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Glam rap. It's made for the clubs where they don't know the truth, but they making it up. Glam rap. It glitters and it shines, but it don't reflect for me and mine. Glam rap. We gonna burn it down, quick to wreck your body and say "turn the party out". Glam rap. It's pretty-faced and perfect, we working the circuits just to bring the fans back.—Mars ILL, "Glam Rap"
Glam Rap isn't so much a genre as it is a label (usually pejoratively) that's thrown at most hip-hop in the Turn of the Millennium. The earliest form of hip-hop that showed shades of this was probably Eric B. & Rakim's Paid In Full album, followed by the works of Big Daddy Kane and eventually Cash Money Records. Glam Rap is arguably a good way for a rapper to be mainstream without losing "street cred". Sure, they talk about the streets, but not necessarily in the same way as in other, more controversial rap genres.
Their content is more or less the hip-hop equivalent of the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, and definitely lighter in tone and more radio-friendly. Expect the music videos to feature the following motifs: sprawling mansions; long, luxury yachts; exotic, six-figure sports cars and luxury cars; pimped out cars with big DUB rims (which may or may not be spinning) and/or lowrider hydraulics; tons of Stripperific models gyrating by the large infinity pool with glasses full of champagne; and lots of big, gaudy jewelry.
The sub-genre gets a lot of heat because it's usually the only type of rap that seems to get played on the radio or covered in magazines, leaving people to believe that rap has gotten too commercial. In this sense, it can be seen as rap's analogue to the unapologetically commercial and hedonistic Hair Metal that dominated the metal scene (and rock music in general) in The Eighties. The names are even similar -- one of the most common alternative names for hair metal (and which happens to be the one in use at The Other Wiki) is "glam metal". There is some overlap with Gangsta Rap, as many of these artists have a dark side. One doesn't always indicate the other, however.
- The Ur Example: the album Paid in Full by Eric B. and Rakim.
- Jay-Z's "Big Pimpin", however, is the Trope Codifier.
- Many artists signed to Cash Money Records.
- Some of Big Daddy Kane's early work.
- Ja Rule fell into this. He was originally a hardcore gangsta rapper, so this change was very jarring to some people.
- Fifty Cent shows shades of this.
Sean Combs, Puff Daddy, P. Diddy,Diddy, of course.
- Lil' Kim.
- The Lonely Island's "I'm On a Boat" is a parody of this.