Love it or hate it, when you hear a certain phrase or repetitive bodily noise, you know the artist behind it. From Hip-Hop to Rhythm and Blues, ad-libs in music are almost as iconic as the artists themselves and it wouldn’t be fair not to pay them homage.

1. Lil Jon – “What! Okay! Yeah!

The commissioned King of Crunk set the tone for his most turned up records to even his more mellow vibes with his rhetorical questions in nearly all of his songs.

2. Big Sean – “Oh God!”

Big Sean’s tag phrase is tied to him for most likely the rest of his career. It’s almost impossible to sing a verse or imitate one of his raps without including the synonymous phrase.

3. 2 Chainz – “Truuuu”

It is typical of 2 Chainz to proclaim his moniker at the beginning and throughout many of his songs. How else would we know how many chains he has?


Whether it was on a baby-making Jodeci single or on a KC-i and JoJo record, when you heard this ad-lib, you knew you were in for a groove that wouldn’t quit.

5. Lil Wayne – “Young Mula Baby!/Young Money!”

This NOLA native’s alliance to Cash Money has never ceased, and he pays homage to those humble roots and his subsequent success as founder of YMCMB with his signature phrase.

6. Waka Flocka – “Squaaad”

Waka Flocka makes sure to let everyone know he keeps a big team around him when he yells his ad-libs.

7. Kirk Franklin – “Gloray, Gloray”

Prior to being featured on Kanye West’s T.L.O.P. this year, Franklin had already set the precedent for being the most crunk gospel crooner in quite possibly the history of the genre. His songs make you bust a move that might not guarantee a first-class ticket to Heaven, and his commentary during songs are just as iconic as the tunes themselves.

8. Future – “Freebandz”

The #FutureHive can be heard chanting this phrase before breaking bread and drinking from purple cups. The “March Madness” aficionado is also known to shout out his record label throughout some of his most popular songs.

9. Gucci Mane – “Burrr”

Most noted as a lord in the world of trap music, Gucci Mane has a voice that stands out among a lot of the top rappers in the game today. It makes sense that his signature sound bite references being cold since the man has an ice cream cone tattooed to his face.

10. Young Jeezy – “Ahh haaa/Yeahhh”

Jeezy’s audio tags always give a bit of insight into the mind of the rapper. Whether he’s spitting off lyrics of sarcasm or laughing at the haters, his ad-libs definitely let you know what he’s thinking.

11. Kem – “Mmm girl”

This R&B singer has been releasing slow jams for quite a while and his favorite ad-lib would make for a fire collaboration with Campbell’s soup.

12. Busta Rhymes – “Wooo Haaa”

Busta’s unmistakable “Wooo Haaa” phrase should be an alarm ringtone as it’s sure to wake you up as soon as you hear it.

13. Master P – “Unhhh”

Master P had people all over the world screwing their faces up to sing this ad-lib along with him and now you’re probably trying to doing the same.

14. E-40 – “OOOoohhhh”

Earl Stevens’ signature phrase is on this list because of how distinctive it is. E-40’s lyricism plus his ad-libs always makes for an unforgettable track.

15. Jadakiss – that laugh

Whether it’s technically a laugh or the sound of an exasperated baby, anytime you hear this ad-lib you know fire lyrics are soon to follow.

16. Diddy – “Take That/Turn Me Up A Little Bit/As We Proceed”

Whether he was Puff Daddy, P. Diddy or just Diddy, Sean Combs has always found a way to insert his own flare to several artists’ top records. Diddy made sure to make his presence known and felt as the head of Bad Boy Music with his questionable dance moves and hilarious one-liners.

17. Jay-Z – “It’s the Roc/HOV”

Shawn Carter has come a long way from his life as a narcotics dealer in the streets of New York. He makes sure to make note of his success as a rapper, entrepreneur, and investor by shouting out Rocafella Records and his signature HOV nickname throughout his discography.

18. Chief Keef – “Bang! Bang!”

Is it a warning shot or is it just a part of the song? You’d probably have to ask the man himself. Chief Keef brings the harsh and heavy reality of Chicago’s tough neighborhoods through his lyrics and his ad-libs speak to his criminal history as well.

19. Kanye West – “Hannhhh”

One can only guess as to how West came up with this in the tag line in the studio. It probably won’t be long before the “greatest artist of this generation” tries to get his ad-libs inducted into the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

20. Rick Ross – “Ungh” (grunt)

You’re never quite sure if he’s upset or if he’s just riding the beat but, anytime we attempt to do this ad-lib, we can’t help but laugh.

21. Fetty Wap – “Yeaaahhh baby”

Although Fetty Wap is still a new artist by hip-hop’s standards, his distinctive voiceovers in his songs are already pretty memorable.

22. Chance The Rapper – “Aghhh”

Chicago’s own Chancellor Bennett has made history in the last few months and continues to dazzle audiences across the world. His signature high pitched ad-lib in many of his songs is so common, it’s likely that you’ll try to do it once you hear it.

23. DJ Khaled – “We Tha Best”

The key to this man’s success may literally be his musical commentary. If you’ve ever caught yourself saying “we the best” then you know why DJ Khaled is so major.

24. Schoolboy Q – “Yawk”

Schoolboy’s ad-lib sounds like a mating call for birds and for that originality, it had to be included on this list.

Include some of your favorite ad-libs in music history in the comments below.

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