Nathan S. 's avatar

Breaking Jay-Z’ “$100 Bill” Flow Down All the Way to Soulja Boy

Posted by Nathan S. on 05/02/13 | Filed under Top Stories, Opinion, Jay-Z

(Fair warning, if you're not into obsessively breaking down four seconds of a song, you're gonna want to get the fuck out of here right now. It's about to get real. You've been warned.)

When I heard Jay-Z' "$100 Bill" today my immediate reaction was that it was dope, but one thing was driving me crazy: the flow he was using on the hook, that chopped way of spacing out the words, "100..dollar...bill". I knew I'd heard that exact same flow before, but I couldn't place where. Here, listen to the 0:22 - 0:26 mark.

Both on the post and on ye' olde Twitter I asked RefinedHype Nation to help me figure out where Jay got that flow from, and shit really escalated quickly. I mean, it really got out of hand. Let's work chronologically backwards and try to get the root of this madness.

First up, @spectafb, who pointed out Jay's flow sounded exactly like Future's flow on "Karate Chop" (which in turn is being copied by every trap rapper alive and their grandma). One listen and it's hard to argue:

(By the way, remember when Sony/Epic promised to remove Lil Wayne's verse on every official version? Apparently not so much. But I digress....)

We could stop there and credit Hova's "$100 Bill" flow to Future, but it gets deeper. In the comments section, Bertucci pointed out that it also sounds a lot like Chris Brown's flow on "Look At Me Now", which came out about a full year before "Karate Chop". Well, I'd be damned if he isn't right too. Listen to Breezy's first bars says, "Yellow...model...chick..yellow...bottle...sippin..." at the 0:37 - 0:43:

Ok then, turns out Hova got that flow from Future or Chris Brown, OR got it from Future, who himself got it from Breezy. Following so far? Good, because I'm not done yet. It's frankly hard to believe Breezy came up with a new flow on his own, the esteemed rapper that he is, so it made perfect sense when @JRTheWriter claimed that actually that flow originated on Soulja Boy's "30 Thousand 100 Million":

Well holy sweet baby jesus, that's pretty hard evidence to ignore. And since "30 Thousand" song dropped a full year before "Look At Me Now" and two years before "Karate Chop", we've really got no choice but to credit Soulja Boy as the originator.

For the record, Jay's flow on "$100 Bill" isn't an accident. He's either copying that flow, and Hova's not exactly a stranger to charges of copying, or purposefully using it as a shout out to someone. It's an intention insider rap reference that only...well, the kind of people who would devote an entire article to this shit, would get. What you think his intentions are largely depends on where you land on the optimistic/pessimist spectrum.

But regardless of his intentions, I think we've pretty firmly established that he got his flow either from Future (who might have gotten his flow from Chris Brown or Soulja Boy), Chris Brown (who might have gotten his flow from Soulja Boy), or Soulja Boy (who might have gotten his flow from an as-yet unidentified source).

Go ahead, I'll give you a minute to wrap your head around that last sentence. Take your time.

If you can find an earlier example of what I really have to label as the "30 Thousand" flow, hit me in the comments section. But in the meantime, we've got no choice but to admit that there's now a direct rap line that runs from Soulja Boy to one of the greatest rappers of all-time.

Strange times indeed...

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See Also:  Jay-Z Kind of First 48ed This “$100 Bills” Joint (Listen)
See Also:  Breaking Down Jay-Z’ Finances Via “Open Letter”

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