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20) Lil Wayne ft Drake - Family Feud (both verses)

“Super Bowl goals, I'm at the crib with Puff, he got Kaepernick on the phone, he in a whole different mode” To close the year Wayne recruited Drake to cover Jay’s Family Feud record, and while the internet is collectively rejoicing on Drake’s notable verse, I have to say that honestly Wayne comes correct on this as well. This is very close to classic Dedication Wayne and I’m glad that he can still go there when he wants to.


19) Fabolous, Jadakiss - Soul Food (both verses)

"More passport stamps, less trips to Miami, yeah bro, we all need a little culture, a little time away from bird ass ***** and vultures, I tell you what you need to hear and not try to insult you, I'm too old to kid you I gotta adult you”Mind you it’s hilarious that Charlamagne has been calling this Adult Contemporary Hip Hop, considering that’s not only a testament to their legacy but also a reminder of how distinctive their styles truly are, a simply classic embodiment of the genre before anything else - and honestly on this record right here these legendary MCs sound better than ever. C-Sick handles the production and it’s nothing short of incredible, and even more epic is a video of him previewing the instrumental at 2 AM almost 3 years ago on Twitter, and many moons later now history has been made. To be honest I’ll call this one a stalemate between Freddy & Jason and say C-Sick murdered em all 🔥🔥🔥 one of the best instrumentals of the year hands down.


18) Belly - The Come Down Is Real Too (verse three)

“But look, tryna find a jam in this lil room, you know you never pick a rose when it's fully bloomed, walkin out the house like who you runnin to?,’ fuckin with dude that's young enough to be a son to you, crazy how you lookin shorty, you pushin 40, like baby, now you lookin for me, you lookin sorry, no cure for the insecure, but you can share my soul with me since you're missin yours” Behind the scenes there has been a Palestinian - Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer who has been cookin up 🔥🔥🔥for years now, having collaborated with The Weeknd and Beyonce while scoring record contracts with both XO (The Weeknd) and Roc Nation (Jay Z). More recently however he just released his own mixtape entitled Mumble Rap, which likely to the surprise of many is easily some of the best Hip Hop to be released this year. And does that sound like a contradiction? Perhaps deliberately so, as despite the misleading title nobody that mumble raps could flow like this…


17) Fabolous, Jadakiss - F vs J Intro (Jadakiss verse)

"Be my guest, go ahead and hide, I can’t miss you, you already know I reside at Camp Crystal, Lake, dismantle your face, revamp tissue, Power from the hockey mask, James St. Patrick, three bodies in one night, that’s a hat trick” The introduction to the highly anticipated Friday on Elm Street is a grudge match of epic proportions, where nevermind the Power reference it’s really all the Friday the 13th references that makes this record scorching hot 🔥🔥🔥, where even though it was a respectable deul there’s no doubt that this one definitely goes to Jason.


16) Wu-Tang Clan ft Method Man - If Time Is Money (Fly Navigation)

"This my Cohiba, cigar blow, even Tony Stark knows the tension is thick as Wallabee Clark soles, but did I mention I'm sick and gotta be hardcore, hard-boiled, taking your base, that's what we ball for, money over bimbos, that's what the Mob for, rappers stuck in limbo 'cause they were settin the bar low, every time I rhyme on a track, it's like a convo, King, we put the nine to your back, it's like you Rondo, when it come to John, though, I'ma slaughter a John Doe, drag him through a drive-thru like he ordered the combo” Mathematics & Method Man 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥


15) Rick Ross ft Chris Rock & Nas - Powers That Be (Nas verse)

“You know how it is, new levels, new devils, the cheddar breed jealousy at hella speed but it's whatever” This is Rick Ross & Nas’s fourth collaboration and they continue to put out 🔥🔥 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 Produced by Sap they got another one, as this one’s perfect from start to finish including the Chris Rock monologue that is nothing but facts.


14) Young Chris - Calling All Girls (verse one)

“From the PR to the DR, to the Asians and Malaysians, I’m just playin they just hatin, vacation in Jamaica, smoking Cali somewhere private I’m just whylin, pick an island St Maarten, St Thomas, I said depending how I’m feelin go Brazilian, or I can go with somethin cuter in Bermuda…” YC absolutely smokes this instrumental and that’s really all there is to it… although since nobody else in Hip Hop media will speak on it I'll go ahead and say more... Chris from the Rockafella era has officially one of the most impeccable MC flows of all time, and that's not even a hot take -that's real life facts - and the truth is in flow that could never be questioned or disputed.


13) JR Writer - Can’t Stay Away (verse one)

“Wait, better tell them all, I was 5’8” but I kept it tall, Manute Bol when I’m lettin off, I would school holmes, LaMelo Ball, dawg, y’all on some amateur shit, why would you claim to spit? Super Sweet Sixteen, which one of your parents are rich? Huh?” Writer coasts on this effortlessly 🔥🔥🔥 and this is easily one of my favorite verses to close out the year, where I ultimately don’t respect any Dipset reunion that doesn’t involve one of their most decorated generals.


12) Mary J Blige ft Kanye West - Love Yourself (Kanye verse)

“I decided not to use my color as a handicap, he a designer, artist, producer, and he rap” Classic Kanye on this and he kills it… this must be the Old Kanye as they say… either way it’s always nice when he actually comes correct, where the only disappointment was that Ye was ultimately replaced by A$AP Rocky for the video.


11) Fabolous, Jadakiss ft Teyana Taylor - Talk About It (Fabolous verse)

“Can we talk how many died for the birth of a nation? and how this national anthem ain't worth my ovation? and if I am standin up, I'ma stand up for equality, it's brutality, we need more than that apology” Both Freddy & Jason get into introspective mode over more monumental production (provided by Mally The Martian, KidExcluzive, & Mark Henry) that reflects on all the racial injustice in America today and throughout history - where most recently pure discrimination has been conflated with patriotism (to nobody’s surprise) on a national level that has left the nation as divided as it ever was before. [Side note - if you care more about a cloth or fabric than the values that it supposedly represents - you are the worst type of clown and should have no influence or power at all - yet unfortunately these are our politicians, policemen, and our president - so here we are]. Now back to the music… did we really get Fab & Jada over the Tevin Campbell classic Can We Talk sample??? SMH 🔥🔥🔥 thank you to the Music Gods we are forever indebted.


10) Rick Ross - Santorini Greece (verse one)

“Restricted license but I'm so divisive, I know the snipers and I flow the nicest” Produced by Bink! this is one of many standout records on the Rather You Than Me album, as per usual Ross chooses the nicest production to compliment his flawless delivery.


9) Drake - Lose You (verse two)

“But you're mindful of it all when your mind full of it all” Produced by 40 this is classic Drake with the clever word play, and in it he touches on everything from his come up to his infamous rift with a certain rapper from Philly, talkin bout "All you did was write the book on garbage-ass Rollies, ego strokin, picture postin, claimin that you'd do it for motivational purposes only, but you just had to show me, see, I know, cause I study you closely, I know when someone lyin, I notice people standin for nothin and gettin tired" <<< idk who wrote it but this is as real as it gets


8) Rapsody ft Anderson Paak, Black Thought, & Moonchild - Nobody (Black Thought verse)

“Lost soldier with the bars on the shoulders of my uniform, that makes em ask what I do and who I do it for, musically, I been on my Chiwetel Ejiofor, that’s 12 years a slave, but I’m on year 23 or 4, been a lyrical grand wizard like Theodore, I'm on the same wave length the sister Rapsody is on, I love it when she get on her Bahamadia joint, if she wasn’t true she would’ve never gotten me involved” 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 Black Thought is truly the God MC and this was one of the best verses of the year, and otherwise this blended production between Khrysis & 9th Wonder is nothing short of immaculate - where altogether they’re work on this album makes Laila’s Wisdom the true embodiment of a masterpiece.


7) Jay Z - Adnis (verse one)

“Uh, letter to my dad that I never wrote, speeches I prepared that I never spoke, words on a paper that I never read, proses never penned, they stayed in my head” A bonus record off his critically acclaimed 4:44 album, this one was an open letter to Jay’s father Adnes Reeves who left his family when he was around 12 years old, following the events of his brother Ray’s murder. As Jay explains in the record his father became addicted to Alcohol and Heroin while running the streets in search of his Uncle Ray’s killer, a story that he’s referenced often throughout his career. Off the record it’s indeed true that Jay’s father passed away in 2003 from liver failure, a year before he reconciled with his son for the first time in twenty years; a moment in which Sean Carter asked his father how he could abandon someone that looked just like him. This record is perhaps more closure for Jay and it’s done exceptionally well with production from James Blake, and it’s timing couldn’t have been better as it surrounded the arrival of his new baby boy and girl.


6) Faith Evans & Notorious BIG ft Sheek Louch & Styles P - Take Me There (Styles Verse)

“Dreamt of Ferraris and Ferragamos, raised on the streets, and married the marijuana, told the joint terminate my thoughts like Sarah Conner, but it couldn't, but I smoked with Big, a badge of honor, and Faith, what's fate? Light and 8th and I'm straight, that's the morning, but I'mma need a zip when it's late” Styles laces this Just Blaze record and to hear The Lox with Biggie again is a beautiful feeling (even though they did real songs with Big no made up shit), and the verse from Big is actually refreshing in it’s own right, as it’s actually a reference track he penned for Lil Kim, for her record 'Drugs' from her debut album Hardcore. Regardless though Styles was on a mission all through 2017, and I’m going on record that he honestly is a strong candidate for rapper of the year, despite the fact that the quality of his verses went grossly underappreciated. Let’s be clear that The Ghost was COOKING the last 12 months unbeknownst to all the influencers and tastemakers, and he continues to be an inspiration for all the real spitters worldwide.


5) Kendrick Lamar - The Heart Pt 4 (verse two)

“G Malone big bro, kudos to him, I was two O's from a M, tryna be big as Em, thirty millions later, my future favors, the legendary status of a hip-hop rhyme savior, salmon and capers, fame and lawsuits, you lookin at me in Chucks, I'm lookin at y'all suits, me and Top Dawg playin rock-paper-scissors in court, a real hustler lose money just to go get some more, I said it's like that, dropped one classic, came right back, 'nother classic, right back, my next album, the whole industry on a ice pack” Released as a teaser for his fourth studio album due out the following week, Kendrick absolutely snaps on this production from Axl Folie, Alchemist, Syk Sense, & DJ Dahi, which makes sense because there’s four different beat switches, and this record is pure 🔥🔥🔥🔥 especially with apparent jabs at Big Sean which I co-sign heavily.


4) Big K.R.I.T. ft TI - Big Bank (TI verse)

"Got seven kids, and I gotta make sure all of em fed, by any means, can't be no excuses, my children can't eat no excuses, my daughter can't sleep in excuses, my son he see me with no paper like keep your excuses, if you ain't producing, you're useless, that's why I'm out here getting to it, fresh out the booth I go straight to the stage, then I go straight to get paid, hunnid I earned, fifty I saved, my bitch don't be cleaning up, I need a maid, she don't be cooking so I need a chef, ain't giving me nothin I get it myself, I'm doing my thing and I did it to death” 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 Maaannnnn it’s TIP Pimpin slapped this Big K.R.I.T. instrumental and honestly his verse is one of the best of the year bar none - talking from any artist period - TIP went into his trick bag and went honey baked ham from Bar 1 to 16, and honestly it would be criminal to overlook K.R.I.T.’s talent as an artist/producer moving forward.


3) Jeezy ft J Cole & Kendrick Lamar - American Dream (J Cole verse)

“Got money to make, blow out the candles then cut up the cake, then I put it on plate, I'm running the game, you running in place, still a youngin' at heart, but mentally, bitch I'm a hunnid'-and-eight, like Pun in the late 90s, my ***** is juggling weight” It’s crazy how one verse can fuck up the game… and honestly Cole does that as well as anybody, where when you think about it a Cole verse is as coveted and desired as much as any artist today - in addition to Kendrick and Drake whom I argue come second and third in this category respectively. Nobody fucks up a rewind button like Cole, and let’s not forget that if he quote it he wrote it and that puts him in another category by itself. All the same on this record Cole is in storytelling mode and once again steals the show, where not even Jeezy’s energy or Kendrick’s creativity could outshine Cole’s natural ability that is truly unmatched by all his contemporaries. One day it would be nice however to hear Cole and Kendrick really go after one another, and when that day comes there’s no doubt music history will be made. Yet until then respect Cole’s legendary status and never ever question his impact again.


2) David Banner ft WatchtheDuck & Black Thought - Who Want It (Black Thought Verse)

“Ya’ll know my lineage is godliness and cleanliness, Otis used to sing how we should try a lil tenderness, but they ultra envious, crazy disingenuous, like, who need an enemy if that’s what type of friend you is” 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 this is one of the best Black Thought verses in years maybe, as he absolutely SNAPPED on this and the legacy of the GOD MC continues 🙏 …. Truth be told a strong case could be made for him being the most talented MC of all time, and for that reason I don’t know what DJ Vlad is smoking smh


1) Kendrick Lamar - FEEL.

“I feel like a chip on my shoulders,I feel like I'm losin my focus, I feel like I'm losin my patience, I feel like my thoughts in the basement, feel like, I feel like you're miseducated, feel like I don't wanna be bothered, I feel like you may be the problem, I feel like it ain't no tomorrow, fuck the world, the world is endin, I'm done pretendin, and fuck you if you get offended, I feel like friends been overrated, I feel like the family been fakin, I feel like the feelings are changin, feel like my daughter compromised and jaded, feel like you wanna scrutinize how I made it, feel like I ain't feelin you all, feel like removing myself, no feelings involved, I feel for you, I've been in the field for you, it's real for you, right? Shit, I feel like— ain't nobody prayin for me” <<< 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 Produced by Sounwave this had to be the standout record on the DAMN. album, as it’s certainly one of the best in his all time catalogue, and it’s indeed the Kendrick that’s deserving of all the accolades and acclaim. I always say that Cole is the best in describing all the ills of humanity, yet truth be told his contemporary in Kendrick Lamar is a legend in his own right and a true contender for the crown 👑

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