40. The Underachievers - "Philanthropist"
The Underachievers (Issa Dash and Ak) follows the same raw, east coast blueprint as Joey Bada$$ and Pro Era. "Philanthropist" is from the excellent opener to their mixtape Indigoism.
DJ Khaled fooled everyone when he "proposed" to Nicki Minaj on camera. Everything made sense after "I Wanna Be with You," the wedding song, surfaced sporting a tough Nicki Minaj verse.More »
38. Young Jeezy - "R.I.P." (Feat. 2 Chainz)
The title fooled me. When I first came across "R.I.P." I was expecting gun talk and body bags. Nah. Instead, we get a bonafide smash in which the target of deadly assault is the club.
37. Kevin Gates - "Twilight (War with God)"
Kevin Gates is the kinda guy you want to pick for your 5-on-5. You just get the feeling he's the type to stand his ground and smack the brow off a jerk's face if it came to that.
"Control (HOF)" had every rapper in the game thinking up words that rhyme with "Kendrick." Lamar used the track to call out his peers, bemoan mediocrity, and declare himself the greatest emcee of his generation.More »
35. Bangladesh - "Buy" (Feat. Pusha T, 2 Chainz, etc.)"Buy" is an exquisite paean to conspicuous consumption built atop a sample of The Knack's "My Sharona." Producer Bangladesh hasn't had a beat this haunting since "A Milli."
A New York rap aficionado's dream pairing: Roc Marciano and Pete Rock. Yes, it's as gritty as you might expect from these two.More »
33. Jay Z - "Open Letter"
In which Jay-Z takes on everything from his recent Cuba controversy to his new UMG deal. "Hear the freedom in my speech. Got an onion from Universal, read it and weep," brags Hov on the blistering Swizz Beatz/Timbaland beat.
32. R.A. the Rugged Man - "Definition of a Rap Flow (Albee 3000)"
Rugged Man breathlessly runs through a searing performance on the thumping "Definition of a Rap Flow (Albee 3000)." Think Twista meets Eminem.
You could make a strong case for nearly every track on Chance the Rapper's excellent mixtape, Acid Rap. "Chain Smoker" is the one that captures Chance in his essence: the rubbery singing, the melodic flow, and his ability to deliver a barrel of ideas with a touch beyond his years.More »