There’s nothing like a great rap lyric. For true hip-hop fans hearing our favorite MCs connect complex thoughts over unforgettable beats is one of life’s greatest joys, but that doesn’t mean that the rhymes always make sense.
Everyone from Jay Z to Kanye West and the late, great Notorious B.I.G. could have benefited from a rap fact-checker at one time or another.
Here are 14 times that your favorite rappers just got it wrong.
1. “Let the suicide doors up.”
Kanye West isn’t the first rapper to mistake suicide car doors for butterfly doors; suicide doors are hinged from the rear, not from the front and definitely do not open upwards. Still, Yeezy’s verse on “Mercy” is one of our favs.
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2. “For any MC in any 52 states.”
There will never be another rapper like Ol’ Dirty Bastard. The Wu-Tang Clan star was celebrated for always saying whatever was on his mind. Unfortunately, this classic line from his hit single “Shimmy, Shimmy Ya” is wrong, there are only 50 states in America.
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3. “Rockerfeller died of AIDS.”
Back when Nas and Jay Z were rap enemies, God’s Son chastised Hov for naming his company Roc-A-Fella, after John D. Rockerfeller, who Nas said died from AIDS on “Ether.” Nope, Rockerfeller died in 1937 from arteriosclerosis. Now, it’s possible Nas was referencing the 1980s Brooklyn street figure Rockafella, but until further notice this one just seems wrong.
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4. “Rule nombre uno.”
Even the great Notorious B.I.G. made mistakes. On his drug dealing classic “Ten Crack Commandments,” Biggie gave fans a step-by-step guide on how to successfully hustle in the street, but knowing how to speak Spanish wasn’t a prerequisite. Nombre translates to name, while numero means number.
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5. “.38 revolve like the sun ’round the Earth.”
In Hovie’s world we’re sure everything revolves around him, but in the real world it’s the Earth that revolves around the sun. “It’s Hot” is still a dope song and Jay is still a lyrical God, but sh– happens.
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6. “I’m a sucker for cornrows and manicured toes.”
With Nelly’s first line in “E.I.” he was already in trouble. People get manicures on their hands, and pedicures on their feet.
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7. “Lay John Coltrane play with that cocaine face.”
We can’t say for sure that jazz great John Coltrane never tried cocaine, but his documented struggles with heroin led us to believe that was his drug of choice. Just say no drugs, but say yes to Action Bronson’s new single “Easy Rider,” which is on iTunes now.
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8. “I was ’In Too Deep’ like Mekhi Phife.”
Maybe Kanye didn’t see “In Too Deep,” because Mekhi Phife wasn’t in it as his lyric from the remix to Chief Keef’s “I Don’t Like” will lead you to believe. Omar Epps did a really good job though.
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9. “32 grams raw, chop it half/ Get 16, double it, times three/ We got 48, which mean a whole lot of cream.”
Foxy Brown’s math on “Affirmative Action” has been giving hip-hop heads fits since 1996. We tried to work out the drug deal on paper, and if you double 16 and multiply it by three you get 96, not 48.
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10. “99 percent of his fans don’t exist.”
After Canibus teased LL Cool J by charging that 99 percent of his fans wear high heels, Uncle L returned with this line on “The Ripper Strikes Back.” While funny, the line is just wrong because even if Canibus only had one fan, that one fan would still make up 100 percent of his fan base.
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11. “I’ma T-R-A-P-S-T-R.”
Jeezy is a trap music pioneer, but maybe not the best speller. The Snowman could’ve just combined the A and the R into one letter on “Trapstar,” but this has been bothering us for almost 10 years.
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12. “You know you soft as a lacrosse team.”
Jay took a swipe at Drake on “They Don’t Love You No More,” but there was just one problem — lacrosse is a pretty rough sport.
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13. “Analyze me, surprise me, but can’t magmatize me.”
We believe the word Nas was searching for on “It Ain’t Hard to Tell” was magnetize.
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14. “Rock star, flier than an ostrich.”
Juelz was definitely flier than an ostrich when he rhymed alongside Lil Wayne on “Black Republican,” but that’s because ostriches can’t fly.
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