes in and she continues to use punchlines referencing other black celebrity women within it. The music video features Doja and Rico Nasty paying homage to the twins. Based on how Doja has been tweeting recently, more rap-focused songs like this could be coming very soon.
"Shabba" - Ferg feat. A$AP Rocky (2013)
This celebrity-named rap song is somewhat double-layered. A$AP Rocky and Ferg have had multiple collaborations throughout their careers. These collaborations always caused a buzz amongst fans of A$AP Mob but this one reached far beyond those dedicated listeners. This track is credited as a Ferg song with Rocky as the feature. The song's title references another musical artist, Shabba Ranks.
Ferg is on the hook here and references Shabba's jewelry in reference to his own. Interestingly enough, Shabba himself makes an appearance on the song's remix. In fact, it's more than just an appearance - he drops a full verse. People have notoriously not been able to understand his verses and he continues to add to that situation with this one. However, that doesn't stop listeners from enjoying the aggressive, high-energy song.
"Tom Ford" - Jay-Z (2013)
This is a celebrity-named rap song that lines up perfectly with the artist that made it. Jay's financial flexes are on another level at this point in his career. His verses on Watch The Throne introduced many listeners to multiple brands they were unaware of. However, while Tom Ford is a brand not many of us own, it is one we're fairly aware of. This track was one of the singles for Jay's 12th album, Magna Carta Holy Grail.
This is another track where the celebrity gave their seal of approval for the track. Ford said, "...It's a kind of validation of one's work, as it means that one has really penetrated and made an impact on popular culture." Jay drops Ford's name in the hook of the track which had many listeners rapping it along with him. What are some of your favorite rap songs named after celebrities? Let us know in the comments section.