For Famous Dex, ad-libs are a way of life.
When dissecting the versatility of hip-hop as creative expression, the spontaneity and off-the-cuff ad-libs delivered by the greatest emcees in the game deserve a classification unto themselves. While there's no denying that pen-to-paper lyricism, clever internal rhyme schemes, slick beats, stellar production and well-thought out wordplay all deserve a nod for their contribution to the game, a perfectly-placed ad-lib can turn a track from drab to fire, by way of just a few syllables. Throughout decades of hip-hop evolution, a variety of artists have added their own signature inflections layered over the track's main vocals to simultaneously create and cement their own personal brand into their discography.
With Migos' oft-used armory of one-liners to E-40's iconic "OOGH" ad-lib gifted to him by his sister, Suga-T of The Click fame, there's no shortage of instantly-recognizable additions squeezed in-between bars to flesh out a track with an artist's trademark vocalization. Whether you're a fan of Yachty's "Lil Boat" or prefer Playboi Carti's lazy, exhaled "pfshew," there's no denying Famous Dex's massive addition to hip hop's ever-expanding ad-lib catalog.
"It's my energy bro," says Dex of the punctuated, mono-syllabic additions to his tracks. "I think...my ad-libs...once I get that "ah-yeah," I think being around my friends, and I'm in the studio, I look at them and I'm like, "Y'all fuck with that?" And they're like, "say that shit again!" and I'm like "AH-YEAH," I'll keep that one. I think it's just good advice from my homeboys," continued the "Pick It Up" rapper, referencing his ad-lib selection process. "That's what really got my ad-libs, but I've always had this energy, bro."
For Dex however, his many ad-libs offer a service far greater than simply serving as just his vocal signature. Arguably more than many other rappers in the game at the moment, Dexter's ad-libs elevate his tracks with their multi-layered fracturing of his turn-up beats. Check out the 10 best Famous Dex tracks based on their ad-libs below.
"Geek On A Bitch" Ft. Playboi Carti
Arguably his most famous ad-lib, what would "Geek On A Bitch" be without the closing "Oh man god damn!" closing out the track? Unsurprisingly, the addition lasted through the subsequent Playboi Carti-assisted remix.
What better way to remind his listeners that he himself is the embodiment of two different personalities (as seen in his choice of album title Dex Meets Dexter) than to repeatedly include his full birth name in his singles with additions like: You know what I’m sayin’/I just- that’s just how I like to do it, know what I’m sayin’ (Dexter)/My real name is Dexter, haha."
"Hit Em Wit It"
There's no question that the chaotic, escalating hype of "Hit Em Wit It" would still be present without Famous Dex's "Uh-YEAH" punctuating every bar. An energetic ode to both sex and turning up to a beat, Dex's ad-libs elevate the trap from a simple banger to a turn-up anthem.
Without the inclusion of "SKAA"/"WOO!" to break up Dex's incredibly repetitive utterance of "hoes mad" throughout the track of the same name, there's no way the three-minute-and-twenty-second long track about brushing off your main piece would sustain itself. With the ad-lib, it quickly cements itself as one of the rapper's best releases.
In "2 Times," Dex's repetitive "skaa, skaa skaa" takes on a life of its own, blending into the track so seamlessly that it's nearly embedded into the beat itself.
In "Psyho," Dex's "What else?" line provides a perfect springboard for the high-energy rapper to flex about why exactly his fans and critics alike refer to both him and his flow as unhinged.
"New Wave" Featuring Rich The Kid
Punctuating his bars with "Uh-YEAH!," Dex provides a seamless transition for his frequent collaborator Rich The Kid to explode on his featured verse.
One of Dex's rare auto tuned ad-libs is his use of "yo, what?" peppered throughout the chilled-out, laid-back bars of "Checkmate," complimented by its sing-song chorus.
Taking a page out of Young M.A's book, Dex's "Ooouh" serves to boost, not detract from the Chicago-bred rapper's rapid-fire lyrics that even include a shoutout to Lil Yachty's iconic "Lil Boat" ad-lib: "Diamonds go live like Periscope/Fuck your lil bitch she a silly ho/Put this dick right in her little throat/Red in my hair, people callin' me Lil Boat."
"With Yo B!tch"
Clearly, the Migos trifecta doesn't have a monopoly on "skrrt," because Dex's liberal use of the sound effect on "With Yo B!tch" is an example of the rapper's skillful amplification of an existing high-energy beat. Instead of simply filling space, Dex's ad-libs continually add to the track by weaving one bar into the next.