Our best posts
- IllumiNOT-Me: 10 Ways Rappers Deny Being in the Illuminati
- Kanye West Is Not a Jackass
- From Art Basel to Art Yeezy: Kanye's "New Slaves" Projections as Contemporary Art
- Top 50 Songs of 2013 // January - June
- Slap Genius: Hip Hop's Best Slaps
- When Hip Hop Goes to Court: Rap Lawsuits and Music Law
- She’s Just Being Miley... and Every Other Pop Star in American Music History Ever
- Trap Geniuses: Why Selling Rap is like Selling Crack
- Why No One Has Killed Your Favorite Rapper
- The Rapper's Flow Encyclopedia
- The Beastie Chronicles — I
- 100 Most Upvoted Annotations
- Verse to Verse: Arcade Fire
- Top 10 Television Theme Songs
- Verse to Verse: Kanye West
- Verse to Verse: Jay-Z
- Rap Genius Presents: The Top 100 Rap Songs of 2012
- Scarface: The Holy Bible of Rap Music
- Great Expectations: The RapGenius Guide to Rap Albums in 2013
- 100 Most Upvoted Annotations of 2013
- The Personification of Hip-Hop
- NEW VIDEO from the latest verified rapper on Rap Genius: 50 Cent
- NAS INTERVIEW: why Nas wants to explain his own lyrics on Rap Genius
- Showing Our Poetry Love
- Rappers Crying
- POETRY GENIUS: How To Read And Why
- Life is Good's Future Impact
- GODFATHERS OF RAP GENIUS: Ben Horowitz Interviews Steve Stoute
- Rap Genius Explanation Competition
- The Top 5 People Rappers Reference
- RapGenius Ranks the First Half of 2012
- Hannibal Buress: First Comedian Verified on Rap Genius
- Bricks to Billboard, Grams to Grammys: Rap Genius' Top 25 Jay-Z Verses
- RGU Lesson Two: Me and the Devil Blues
- What Does Trust Mean in the Rap Game?
- RGU Lesson One: The Signifyin' Monkey
- A$AP ROCKY INTERVIEW: Maboo v. Nardwuar
- Who's this new Bada$$ kid???: A UK Perspective
- Professor Rapper: 7 Uncommon Black History Facts as Told by Kendrick Lamar
- Bragging in Hip Hop
- Inside the Lines with RZA: Part 1
- Rap Genius goes Inside the Lines with Mac Miller
- Interview With B Horowitz: RG Verified Blogger
- Are the fans getting more ignorant?
- Rap Genius Interviews B.o.B.
- An Open Letter from Donald Glover
- Rap Genius Nas interview PREVIEW
- Drake Says He's The First Person To Successfully Rap And Sing. Here's why he's wrong.
- Operation Free Earl
- Rap vs. Ronald Reagan
- Rap Genius of the Month: Big Ghostfase
- 30 Rock: On Gunplay and 2Chainz
- What to Expect from Rap Albums in 2012: The RapGenius Guide to Listening Safely in a Hype-Cycled Universe
- Why There Will Never be a 'GOAT' in Hip-Hop: An Extensive Analysis
- SUBJECT: Jones, Russel Tyrone
- The Top 10 Mixtapes of 2011
- Top 100 Rap Songs of 2011
- The Direction of Hip-Hop
- The Recent History Of Mixtape Trolling
- Rappers' Obsession with Jewish Culture
- Dear Shyne, Ask Yourself: 'What Is A Classic Album?' Ya Bish!
- Five Tips For Unsigned Rappers
- The Navy Seal Who Killed Osama bin Laden loves That "Red Nation" Track MTV Banned
- Is Pete Rock's Disappointment Justified?
- Stereo IQ's Top Albums of 2012
- R.A THE RUGGED MAN AND EMINEM: BEEF, OR NO BEEF?
- Is The Rap Game Pretentious?
- My Philosophy on Socrates References in Rap
- Machine Gun Kelly Inside the Lines
- WTF is a Basquiat?
- You Can't Rap, But You Can Make A Song
- "Six Minutes, Slim Shady, You're On"
- Retrospect for Lu: One Year Later...
- Rap Genius Political Appointees 2012
- "Triple Beam Dreams": A Reinvigoration of Tradition
- Top 10 Lines From Drake's "Take Care"
- Rap Geniuses of the Month: Kembe X / Alex Wiley
- Freak Wit It - The Five Greatest Censored Versions of Hip Hop Songs
- Black Star: Let's ALL Get Down!
- Inside the Rappers Studio: A Witty Nicki Minaj?
- Can’t Wait To Be King: If J. Cole Really Were Simba
- Don’t Become a Rapper If: A Checklist
- All in the Name of P***Y: 7 Women Who Made Fresh Beef Into Poison Meat
- Fuck You; Pay Me (By Not Buying My Music)
- The Many Nicknames of Lil Wayne
- Introducing the Rap Map™ - your guide through the gangsta terrain of the planet
- Hella Based: The Many Faces of Lil B
- Is it right to hate fame?
- Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor: All the Lyrics Explained
- Rappers: They're Just Like Us!
- 10 Last-Minute Christmas Gift Ideas For The Hip Hop/Music Lover
- Lupe Fiasco: The Proust of Rap
- Which Throne are You Watching?
- Kill Whitey: Top 10 Corporate Greed Rap Lyrics
- Common: "A Letter To The Law" Video Breakdown
- Liquid Swords: Rap Genius on the Rap Genius
- Joey Bada$$ & Kendrick Lamar: This Generation’s Biggie & Pac? : A UK Perspective
- The Five Nastiest, Most Explicit Sex Scenes in Rap History
- My Kingdom For A Platinum Football Field
- Selena Gomez does Birthdays, Biebers, and Beats in her new album Stars Dance
- Tyler the Creator - Goblin
- Wax: From YouTube To Def Jam
- Eminem's Infinite Explained
- Bad Meets Evil Hell: The Sequel Lyrics
- Tyler gets pizzunked
- Kirk Knight Shines on Summer Knights: A UK Perspective
- Track-by-Track Guide to Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
- ALL of Tyler, The Creator's "Bastard" Explicado
- Eatbox: rappers eat pussy sometimes, too
- Wale: The Antithesis of J. Cole
- MCA Keeps Rocking in the Afterlife
- THE HISTORY OF HIP HOP (as told by Rap Genius)
- Big Sean's "Finally Famous"
- That Shit Cray: Top Ten Meme Lines of the Year Thus Far
- I Think I'm Turning Japanese: Rap's Infatuation With Benihana
- ENTER THE WU: 36 Chambers
- Raponomics: Top Ten Foreign Currency References Of All Time
- Curren$y's Weekend At Burnie's Syncs With The Film
- Rage Against the Machine: Rap, Rock and Revolution
- Rappers and the Alphabet: A Romance on the D.L.
- International Underground: Hip Hop as Global Rebel Music
- Rap Genius LLP: A NEW Legal Service for the Rap Community
- Tyler, The Creator vs. Woody Allen
- "These n*ggas be mad -- that's why they stay hating" : Thoughts on V-Nasty
- Frank Ocean Nostalgia Ultra - all the lyrics explained
- Interview With Jay-Z's Financial Biographer: Rap Genius Editor SnoopZoggyZogg
- Rap Genius Watch The Throne Cover
- Excerpt: They call me Jay Electronica
- One Love. Elzhi's "Elmatic"
- Notes on "Ready To Die"
- Al Qaeda / Taliban rap paper plate awards: a discussion of Jihadi references in rap lyrics
- The Many Nicknames of Tyler, the Creator
- Top 25 Rap Albums of 2011
- 2011's Best Twitter Moments
- Rap Genius in the OED
- Curren$y "Covert Coup": All The Lyrics Explained
- Belief in Based God
- Lil Wayne Carter 4 Cover
- An Intro to Break Beats
- "Don't Ask Me How": The Elusive TRIPLE Entendre in Hip-Hop
- Big Sean is Finally Famous...boiiiii
- Gil Scott Heron - Father of Rap
- Hip-Hop's TECHNOlogic Revolution
- Pass Through, Ghost-like: A Multi Before I Die Mixtape
- Kendrick Lamar - #Section.80
- Nas interview PREVIEW
- Dominic Strauss Khan & Ghostface
- Adrien Brody Reciting 10 Crack Commandments
- M-m-m-maybach Music
- Crooked I Decodes Crooked I
- Lupe Fiasco's LASERS
- Jay-Z: "Rap Is Poetry"
- XV Reasons Why XV's The Next Big Thing
- A Modest Proposal: Why those white-bread, hella suburban rappers matter
- "Tastes like Swag": Cooking with Lil B (Part1: Wonton Soup)
- We Found Earl!
- Nas, Illmatic: All the lyrics to every song explained
- Wiz Khalifa: probably fucked your bitch
- An Open Letter Regarding OFWGKTA (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All)
- Kanye & Pharrell at Design in Miami: Breaking Down Understanding and Rap Genius
- Most commonly misheard rap lines
- Kanye in Paris
- Tyler the Creator: Tron Cat
- Religion in Hip Hop: A RapGenius Overview
- Bad Meets Sequel?
- Rhyming Words with Themselves, sort of: Top Ten Homophone Rhymes of All Time
- Interview: Vince Staples
- Donald Glover Interview: "What the fuck is a Childish Gambino?"
- RAP GENIUS EXCLUSIVE: Despot reveals a supergroup and gives his fans a SPECIAL MESSAGE!
- Subliminal Satanic Messages in Jay-Z
- On "Blue Slide Park": A Review of Moderate Proportions
- The Classic Yo! MTV Raps Returns, One Night Only!
- Cadence & Flow -- A Study in MMG
- Curren$y Interview With DDS
- Jay-Z vs. RapGenius.com: Who's Better at Decoding Jay-Z's Lyrics?
- Lupe Fiasco's "Words I Never Said" Music Video
- Virginia's Finest: Intalek Interview
- "Well I Guess, This Is My Dissertation" - Notes on Graduation
- "Well I guess, this is my dissertation"- Graduation: Decoded
- Fabolous "I'm Raw": A Close Reading
- Dre - Is Detox coming?
- Lil B "Charlie Sheen" music video breakdown
- Fabolous SOUL Tape
- RAP GENIUS EXCLUSIVE: Nicki Minaj's Titty
- Hip Hop & Islam: The Sacred Nexus
- Hell: The Sequel
- Rap Genius on German MTV!
- RIP Macho Mane - Wrestler, Rapper, Baller
- "Don't Wanna Go Home" lyrics – Jason DeRulo
- Nicki Minaj Pink Friday: ALL the lyrics to EVERY song decoded
- Drake, Thank Me Later: ALL the lyrics to EVERY song explained
- "Empire State of Mind" video breakdown
- "Yonkers" Video Breakdown
- Lil Wayne Explains Lil Wayne
- Psychiatrist Advises Degenerate Geniuses to "Check Your Head"
- StereoIQ Lines of the Week: July 30-August 7
- Osama Got Popped..
- DIY: Turning the RG shirt into an RG Lady-Tee
- ALL the lyrics to Kanye West's "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" Explained
- RIP Biggie Smalls (the Rap Genius)
- Congressman Tweets Dickpic: Inspired by Kanye? Or Mannie Fresh? Who knows?
- Woman's work: transporting drugs for rappers
- Thank You Bouillabased God
- Rap Genius of the Month: Don Trip
- Hip-hop Superbowl: Black and Yellow vs Green and Yellow
- Jay-Z on Biting Biggie's Rhymes
- Pusha's "Fear of God" Mixtape: Don't Be Scurred
- Eminem, Recovery: ALL the lyrics to EVERY song explained!
- All of the Lights: Seizure-tastic
- V-Nasty Saying The "N-Word"
- Cole Summer Saga Continues..
- Interview with producer and OFWGKTA affiliate BrandenBeatBoy
- I Love Hip-hop, But...Part I
- Rappers: Suckered by Obama's Charm, Just Like the Rest of Us...
- big boi exclusive: new outkast next?
- Eminem vs. Weezy: Who's the King of these rude, ludicrous, lucrative lyrics?
- Lil Wayne and Birdman's Notorious K.I.S.S.
- Was Slug the O.G. Drake?
- The 5 degrees of decadence in "Fashion Rap"
- Either Kanye and Ghostface both sleep head to toe with their respective cousins, or Kanye is biting
- "Get it?" Why do rappers explain their own lines in the Age of Rap Genius?
- Roots, How I Got Over: ALL the lyrics to EVERY song explained!
- RIP Big Pun
- Rap Genius University: Rhyme Types
- Lulu's son shine: What is Jay-Z talking about in "A Star is Born"?
- Jay-Z, Eminem, and "Renegade": Who Killed Whom?
- Woman sleeps with Nas, Jay-Z, and Allen Iverson; reveals penis secrets
- "I Got More at Stake Than Philly": Reasonable Doubt decoded
- "Can't Knock The Hustle": How Jay-Z Came Up on Ace of Spades
- The Top Ten Verses of 2011
- Introducing RapMetrics™: The Birth of Statistical Analysis of Rap Lyrics
- Rap Genius Interview: Adam Bradley, editor of the Yale Anthology of Rap
- The Game R.E.D. Album Preview
- Wale Attention Deficit: DECODED
- Lil Wayne on Roman's Revenge 2.0: Only One Verse?
- Poll: What are the best "fuck songs" / "love songs" in rap music?
- Wiz & Amber sitting in a tree.. T - A - T - T - O - O - I -N -G
- "Words I Never Said": Lupe Fiasco's Anthem for the Egyptian Revolution?
- ALL of the "All of the Lights"
- Tat My Name On You So I Know It's Real
- Carter IV Preview: Lil Wayne rolling with a cougar
- 420 NEWS: Kid Cudi quits quitting weed
- Lil B album to be called "I'm Gay"
- Hipster Girl Raps "Look At Me Now"
- Prodigy's Book: The Anti-Decoded
- Lupe Fiasco's Long-Awaited Lasers...Cover Art
- Thurnis Haley: Really Into Golf
- Tyler Arrested In L.A.
- Tyler the Creator & Odd Future on Tim Westwood
- Goblin L.A. Concert
- Lil Wayne Carter IV Release Date
- Big K.R.I.T. booed at Highline Ballroom
- Odd Future Is The New Beatles
- "Dreams Money Can Buy" by Drake
- "Return Of Simba" by J. Cole
- FREESTYLE BATTLE: Lupe Fiasco vs. Bill O'Reilly
- Annals of the Rap Orientalist: Talk of Money in Rap
- "Acura Integurl" by Frank Ocean
- "She Wanna Have My Baby" by The Game
- Kendrick Lamar "Hiii Power" Music Video Breakdown
- "Marvins Room" by Drake
- "Everywhere I Go" by 2Pac
- "Tree" - Kid Cudi & Wiz Khalifa
- "Loud Noises" by Bad Meets Evil
- 2Pac on Intellectual Property
- "Ronald Reagan Era" by Kendrick Lamar
- Detox - July 26 Release Date?
- Lil Wayne: "Dear Anne" Lyrics Explicado..
- "Her Room" by Teyana Taylor
- Interview - Indie Artist "b.a.sick"
- Obama sings "Let's Stay Together"
- MO Purp please! New music from Alex Wiley, Kembe X and Chance the Rapper
- Hip Hop's Hero's Hubris?: RG Introduces Asaad
- Lupe Fiasco (and Big Sean) - "Wait for Me"
- Drake Interview
- Lyrics to Tyga's Well Done 2 Mixtape
- Norwegian Mass Murderer Hates Hip-hop
- The Bullitts X Jay Electronica MOOVIE
- "I'm On One" lyrics – Tyga
- "Oh My Remix" lyrics – DJ Drama
- Odd Future in Germany
- MeLo-X = Sade + The Weeknd
- J Cole Breaks Down His Album Title
- Soulja Boy: The Movie (Trailer)
- "Trouble on My Mind" lyrics – Pusha T
- Artist in Residence: Black Cobain says farewell
- "I'm On One Freestyle" lyrics – Chamillionaire
- What's Wrong With John Galliano?
- Tyler The Creator Bonds With Tim Westwood
- Oh Mercy Me: New Music & An Artist to Watch
- "Uncle Otis" lyrics – The Game
- Consequence's "Pusha T Diss"
- Frank Ocean on "Watch The Throne".. Good Move? Bad Move?
- Rap Genius Reviews Dreams and Nightmares
- Jetlifer SinnersRemorse Reviews Curren$y's Priest Andretti
- Nardwuar Interviews Casey Veggies
- MJ Faded Way: Perfect
- Big Sean Arrested
- Artist in Residence: Black Cobain spits a fire freestyle
- Wiz Khalifa x Curren$y x Big Sean = STONER MIXTAPE OF THE CENTURY
- Cam'ron Threatens iTunes
- Black Hippy Interview
- Watch The Throne (Snippets)
- Birdman Forbes Interview
- NEW MUSIC: "Hotel" by NRK (Nobody Really Knows)
- Watch The Based
- In the Zone: Jay-Z and Kanye West Live at Bank Atlantic Center
- EARL IS FREE!
- Rap Genius Editor Teaches Kreayshawn Makeup Techniques
- INSIDE GAME: The Making of Martians vs Goblins
- Rap Genius of the Month: Touré
- Kreayshawn's Ballinest Fan? Drake
- A$AP FERGENSTEIN: on the origins of "A$AP"
- "Watch The Throne" Preview
- Ambition 2: BEHIND THE SCENES
- J Cole on How Jay-Z REALLY Feels About "Cole World: A Sideline Story"
- Game's track-by-track breakdown of the Red Album
- Jay-Z 101 at Georgetown University
- Young Dr. Dre on TV!
- Drake care...
- Lil B's "I'm Gay"
- #Ambition (cover)
- Freddie Gibbs: Cold Day In Hell Cover
- BEEF: Fox News vs. Jon Stewart (& Common)
- Young Jeezy's TM103: Hustlerz Ambition Review
- Siri vs Biggie
- Bad Meets Evil on Fuse TV at Bonnaroo
- IT'S OFFICIAL: Cyhi is an Otis Fan
- N***AWATCH 2011: V-Nasty Calls A Black Man "N***a" In A Fight
- Mac Miller "Blue Slide Park" Tracklist
- Q: what will be this year's MOST MEME Halloween costume?
- MMG loves lyrics just like RG
- RUH ROH: Tyler the Creator Arrested (Again)
- NEW VIDEO: Lupe Fiasco's "Bitch Bad"
- RG RANCH SXSW RECAP (part 2)
- Introducing the Rap Genius Artist in Residence: The Black Cobain Experience
- 13 YEAR OLD KENDRICK LAMAR WISHES HE HAD RAP GENIUS
- TDE on Tour & Too funny
- Southern Boys Collide: Big KRIT & Yelawolf collaboration coming soon
- Rap Hoods - Hampton Roads, Virginia
- Big K.R.I.T. goes live from the underground and gets verified with RapGenius
- Lupe is a rap god but also human
- ras kass keeps it raw
- What is Wayne? The Artist Lives
- New Freshness: Urbana Poppin' Champaign (UPC)
- Ab-Soul Drawing Contest on Rap Genius?!
- Monday Morning with the BRKF$T Club
- Rhyme Spotters: Twinkies
- RIP KING CAPITAL STEEZ
- Artist in Residence: The Confessional, Day One
- Common talks LUV on Rap Genius - Live Ustream!
- first ever freestyled verified explanation (don't ask me how)
- Lupe Fiasco Exclusive world premiere: breaking down "bitch bad"
- Ras Kass Behind the Lines with Rap Genius
- Behind the Bars with RiFF RaFF, part 1
- Behind the Bars with Riff Raff, part 2 (prepare to be enlightened)
- Does Bruno Mars have a space in hip hop?
- Slaughterhouse tells RG what they really think about Black Hippy
- LUPE FIASCO EXCLUSIVE world premiere: Explore Lamborghini Angels
- LUPE IS HERE
- BIG BOI NOW VERIFIED ON RG!
- EXCLUSIVE Lyrics and More From Skyzoo's New *A Dream Deferred* -- UPDATED!!
- What Does Common Think About Rap Genius?
- 2012 BET Cyphers Lyrics: Who spit fire?
- Grand Theft Audio: The Music of San Andreas
- The Importance of Music Education
- big boi RG fan contest: are you big's rap genius?
- Celebrating Common: 20 years of verified explanations, pt. 1
- MEEK MILL EXCLUSIVE WORLD PREMIERE: Maybach curtains
- Ne-Yo is Now verified!
- Dreadlocks. Rasta?
- Blog fam Interview: AFH - Kendrick Lamar "GRIT"
- Celebrating Common: 20 years of verified explanations, pt. 2
- Verified Artist Lushlife is hosting an RG COmpetition
- Joey Bada$$ new single "Unorthodox"
- RANCH RECAP: RG at SXSW part 1
- Rap Genius x BET: Video Breakdown of Stalley's "Fountain of Youth"
- The Fine Art of the Name Drop: From Pac to R.A.
- News Genius Lines of the Week, 05/03/2013
- Kush and Corinthians: Religious Contradictions in Hip Hop
- The Honors English Rap Genius Challenge - CONTEST RULES
- News Genius Quotes of the Week, 05/10/2013
- Skylar Grey x RG x Gigg "Final Warning" Verse Contest
- Young and Beautiful: The Anomaly That is Lana Del Rey
- News Genius Quotes of the Week, 05/17/2013
- The 7 Stages of Yeezus: From "Through the Wire" to "I Am a God"
- "Jimmy's Back": A Documentary about Mass Incarceration by Dice Raw
- Why Kanye Chose No Album Artwork
- Top 10 Whistleblowers
- Wale Contest: Unlock the Meaning Behind The Gifted Lyrics and Win!
- Artist in Residence: Making of "The Recipe" freestyle w/ Black Cobain
- Honors English Lyrics Challenge Coming Soon - Sneak Peak
- TV Night at Cam's
We’re about halfway through 2013 (ALREADY HALFWAY? #SkipSpring #TooMuchMollyNotEnoughTime) so I’ve compiled the best work of 2013’s first half. (Except for that one song I left out, that you’ll undoubtedly remind me about in the comment section). Check back in December for our official Top 100 list and check out our Top 100 for 2012.
50. Banana Clip Theory, Big KRIT
49. Take My Life, Pusha T ft. Andrea Martin
48. Guild, Earl Sweatshirt ft. Mac Miller
47. Young Lady, Kid Cudi ft. Father John Misty
46. 3rd World Girl, Antwon
45. Work (Remix), A$AP Ferg ft. A$AP Rocky, French Montana, Schoolboy Q, & Trinidad James
44. Kush Coma, Danny Brown
43. High Art, The Dream ft. Jay-Z
42. Coins, LE1F
41. Herb Shuttles, The Underachievers
40. Yay Yay, Schoolboy Q
39. Jamba, Tyler, The Creator
38. Everything’s Good (Good Ass Outro), Chance The Rapper
37. Cee-lo, Future ft. Wale
36. Ghetto Symphony, A$AP Rocky ft. Gunplay & A$AP Ferg
35. Started From the Bottom, Drake
34. Immortal, Kid Cudi
33. Suit & Tie, Justin Timberlake ft. Jay-Z
32. Light Blue, Lupe Fiasco
31. WTF, Big KRIT
30. Memories Back Then, T.I. ft. Kendrick Lamar, B.O.B., and Kris Stephens
29. Blurred Lines, Robin Thicke ft. Pharrell & T.I.
28. Chain Smoker, Chance The Rapper
27. 5 AM in Toronto, Drake
26. Kiss Land, The Weeknd
25. Open Letter, Jay-Z
24. Millions, Pusha T ft. Rick Ross
23. Crooked Smile, J. Cole ft. TLC
22. Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe (Remix), Kendrick Lamar ft. Jay-Z
21. Bad, Wale ft. Tiara Thomas
20. Can I Holla At Ya, J. Cole
19. Giving Up, Lil B
18. U.O.E.N.O, Rocko ft. Rick Ross & Future
17. Girls Love Beyonce, Drake
16. Think Of Me, Childish Gambino
15. Lose Yourself To Dance, Daft Punk ft. Pharrell
14. Looks Good With Trouble (Remix), Solange ft. Kendrick Lamar
13. No Bueno, Angel Haze
12. Whoa, Earl Sweatshirt ft. Tyler, The Creator
11. Trust You, Pusha T ft. Kevin Gates
Gucci Mane as a waterfall. Just ‘cause
10. Get Lucky, Daft Punk ft. Pharrell
9. Colossus Tyler, The Creator
Eminem’s Stan has grown into a such meme now (stanning is a verb) that you have to mention it in discussion of raps about fans. “Colossus” shares this in common with Stan, but not much else. In an album that expands his many nicknames and alter egos, this track feels the most like Tyler himself. It’s his Twitter feed set to music; wishing the best for his fans, wishing his fans would leave him alone, wishing law enforcement the worst. And let’s not forget about the music, with its tension-building piano composition.
8. The End Is Near, Ab-Soul ft. Mac Miller
Though its title predicts the end, this strikes me as the ghost of Rap Game future. Mac Miller is making strides this year (hanging out with TDE, Odd Future, and, well, us at Rap Genius) and he impresses here with his production here and a more assured flow. Meanwhile, Ab-Soul has used the first half of this year to ramp up his punchlines. This song is an example of that, but his appearances on Chance’s Smoke Again and his own Bubble Gum Blues point a future filled with layered bars. Not to worry, Rap Genius will decode it for him.
7. Animal Pharm, Lupe Fiasco ft. Thom Yorke
Well, on the subject of layered lyrics, here is an allegorical track from Lupe Fiasco. WARNING: it’s a labyrinth. Rap Geniuses have been known to go missing, parsing through these lyrics.
6. U.O.E.N.O, Black Hippy (Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul)
They’re 15 U.O.E.N.O. remixes on Rap Genius and you ain’t even know it. This the best U.O.E.N.O. remix and you probably already knew it.
5. New Slaves, Kanye West ft. Frank Ocean
You definitely get style points for projecting your face on apartment buildings. But what’s more interesting is that Kanye’s mention of privatized prisons. Along with the emergence of Kendrick Lamar and Chance The Rapper, we’re seeing backpack rap that wants to blow up… on the side of buildings.
4. They Die By Dawn, The Bullits ft. Jay Electronica and Yasiin Bey
Mileage may vary on the Western-tinged instrumentals or Yasiin Bey’s narration over them (I think they’re both great), but Jay Elec’s verse is indomitable:
Look the judge in the eye like a man
Not a dove, not a lamb, not a slave, or a church mouse
You a king, you a god, you a holy El
Get out this hole and give these motherfuckers holy hell
So overtime, I perfected my rhymes and
That’s why I shine like I climbed out the holy grail
Mainstream dropout, white widow cotton mouth
Out in Queen’s Park with a crew of dirty stopouts
3. Pusha Man/Paranoia, Chance The Rapper ft. Nate Fox & Lili K.
2. Power Trip, J.Cole ft. Miguel
J. Cole premiered Miss America last year, a visceral conscious rap song with the following outro: They’ll never feel my pain/
And they’ll never play this shit on the radio. It seemed more defeating than defiant. What would a J. Cole radio single sound like? Well, after all of that you receive this. Power Trip is unfuckwittable. There are strong verses that don’t get bogged down with punchlines or self consciousness, there’s a hook you can sing along to, and it’s all over some of J. Cole’s best production.
1. Black Skinhead, Kanye West
The screams! Before, Yeezy’s trademark “haaah” had a limited emotional range, from confidence (Don’t make me pull the toys out, huh) to bewilderment (it’s what we hear before that Blades of Glory sample, “I don’t even know what that means? (No one knows what it means, but it’s provocative”). Here, the “haahs” register as paranoid chants and lend the song a wily, urgent vibe unseen since we toasted to the douchebags.
DEAD ISLAND, Kitty
Rap Genius, Kool AD ft. Lakutis, Mayhem Lauren, DVS, & Dallas Penn (best song title of the year if you ask me)
Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix), Lauryn Hill (compulsory mention)
Valley of Kings, Blue Sky Black Death ft. Cam'ron & N.O.R.E. (BSBD goes HAM. I hope we see a Killa Cam record in this year)
The Cauldron, Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire
Yung Rapunxel, Azealia Banks
London Rant, Kanye West (excluded for not “being an actual song”)
Philosophy Sunday, Lupe Fiasco (see above)
Rio, Theophilus London