Declaring your greatness in a song certainly isn’t a new phenomenon, but there are two tracks tearing up the pop world right now that take I’m-the-best braggadocio to an entirely new level in Keri Hilson’s “Pretty Girl Rock” and Keyshia Cole’s “I Ain’t Thru.” Hilson’s song is basically front-to-back boasting — she constantly comes back to how attractive she is, how badly men want her and how many people are staring at her backside. Those statements might be alienating, but Hilson delivers them with such confidence and sweetness (and the beat — produced by Chuck Harmony — is so funky and sick) that the hooks take center stage. Plus, according to Hilson, it’s all about an empowerment that everybody can get behind, not just her own excellence.
But Hilson has a challenger in Cole, whose single “I Ain’t Thru” is another rundown of why Cole is such an incredible specimen. The track features an assist by the always-bombastic Nicki Minaj, who also delivered one of the best, most boastful guest verses of 2010 on Kanye West’s “Monster” (where Minaj raps “Let me get this straight/ Wait, I’m the rookie?/ But my features and my shows 10 times your pay?/ 50k for a verse, no album out!”). But the bulk of the best lines go to Cole, who is endorsing herself from the first line. “Ain’t nobody iller than me/ I ain’t being cocky, I’m just saying/ It’s time for me to do me/ Time for me to live my life,” Cole sings over a neck-snapping beat provided by the ARE and Ron Fair. (Though to her credit, Minaj does drop in a killer line or two during her verse, including “I’m even bitchier when I’m on my menstrual/ You ain’t even got a credit card for incidental/ Basic insurance and it don’t include dental,” which is more of a diss than a self-serving boast.)
But which song reigns supreme in the competition to find the better braggart? Vote in the poll below and let us know your thoughts in the comments!