Yesterday, I whittled the list of potential favorite rap tracks down to eighteen (Note, this is not my eighteen favorite songs, but instead, eighteen of my favorite artists, each getting one song to represent themselves). Today, I will officially crown, My Favorite Rap Song of All Time.
Before I get into the list though, I’d be remiss to not give a shout out to my favorite 2012 Summer track. So, much love to French (sort of), Ross, Drake and Wayne, for…
Now, back to the unveiling of My Favorite Rap Song of All-Time.
Tier VIII: “I Bet this Infuriates Lil Wayne” Group
18. Kick, Push – Lupe Fiasco
Hey look at that, a rapper that can actually skateboard. Sorry, I never miss a chance to take a shot at Wayne.
Tier VII: “Kicking it New School” Group
17. Marvins Room – Drake
I’ve already dedicated too many words to this.
16. Before I’m Gone – J. Cole
I really wish he didn’t rap about semen/his seed so much, but his flow is pretty tight on this one.
15. Break (AOTL) – Childish Gambino
With a bunch of things working against him (being a comedian turned serious rapper, the black nerd thing , the stupid name thing, ect. ect.), he’s pretty dope and I stand by that.
Tier VI: “Kicking it Old School” Group
14. I Used to Love H.E.R. – Common
Get it? It’s a metaphor for Hip Hop music.
13. Anti-Circle – The Roots
Let me first say, Black Thought is one of the most overlooked/underrated MCs in the world. I absolutely LOVE the Inspector Gadget sample, even if it’s only for a second, I love the freestyle vibe, I can (and have) listened to this song on repeat for hours.
Tier V: “Let’s Make Some Babies” Group
12. Ayo Technology – 50 Cent feat. Justin Timeberlake
I’ve had this song stuck in my head since the first time I heard it. There’s definitely better 50 songs, but I don’t care. Plus a little Justin/Timberland combo never hurts.
11. Beautiful – Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell
Now, if this song doesn’t get your face all scrunchy you’re probably not human, either that or you’re Amish. This is convertible music, beach music, seducing music. It’s on every summer playlist I’ve ever made.
Tier IV: “I’m Going to Rap Every Single Lyric and Pretend I’m a Rapper” Group
10. Hypnotize – Biggie Smalls
Play this at the club, and watch the club EXPLODE. Luxury Rap, well before Kanye and Jay co-opted it.
9. Ms. Jackson – Outkast
Forever, forever, ever, forever, ever? (I don’t know why I wrote that, I just like the way Andre says it.) *Unpopular Opinion Alert* Big Boi has the better verse on this song. Although 3000’s hook is sick (OOOH).
8. Changes – Tupac
Social consciousness at it’s apex. An awesome sample/beat. I don’t even want to write, while I’m listening to this, I feel like I’m going to miss something, even if I have listened to it about a million times before.
Tier III – “I’m Getting Pumped and Angry at the Same Time” Group
7. Till’ I Collapse – Eminem feat Nate Dogg
This beat is so menacing, Em sounds so hungry. Love hungry Eminem. If I worked out, (I don’t) I’d listen to this on repeat, get angry and go into beast mode. Don’t discount Nate Dogg’s hook, either.
6. Drop the World – Lil Wayne feat. Eminem
A double dose of Em, but this is Wayne’s song, and it’s probably his last interesting song. There I go, throwing shade on Wayne, again, sorry. I probably listened to this song almost exclusively for about two months during college. Just an awesome, Fuck Everything song.
Tier II: “Throw Your ROCs in the Air” Group
5. P.S.A. – Jay-Z
If you don’t get excited when you hear, “Allow me to re-introduce myself,” I’m probably not friends with you, I will probably never be friends with you, and I will probably never have a desire to be friends with you. So triumphant, so big, so good. And it ends just as good as it begins, “Either love me or leave me alone.”
4. Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Remix) – Kanye West feat. Jay-Z
Remember when Kanye rapped about things socially relevant? Back before Graduation. That was pretty cool, but let’s be honest, Jay makes this song. Am I the only one that waits nervously to hear Jay’s grunts in the background, “Is this going to be the Remix,” I think. Then I hear that first, “ehh,” sigh of relief, then Jay interrupts “I got it from here Ye’, damn.” I kind of just want to write Jay’s entire verse, but I’ll just leave you with this, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man. So let me handle my business, damn.”
Tier I: “If This Song Comes On, And You’re Talking To Me, I’m No Longer Listening To You” Group
3. Doo Wop – Lauryn Hill
How good is Lauryn? It’s almost impossible to quantify. I don’t even think I can. I’ll just say, whenever someone proclaims Nicki Minaj the best female rapper alive, I want to slap them in the face and play this on loop.
2. Shimmy Shimmy Ya – Ol’ Dirty Bastard
Like Ol’ Dirty, I like it raw (in a rap sense), and few rapper’s are rawer than ODB (once again, in a rap sense). I mean the whole second verse is gibberish. I firmly believe that this song is not played nearly enough, for example, Hot 97 should play it every hour, on the hour. No exaggeration. I doubt anyone would complain.
1. Soundtrack 2 My Life – Kid Cudi
After all that, my original assertion was right all along. Remember back in high school, when teachers would say, “don’t change your answer, your first instinct is usually the right one,” well, I guess I should have listened, it would have saved me (and you) a lot of time. I will never get tired of this song, and I’ve listened to it a lot, like probably an unhealthy amount. For me, it’s flawless.