"Versace, Versace, Medusa head on me like I'm 'Luminati." Everyone remembers this smash hit by Migos in the fall of 2013. More importantly everyone remembers the beef it sparked about artists saying that everyone in the game had jacked their flow. But are they the ones who really started created this flow? As the saying goes. "It ain't about who did it first, it's about who did it last." Hip-hop has been the biggest example of this, especially since the criteria for best rapper depends on who's the hottest this last year, hell last week, But definitely not who did it first. Hip-hop, like boxing is a young mans sport, and throughout the years our memory about who did it first or who is the greatest has gotten just as fuzzy.
But back to the story. Migos claimed that everyone from Drake, to J. Cole, to Meek Mill, to Young Jeezy had borrowed their flow. Now crowned the "triplet flow", has become Migos's signature flow since they came up on the rap scene. But there always more than one side to a story, and rappers like 2 Chainz have spoken out against this notion that Migos is the originators of the triplet flow. 2 Chainz went as far as to turn the tables on Migos to say that 3 Six Mafia were the true originators. 'Biting flows', 'swagger jackin', these have become debated topics with plenty of conspiracy theories origins stories. Read a Genius curator's article about "Tracing the use of triplets in Hip Hop" for even more of these theories. So who originated it? Who knows?
But that's not the only example. Remember Big Sean's flow in "Supa Dupa Lemonade"? In it he demonstrates his one-punch-line flow. For example in this bar, "Bank account got me feeling Well.... Fargo". Tight right? But with popularity there will also come competition, in this case people who do their own version of of the one-punch-line flow. Most notably Drake in the song "Forever" as he raps, "Swimmin' in the money, come and find me...Nemo". But Drake did do the noble thing and gave Big Sean his credit where credit was due, saying that Big Sean was who influenced him to use the flow. But Drake wasn't the only one who got scrutiny for using the one-punch-line flow, Hip-hop legend Ludacris on his track "My Chick Bad" uses this signature flow rapping, "Comin down the street like a parade, Macy's". Big Sean clearly wasn't too fond of this line and called him out during an interview from which Ludacris says "There hasn't been a new flow since Big Daddy Kane." Is he right? So who originated it? Who knows?
Most recently up-and-coming rapper named XXXTentacion has made a claim that Drake stole his flow from his song "Look at Me", which starts with, "Ayy, I'm like "Bitch, who is your mans?", ayy". Which is now being called the "aye-flow". Something he claims Drake stills on his song "KMT" where he spits, "Demon just got out the can (yeah)". But these rappers aren't the only 2 using this flow. As the video proves, Drake and XXXTentacion have some noticeable peers that are using the aye-flow. So who originated it? Who knows?
Who did it first? Who cares? As hip-hop proves It's all about who is getting paid the most which often means who did it last. Apple didn't create the smart phone, they made it better. The originator hardly ever gets the glory, but the person who made the big brand behind it does, and that's why patent protection is so crucial (But that's a whole nother topic) or hopefully you get a shoutout. But forreal this whole thing comes down to "branding". The bigger the brand, the more it doesn't matter. But hey what do I know, I own an iPhone with the other 500+ million users. And if your really still wondering. Do people actually care who did it first? Remember what Jay-Z told Nas in his song Take Over, "You made it a hot line, I made it a hot song".