Dark Light

A perfect guest verse can be a magical thing. Think about how many rappers’ careers have been launched off having a strong guest verse – Nas, AZ, Redman, Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz, the list goes on.

A great guest rapper also use those opportunities to serve a reminder to fans. Andre 3000 spent 2007 reminding us he was one of the best rappers alive, and he hadn’t even dropped an album in years. Of course, you can’t have a list of best guest verses without mentioning Busta Rhymes – he’s pretty much the reason why hip hop talks about guest verses like we do.

Speaking of which, let’s get into it: here are the greatest rapper guest verses, every year since 1991.

1991. Busta Rhymes on “Scenario”

Other rappers on the track: Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Charlie Brown, Dinco D

Producer: A Tribe Called Quest

Album: The Low End Theory

Honourable mentions:

  • Nas on “Live at the Barbeque”
  • Percee-P “Yes, You May”

Best line: “When I travel through the town I roll with the squadron / Rawr! Rawr! Like a dungeon dragon”

1991 was a great year for guest verses. We had Nasty Nas kicking off a 20 year-plus run as one of the greatest rappers of all time with a verse on Main Source’s “Live at the Barbeque.” We also had Heavy D inviting some of the hardest rappers at the time on a track with him, and asking them … not to curse?

But when you’re having a conversation about guest verses, you’re basically having a conversation that Busta Rhymes started on “Scenario” when he exploded on the track and completely demolished it.

Busta Rhymes: It definitely was an immediate change. That record was the record that pioneered features. I’ve done features prior to that, but that record made me the number one go-to guy for features after that for a long time. I was doing so well off features, that when Leaders broke up shortly after the “Scenario” record, I wasn’t even thinking about doing a solo record for the next three years.

Busta Rhymes Remember A Tribe Called Quest’s “Scenario” 20 Years Later | XXL

1992. Snoop Dogg on “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang”

Other rappers on the track: Dr. Dre

Producer: Dr. Dre

Album: The Chronic

Best line: “One, two, three and to the four // Snoop Doggy Dogg and Dr. Dre is at the door”

Honourable mentions:

  • Redman on “Head Banger”
  • Big L on “Yes, You May (Remix)”
  • Snoop Dogg on “Deep Cover”

“Deep Cover” was the song that got everyone’s attention and wondering who that tall, skinny kid standing next to Dre was, but it was their follow-up a couple months later that completely captured mainstream America. Over a silky smooth sample of “I Want’a Do Something Freaky to You” by Leon Haywood, Snoop Dogg came knocking on the door and rap has never been the same since.

1993. Kurupt on “Ain’t No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None)”

Other rappers on the track: Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Warren G

Producer: Dr. Dre

Album: Doggystyle

Honourable mentions:

  • Busta Rhymes on “Oh My God”
  • Lord Finesse on “Off & On (Remix)”

Best line: “Well, if Kurupt gave a fuck about a bitch, I’d always be broke / I’d never have no motherfuckin’ Indo to smoke”

Now a superstar working on his debut album, Snoop invited all his homies to jump on “Ain’t No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None)”, one of the most fun hip hop records ever made. Still, Kurupt can’t help himself but to go in on the track. Some things just don’t change.

Kurupt: Snoop was like, ‘You can’t kill everybody, you have to make records people can relate to,’ sometimes you have to talk about reality. 

Gangsta Raunch: The Making of Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle | Tidal

1994. AZ on “Life’s a Bitch”

Other rappers on the track: Nas

Producer: L.E.S.

Album: Illmatic

Honourable mentions:

  • Nate Dogg on “Regulate”
  • The Notorious B.I.G. on “Flava in Ya Ear (Remix)”

Best line: “Keepin’ this Schweppervescent street ghetto essence inside us / ‘Cause it provides us with the proper insight to guide us”

“Visualizing the realism of life in actuality.” AZ’s verse on “Life’s a Bitch” is so precise and his rapping technique is at such a high level, that it’s hard to believe it was his first time properly making a rap record. Not much to say about this guest verse, a top five of all time.

AZ: The hook I had written. After the hook was there, they was like, “Damn, you gotta spit, dawg.” I was like, “Aight, fuck it. If you like it, you like it. You don’t, you don’t.” I did it, and everybody liked it. That was it. It was history made. I didn’t know who the hell Nas’ father was, but I was introduced to him there, and pop was getting it on.

An Oral History of Nas’ Classic Debut Album ‘Illmatic’ | XXL

1995. Nas on “Verbal Intercourse”

Other rappers on the track: Raekwon, Ghostface Killah

Producer: RZA

Album: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…

Best line: “From the womb to the tomb, presume the unpredictable / Guns salute life rapidly, that’s the ritual”

Honourable mentions:

  • Ghostface Killah on “Criminology”
  • Raekwon on “Eye for a Eye (Your Beef Is Mines)”
  • Nas on “Mo Money, Mo Murder”
  • Big Noyd on “Give Up the Goods (Just Step)”

The Purple Tape featured two of the greatest guest verses of that year. Actually, scratch that, two of the greatest guest verses of all time – this one and Ghostface on “Criminology.” Nas edges it slightly just because of the depth of his lyrics and how well he rode the unorthodox RZA beat.

Raekwon: He was trying shit and I was like, ‘Nah that ain’t it right there.’ And then once he said that, ‘Through the lights, cameras, and action,’ I looked at niggas in the room. Everybody looked at me. I’m like, ‘That’s it!’ I stopped him and said, ‘Yo, that’s the verse. Do that one.’ And ever since when he did that one, it was one of the best verses in hip-hop today.

Raekwon Breaks Down His 25 Most Essential Songs | Complex

1996. The Notorious B.I.G. on “Brooklyn’s Finest”

Other rappers on the track: Jay-Z

Producer: Clark Kent

Album: Reasonable Doubt

Best line: “If Fay’ had twins, she’d probably have two Pacs / Get it? Tu… Pac’s?”

Honourable mentions:

  • Kurupt on “Got My Mind Made Up”
  • AZ on “Affirmative Action”
  • Inspectah Deck on “Assassination Day”
  • Pharoahe Monch on “Metal Thangz”
  • Common on “The Bizness”

Pac and Big approached their beef in completely opposite ways. Where Pac was incendiary and in-your-face with tracks like “Hit ‘Em Up”, Big chose to deal with it with more subtlety and humour. This was just a little jab from Big, playful enough to show that he wasn’t taking this too seriously, but with the underlying sentiment that he could go harder if Pac really wanted it.

DJ Clark Kent: Jay and Dame didn’t know that I brought Big to the studio and had him in the car waiting. So I got up like I’m going to the bathroom and bring [Big] back and they look at me like I’m a funny guy. They played the song and Jay said, “You want to get on it?” Big said, “I’ll get on it,” then Jay goes in the booth and spits a brand new song. Understand what I’m telling you, in like 15 minutes Jay wrote a new song. The song was there, it was perfect already, he meets Big, stands around for a while, let the beat play, goes in the booth, does something totally different, and left the open spaces for Big to fill in.

DJ Clark Kent Remembers Biggie as “Brooklyn’s Finest” – XXL

1997. The Notorious B.I.G. on “Victory”

Other rappers on the track: Puff Daddy, Busta Rhymes

Producer: Sean Combs, Steven “Stevie J” Jordan, The Hitmen

Album: No Way Out

Best line: “Real sick, brawl nights, I perform like Mike / Anyone – Tyson, Jordan, Jackson”

Honourable mentions:

  • 2Pac on “Smile”
  • Canibus on “4, 3, 2, 1”
  • DMX on “4, 3, 2, 1”
  • Jay-Z on “I Love the Dough”
  • The Notorious B.I.G. on “It’s All About the Benjamins (Remix)”
  • Canibus on “Desperados”

This was the last verse Biggie ever recorded before his untimely death on March 9, 1997. And what an epic final verse it is. This is Big was his peak lyrical ability, casually dismissing opponents who didn’t belong in the same conversation as him.

1998. Raekwon on “Skew It On The Bar-B”

Other rappers on the track: Andre 3000, Big Boi

Producer: Organized Noize

Album: Aquemini

Best line: “Deliver this through your audio, ghetto mafioso / Grow hydro, then bag it up slow”

Honourable mentions:

  • DMX on “Money, Cash, Hoes”
  • Black Thought on “Super Lyrical”
  • Inspectah Deck on “Tres Leches (Triboro Trilogy)”
  • Inspectah Deck on “Above the Clouds”

This was a huge record that helped to introduce Southern hip hop to the East Coast. After a chance encounter between Raekwon and Big Boi at a mall in Atlanta, the Wu-Tang soldier connected with the duo and delivered a classic.

Raekwon: That right there really opened up the door for the South to come in hard body if you ask me. Like, when we made that record I can literally say nobody was listening to the South up in New York. Up in the East Coast period. When we did that record and they was playing it on the radio, everybody loved the combination factor that was there.

Raekwon Breaks Down His 25 Most Essential Songs | Complex

1999. Eminem on “Dead Wrong”

Other rappers on the track: The Notorious B.I.G.

Producer: Chucky Thompson, Mario Winans, Sean Combs

Album: Born Again

Best line: “I got a lion in my pocket, I’m lyin’, I got a .9 in my pocket / And baby, I’m just dyin’ to cock him”

Honourable mentions:

  • Royce da 5’9″ on “Bad Meets Evil”
  • Lil’ Kim on “Quiet Storm (Remix)”
  • Eminem on “What’s the Difference”
  • Eminem on “Forgot About Dre”
  • Snoop Dogg on “Still D.R.E.”
  • Kool G Rap on “The Realest”

This is absolutely one of the greatest flows Eminem has ever employed on a song. The way he makes the bars connect in a way that no other rapper had done before, just showed he was operating at a different level. Here he is, as a new artist, on a track with the late, great Franke White and more than holds his own.

2000. Scarface on “This Can’t Be Life”

Other rappers on the track: Jay-Z, Beanie Sigel

Producer: Kanye West

Album: The Dynasty: Roc La Familia

Best line: “Now as I walk into the studio to do this with Jig’ / I got a phone call from one of my nigs”

Honourable mentions:

  • Sticky Fingaz on “Remember Me?”
  • Prodigy on “Losin’ Weight”
  • Killer Mike on “Snappin’ & Trappin'”

Scarface’s verse on “This Can’t Be Life” is great in and of itself, but when you find out the story behind the record, it just takes on an entirely different dimension. Hov talks about it in his book, Decoded.

Jay-Z: We’re sitting in the front room, talking, and his phone rings, and he’s like, ‘Nah, man,’ and you can see something’s happening on the other line. And then he gets on the phone again, and he calls his wife and checks on his children. And then he got off the phone and he told me that one of his friends’ kid was in a house fire. And I’m like, ‘Aw, man, I’m so sorry to hear that, we can do this another time.” And he says, nah, and he sat in the corner, and he wrote this song about the whole experience. He took this very sad experience and [made] this powerful art. It almost had me embarrassed about my verse.

The Five Best Stories Jay-Z Told Last Night at the New York Public Library | Vulture

2001. Eminem on “Renegade”

Other rappers on the track: Jay-Z

Producer: Eminem, Luis Resto

Album: The Blueprint

Best line: “But I’m debated, disputed, hated and viewed in America / As a motherfuckin’ drug addict, like you didn’t experiment?”

Honourable mentions:

  • Prodigy on “Thun & Kicko”

Eminem turned “Renegade” into a verb, just like you would say “he got Ethered” or “go Google it.” You can blame Nas for that. The truth is, though, Hov’s verse is incredible, and some of the best raps he’s ever written in his career, but Eminem in 2001 was just untouchable. It could have been anyone – Nas, Biggie, Rakim, Black Thought – the way that Em was rapping at that time, he would have destroyed them too.

2002. Jadakiss on “Made You Look (Remix)”

Other rappers on the track: Nas, Ludacris

Producer: Salaam Remi

Album: God’s Son

Best line: “I helped the game, it ain’t help me / I’m top five, dead or alive, and that’s just off one LP”

Honourable mentions:

  • Juelz Santana on “Oh Boy”
  • Jay-Z on “Welcome to New York City”
  • Nas on “In Between Us”
  • Pusha T on “What Happened To That Boy”

“Made You Look” is as perfect a Nas song as you could ever ask for. You’ve got a banging Salaam Remi production (sampling the the Incredible Bongo Band’s “Apache”), and Nas just free-flowing like it’s ’95 all over again. Who would have thought Ludacris and Jadakiss would jump on the remix and completely blow Nas out the water? Jada’s verse on here is the reason we even have conversations about people’s top fives these days.

2003. Eminem on “Patiently Waiting”

Other rappers on the track: 50 Cent

Producer: Eminem

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

Best line: “Take some Big and some Pac and you mix ’em up in a pot / Sprinkle a little Big L on top, what the fuck do you got?”

Honourable mentions:

  • Lloyd Banks on “Don’t Push Me”
  • Ludacris on “Tomb of the Boom”

This was the last of the peak-Eminem raps. It wasn’t long after this that he started his decline. “Patiently Waiting” is basically Em handing the Aftermath/Shady torch for 50 to run with it. While Em would make a comeback, and drop successful albums and still rap at the highest level (“Rap God” anyone?), he would never sound like this again.

2004. Paul Wall on “Still Tippin’”

Other rappers on the track: Mike Jones, Slim Thug

Producer: Salih Williams

Album: Who Is Mike Jones?

Best line: “Biggest diamonds off in my mouth, princess cuts all in my chain / Wood grain all in my range, drippin’ stains when I switch lanes”

Honourable mentions:

  • Jay-Z on “Never Let Me Down”
  • Jadakiss on “Run”

Paul Wall’s verse on this was a vibe. There’s no other way to explain it. There were plenty of better rappers with better guest verses in 2004 (Jay-Z on “Never Let Me Down” comes to mind), but the way he enters with “What it do? It’s Paul Wall, I’m the People’s Champ” it was just an iconic moment.

Paul Wall: The Swishahouse door was always open, but that was the only door I had open. They gave me a beat CD with eight tracks on it and said, “Do whatever you want. “Still Tippin” was the last song on the CD. That beat had the violin going over and I was like, “What, am I supposed to rap Mozart over this?” But I just did what I had to do, ’cause Farris told me, “Freestyle on it like you normally would.” Same happened with “Sittin’ Sidewayz”.

Paul Wall, The Eternal People’s Champ | Complex

2005. 50 Cent on “Hate It Or Love It”

Other rappers on the track: The Game

Producer: Cool & Dre, Dr. Dre

Album: The Documentary

Best line: “Daddy ain’t around, probably out committing felonies / My favorite rapper used to sing, ‘Check, check out my melody'”

Honourable mentions:

  • Jay-Z on “Go Crazy”
  • Jay-Z on “Diamonds from Sierra Leone (Remix)”
  • Lupe Fiasco on “Touch the Sky”

In their short time working together, 50 and Game put out gold. In between “Westside Story”, “How We Do” and this track, their recording chemistry was just unrivalled. 50 delivers an uncharacteristically heartfelt verse, reminiscing about seeing his mother kiss another girl and listening to the God MC.

Sha Money XL: 50 got the whole thing started. He wrote the hook for “Hate It Or Love It.” He wrote almost all the hooks on the album, seriously. You’ll see it on the credits. That song could have ended up on The Massacre. That record stood out enough for him when he recorded it, before Game even heard it. Game didn’t even know what he was walking into. He came into the house, Fif had the records all laid out for him. When Game heard “Hate It Or Love It,” he jumped on it and magic happened.

The Making of Game’s “The Documentary” | Complex

2006. Jay-Z on “Black Republican”

Other rappers on the track: Nas

Producer: L.E.S., Wyldfyer

Album: Hip Hop Is Dead

Best line: “When you put in the game at age sixteen / Then you mix things: like cars, jewelry, and Miss Thing / Jealousy, ego, and pride, and this brings / It all to a head like a coin, cha-ching”

Honourable mentions:

  • Nas on “Why You Hate The Game”
  • R.A. The Rugged Man on “Uncommon Valor: A Vietnam Story”

Hov’s verse is dope on here, but this is just an incredible hip hop moment, when you consider that their beef started over a decade ago during the Reasonable Doubt days. L.E.S. fittingly uses a sample of “Marcia Religiosa” from The Godfather III to provide the scale for the epic collaboration between two rap titans.

2007. Andre 3000 on “International Players Anthem (I Choose You)”

Other rappers on the track: Bun B, Pimp C, Big Boi

Producer: DJ Paul, Juicy J

Album: Underground Kingz

Best line: “Spaceships don’t come equipped with rearview mirrors / They dip as quick as they can, the atmosphere is now ripped”

Honourable mentions:

  • Lil Wayne on “We Takin’ Over”
  • Andre 3000 on “What a Job”
  • Slick Rick on “Hip Hop Police”

The obvious answer for best guest verse of 2007 would have been Lil Wayne on “We Takin’ Over.” It was a song that catapulted Weezy into the stratosphere and laid the foundation for the Young Money empire with Drake and Nicki years later. But Andre 3000 rapping in 2007 was a different beast. Four years removed from his last album, and six years since he was rapping-rapping, Stacks was just jumping on features and killing them. Unlike Wayne who flooded the market that year, Stacks was one of the best rappers alive off a few guest verses.

2008. Kanye West on “Put On”

Other rappers on the track: Young Jeezy

Producer: Drumma Boy

Album: The Recession

Best line: “They say, ‘Damn, Yeezy, Yeezy, you don’t know us no more / You got that big fame, homie, and you just changed on me’ / You can ask big homie, man, the top so lonely”

Honourable mentions:

  • Andre 3000 on “Royal Flush”
  • Jay-Z on “Maybach Music”
  • Mos Def on “Rising Down”
  • Kanye West on “Lollipop (Remix)”
  • Kanye West on “Go Hard”
  • Royce da 5’9″ on “Motown 25”

Motherfuckers thought just because ‘Ye dropped an auto-tuned singing album that he forgot how to rap. That’s why he took some time out of 2008 to spazz on features just to put them in their place. In between his verses on the “Lollipop (Remix)”, “Swagga Like Us”, “Go Hard” and “Put On”, Kanye was in the conversation for best rapper alive of that year off features alone.

Drumma Boy: That’s something Jeezy did. He surprised me with “You’re not going to believe who I got on this record.” He didn’t even tell me. I woke up one morning and I’m driving up Route 400 in Atlanta on the way to the mall and I hear Mz Shyneka like, “Oh my god, Drumma Boy got another one. I’m about to play this record.” When [“Put On”] came on I was in my Bentley and it gave me goosebumps. That shit was crazy. I couldn’t believe I was living my dream. I knew that was the summer anthem.

10 Years Of ‘Put On’: Drumma Boy Remembers Crafting The Young Jeezy & Kanye West 2008 Anthem | Billboard

2009. Slick Rick on “Auditorium”

Other rappers on the track: Mos Def

Producer: Madlib, Mos Def

Album: The Ecstatic

Best line: “Arab jaw drop, they well wish, they glad rap / Now the kid considered like an Elvis of Baghdad”

Honourable mentions:

  • Kanye West on “Run This Town”
  • J. Cole on “A Star Is Born”
  • Lil Wayne on “Maybach Music 2”
  • Eminem on “Forever”

Over 20 years after dropping his landmark storytelling album, Slick Rick popped up on Mos Def’s incredible but slept-on The Ecstatic to spin another tale of the masses. Slick’s flow, voice and imagination are just so vivid and timeless, and this was just a little reminder of how great he is.

2010. Nicki Minaj on “Monster”

Other rappers on the track: Kanye West, Jay-Z, Rick Ross

Producer: Kanye West, Mike Dean, Plain Pat

Album: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Best line: “And I’ll say, bride of Chucky, it’s child’s play / Just killed another career, it’s a mild day”

Honourable mentions:

  • Juelz Santana on “Beamer, Benz, or Bentley”
  • Pusha T on “Runaway”
  • Jay-Z on “So Appalled”
  • Eminem on “Drop the World”

I mean, do I need to say anything about Nicki Minaj on “Monster”? This is Busta Rhymes, Scenario-level energy and impact, nothing else needs to be said.

2011. Drake on “I’m on One”

Other rappers on the track: Lil Wayne, Rick Ross

Producer: T-Minus, Noah “40” Shebib, Kromatik

Album: We the Best Forever

Best line: “Hate the rumors, hate the bullshit, hate these fucking allegations / I’m just feeling like the throne is for the taking—watch me take it”

Honourable mentions:

  • Tech N9ne on “Interlude”
  • André 3000 on “Interlude”
  • Nas on “Outro”
  • Nas on “Ghetto Dreams”
  • Kendrick Lamar on “Buried Alive Interlude”
  • Andre 3000 on “I Do”

2011 was the year that Drake built up the confidence to go up against his idols. With the cold war between Jay-Z and Birdman heating, Drizzy steps up for his team and lets the shots fly at The Throne. “I’m On One was the start of a multi-year run of Drake killing guest verses – “Stay Schemin'”, “Versace (Remix)”, “We Made It (Remix)”, “Blessings”, “No Shopping”, there’s one for every year.

2012. 2 Chainz on “Mercy”

Other rappers on the track: Kanye West, Pusha T, Big Sean

Producer: Lifted, Mike Dean, Mike Will Made It, Kanye West, Hudson Mohawke

Album: Cruel Summer

Best line: “Horsepower, horsepower / All this Polo on, I got horsepower”

Honourable mentions:

  • Gunplay on “Cartoon and Cereal”
  • Jay Rock on “Money Trees”
  • Drake on “Poetic Justice”
  • Nas on “Triple Beam Dreams”
  • Andre 3000 on “Sixteen”
  • Ghostface Killah on “New God Flow”
  • Drake on “Stay Schemin'”

2 Chainz verse is so outlandish and memorable, of course he’s going to take it for 2012. But you always have to give Kanye a lot of credit for setting Chainz up for the dunk, throwing in a breakdown with Scarface sample just to make the moment more powerful.

2013. Kendrick Lamar on “Nosetalgia”

Other rappers on the track: Pusha T

Producer: Nottz, Kanye West, Twilite Tone

Album: My Name Is My Name

Best line: “When I was ten, back when nine ounces had got you ten / And nine times out of ten, ni**as don’t pay attention / And when it’s tension in the air, nines come with extensions”

Honourable mentions:

  • Kendrick Lamar on “Control”
  • Gunplay on “Beat the Shit”
  • Big Sean on “All Me”
  • Drake on “Fuckin’ Problems”
  • Gunplay on “Ghetto Symphony”

You can talk “Control” all you want, but in my opinion, Kendrick’s verse on “Nosetalgia” is way better. Granted, “Control” had the impact and created the moment, but K-Dot’s flow and precision on here is incredible here. Bonus points for Pusha T for not getting blown off the track during a time when Kendrick was murdering rappers everywhere.

2014. Young Thug on “Mamacita”

Other rappers on the track: Travis Scott, Rich Homie Quan

Producer: Metro Boomin, DJ Dahi, Travis Scott

Album: Days Before Rodeo

Best line: “I do not fuck with America / I get it straight off the boat”

Honourable mentions:

  • Nicki Minaj on “Danny Glover (Remix)”
  • Drake on “Believe Me”
  • Young Thug on “About the Money”
  • Jay-Z on “The Devil Is a Lie”
  • Kanye West on “Sanctified”
  • Jay-Z on “Seen It All”

This was just one guest verse in a killer year that turned Young Thug into a superstar. Before that, he was riding on the cusp with his mixtape, 1017 Thug, and handful of singles – “Stoner” and “Danny Glover.” But Thugga took it to the next level in 2014, jumping on “About the Money” with T.I., Rich Gang: Tha Tour Pt. 1 and, of course, “Lifestyle.

2015. Kendrick Lamar on “Deep Water”

Other rappers on the track: Dr. Dre, Justus, Anderson .Paak

Producer: Focus…, Cardiak, DJ Dahi, Dem Jointz, Dr. Dre

Album: Compton

Best line: “Switch it up before my enemy or the sheriff got me / They liable to bury him, they nominated six to carry him”

Honourable mentions:

  • Drake on “Where Ya At”
  • Schoolboy Q on “Electric Body”
  • Lil Wayne on “M’s”
  • Drake on “Blessings”

As much of a masterpiece as To Pimp a Butterfly was, it wasn’t exactly the type of project where Kendrick could focus on just barring out every verse. That’s why guest verses can be so handy during an album run, it lets a rapper have fun and get some shit off their chest. So Kendrick did just that, on Jay Rock’s “Vice City,” with his Black Hippy homies, and most definitely on Compton where he spazzed out on tracks like “Genocide”, “Darkside / Gone” and “Deep Water.”

2016. Jadakiss on “Groovy Tony / Eddie Kane”

Other rappers on the track: Schoolboy Q

Producer: Tae Beast, Dem Jointz

Album: Blank Face LP

Best line: “I’m runnin’ with the rebels / It’s the three-man weave with the Lord and the devil”

Honourable mentions:

  • Nicki Minaj on “Down in the DM (Remix)”
  • Jay-Z on “All the Way Up (Remix)”
  • Chance the Rapper on “Ultralight Beam”
  • Kendrick Lamar on “Goosebumps”

Shout out to Schoolboy for adding such a perfect feature to an already great song. Jada’s verse is the icing on top, his verse meshes so well with the beat, Q’s lyrics and the song’s theme. Perfection.

2017. Offset on “Met Gala”

Other rappers on the track: Gucci Mane

Producer: Metro Boomin, Southside

Album: Droptopwop

Best line: “Bentley Mulsanne but the seats masseuse / I’m havin’ more stripes than Adidas boost”

Honourable mentions:

  • Cardi B on “MotorSport”
  • Gucci Mane on “Slippery”
  • Quavo on “Rap Saved Me”
  • Offset on “Sacrifices”

I’m happy to put Offset’s verse on “Met Gala” up against any other verse dropped that year – Kendrick, Hov, Drake – whoever you want. Offset completely owns this track, just like he owned “Bad and Boujee” a few months prior. This is Offset featuring Gucci on his own song.

2018. Jay-Z on “What’s Free”

Other rappers on the track: Meek Mill, Rick Ross

Producer: Streetrunner, Azzouz

Album: Championships

Best line: “We was praisin’ Billboard, but we were young / Now I look at Billboard like, ‘Is you dumb?'”

Honourable mentions:

  • Kendrick Lamar on “Mona Lisa”
  • Joyner Lucas on “Lucky You”
  • Drake on “Going Bad”
  • J. Cole on “A Lot”
  • Drake on “Sicko Mode”

Just when hip hop fans were starting to forget just how great Hov truly is, he went ahead and dropped this masterpiece on a Meek Mill album. There are so many great things about this verse, the way he kicks it off, the improv part at the end, the way he references his problems with Kanye, the way he dishes out game to rappers, the way he imitates Big’s laugh on “What’s Beef.” Not only was this the best guest verse of 2018, it was the best verse overall.

2019. Pusha T on “Palmolive”

Other rappers on the track: Freddie Gibbs, Killer Mike

Producer: Madlib

Album: Bandana

Best line: “It was snowfall and Reagan gave me the visual / Obama opened his doors knowing I was a criminal”

Honourable mentions:

  • Rick Ross on “Money in the Grave”
  • DaBaby on “Under the Sun”

Pusha for sure recorded this verse during album mode for Daytona, because this is rapping at the highest level. This song made fans fiend for a Pusha x Madlib album, or a Pusha x Freddie album, or both.

2020. Benny the Butcher on “Frank Lucas”

Other rappers on the track: Freddie Gibbs

Producer: The Alchemist

Album: Alfredo

Best line: “It was either law school or dog food / If I was makin’ y’all moves, we all lose”

Honourable mentions:

  • Method Man on “Lemon”
  • Lil Durk on “Laugh Now Cry Later”
  • Jay-Z on “Ghost of Soulja Slim”
  • YoungBoy Never Broke Again on “Need It”

2020 was the year of Griselda. They were in the running across all the categories – best rapper alive, best record label, best song, best album, you name it. And for best guest verse, it was a very close race between Method Man on “Lemon” (another Griselda joint) and Benny on this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts