Here’s the thing: Don’t fight. Don’t fight rappers, but also just don’t fight anybody. It’s not good. It’s not good for you and it’s not good for the person you’re fighting and it’s not good for the universe. Just don’t do it.
(The one exception is if you happen to find yourself eye-to-eye with Dwyane Wade, the most unlikable person currently in the NBA playoffs. In that case, go nuts. Fight him. Fight him for America.)
(DISCLAIMER: If you’re the type of person who reads about this sort of thing on the Internet, then I have to believe that you will get pummeled by Wade, but still. Go for it. It’ll be a good story to tell once all of your teeth grow back.)
Here’s the other thing: This is a chart to help you figure out if you should fight a particular rapper, should you somehow be in position to do so and of the mind to do so. It was inspired by the recent standoff the LAPD had with, among others, the Game and T.I., two rappers you should definitely never, ever try to fight.
Now, the “If I Fought This Rapper, Would I Win?” chart is entirely hypothetical. The top bar across it, the Toughness Indicator, is very much a flexible postulate, a raw guess at how tough/mean/aggressive somebody probably is. Best to be safe: Don’t fight anyone on this list, or on any list, for that matter. Just don’t. Really, I don’t even know why you’re thinking about it. It’s dumb. It’s real dumb.
But since you are, here you go:
Two more things: (1) No fight is a true fight unless someone gets knocked out, so that’s the barometer here. All the way in the red means there is a 100 percent chance you wake up the unintentional star of a viral Internet video; and (2) no women were included here because it felt strange to talk about fist-fighting women. (A guess: You’d probably catch Lil Mama for a win, but all the rest are dropping L’s on you.)
End Fight Probability: There is a negative–100 percent chance J. Cole knocks you out.
Yes. Fight J. Cole. Fight J. Cole and win. Fight him for ruining the Jay Z–Dame Dash reunion moment. Fight him for using the phrase “Cole world.” Fight him for his face being his face.
End Fight Probability: There is a 44 percent chance T.I. knocks you out.
He’s a tiny guy, sure (on “Stand Up” he says he weighs 145 pounds, or about one pair of Timbaland boots), but he looks like he’s made of twisted wire. Also, and this is real life: I met him once at a listening party. He has an unsettling gaze. There’s evil in him. He’ll hurt you. And he’s gonna like doing it. Don’t do it. Don’t fight T.I.
End Fight Probability: There is a negative–10 percent chance Lil Wayne knocks you out.
On the one hand, Lil Wayne is from Louisiana, which makes him instantly intimidating. But on the other hand, one time he rapped, “Eat her till she cry, call that wine and dine,” so you should be fine. Engage him in fisticuffs. It would be very neat if you said something Lil Wayne–esque when you did so (“I just drummed you to the floor, call that a beatdown,” or something).
End Fight Probability: There is a 51 percent chance Lil Boosie knocks you out.
Bro, he just got out of prison, like, 45 minutes ago. Don’t do that. Don’t fight Lil Boosie.
End Fight Probability: There is a negative–65 percent chance Puff knocks you out.
You’d likely win this fight if it managed to come off, but I’d sidestep it because let’s say you trip over Puff’s teeny-tiny teeth and fall and hit your head on the concrete and knock yourself out or whatever, he is absolutely going to celebrate by doing that Diddy Bop dance he’s done for the last 60 years. You can’t risk that. There’s no recovering from that. There’s no recovering from being the guy in the WSHH knockout Puff Daddy Diddy Bop dance video.
End Fight Probability: There is an 86 percent chance 50 Cent knocks you out.
He got shot 700 times in the head and didn’t die. What are you gonna do to him in a fight? Don’t do it. Don’t fight Fif.
End Fight Probability: There is a negative–23 percent chance Rick Ross knocks you out.
You’re gold here. Ross is a big guy, but in this case that just means he’s slow. Fight him the same way you used to fight King Hippo* from Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! Wait till he opens his mouth to breathe, punch him in it, then sock him in his stomach over and over again until he falls down. Inertia will handle the rest.
*Why didn’t anyone ever talk about the giant bandage on King Hippo’s stomach? Referee Mario shouldn’t have let him fight like that. There’s gotta be some sort of rule against prefight open wounds in the Video Game Boxing Association, right? “Hey, what’s that gaping sore you have on your belly there, Hippo? What? Oh. Oh, you’re just gonna cover it up with your hands? OK, cool. Fight!” Referee Mario was way too cavalier about staph infections.
End Fight Probability: There is a 12 percent chance Wiz Khalifa knocks you out.
His knockout percentage is low, but that only accounts for his thinness. You have to remember that he’s extra tall so he’s gonna have an infuriating reach advantage. More likely than the knockout is that he peppers you with jabs until both of your eyes are swollen shut. Plus, his neck is 24 inches long, so you’re never gonna be able to hit him in the head. The only chance you’ve got is if Wiz has it in his brain that he’s a dad now. Dad brains are always like, “Man, I can’t [DANGEROUS THING]. I got kids to think about now.” But if he’s not thinking about that, you’re toast. Don’t do it. Don’t fight Wiz Khalifa.
End Fight Probability: There is a 71 percent chance Regular Snoop knocks you out.
Basically for all the same reasons listed for Wiz, but also because he’s Snoop. He’s been the most intimidating skeleton on earth for the last 20 years. Remember him in Baby Boy? He was perfect. Don’t do it. Don’t fight Regular Snoop.
End Fight Probability: There is a negative–72 percent chance Reggae Snoop knocks you out.
Because it’s reggae,* man. You’re safe.
*The best thing that happened last week was when the Donald Sterling story started unraveling and Reggae Snoop immediately reverted back to Regular Snoop in his video response. Regular Snoop is the best.
End Fight Probability: There is a negative–7 percent chance Kanye West knocks you out.
If it was Digitized Kanye West from the “Black Skinhead” video, then I’d say avoid it (he’d probably club you over the head with the mega-penis he gave himself), but this is real-life Kanye so you’re safe. He’ll be loud and he’ll be blustery but he’ll also be extra-sensitive about everything. “Hey, Kanye, hahaha you can’t get into fashion. Have fun at Adidas.” Boom. He starts crying. You sock him in the kidney. Fight over. Great, next album.
End Fight Probability: There is a 46 percent chance Busta Rhymes knocks you out.
I think Busta is like 1,000 years old but whatever, because he also looks like he can bench-press a Hyundai, so stay away. I just don’t understand why anyone would ever wanna be that big, particularly if you’re an old man. Dr. Dre did the same thing. He started getting old and was like, “What can I do to look young and normal? Oh! I got it! Let me make the muscles in my neck super duper strong.” Weird, weird. Don’t do it. Don’t fight Bussa Buss. Flip Mode. Flip Mode is the greatest.
End Fight Probability: There is a negative–90 percent chance Pitbull will knock you out.
Fight him. Fight Pitbull. Fight Pitbull every chance you get. And whenever you knock him on the ground, you shout, “Pitbull’s going down, I’m yelling ‘timber’” and then be like, “You see? You see how stupid that is?”
End Fight Probability: There is a 79 percent chance The Game knocks you out.
This is the first paragraph of the “Early Life” section of The Game’s Wikipedia page:
“Game was born Jayceon Terrell Taylor on November 29, 1979, in Los Angeles, California. He grew up in Compton, a low-income crime-ridden city in Los Angeles County, in a primarily Crip gang neighborhood known as Santana Blocc, although he grew up to become a member of the Bloods. He was born into a life of gang-wars and hustling. In an October 2006 interview with MTV News correspondent Sway Calloway, Game described his family as “dysfunctional” and claimed that his father molested one of his sisters. When later interviewed, Game stated that at a young age, he recalled seeing both of his parents preparing to do drive-by shootings. His father was a Nutty Block Crip and his mother a Hoover Crippelette. Drugs and guns were all around Taylor when he was a youngster. His father was a heroin addict and both his parents frequently took cocaine. At around the age of 6, Taylor stated that a friend of his was murdered for his clothes and shoes in the neighborhood by a teenager.”
It gets worse as it goes on. Don’t do it. Don’t fight The Game.
End Fight Probability: There is a negative–33 percent chance Eminem knocks you out.
We all saw 8 Mile. He was tough, but he wasn’t a fighter.
End Fight Probability: ???
I don’t know how to rate Ludacris. He’s not intimidating but he’s not unintimidating either. He’s not big but he’s not small. He’s not ultra-serious but he’s also not ultra-goofy. I don’t know. I don’t know. You might win. You might die. I don’t know. Good luck.
End Fight Probability: There is a negative–83 percent chance Tyga knocks you out.
Remember “Rack City”? Man, that was a good song.
End Fight Probability: There is a 49 percent chance Common knocks you out.
And a 100 percent chance that he just straight-up kills you. Did you even see Wanted, bro? He can bend the flight of bullets. Don’t do it. Don’t get ghost-assassinated by Common.
End Fight Probability: There is a negative–12 percent chance Kendrick Lamar knocks you out.
Several months ago I was at a concert. I was milling about backstage (I was there to do some reporting for a story). I was waiting for the main act to come on, talking to strangers (and then making fun on them on Twitter like a good Catholic boy), when this kid, couldn’t have been more than 13, hurried past me. I didn’t pay him any attention until I noticed he was headed straight for the stage. He stopped at the edge, was handed a microphone, then walked out and the whole entire universe exploded. It was Kendrick. I’m not a very tall person (5-foot-7) and he was at least two feet shorter. You’d survive this fight.
End Fight Probability: There is a 73 percent chance Ice-T knocks you out.
Remember that one movie he was in with Rutger Hauer in which Hauer and his friends were hunting him? They had guns and ATVs and racism and they still couldn’t get him. You can’t either. Don’t do it. Don’t fight Ice-T.
End Fight Probability: There is a negative–75 percent chance Big Sean knocks you out.
The odds are in your favor here, but still, don’t ever fight Big Sean. He’s so much fun. I mean, just look at him. He’s so happily silly and playful (and totally aware of his silliness and playfulness). He’s the opposite of J. Cole, the most self-serious rapper of my whole life. Don’t do it. Don’t fight Big Sean. Go back and fight J. Cole again.
End Fight Probability: There is a 40 percent chance Soulja Boy knocks you out.
I understand your instinct to fight Soulja Boy. I do. But don’t.
End Fight Probability: There is a negative–29 percent* chance Future knocks you out.
*This is a completely skewed measurement. Future is somewhere near 60 percent to knock you out. This is a setup. I want you to try to fight Future because I want Future to knock you out because I want Future to cackle “Tuuuuuuurn out the liiiiights” after he does so. That’s a little thing called being poetic. So do it. Fight Future.
End Fight Probability: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA10000000000000PERCENTHAHAHAHAHA
Call a coroner.
End Fight Probability: There is a negative–50 percent chance Jay Z knocks you out.
Because Jay Z rapped “Plus I know Tae Bo” in “Girls, Girls, Girls” and then Nas called him a “Tae Bo hoe” on “Ether.”
End Fight Probability: There is a 51 percent chance Drake knocks you out.
Drake has spent the last four years getting picked on by the Internet. He has been hardened. He might be the kid who cries when he fights, but that’s nature at work. It’s the same as a lion roaring. When Drake is roaring tears from his eyes, that’s when it’s time to back up.
End Fight Probability: There is a negative–17 percent chance Wale knocks you out.
I don’t know.
Did you know that Wale is real-life cousins with Chris Partlow from The Wire? Don’t do it. Don’t fight Chris Partlow’s real-life cousin.
End Fight Probability: There is a 21 percent chance Young Thug knocks you out.
He wore a dress. But don’t fall into that trap. Don’t do it. Don’t fight Young Thug.
Tyler, the Creator
End Fight Probability: There is a negative–55 percent* chance Tyler, the Creator knocks you out.
*Another ruse. His real number is closer to 35 percent. Sorry. I just really want to see what sort of things he does to you after he mollywhops you upside the head.
End Fight Probability: There is a 79 percent chance Action Bronson knocks you out.
He shares the same physical attributes as Rick Ross (who earned a -23 percent chance of knocking you out), but there’s one super-ultra-off-the-backboard mega-difference you have to account for: Bronson’s father is Albanian, which means Bronson is half-Albanian, which means FUCK THAT. The only person capable of defeating Albanians is Liam Neeson, and you’re no Liam Neeson,* my friend. Don’t do it. Don’t fight Action Bronson. Don’t get sold into an Albanian human trafficking ring.
*If I was in Taken, that’d have been a WAY different movie. “Hello? You what? You kidnapped my sons and now they’re gonna be in an Albanian human trafficking ring? Oh … oh, um … OK. Well, hey, look, the one that’s missing both of his front teeth, he hates peanuts. He won’t eat anything with peanuts in it, so, I mean, just so you know. OK. Thanks. Later, man.” End. No sequel.