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The Best Rap Guest Verses of All Time

Hip hop ain’t nothin’ without collabs, and the hottest tracks often got that extra somethin’ from a guest verse. A dope feature can take a song to the next level, add fresh flavor, and sometimes even steal the whole damn show. Think of Nas killin’ it on Raekwon’s “Verbal Intercourse,” or Nicki straight bodying Kanye’s “Monster.” These are the verses that live forever, legendary moments that can even overshadow the main artist. From classic collabs that shaped the game to surprise cameos that burned bright – think Busta Rhymes blowin’ up on “Scenario” or Andre 3000 droppin’ wisdom on “International Players Anthem.” That’s the power of a legendary guest verse.

So let’s get into it. From Raekwon’s region-defining verse on OutKast’s “Skew It on the Bar-B” to AZ’s unforgettable debut on Nas’ “Life’s a Bitch,” here we invite real hip hop heads to rate the best rap guest verses of all time.

AZ on Nas – “Life’s a Bitch”


Best Rapper Guest Verse Of Each Year Since 1991 Lifes A Bitch

Released: April 19, 1994

Album: Illmatic

Producer: L.E.S.

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

It’s hard to believe that when AZ stepped up to the microphone to rap his lines on “Life’s a Bitch,” it was the first time he had ever recorded a verse in his career . The impact of the verse was so wide-ranging and memorable that the only other rapper you could compare it to, funnily enough, is Nas on “Live at the Barbeque.”

The depth and poignancy of AZ’s verse, especially considering his young age, is actually unbelievable when you think about it. Not to mention how smooth he flowed over the “Yearning for Your Love” sample and beautiful transition into the hook, which the MC also voiced. All in all, just a perfect rap verse.

Eminem on Jay-Z – “Renegade”


Best Hip Hop Album Every Year Since 1986 Blueprint

Released: September 11, 2001

Album: The Blueprint

Producer: Eminem, Luis Resto

Best line: “Now who’s the king of these rude, ludicrous, lucrative lyrics? / Who could inherit the title, put the youth in hysterics”

I hate bringing this song up in rap discussions because it always inevitably escalates into a Jay-Z vs. Eminem debate. Hov stans get sensitive about the fact that Nas brought up this song on “Ether” and they go hard defending their favourite rapper at the cost of Eminem.

On the other hand, Em stans are so blinded for the sheer brilliance of their rapper’s verse that they ignore how equally brilliant Jay-Z’s verse is. The truth is, both Em and Jay deliver career-best verses on “Renegade” with the Detroit MC flowing like hot lava and throwing out endless quotables, while Hov is in peak form here, spitting unforgettable bars like they were throwaway lines.

Nas on Raekwon – “Verbal Intercourse”


Ready To Die Vs Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2 1024X1024

Released: August 1, 1995

Album: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…

Producer: RZA

Best line: “Through the lights, cameras, and action, glamor, glitters, and gold / I unfold the scroll, plant seeds to stampede the globe”

Nas’ verse on “Live at the Barbeque” may have been more impactful in terms of breaking down the door for the Queensbridge prodigy to kick off his 30-year plus recording career, but his bars on “Verbal Intercourse” are better in every way, shape or form.

As the first non-Wu rapper to appear on one of their albums , Nas stepped up to the plate and didn’t disappoint, spitting an incredible 16 that has etched itself in the memory of every true rap fan. Not only is Nas’ performance on “Verbal Intercourse” one of the greatest guest verses of all time, it’s one of the best rap verses, period.

Busta Rhymes on A Tribe Called Quest – “Scenario”


50 Greatest Rap Posse Cuts Of All Time Scenario

Released: September 24, 1991

Album: The Low End Theory

Producer: A Tribe Called Quest

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

Quite possibly the most influential guest verse in rap history, Busta Rhymes changed the game when he dropped his verse on “Scenario.” The lyrics has been sampled and interpolated by subsequent generations of rappers – from Black Moon to Redman to Nicki Minaj – in an attempt to replicate Busta’s energy. It was also the verse that broke up Leaders of the New School because how could you not think that Busta was a solo superstar after witnessing this performance?

Snoop Dogg on Dr. Dre – “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang”


Dre Nuthin G Thang Snoop

Released: November 19, 1992

Album: The Chronic

Producer: Dr. Dre

Best line: “It’s the capital S, oh, yes, I’m fresh, N, double-O, P / D, O, double-G, Y, D, O, double-G, you see”

Rap fans were already given a teaser of Snoop Doggy Dogg’s magnetic mic presence and undeniable flow when they heard the Long Beach rapper on “Deep Cover” in early 1992, but that didn’t mean that they were ready for what was next. Released a month before The Chronic dropped in December, “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” was an explosion that rocked the rap landscape.

Built around a luscious sample of Leon Haywood’s “I Want’a Do Something Freaky To You,” the track featured Dre and Snoop going back-and-forth as they melted the listener’s ear with endless quotable. Snoop’s performance on the track, and on the rest of The Chronic , would position him to become the biggest and best rapper alive a year later.

Nas on Main Source – “Live at the Barbeque”


50 Best Hip Hop Albums Of The 1990S Main Source

Released: July 23, 1991

Album: Breaking Atoms

Producer: Large Professor

Best line: “Verbal assassin, my architect pleases / When I was twelve, I went to Hell for snuffin’ Jesus”

As a 16-year old kid, Nasty Nas would regularly link up with fellow Queens rapper Large Professor who was producing for Rakim and Kool G Rap at the time. During the hours when both legendary MCs weren’t recording, Nas would, at the encouragement of Extra P, step into the booth and practice his raps.

It was this relationship that would later yield “Live At The Barbeque,” a colossal posse cut that featured the debut verse of Nas. And what a debut verse it was. In between boasts of going to hell for snuffing Jesus and threats of kidnapping the president’s wife (without a plan no less), the young Queensbridge prodigy made it very clear to the rest of the rap world who was up next.

Nicki Minaj on Kanye West – “Monster”


50 Greatest Rap Posse Cuts Of All Time Monster

Released: October 23, 2010

Album: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Producer: Kanye West, Mike Dean, Plain Pat

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

The conversation about the best rap guest verse of the 2010s has a lot of strong contenders. Off the top of my head, I can think of 2 Chainz on “Mercy,” Jay Rock on “Money Trees,” Kendrick Lamar on “Control,” Jadakiss on “Groovy Tony / Eddie Kane,” and Jay-Z on “What’s Free.” That’s just off the cuff. But there really is only one correct answer: Nicki Minaj on “Monster.” This verse is so legendary and so encompassing of Nicki Minaj as a true MC that there’s not much more you can say about it. One of the greatest rap guest verses of all time, no doubt.

Lil Wayne on DJ Khaled – “We Takin’ Over”


50 Greatest Rap Posse Cuts Of All Time We Takin Over

Released: March 27, 2007

Album: We the Best

Producer: Danja

Best line: “I am the beast / Feed me rappers or feed me beats”

Lil Wayne’s verse on “We Takin’ Over” isn’t just one of his best ever , it’s also one of his most importance performances. As the verse that catapulted him into the stratosphere and cemented him as one of the best rappers alive , it laid the foundation for his future success, as well as the success of his Young Money empire. Weezy was just rapping on a different level to anyone else in 2007 and this is the verse that proves it the most.

The Notorious B.I.G. on Craig Mack – “Flava in Ya Ear (Remix)”


50 Greatest Rap Posse Cuts Of All Time Flava In Ya Ear Remix

Released: July 26, 1994

Album: Project Funk da World

Producer: Easy Mo Bee

Best line: “You’re mad ’cause my style you’re admiring / Don’t be mad, UPS is hiring”

By the time Biggie jumped on the remix of Craig Mack’s “Flava in Ya Ear,” it was clear how confident he was in himself as a rapper. No longer screaming on the mic with his aggressive delivery, the new Big was a smooth operator with a relaxed flow and pinpoint bars. Dismissive, vicious and hilarious all at the same time, the Brooklyn MC made it very clear on this verse who the new king of New York was.

Raekwon on OutKast – “Skew It On The Bar-B”


Best Hip Hop Album Every Year Since 1986 Aquemini

Released: 23 August 1998

Album: Aquemini

Producer: Organized Noize

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

The legendary Atlanta rap duo had great taste when they chose Raekwon the Chef to be the first non-Dungeon Family feature on one of their albums. A chance encounter between the Wu MC and Big Boi at Lenox Square Mall in Atlanta led to this monumental collaboration between north and south. Organized Noize laces the rappers with one of an ill, frantic instrumental and while OutKast certainly do their thing, the track belongs to Chef.

Andre 3000 on UGK – “International Players Anthem (I Choose You)”


50 Greatest Rap Posse Cuts Of All Time Ugk

Released: June 6, 2007

Album: Underground Kingz

Producer: DJ Paul, Juicy J

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

One of the landmark Southern collaborations, “International Players Anthem (I Choose You)” featured three of the greatest rap acts ever with UGK and OutKast on the raps, and Three 6 Mafia handling the production. Riding a gorgeous sample of “I Choose You” by Willie Hutch (which was previously by Project Pat), Bun B, Pimp C and Big Boi proceed to drop a few trill love stories, but not before Andre 3000 opens it up in his usual ATLien spaceship fashion.

Eminem on Dr. Dre – “Forgot About Dre”


Top 50 Best Rap Guest Verses Of All Time Eminem Dre Forgot

Released: January 29, 2000

Album: 2001

Producer: Dr. Dre, Mel-Man

Best line: “I’m harder than me tryna park a Dodge / When I’m drunk as fuck / Right next to a humongous truck in a two-car garage”

Eminem slaughters the mic with his verse, putting to rest the stereotype that all white rappers are as laughable as one-hit wonders like Vanilla Ice. Zigzagging through different flows and rapid rhymes, he’s not shy about showing off his skill. This was a vital moment for Em, early on in his career. By weaving through a variety of flows and delivering rapid-fire rhymes, the Detroit MC solidified his place in the hip hop world and won over Dr. Dre’s fanbase with his bizarre lyrics and off-the-wall rhyming style. It’s a performance that stands the test of time and continues to be a fan favorite to this day.

Ghostface Killah on Raekwon – “Criminology”


Ready To Die Vs Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2 1024X1024

Released: June 26, 1995

Album: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…

Producer: RZA

Best line: “It’s manifested, the gods work like appliances / Dealin’ in my cypher I revolve around sciences”

Ghostface Killah was only supposed to be a supporting role on Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… , but as soon as he delivered his verse on “Criminology,” it was very clear he was one of the album’s main players. Before 1995, Ghost was viewed as a dope MC but in the shadows of his Wu brothers like Method Man and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. This single verse made everyone in the rap world sit up and take notice. Like RZA said – “From that point on, he’s the co-star. He wins Best Supporting Actor. Rae got nominated, maybe won or didn’t—but Ghost definitely wins.”

The Notorious B.I.G. on Puff Daddy – “Victory”


Every Single Hip Hop Billboard Number One Album Since 1986 No Way Out Puff

Released: March 17, 1998

Album: No Way Out

Producer: Puff Daddy, Stevie J

Best line: “Real sick, brawl nights, I perform like Mike / Anyone, Tyson, Jordan, Jackson / Action, pack guns, ridiculous”

Recorded only days before his murder, this was Biggie’s last ever verse, and it’s a bombshell of a performance to end on. From his one-liners to the buttery flow of his lyrics, Biggie puts all his skills to the test for an unforgettable climax to his career. It only makes his death more tragic, hearing how confident and determined he was.

Inspectah Deck on Gang Starr – “Above the Clouds”


Greatest Title Tracks In Hip Hop History Gang Starr

Released: March 31, 1998

Album: Moment of Truth

Producer: DJ Premier

Best line: “On the mic like Moses spoke in golden scribe / Survivor of the oldest tribe whose soldiers died”

There’s a reason this song is called “Above the Clouds”, because Deck flexes his lyrical mastery to prove he’s far above all his rivals, looking down on other rappers as a god on the mic. Whenever fans think of Deck, this is one of the first verses that comes to mind – it has all the complexity and bravado he’s known for, and has gone down as one of his best performances ever.

Method Man on The Notorious B.I.G. – “The What”


Best 3 Song Run On Classic Rap Albums Ready To Die

Released: September 13, 1994

Album: Ready to Die

Producer: Easy Mo Bee

Best line: “Yo, I’m from Shaolin Island and ain’t afraid to bust something / So what you want ni**a? You won’t ni**a / I got a 6-shooter and a horse named Trigger”

This track is like the blueprint for how to manage your flow, with Biggie and Meth going back and forth with bars slicker than ice. The two play off each other so well, and Method Man holds his own, with bars so good that Biggie had to go back and rewrite his own verses because he didn’t want to be outshined. This was a defining moment for Meth where he proved he was relentless, in or out of Wu-Tang.

Jay-Z on Kanye West – “So Appalled”


50 Greatest Rap Posse Cuts Of All Time So Appalled

Released: September 24, 2010

Album: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Producer: Kanye West, No I.D., Mike Dean

Best line: “I went from the favorite to the most hated / But would you rather be underpaid or overrated? / Moral victories is for minor league coaches / And Ye already told you we major, you cockroaches”

“So Appalled” is one of Jay-Z’s most important verses, with so much to dissect within his despondent lyrics. He makes subtle comments about old friends, but more notably, he reflects on his rise to fame, and how fans have looked down on him as he entered the mainstream. He sounds boastful, but also bitter, making for an incredible verse performed with such passion. As the years have gone by, Hov’s performance on “So Appalled” has become regarded as one of his finest feature moments .

MF DOOM on De La Soul – “Rock Co.Kane Flow”


Top 13 Best Mf Doom Guest Verses Of All Time De La Soul

Released: October 5, 2004

Album: The Grind Date

Producer: Jake One

Best line: “String ’em up, ring ’em up under whack junk snack / And get that out your hand, punk, jump and get your dunk smacked”

If you know MF DOOM, you know he’s incapable of dropping a bad verse. His performance here is no different, delivering heaps of rhymes brimming with double entendres. What makes his verse on “Rock Co.Kane Flow” special is that it was a collab with De La Soul. DOOM had been dominating the underground but this was finally his moment in the limelight, sharing a mic with ‘90s rap legends and introducing a new world of fans to his villainous style.

Slick Rick on Mos Def – “Auditorium”


50 Best Hip Hop Albums Of The 2000S Mos Def

Released: June 9, 2009

Album: The Ecstatic

Producer: Madlib, Mos Def

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

MCs can lose their edge with age, but over twenty years into the game, Slick Rick was still dropping bombs like this verse. He raps from the perspective of an American soldier in Iraq, which was an unusual choice, but Slick Rick has an author’s touch when it comes to storytelling, so of course he makes it work. This verse was crucial for Rick, proving he still had his skills by crafting one of the best verses of 2009.

Lupe Fiasco on Kanye West – “Touch the Sky”


Ranking Best Guest Verses On Kanye West Albums Touch The Sky

Released: August 30, 2005

Album: Late Registration

Producer: Just Blaze

Best line: “Yes, yes, yes, guess who’s on third? / Lupe steal like Lupin the 3rd”

Lupe Fiasco is a lyrical mastermind, with this verse showcasing his slick rhyming ability as well as his talent for inserting so many different meanings into so few bars, such as his iconic opening, “Yes, yes, yes, guess who’s on third?” This was a crucial moment in his career. Rapping alongside superstar Kanye West gave Lupe the eyes, ears, and respect he needed for his own debut.

Kendrick Lamar on Pusha T – “Nosetalgia”


Greatest Rap Album Opening Lines Of All Time Mnimn

Released: October 7, 2013

Album: My Name Is My Name

Producer: Nottz, Kanye West, The Twilite Tone

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”

Kendrick’s verse on “Nosetalgia” is a mind-bending exercise in wordplay. For a feature, a lot of rappers will grab the mic and spit whatever, but Kendrick treats each verse like his last. Detailing his upbringing in the cocaine epidemic, with thirty-six bars he equates his verse to a thirty-six ounce brick of cocaine, using every line to play into that theme. This might be his most complex verse, and for that, it belongs in the hall of fame.

Jay-Z on Kanye West – “Never Let Me Down”


Ranking Kanye West First Week Album Sales College Dropout

Released: February 10, 2004

Album: The College Dropout

Producer: Kanye West

Best line: “Hov’s a living legend and I’ll tell you why / Everybody wanna be Hov and Hov’s still alive”

This track was originally meant for Jay-Z’s The Blueprint² , but you can bet Kanye was jumping for joy when he got to keep the song for himself, because it’s one of the best collabs we ever got between Ye and Hov. With no shortage of quick-witted punchlines, Jay brags about his status and makes sure the culture knows he will never let hip hop down.

Scarface on Jay-Z – “This Can’t Be Life”


Ranking Jay Z First Week Album Sales The Dynasty Roc La Familia

Released: October 31, 2000

Album: The Dynasty: Roc La Familia

Producer: Kanye West

Best line: “And I’m hurting for you dog; but ain’t nobody pain is like yours / I just know that heaven’ll open these doors”

Scarface has a habit of casually spitting some of the most heart-breaking verses you’ll ever hear, and “This Can’t Be Life” is no exception. He goes on about how the son of his friend died, detailing his grief, but also his gratitude that his own son is alive and well. Jay-Z said that Scarface got the tragic news in the studio and delivered this verse minutes later, and you can really hear that he’s holding back tears.

Pusha T on Freddie Gibbs – “Palmolive”


Greatest Three Album Runs In Hip Hop History Freddie Gibbs

Released: June 28, 2019

Album: Bandana

Producer: Madlib

Best line: “Way more chemical than political / PTSD from what I weighed on the digital / It was snowfall and Reagan gave me the visual / Obama opened his doors knowing I was a criminal”

Spitting a good verse is as easy as breathing for Pusha T, but it’s not every day he spits one as brilliant as this. From reminiscing on his life in the streets to dissing fake rappers, Push keeps the listener on their toes as he hops across all different themes with that classic grimy delivery. It made the conversation for best verse of 2018 and made sure people knew Pusha T is still a force to be reckoned with.

Black Thought on Big Pun – “Super Lyrical”


100 Rappers Their Age Classic Album Big Pun

Released: April 28, 1998

Album: Capital Punishment

Producer: Rockwilder, DJ Iroc (scratches)

Best line: “Stressing to emcees how they don’t really want this / Electrifying shit his excellency Thought spit”

Black Thought’s been competing with the best of them for his entire recording career.

The lyrical mastermind Black Thought may be called legendary today, but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, back in 1998, he was a severely underrated MC, and Pun brought him on “Super Lyrical” to give him that spotlight he needed. Thought offers a platter of dense rhymes seasoned with metaphors, rivalling Pun lyrically, which is no small feat. This was Thought’s breakthrough moment, and ever since this verse, the world hasn’t forgotten his talents.

50 Cent on The Game – “Hate It Or Love It”


Hate It Or Love It

Released: January 28, 2005

Album: The Documentary

Producer: Cool & Dre, Dr. Dre

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

Though his verse is short, 50 Cent’s lyricism on this track is some of his most touching ever. For a rapper known for party anthems and swagger to open up about his mother and scarring childhood was a surprise, but by no means a bad one. His honesty and vulnerability gave listeners a newfound respect for 50.

Rick Ross on Kanye West – “Devil in a New Dress”


Top 10 Best Rick Ross Guest Verses Of All Time Kanye Devil

Released: September 3, 2010

Album: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Producer: Bink, Mike Dean

Best line: “I never needed acceptance from all you outsiders / Had cyphers with Yeezy before his mouth wired / Before his jaw shattered, climbing up the Lord’s ladder”

You know what you’re getting into when you hear a Rick Ross verse – an endless supply of braggadocio and bombastic delivery – and “Devil In a New Dress” is his signature style perfected. Kanye knew it was special too, asking Rick to redo his verse until he got it just right for the track. Still up in the clouds after the success of Teflon Don , Rick Ross needed a verse like this to keep him high up in mainstream success.

Jay Rock on Kendrick Lamar – “Money Trees”


Best Hip Hop Album Every Year Since 1986 Good Kid

Released: October 22, 2012

Album: Good Kid, M.A.A.D City

Producer: DJ Dahi

Best line: “Pots with cocaine residue, every day I’m hustlin’ / What else is a thug to do when you eatin’ cheese from the government?”

Jay Rock’s verse teleports you straight to the projects and lands you in his shoes, wondering if a life of crime is worth it to get that success. His verse only came about after he heard “Money Trees” and was eager to get on it, and his bars were so good they ended up keeping his verse for the album. This verse was crucial for Rock, arguably becoming his most iconic performance ever.

J. Cole on 21 Savage – “A Lot”


Every Single Hip Hop Billboard Number One Album Since 1986 21 Savage I Am

Released: January 8, 2019

Album: I Am > I Was

Producer: DJ Dahi, J. White Did It

Best line: “This is a marathon and I’m aware / I been playing it back from a lack of promotions / I never was one for the bragging and boasting / I guess I was hoping the music would speak for itself, but the people want everything else”

Mix the bravado of 21 Savage with J. Cole’s wisdom, and you’ve got the recipe for a perfect trap song. 21 brings some heat with his verses, but then J. Cole sets the track on fire, with a network of rhyme schemes and fast flows that make for a perfect verse. He talks down cheaters in the music industry and stresses the importance of lyrics, which was crucial at a time when rap was more commercial than ever.

The Notorious B.I.G. on Jay-Z – “Brooklyn’s Finest”


Greatest Rap Album Opening Lines Of All Time Reasonable Doubt

Released: June 25, 1996

Album: Reasonable Doubt

Producer: Clark Kent, Dame Dash

Best line: “My Bed-Stuy flow’s malicious, delicious / Fuck three wishes, made my road to riches”

“Brooklyn’s Finest” is a clash of Brooklyn’s titans, and the result is a monster of a collaboration where Jay-Z and Biggie battle it out for the slickest bar. This was their first ever track together, and that makes it even more tragic they didn’t get to work together more. Biggie goes in with a little swagger and some insults to the West Coast,  bouncing off Jay-Z so comfortably like he’d known him his whole life.

Gunplay on Kendrick Lamar – “Cartoon and Cereal”


Top 50 Best Rap Guest Verses Of All Time Gunplay

Released: February 14, 2012

Album: N/A

Producer: THC

Best line: “Yeah, this me, no mic / No cameras, no lights, just pain / Mama, how much trauma can I sustain?”

On one of Kendrick Lamar’s most underrated songs, Gunplay delivers one of the most underrated guest verses in hip hop history. His manner is bombastic, full of energy, matching his outsized lyrics. His bars reflect his struggles living the monotonous American lifestyle, desperate to escape. With his energy and vulnerable writing, he arguably outdoes Kendrick with that level of charisma.

Jay-Z on Kanye West – “Diamonds from Sierra Leone (Remix)”


Ranking Kanye West First Week Album Sales Late Registration

Released: May 2005

Album: Late Registration

Producer: Kanye West, Devo Springsteen & Jon Brion

Best line: “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man / Let me handle my business, damn”

Most artists would use their retirement to rest, but Jay-Z spent his time dropping lyrical gems to prove his fire will never burn out. The subject matter is nothing special – bragging about the success of himself and his label – but it’s that fierce energy and endless supply of quotables Jay brings which make this verse iconic. In his prime or retired, this was Jay’s lesson to the culture that he is a diamond who will never lose his shine.

Kanye West on Young Jeezy – “Put On”


Top 50 Best Rap Guest Verses Of All Time Jeezy Kanye Put On

Released: June 3, 2008

Album: The Recession

Producer: Drumma Boy

Best line: “I got the Jesus on a chain, man, that don’t mean shit / ‘Cause when the Jesus pieces can’t bring me peace”

“Put On” sees Kanye using autotune to deliver a half rapping, half singing verse, contrasting nicely against the abrasive verses from Jeezy earlier on in the song. Kanye’s writing is deeply honest, reflecting his struggles with fame and loneliness. It’s such a unique and engaging sound, and a crucial moment for Kanye’s career, marking his transition from traditional hip hop to autotune-heavy R&B.

Pimp C on Jay-Z – “Big Pimpin’”


Most Influential Hip Hop Songs Of All Time Big Pimpin

Released: April 11, 2000

Album: Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter

Producer: Timbaland

Best line: “Comin’ down and sippin’ daily / No record ’til whitey pay me”

What makes Pimp C’s verse on “Big Pimpin’” even more incredible is that he was originally against rapping on the track , and only agreed to once the others accepted he would only spit eight bars. Despite being so short, Pimp C’s verse is one of the most iconic in rap music, bragging about his glamorous life in the South and making sure people know UGK are the Southern kings.

Kanye West on Jay-Z – “Run This Town”


Top 50 Best Rap Guest Verses Of All Time Jay Z Kanye Run This Town

Released: July 24, 2009

Album: The Blueprint 3

Producer: Kanye West & No I.D.

Best line: “I can spend my whole life Good Will Hunting / Only good gon’ come is this good when I’m cumming”

By the time 2009 rolled around, Kanye was an undisputed hip hop titan, and his bars on “Run This Town” made that even clearer. Unlike Jay-Z, Kanye doesn’t spend his time bragging, but spits bars about the ups and downs of his riches, instantly making this the standout verse on the track. This was the moment that certified him as a superstar for life.

Prodigy on LL Cool J – “I Shot Ya (Remix)”


Ll Cool J Mr Smith

Released: November 21, 1995

Album: Mr. Smith

Producer: Trackmasters

Best line: “Illuminati want my mind, soul and my body / Secret society, trying to keep they eye on me”

Prodigy was already regarded as one of the best rappers of ’95 after The Infamous , and with this verse, he only proved it further. With his cold delivery and unapologetic lyrics, he dominates the track by asserting himself as a force to be reckoned with, and one who puts his truth into every lyric, always two steps ahead of his enemies.

Jadakiss on Schoolboy Q – “Groovy Tony / Eddie Kane”


100 Rappers Their Age Classic Album Schoolboy Q

Released: July 8, 2016

Album: Blank Face LP

Producer: Dem Jointz & TaeBeast

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

Jadakiss is as cold as ever with his verse here, playing into Q’s theme of the ‘blank face’ by insisting he’s no snitch and he’ll make sure – however means necessary – that those around him aren’t either. It’s an unusual beat for Jadakiss to rap over, full of synths and whispering backing vocals, proving his versatility and his longevity, always tackling new sounds.

Big Noyd on Mobb Deep – “Give Up the Goods (Just Step)”


Greatest Three Album Runs In Hip Hop History Mobb Deep

Released: April 25, 1995

Album: The Infamous

Producer: Q-Tip

Best line: “You know I flow, you know my steelo / Even pack my gat when I go to see my P.O”

Not only is Big Noyd’s verse on “Give Up the Goods” incredible, but it singlehandedly pushed forward his career as a rapper. His rapping on the track is otherworldly, spitting a never-ending barrage of rhymes that goes on and on. Because of this single verse, Big Noyd was offered a record deal with Tommy Boy, rightfully rewarding him for one of the coldest verses of ’95.

2 Chainz on Kanye West – “Mercy”


50 Greatest Rap Posse Cuts Of All Time Mercy

Released: April 3, 2012

Album: Cruel Summer

Producer: Lifted, Mike Dean (add.), Mike Will Made It (add.), Kanye West (add.), Hudson Mohawke (add.)

Best line: “I’m drunk and high at the same time / Drinkin’ champagne on the airplane (Tell ’em)”

“Mercy” is an all-star posse cut where every rapper delivers, but 2 Chainz is the MVP of the track. His lyrics are a mix of witty wordplay and hilarious punchlines, which always make for a fantastic 2 Chainz verse. Going up against hip hop titans like Pusha T and Kanye West, the competition wasn’t easy to beat, making his verse all the more impressive.

Drake on DJ Khaled – “I’m on One”


Ranking Dj Khaled First Week Album Sales We The Best Forever

Released: May 20, 2011

Album: We the Best Forever

Producer: 40, T-Minus & Nikhil Seetharam

Best line: “I’m just feeling like the throne is for the taking—watch me take it”

Drake splits the verse into two halves, utilising his signature melodic rap style before switching it up with a ferocious delivery for a few hard-hitting bars. He spends his verse hyping himself up, ready to take charge of hip hop, making the verse all the more powerful in retrospect because he did just that, dominating the 2010s.

Lil’ Kim on Mobb Deep – “Quiet Storm (Remix)”


50 Rappers Best Selling Albums Of All Time Mobb Deep

Released: March 14, 1999

Album: Murda Muzik

Producer: Havoc & Jonathan Williams

Best line: “It’s the Q to the B, with the M-O, B-B / Queensbridge Brooklyn and we D-double-E-P, what”

A verse doesn’t have to be long to be memorable, and that’s exactly what Lil’ Kim proves on “Quiet Storm”. Her rhyme schemes are complex and her bars rich in meaning, detailing her skill as an MC and dissing others who cheat their way to success. It’s quick, to the point, and proved Kim didn’t need Biggie’s help to deliver a cold verse.

R.A. The Rugged Man on Jedi Mind Tricks – “Uncommon Valor: A Vietnam Story”


Top 25 Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2006 Jedi Mind Tricks

Released: September 19, 2006

Album: Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell

Producer: Stoupe

Best line: “Bitches and guns, this is every man’s dream / I don’t wanna go home where I’m just an ordinary human being”

R.A. the Rugged Man’s storytelling on this song creates some of the most vivid and evocative imagery in any rap song. Rapping from the perspective of his father, he describes the Vietnam War, his narrow survival, and the toxic effects war had on his children. It’s deeply political, personal and, most importantly, powerful – R.A. redefined how detailed storytelling in hip hop could be.

Eminem on The Notorious B.I.G. – “Dead Wrong”


Every Single Hip Hop Billboard Number One Album Since 1986 Born Again

Released: October 26, 1999

Album: Born Again

Producer: Diddy, Easy Mo Bee, Chucky Thompson & Mario Winans

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”

Posthumous tracks can often lead to collaborations with people the artist never would have worked with, but Eminem’s feature on “Dead Wrong” is a feature done right. He sounds so comfortable. Playing into Biggie’s themes of violence and gore, he flows on the beat with a carefree style, making for a collaboration between two hip hop titans which didn’t disappoint.

Fivio Foreign on Kanye West – “Off the Grid”


Top Five Best Hip Hop Songs Each Year Since 1985 Donda

Released: August 29, 2021

Album: Donda

Producer: SLOAN (Producer), DAVID x ELI, Ojivolta, AyoAA, 30 Roc & Kanye West

Best line: “If you got a voice, then you gotta project it / If you got a wrong, then you gotta correct it / If you got a name, then you gotta protect it”

When Kanye West’s Donda first released, there were numerous debates about who the best feature was, but as time has gone on, it’s become clear that Fivio was the main highlight. He flows effortlessly over the quick drill production, with his lengthy verse being praised by all types of hip hop fans and bringing him into the mainstream spotlight.

Redman on EPMD – “Head Banger”


Top 25 Best Hip Hop Albums Of 1992 Epmd

Released: July 28, 1992

Album: Business Never Personal

Producer: EPMD & Mr. Bozack

Best line: “Like A plus funk, funk times stuffed in your back trunk punk”

Redman’s verse contains his signature enthusiastic presence, shouting his words with an ever-changing flow and EPMD providing adlibs to give his bars an extra punch. It’s not only a quality Redman verse, but a significant one too, reuniting Redman and EPMD for another energetic track after he debuted on their song “Hardcore” two years prior.

Canibus on LL Cool J – “4, 3, 2, 1”


50 Greatest Rap Posse Cuts Of All Time Phenomenon

Released: October 14, 1997

Album: Phenomenon

Producer: Erick Sermon

Best line: “Canibus is the type who’ll fight for mics / Beating ni**as to death and beating dead ni**as to life”

Canibus’ verse contains vicious, braggadocious bars, describing a plethora of violent images with moments of clever wordplay. It sticks out as the most ferocious verse, making it an instant highlight. Though he changed his lyrics, it was the original version of this verse which led to the rivalry between Canibus and LL Cool J , making it one of the most significant in the culture.

Ludacris on Nas – “Made You Look (Remix)”


Top Five Best Hip Hop Songs Each Year Since 1985 Nas Made You Look

Released: 2002

Album: N/A

Producer: Salaam Remi

Best line: “You should print my information, quote my rhymes / And keep me in between these New York and L.A. Times”

To rap alongside hip hop legends Nas and Jadakiss would make anyone paranoid about being outshined, but Ludacris arguably had the best verse on the “Made You Look” remix. His bombastic delivery and limitless charisma makes every bar hit hard, with witty lyricism and a relentless flow which put rightfully more respect on his name. As one of the greatest Southern rappers to ever touch a mic, Luda cemented the notion that the ATL was here to stay.

Offset on Gucci Mane – “Met Gala”


Ranking Gucci Mane First Week Album Sales Droptopwop

Released: May 26, 2017

Album: Droptopwop

Producer: GUWOP, RBC, Atlantic

Best line: “I’m on a yacht and the yacht on my watch”

Offset’s verse on “Met Gala” is a genius display of double entendre, making for one of the best verses in trap. His lyrics reflect his status in the streets and his prowess as a rapper, twisting his lyrics for so many different interpretations. It’s been hailed as one of the best trap verses ever, helping solidify Offset as a modern trap legend.

Drake on Rick Ross – “Stay Schemin’”


15 Most Lyrical Drake Songs Of All Time Rick Ross Stay Schemin

Released: April 17, 2012

Album: Rich Forever

Producer: The Beat Bully

Best line: “Kobe ’bout to lose a hundred fifty Ms / Kobe my ni**a, I hate it had to be him / Bitch, you wasn’t with me shootin’ in the gym”

Drake was still on the come-up in 2012, but “Stay Schemin” is one of his biggest moments , making the track a prophecy for his own success. What makes his verse even more impactful is the fact it’s an attack on Common, who had been shooting subliminal disses at Drake at the time. “Stay Schemin” was Drake’s message that no rapper could hold him down.

Paul Wall on Mike Jones – “Still Tippin’”


Most Influential Hip Hop Songs Of All Time Still Tippin

Released: November 12, 2004

Album: Who Is Mike Jones?

Producer: Salih Williams

Best line: “What it do? It’s Paul Wall, I’m the People’s Champ / My chain light up like a lamp ’cause now I’m back with the camp”

Paul Wall’s verse on “Still Tippin’” encapsulates everything great about his skill as a rapper – dozens of internal rhymes, braggadocious lyricism, and such a swagger to his delivery. What makes this verse so special is that it marks Paul’s return to Swishahouse after leaving years prior, proving his skill never faded with a dominating presence.

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