The relationship between hip-hop and the internet has always been a bit strange. As rappers have moved through their lives conducting interviews, performing at shows and relaxing on vacation, the internet quietly watches their every move waiting to strike. Despite just being themselves, rappers never know when an action of theirs may go viral. Take Meek Mill, who was simply strolling out of his family's front door following a nice visit back in 2017. The Philadelphia rapper ended up taking a nasty spill on some icy steps, and in no time, a video of the moment began circulating everywhere online.
The same can be said for A$AP Ferg, who was merely looking at his close friend A$AP Rocky while listening to an eyebrow-raising story of being locked up. Something about Ferg's plain stare ushered in his viral moment along with Rocky's wild reenactment. Birdman's testy and brief appearance on The Breakfast Club in 2016 was also a massive moment on the web. His crossed arms and scornful face was transformed into a meme that communicated the public's own frustrations. The internet even went after 21 Savage's hair, believing the style of it, as well as his smile, made him look like a super villain in a brief interview.
The point is that ever since the dawn of the internet, no rapper has been safe from the World Wide Web's clowning. With too many quirky moments to count, here are 15 of the funniest moments of rappers going viral over the years. Look out for Jay-Z, Soulja Boy, Rick Ross, 50 Cent and numerous others below.
Evil Interview on ESPN
21 Savage's disgruntled look during his appearance on ESPN's Highly Questionable in 2017 was a meme waiting to happen. With his wild hair, sly smile and diabolical hand-rubbing, it didn't take long for the internet to paint the Slaughter Gang leader as a supervillain. The interview didn't go well either, as 21 was cut off after he began rapping his NSFW lyrics on TV. The move only added fuel to the fire in regards to his villainous persona.
The memes at one point were so popular they even caught the attention of Justin Bieber, who reposted one and captioned it: "hilarious."
Falls Down Stairs in Snow
Back in 2017, Meek Mill went to visit his mother on a snowy day in Philadelphia. Upon leaving her residence, Meek stumbled on his mom's icy steps and fell into her bushes. The moment was captured on Meek's mother's doorbell camera, and the Dreamchasers leader purposely shared the hilarious moment on Instagram. The slip had happened shortly after Meek's split from Nicki Minaj, and the former used the clip as a way to bite back at his haters.
"Since you wanna see me fall so bad," he wrote in the caption alongside the video. It didn't take long for the moment to go viral.
Wants "Respek" on His Name
Birdman stopped by The Breakfast Club in 2017, for one of the station's tensest and briefest interviews. The Cash Money leader strolled into the studio wanting all the smoke and criticized the station, and more specifically Charlamagne Tha God, for recent comments made about him.
"I want to start this s**t off straight up, stop playing with my name," Birdman said before sitting down. “N***a, when my name come up, respect it. Stop playing with my f***in' name.”
The image of Birdman sitting with his arms crossed and sunglasses on became a meme unto itself once the internet got a hold of it, but it was also Baby's pronunciation of the word "respect" that got the world's attention.
Birdman later apologized for the dis-"respek."
Wild Jail Story Shared
A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg sat down for a Rap Radar interview in 2017, and Rocky opened up about a time he "caught a bad case." He was 16 years old in Harlem at the time, and ended up in juvenile detention.
"All the n***as was loving me ’cause I was some skinny n***a, some pretty boy n***a on the island," Rocky recalled of getting put in what is presumed to be Rikers Island in New York. "I only had to fight one n***a, got that n***a up out of there, thank God. Had to fight some n***a in the bathroom. No homo, we slipping on semen. N***as was jerking off in the bathroom."
Ferg's disassociated stare as his friend recalled this harrowing tale became immediate internet fodder. Many people zoomed in on Ferg's reaction as they reposted the clip across the internet.
In 2018, Soulja Boy staged a notable comeback thanks to the launch of a video game console, Fashion Nova deal and other business ventures. While speaking on said comeback in an interview with The Breakfast Club, the radio hosts also honed in on Meek Mill's subsequent comeback that year. The Philadelphia rapper had just mended his tumultuous relationship with Drake, and dropped off his chart-topping fourth album, Championships.
"Yo, Meek Mill ain't beef with Chris Brown and was finna box him with Floyd Mayweather," Soulja said, claiming his comeback was far superior to Meek's.
Charlamagne then reminded Big Draco that Meek had come back from his beef with Drake, "the biggest rapper in the world."
"Drake?" Soulja exclaimed. "Drake? The n***a that got bodied by Pusha T? The n***a that hiding his kid from the world, but his world wouldn't hide from the kid? Aubrey Graham in the wheelchair? Drake?"
The brief rant was enough for Soulja to go viral, with fans making meme after meme out of Draco's shocked expression.
Loves to Shout-Out Pears
Rick Ross has had a lot of viral moments over the years, but his backstage interview with U.K. DJ Tim Westwood in 2014 was a special moment in time. Rozay had lost a lot of weight, and when asked by Westwood how he shredded the extra pounds, Ross shouted out "Rossfit" and "pears."
"You know the most I used to do for exercise was stand up and count the money," Ross admitted. "But now they give me fruit to eat. I forgot what fruit tasted like. I eat pears now and s**t like that. Shout-out to all the pear."
The way Ross said "pear" for some reason went off like wildfire on the internet, spawning memes, Vine remixes and awkward YouTube music videos.
Dancing to "Zeze"
When Kodak Black was hard at work on his sophomore album, Dying to Live, a clip emerged online of Yak and Travis Scott in the studio vibing to the instrumental of what would soon be "ZeZe." Kodak's dance moves, combined with La Flame gently bobbing with a double cup in his hand, for some reason took over the internet. Memes were churned out like crazy, with fans using Kodaks's gleeful dancing to celebrate the small joys of life.
Lil WayneNot Weezy Wax Figure
Lil Wayne's wax figure was so bad it went viral not once, but twice due to its botched appearance. The figure—which was unveiled back in June of 2022 at the Hollywood Wax Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.—initially went viral that year. Reason being because video emerged of the wax figure with a Weezy fan cackling in the background. The figure then dominated the internet a second time on Oct. 24 of this year, and Lil Wayne even chimed in on the conversation.
"Sorry wax museum but dat s**t ain’t me!” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Monday. "You tried tho and I appreciate the effort."
Wayne was merely echoing what his fans had to say about the statue. Many of the rapper's supporters believed it looked more like Toosii than Tunechi.
Young Thug and Lil DurkStaring Into a Computer Screen
In 2018, a seemingly innocuous photo of Lil Durk and Young Thug staring at a computer screen during a studio session emerged online. The photo, which shows Thugga towering over Durk to use the computer while the latter sits and watches intently, had a field day on the internet.
"When your mom told you to get off the internet because she was expecting a call," read one caption for the photo.
"Thug look like your academic advisor tryna figure out alternative classes you can take to graduate on time since the one you need is full," read another.
So, what exactly were Durk and Thug looking at on the computer screen? Durkio told DJ Akademiks in an interview from May of this year that he was sworn to secrecy.
"He told me not to tell anybody," Durk said of his promise to Thug not to spill the beans.
50 CentWide Left Pitch Gone Wrong
50 Cent stopped by Citi Field on May 27, 2014, to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the New York Mets played the Pittsburgh Pirates. The moment was so disastrous it went viral completely on its own.
The G-Unit leader's pitch sailed to the far left side of the field, nearly striking a cameraman in the distance. The internet was unforgiving as a result and trolled him relentlessly for the botched throw.
FutureToxic Guy Texting a Woman
Future's toxic persona is already on full display with his music, but when a picture emerged on Twitter of him texting on his phone back in 2019, the Atlanta legend became the everyman symbol for conniving ex-lovers. The photo caught fire between Thanksgiving and Christmas time back in 2019, with dozens of people captioning their own Future photos with the most toxic texts imaginable.
“I know I'm the last person you want to talk to, but I still wanted to be the first to wish you a merry Christmas,” read one meme. "U don’t need to respond.”
The photo has become arguably one of rap's biggest memes, and will now reemerge every year around the holidays. However, some of the best captions came during the pandemic lockdown in 2020.
"Had to check on you," one tweet posted. "They say that lil coronavirus in the city now. Crazy how many people getting sick. Reminds me how sick I was when I lost you. Damn your love was contagious. I’m here forever if you need me."
Jay-Z Jay-Z Diving on Vacation
Back in 2013, Jay-Z was enjoying a relaxing vacation off the coast of Stromboli, Italy with his wife Beyoncé. It was Bey's birthday, and the pair decided to take a dive off their luxury boat. The moment was captured by paparazzi, and Jay-Z's questionable diving form was subsequently photoshopped into numerous scenarios by trolls online.
Hov was photoshopped into a WWE ring, breakdancing competitions, and even the Star Wars universe.
Staredown With The Four Contestant
Diddy's time as a judge on the reality competition show The Four was filled with many entertaining moments, but an unexpected staredown with contestant Elijah Connor back in June of 2018 set the internet ablaze.
The look happened after Diddy criticized Connor's braggadocious audition for being too flashy, which was met with a stare of disbelief from Connor. The two locking eyes happened for an awkward amount of time and prompted Diddy to remove his sunglasses and return fire with an intense look of his own.
Diddy's gaze was relatable enough for the internet to crank out some memes, with captions such as: "When your barber asks if he can grab something to eat real quick before cutting your hair."
Lil Mama Crashing the Stage
During the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys hit the stage to perform their nine-times-platinum song "Empire State of Mind." During the performance, Lil Mama paid the pair an unexpected visit by hopping on stage with them.
Mama spent her few moments with the two by hyping up Keys and Hov, but she got a ton of backlash online for the antics nonetheless. Her decision to crash the stage went viral online, but not necessarily in a good way. Lil Mama said in a 2015 interview that she was bullied so much for the move that it drove her into a deep period of sadness.
Drake"No New Friends" Music Video Pose
Drake is no stranger to the viral treatment, but Drizzy's notable stance while he was filming the "No New Friends" music video with DJ Khaled was especially noteworthy. In May of 2013, Drizzy was photographed filming the subsequent music video and could be seen striking a strange pose while donning the 1990's clothing brand Dada.
The internet decided to take the ball and run with it and recreated the 6 God's awkward pose as a meme. Drake could be seen hitting a home run, grooving alongside the Jackson 5, dancing on Maury after discovering he was not the father and many more.