So Kanye West said this yesterday.
I open the debate… The 2nd verse of New Slaves is the best rap verse of all time….meaning … OF ALL TIME IN THE HISTORY OF RAP MUSIC, PERIOD
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) July 20, 2013
Since then, the internet has been ablaze with what the actual best rap verse of all time. Mostly everybody except those in leather skirts and Givenchy shirts wholeheartedly disagreed in a frenzy as Kanye sat back and twiddled his fingers maniacally in front of his laptop. While New Slaves is a great song and an amazing concept, there is no way its second verse is the best ever. Not because it lacks anything, it has a lot of substance considering it delves into the prison-industrial complex in a genre that seems to sponsor it, but because it is simply impossible to calculate the best verse ever. Considering the rate rap music drops, that alone shows how impossible it is. Couple that with all of the classic verses of the past and there is no way someone with an open mind can come up with a single best verse. Simply it all boils down to favorites.
Music is an artform of periods. Meaning, a person’s musical choice is reflected through their setting or how they may be feeling at that specific moment in time. Your significant other broke up with you? The Smiths might be your artist of choice. You’re feeling like the greatest thing walking? I Ain’t Worried Bout Nothin is probably suitable. I can’t even comprehend how many times I’ve heard something and hated it upon first listen only for it to grow on me as I invest more time in it. That alone shows how hard to consider something the “best” when so many variables need to be accounted for.
I’m willing to bet Kanye did this solely to start a discussion. He made a polarizing album that I personally thought was pretty great but others deeply despised. Plus it didn’t hurt this tweet stroked his own ego in the process. It made some extremely mad, which is the case whenever Yeezus is in the general vicinity of anything, but it made people think on what the “best” verse is. Personally I couldn’t name the best verse ever and refuse to do so but I do have some favorites which are listed below in no particular order.
Pusha T’s Verse on Clipse – Intro (Lord Willin’)
Considering this was literally an introduction as to who Clipse are, those first words ring out louder than ever. “Playas we aint the same I’m into ‘caine and guns.” That alone set the tempo for an amazing album and career. Also I’ll go out on a limb and say this is one of the best intros ever.
Any Verse on Cam’ron – Down and Out (Purple Haze)
With gems like “Hit you from a block away / drink a sake on a suzuki we in Osaka Bay,” and “Kill you, shoot the funeral up, and Harlem Shake at your wake” in separate verses, it is hard to pick a single favorite verse from this song.
Killer Mike on Big Beast featuring Bun B, TI, and Trouble (R.A.P. Music)
Killer Mike has always been a monster but it wasn’t until last year’s Rap Music where people started to notice. Better late than never I suppose.
TI on Kanye West featuring GLC and Paul Wall – Drive Slow remix (King DVD Edition)
For some reason, I haven’t really invested time into TI’s full bodies of work but I always feel he has the better verse whenever he is featured. One of these being Drive Slow, where he lays down some deeply introspective bars over the soulful horns that can’t help but make the listener think back into their life and realize everything is going to be fine… eventually
Nas on Mobb Deep featuring Ghostface and Raekwon – Eye for an Eye (The Infamous)
I feel like a classic is necessary so I don’t get crucified. No denying this is an amazing verse though.
Disclamer: I know these lists are infuriating but these are my personal favorites. Please don’t be mad that I didn’t include Inspectah Deck on Triumph or anything from Illmatic, there are many others I left out. I would love to hear what others think though.
In an continued effort to raise awareness and most importantly funds for the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, Re/Create New York is hosting a charity auction featuring, most notable in the streetwear community, a pair of signed Nike Air Zeezy II’s. These one-of-a-kind Nike Air Yeezy II Sneaker designed, worn, and signed by Kanye West will be up for auction starting January 24, 2013. Get notified when the auction begins here. If the Yeezy’s aren’t your cup of tea, then other notable trendsetters contributing to the auction such are Anne Hathaway, Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, and more. More info can be found here.
It’s as if ppl haven’t been waiting! As if Kanye it’s running hip-hop right now. Support G.O.O.D music and head over to iTunes and cop that. You see what I did there? Full Stream below…
Say what you want about Kanye West but the man knows showmanship and always goes over the top. Check out the “Cruel Summer” commercial for the G.O.O.D. Music compilation dropping on September 18th. Pre-order on iTunes.
props to illroots for the stream.
iTunes link here.