There are a lot of big egos in the Hip-Pop world, but believe it or not, the talents who make it farthest are those that pay homage to the superstars who paved the way before them.
Some of the most famous celebrities out right now – Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Chanel Iman, and even Kanye West – started out idolizing another entertainer who was bigger, badder, and probably unstoppable in their time.
Take Yeezy, for example – He’s currently breaking down barriers and pushing the envelope with his Yeezus tour and alarming interviews, and to top it all off, he’s also about to marry one of the most wanted, Googled, beautiful women in the world, Kim Kardashian.
Sounds like someone we know – before ‘Ye came Jay. Kanye once rapped on “Big Brother,” an ode to his musical mentor:
“Now he won’t even step to his idol to say hi
Standing there like a mime and let the chance pass by
Back of my mind, “He could change your life
With all these beats I did, at least let him hear it
At least you can brag to ya friends back at the gig”
But he got me out me out my momma crib
Then he help me get my momma a crib”
The love is real. Check out the Lil’ homies of Hip-Pop via the list below, plus the big homies that came before them.
When Rihanna first entered the music scene, the world was out to prove that RiRi would do anything to undermine Beyonce, even mess with Jay Z.
But actually, it’s pretty apparent that Rihanna (the biggest female superstar in the world besides Bey, in our opinion) has a lot of respect for the Queen.
RiRi once posted this picture via Instagram, with the caption:
“This pic could single handedly destroy the self esteem of an entire nation.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Ri!
Speaking of King Bey, her daughter Blue Ivy is the Big Homie of Babies in Hip-Pop… and KimYe’s baby girl North West is in fact the lil homie.
As this picture reveals, “Blue’s In Charge,” but we imagine she and North West will get along just fine in the years to come.
Drake and Lil’ Wayne are of course two very different artists. Still, nothing catapulted Drizzy’s career like joining YMCMB, Weezy taking him under his wing, and really providing the support that a raw talent like Drake needed.
Amongst a million times Drake has paid homage to his mentor, Drake recently rapped on his NWTS album:
I’m just as famous as my mentor
But that’s still the boss, don’t get sent for
Get hype on tracks and jump in front of a bullet you wasn’t meant for
Recently, it was revealed that Drake has turned into a bit of a mentor himself. In a new interview, Justin Bieber sat down with THR, in which his manager confessed that Drake is usually the first to call when The Biebs is in the headlines for something negative:
“He’ll text me, like, ‘What the hell is going with this? I’m pissed. I’m calling him right now. I’m about to go in on him,’” reveals Scooter Braun. “Drake is like a big brother to Justin. And Justin really looks up to Drake. They have an extremely special relationship.”
Apart from music, Chanel Iman has been doing great things in the modeling universe. She reminds us of a young Tyra Banks, who through all of her modeling/fashion initiatives, has certainly become one of the Big Homies of fashion, along with Beverly Johnson, Iman, and Naomi Campbell, of course.
Though Chanel stays true to creating her own identity, she once told VH1 on the red carpet for the 2011 Keep a Child Alive event:
“I love Tyra. I look up to her so much. She’s beautiful, she’s graceful, she’s a positive influence on the world. She’s awesome!”
Jennifer “Jenny From Da Block” Lopez was arguably the baddest chick in the game for over a decade.
Kim Kardashian is who the Hip-Pop world is obsessed with now and seriously… can you deny the resemblance in hair, fashion, and curves?
Though they got two very different starts, just like J.Lo, Kim is infamous for her ample backside. Kimmy hasn’t kept her admiration for the big homie a secret, once telling US Weekly:
“I would love to raid so many celebrities’ closets, but I think Jennifer Lopez’s would be amazing.”
We can’t hate on it.
There’s no pop icon who doesn’t look up to Madonna – Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna… the list goes on and on, and rightfully so. Check out what these ladies have said about The Queen of Pop below.
During an interview with Facebook Live, Rihanna said:
“You know, Madonna is one of those artists who was very self-expressive, she was bold, she was fearless, and all of those were things I looked up to as a young woman.”
“I really just wanted to be myself and feel free to express it and not really be afraid of what people think about it. Madonna’s still the shit, and she’ll always be Madonna. She’s the queen.”
Britney said of her infamous Madonna kiss:
“But no, she liked it! And my dad, weirdly enough, he thought it was fine, too. I mean, come on … it’s Madonna. If you can kiss any girl in the world, that has to be her.”
Miley Cyrus compares herself to Madonna and Britney all the time. She told MTV of her shocking 2013 MTV VMA performance:
“I don’t pay attention to the negative because I have seen this play out. How many times have we seen this play out in pop music?
‘You know now… you know what’s happened. Madonna’s done it, Britney’s done it. Every VMA performance, anyone that performs…that’s what you are looking for.”
Lady Gaga and Madonna aren’t the best of friends. But Mother Monster once said of Madonna in Attitude Magazine:
“I have to be really honest, I was completely kind of floored that Madonna was singing my song on her stage every night!” she told the mag. “I mean, Madonna’s … she’s Madonna. I looked up to her for a long time.”
She went on to say:
“All it meant to me was that Madonna Ciccone was singing my song on her stage and I’m 27. And as a punk-rocker from New York, I’ve basically been hoping that I would become so good that one day I would piss off Madonna!”
Last but not least, before there was the “Head Barb in Charge” Nicki Minaj, there was the “Queen Bee” Lil’ Kim.
Because these two ladies have yet to come together (and never really have anything nice to say to each other), we’ll just leave it at this: No one can deny the influence Kim, as once of the best female rappers to date, has had on Nicki Minaj’s career (especially looks-wise).
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Wenn, Splash, Terry’s Diary, Instagram