top 200 commentsshow 500

[–]X-11Eyes-X 977 points978 points

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Moment of truth, Gangstarr

[–][deleted] 370 points371 points

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I can't get over Above the Clouds.

[–]HalfRetardHalfAmazin 66 points67 points

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Both are great, but my vote goes to Above the Clouds.

[–]Zed_Freshly 51 points52 points

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RIP Guru.

[–]fresh_blockofcheddar 126 points127 points

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"Actions have reactions, don't be quick to judge, you may not know the hardships people don't speak of"

[–]rrfrank 101 points102 points

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Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2?

[–]nyrepub 35 points36 points

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RIP Guru.

[–]koolaidman203 1805 points1806 points

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Mathematics by Mos Def

[–]BigChiefWiggum 155 points156 points

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Mos' verse in Thieves in the Night is one of my favorite verses ever.

[–]Iluvallmyh8rs 345 points346 points

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Bucka, Bucka, Bucka, Bucka, Bucka, Bucka!

[–][deleted] 96 points97 points

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Beats by Su-Primo for all of my peoples, negroes and latinos and even the gringos (that's me!)

[–]DreadPirateMedcalf 896 points897 points

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One of his stanzas physically struck me the first time I heard it. I had to sit down and think about it before I could keep walking.

"Yo-Yeah":

3:30 in the morning with not a sole in sight

we sat four deep at a traffic light

Talking about how dumb and brainwashed

some of our brothers and sisters are

while we wait for a green light

to tell us when to go.

Edit: Holy shit people, it's a metaphor/analogy. I'm not saying to ignore traffic laws. Keep calm and remember it's only poetry.

[–]sepseven 99 points100 points

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woah. recommend an album? i gotta look into this, somehow i havent really listened to him much yet.

[–]ahaltingmachine 223 points224 points

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The song quoted is from his collaboration album with Talib Kweli, Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star. I highly recommend it.

You should also check out his debut album, Black On Both Sides. Easily his best work, and one of my favorite rap albums in general. His most recent release, The Ecstatic is really solid as well.

[–]eternallurker 61 points62 points

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While I agree that Black on Both Sides is incredible, I highly recommend that you give the New Danger another listen. It is perhaps the best concept album of all time. The next time you listen to the New Danger keep in mind that this is Mos Def's take on what rock and roll would be like today if it was still dominated by blacks, who with so many other genres of music, pioneered it before being pushed out by a white main stream market. The New Danger is not only my favorite Mos Def album, but quite possibly my favorite album of all time.

[–]sensualdrywall 287 points288 points

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Mos Def is the shit.

[–]xsystem1 952 points953 points

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Most Definitely

[–]makhouse 138 points139 points

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Do you know what I am saying?

[–]swilly93 69 points70 points

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Yes, I do believe i know what you are saying

[–]ALL_THE_LINKS 159 points160 points

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Mathematics - Mos Def

Link for the lazy/curious, has lyrics as well.

[–]award_tour 1525 points1526 points

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[–]prose-before-hoes 41 points42 points

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That first verse...

[–]sahlahmin 96 points97 points

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Perdendicula to da square?

[–]Patient80 11 points12 points

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Square is a cigarette. "Not one nigga was sober, perpendicular to the square"

[–]award_tour 26 points27 points

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Deck's verse gets a lot of hype on this song, but RZA's is really sick too. I like the line

Enter through your bloodstream clog up your right ventricle now terminal like grand central station

[–]RyanCantDrum 20 points21 points

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When U-God just hops in its probably my favourite verse of any wu- no any rap song. How it flows with the background vocals and the music is truly artistic.

[–]frisbalicious 71 points72 points

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Whatchy'all thought, y'all wasn't gonna see me?! I'm the Osiris of this shit!

[–]Yodamanjaro 20 points21 points

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Wu Tang is forever, mothafuckas!

[–]InvalidArguement 14 points15 points

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Like this 97, aight my niggas and my niggarettes. Imma rub yo ass in tha moonshine, lets take it back to 79!

[–]jmoney425 281 points282 points

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They Reminisce Over You - Pete Rock and CL Smooth. Great lyrics great flow

[–]hsssssssssssssssssss 36 points37 points

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When they reminisce over you, my god.

[–]tankcar_Lee 324 points325 points

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[–][deleted] 778 points779 points

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[–]jag149 18 points19 points

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I was just thinking this morning (Children's Story came up on my pandora) that "swore he killed her <sorry>" was probably the funniest three seconds in hip hop.

[–]shastaman 31 points32 points

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Came here for Respiration, glad it was one of the top ten.

[–]davdev 65 points66 points

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I used to love her is one of my ll time favorites. Such a great metaphor about the rise and fall of hip hop

[–]brettrosey 1053 points1054 points

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[–]stovor 1014 points1015 points

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The entirety of Deltron 3030. Del is such a badass rapper, and he mixes crazy sci-fi with social commentary without losing a beat.

My favorite off the record is probably Memory Loss.

[–]chriskrohne 206 points207 points

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If you're in the Bay Area. Dan the Automator, Del, and Kid Koala are doing a Free Show on June 30th of the new album.

[–]oh_bother 358 points359 points

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If you are not in the Bay Area, join me in being insanely jealous of those who are.

[–]txbxplaya 71 points72 points

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The song 3030 for me is just perfect!

[–]Oh_jeffery 27 points28 points

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3030 the song is my fave the beat is awesome and his rhymes are so smooth. I think the whole album's awesome

[–]Deadpotato 18 points19 points

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Gotta give it to Things You Can Do, or Madness, but Memory Loss is probably top 3 for me too

[–]LeRoienJaune 8 points9 points

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"I wanna devise a virus, strong enough to cause blackouts in ever single metropolis/ cause they don't want to unify us/ so f@*k global anarchy and can't nobody stop us."

This album is the greatest nerdcore album yet made. Love Del and pretty much everything he's done.

[–]ShaniquaAndWot 464 points465 points

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I Used To Love H.E.R by Common

The entire background and history of hiphop condensed into one song

Edit: Spelling

[–]edavid21 228 points229 points

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Binary Star -- Reality Check

[–]gushiman 45 points46 points

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This whole fucking album should be the top of this list

[–][deleted] 10 points11 points

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[–]hobenscoben 26 points27 points

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I made a spotify playlist with all the songs I could find with 75+ 150+ upvotes. If you like what you hear, please buy the albums! I'll keep updating it as well.

[–]scaraba 276 points277 points

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Deltron 3030, as a whole.

Madvillain - Accordion

Madvillain - Rhinestone Cowboy

MF DOOM - Hooks is Extra

^ This one specifically. GODDAMN, try and figure out everything he's saying the first go, I know you won't get all of the references in the beginning.

[–]MrBrodoSwaggins 157 points158 points

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Wu Tang Clan - Da Mystery of Chessboxin'

Pretty much any MF Doom, my favorite is Deep Fried Frenz

[–]Know_Mad 234 points235 points

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Eyedea: just about anything he's ever written it would be hard to narrow it down. Powdered Water, Smile, The Dive, Weird Side, Walking, Here for you, Song about a song.

[–]activitygoat 68 points69 points

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Can't believe I had to go down this far for Eyedea. Dude was insane.

[–][deleted]

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[deleted]

    [–]warped_and_bubbling 194 points195 points

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    Rakim - Microphone Fiend

    [–]daddydean 95 points96 points

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    [–][deleted] 2213 points2214 points

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    Illmatic as a whole.

    [–]thepreacher116 170 points171 points

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    Illmatic was so far ahead of its time people dont even realize. Nas puts little additions/subtractions to words/phrases, mixes up the grammar and has ridiculous word play that are so subtle yet brilliant that you may not even notice until your 100th listen.

    [–][deleted] 75 points76 points

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    Any examples of the word play, mixing up grammar?

    [–]steendriver 709 points710 points x2

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    It took me a long time to really understand, for example, what was impressive about "NY State of Mind."

    On a cursory listen it sounds like relatively prototypical NY gangsta shit, or at least one's idea of what that kind of thing sounds like--drugs, guns, braggadocio. The key is that knowledge of the historical context of this track reveals just how ahead of the game Nas was in terms of the noir cinema-style of his raps, the depth of his storytelling and--crucially--the sheer knottiness of his alliteration delivered without breaking a sweat.

    One of the things about rap that I realized most deeply on listening to Illmatic for the first time (about 15 years ago) is that the flow can be understood as a rhythmic component to the music, like a solo from a jazz drummer that has a whole other layer of poetic content riding on top of the rhythm. Lyrics in rap are key and lyricists are rightly respected, but a good flow can get you light years ahead of competition, and Nas has flow in buckets to go with his wordplay.

    He acknowledges that right away in the first verse of the opening song:

    Rappers, I monkey flip em with the funky rhythm/I be kicking, musician, inflictin' composition/ Of pain I'm like Scarface sniffin cocaine/ Holding an M-16, see with the pen I'm extreme, now/ Bullet holes left in my peepholes, I'm suited up in street clothes/ Hand me a nine and I'll defeat foes

    This isn't really getting us anywhere yet in terms of narrative, but it sets the scene and gives us atmosphere and character while maintaining a jazzy flow. This is a dude from a place where there are are bulletholes in doorways, this is a guy who feels invincible when he suits up in his street best, and he knows his territory. The internal rhyme here is already stunning, but it continues:

    G-packs get off quick, forever niggas talk shit/ Reminiscing about the last time the Task Force flipped/ Niggas be running through the block shootin'/ Time to start the revolution, catch a body, head for Houston/ Once they caught us off-guard, the Mac-10 was in the grass and/ I ran like a cheetah with thoughts of an assassin/Pick the Mac up, told brothers, "Back up," the Mac spit/ Lead was hitting niggas, one ran, I made him backflip/

    Now we're moving: the g-packs (a kind of crack-dealer starter kit for corner lieutenants) move fast under Nas's command, but he's always having to hear his guys bullshitting about the last time the local drug task force stopped putting up with them and did a nasty raid. Last time it happened people got militantly anti-cop, somebody got killed, and the killer had to run to Texas.

    All this talk of guns has him thinking about a time he was caught by surprise by rival dealers, had to jet to the nearest stored weapon, and started shooting. A deep sense of place is being filled in with details from "memory"--it probably isn't really Nas's memory--in an unbroken and staggering set of lines full of tossed-off assonance and confident shifts in flow. He's using modern language, but the story he's telling here--a man runs in fear, then fights back with confidence--echoes back through human history. Then we get a dramatic shift:

    Heard a few chicks scream, my arm shook, couldn't look/ Gave another squeeze, heard it click, "yo, my shit is stuck"/ Try to cock it, it wouldn't shoot, now I'm in danger/ Finally pulled it back and saw 3 bullets caught up in the chamber/So now I'm jetting to the building lobby And it was filled with children probably couldn't see as high as I be/(So what you saying?) It's like the game ain't the same Got younger niggas pulling the triggers, bringing fame to their name/And claim some corners, crews without guns are goners/ In broad daylight, stickup kids: they run up on us/45's and gauges, Macs, in fact/ Same niggas will catch a back-to-back, snatching your cracks in black

    Again deep internal rhyme, 2-3 assonant syllables per line linking up with hard stresses on the end of lines and playing off of kinetic and changing stresses within lines.

    In the first two lines alone we get "chicks/shook/look/click/shit/stuck"--this is a guy who loves the sound of words. But back to the story: the gun is jammed (chamber/danger is what's called a near-rhyme, like many others in the verse, that relies on sound-alikeness to simulate rhyming to the ear. rap is full of this, and Nas is a master of its use) and Nas drops it and runs into the nearest housing project lobby.

    He finds the lobby full of kids--young drug dealers--'who probably couldn't see as high as I be' and laments that the whole hustling game has changed for the worse as he's aged. You have to carry a weapon now, and all the streets are more violent and running with blood, because people are trying to make their names on intimidation and fearless robberies of other dealers.

    It drops deep as it does in my breath I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death Beyond the walls of intelligence, life is defined I think of crime when I'm in a New York state of mind

    He takes a breath from his hectoring of the youth and takes a step back to remembers an old African proverb: sleep is the cousin of death, and internal ruminations will always be a dead-end. Life is defined in reality, beyond the walls of the mind, often in the act of crime--at least, that's the New York state of mind.

    All this, obviously, represents just the first verse. Even so, the shifting accents and durations of the line here should give you a sense of the possibility inherent in the form when it's put in the hands of a master: the rhythm is infinitely variable, sometimes it can be broken entirely as an exercise in tension, and it's as much a part of the content as the words themselves. The syntax he uses is firmly of his time and place, and yet it's accessible enough to be understood by us 20 years later, and probably 50 years from now too. His internal rhymes and assonance are humbling, and the fact that they're used in the service of such a meaningful story makes them doubly so.

    It's 2013. Nas isn't the rapper he was in 1994. Even so, I hope this examination of a verse gives you a sense of what's possible in the form at it's height. For other high-quality lyricists in the same school as Nas, I'd recommend Pharoahe Monch, early Jay-Z, Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest, and Raekwon & Ghostface Killah. Rae & Ghost take Nas's hard-to-understand knotiness to a whole other dimension by using deliberately obscure slang, but they're probably my favorite rappers ever--on some graduate-level shit, when you get there. Enjoy it.

    Edit--now i'm listening to illmatic and obviously I came upon "life's a bitch." if you want a verse to knock your socks off, check out AZ's opening guest verse on that track.

    [–]JonnyGoodfellow 60 points61 points

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    You broke down what so many people don't take in when they hear rap. They hear it at face (ear?) value and don't actually listen to undertones and meanings to the words, verses, and tracks. The depth obviously depends on the artist/track but, I appreciate you taking the time to explain this one.

    [–]ApathyJacks 16 points17 points

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    Excellent post. I love that album and you did a great job of explaining why

    [–]TheRealFJ 33 points34 points

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    Unreal. /r/bestof quality work, my friend. It's times like this I wish we had an emergency second upvote.

    [–]kingarrett007 824 points825 points

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    I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death.

    Talking about living in dangerous Queensbridge. Damn. Just such a real album that really paints a picture of the neighborhood for people who don't live there. One of my favorite albums of all time, without question.

    Edit: Name of his neighborhood

    [–]marcm6246 1073 points1074 points

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    I read your entire response as a rap in my head...

    [–]Dusk_v731 330 points331 points

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    Yeah I did the same and was like "the hell? Started out good but how the hell does the rest of this flow together?"

    [–]UselessWeasel 328 points329 points

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    BY him lay heavy Sleep, the cousin of Death,
    Flat on the ground, and still as any stone, A very corpse, save yielding forth a breath:
    Small keep took he, whom Fortune frownèd on,
    Or whom she lifted up into the throne
    Of high renown: but as a living death,
    So, dead live, of life he drew the breath.

    • Thomas Sackville, Earl of Dorset (1536–1608)

    Sleep as the brother of death is even more common, including Shakespeare.

    Edit: This is not the full poem. If you like it, it's called, "Sleep" and is another stanza longer.

    [–]leshake 238 points239 points

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    Earl Sackville was mad true to the rap game yo.

    [–]jag149 103 points104 points

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    I can't believe this asshole traveled back in time to bite Nas.

    [–]sensualdrywall 127 points128 points

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    Every time I listen to the world is yours, I'm surprised by how awesome it is.

    [–][deleted] 108 points109 points

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    full album. My favorite is Memory Lane, starts at 19:19

    [–]Pmonstah4 96 points97 points

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    Nasty Nas in your area, about to cause mass hysteria..

    [–]chroner 288 points289 points

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    In highschool I was really against rap, I thought it was dumb. One day my best friend goes "Hey man you gotta hear this album, it's rap but trust me" so being the type of person that gives things a chance (had listened to other rap and made my decision based on that) I said sure.

    He played Illmatic, and my god it was one of those moments. The type of moment you only have once, but almost relive everytime you hear it.

    That day I was so happy.

    [–]flames_25 22 points23 points

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    Illmatic got me into rap too. Actually it was Tony Hawk Underground. The World is Yours was on the soundtrack. I paused the game every time to switch the song.My friends were pissed.

    [–]Automaton_B 181 points182 points

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    Arguably the finest album in all of hip-hop, ever. A classic.

    [–]toriko 396 points397 points

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    Hard to narrow it to one but I'll post some I really love

    1. Notorious B.I.G. - Unbelievable
    2. Nas - N.Y. State of Mind
    3. GZA - Gold: My favorite story telling song
    4. Mobb Deep - Shook Ones Pt. II
    5. Jay Electronica - Exhibit C: One of the best songs of the last 5 years.
    6. Elzhi ft. Royce Da 5'9" - Motown 25: These guys can rap about taking a shit and make it sound smooth.
    7. Outkast - B.O.B.
    8. Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth - T.R.O.Y (They Reminisce Over You): My favorite hip hop song
    9. Big L - Put It On
    10. Mos Def - Mathematics

    EDIT: Made it into a list of 10 (In no particular order)

    [–]jazzy_fizz 10 points11 points

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    YES! I was hoping I would see Exhibit C on here. That song gives me chills

    [–]ccowles 7 points8 points

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    Completely agree on Exhibit C, never gets old no matter how many times I play it. Especially the, "Call me Jay ElecHannukah, Jay ElecYarmulke, Jay ElecRamadaan Muhammad Asalaamica RasoulAllah Supana Watallah through your monitor" line.

    [–]bandeapart 347 points348 points

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    Busdriver- Imaginary Places Fun song. The way he flows with the song is great.

    Notorious BIG - Suicidal Thoughts This song is one of my favorites. It's definitely not lyrically complicated, but I think it's beautiful.

    [–]ZombiesBeStylinOnMeh 33 points34 points

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    Suicidal Thoughts is probably my favorite song from biggie. It is such a dark song, especially coming from someone who rapped a lot about fame and fortune and doing it like a phone conversation makes it relate-able to a lot of people.

    [–]sososleepy 23 points24 points

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    upvoted for busdriver. ive been scrolling through hoping to see his name. that track is awesome but the album "fear of a black tangent" is where i became a fan. such a unique artist.

    [–]sandthefish 13 points14 points

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    kids, if you really wanna piss off your parents. buy real estate in imaginary places

    [–]freshislandcoconuts 103 points104 points

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    Souls of Mischief - 93' til Infinity

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mt3vZHDiM8

    [–]duhkooter 299 points300 points

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    [–]simeyman 98 points99 points

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    anything big l, he had the best flow ever

    [–]duhkooter 72 points73 points

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    its a shame that he doesnt get the "dead rapper hype" like biggie and tupac even though he is just as good.

    [–]YonderMTN 128 points129 points

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    [–]pwnslinger 14 points15 points

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    And Chemical Calisthenics!

    [–][deleted] 60 points61 points

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    Who wants to make these into a youtube/spotify playlist?

    [–]spotifyplayer 21 points22 points

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    I started one here

    It's collaborative, so please help out!

    [–][deleted] 233 points234 points

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    Forrest Whitiker by Brother Ali

    [–][deleted]

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    [deleted]

      [–][deleted] 62 points63 points

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      you may think that I'm depressed as can be

      but i look in the mirror and i see sexy ass me

      [–]svedla 145 points146 points

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      [–]nomis_5 89 points90 points

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      Boogie Down Productions (KRS-One) - My Philosophy

      [–]311_BRD 113 points114 points

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      Outkast - elevators (me & you)

      Andre 3000's verse that starts with "true i've got more fans than the average man but not enough loot to last me" is by far my favorite rap verse ever.

      [–]CptBaseballBatBoy 30 points31 points

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      ...to the end of the week I live by the beat like you live check to check If you don't move yo' foot then I don't eat, so we like neck to neck Yes we done come a long way like them Slim ass cigarettes From Virginia, this ain't gon stop so we just gonna continue...

      [–]TheeTrashcanMan 1019 points1020 points

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      Wu Tang Clan: C.R.E.A.M.

      Shit, that whole damn album is a masterpiece. Easily one of the best rap albums ever made.

      Edit: Added Link

      [–]5quidman 16 points17 points

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      'Electric relaxation' by A Tribe Called quest:

      "Let me hit it from the back, girl I won't catch a hernia Bust off on your couch, now you got Seaman's Furniture"

      [–]amosel1 344 points345 points

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      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzUS4D1fspU

      Jedi Mind Tricks - Uncommon Valor

      So many good allusions, I get chills every time

      [–]d_unks 70 points71 points

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      RA kills his verse, best all time.

      [–]plated_banana_armor 130 points131 points

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      Rjd2 - Final Frontier (w/ Blueprint)

      or

      Cunninlynguist - Lynguistics

      EDIT: Actually, I admit The Gates is lyrically superior to Lynguistics. Check it!

      [–]efeex 21 points22 points

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      I'm glad to see Lynguistics. I think its an amazing song.

      [–][deleted] 16 points17 points

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      Surprised I had to scroll down this far for lynguistics.

      [–]EdwardVonnegut 939 points940 points

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      Atmosphere - Yesterday

      Edit: Originally posted incorrect name

      [–]sensualdrywall 72 points73 points

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      I'd also recommend sunshine and the women with the tattooed hands.

      [–]Donald224 90 points91 points

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      This song had me in tears the first time I ever listened to it.

      [–]EdwardVonnegut 64 points65 points

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      It still gives me chills when I listen to it. Probably not Slug's most lyrically impressive, but those feels, man.

      [–]StickleyMan 518 points519 points

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      "Elvis was a hero to most,

      But he never meant shit to me. You see,

      Straight up racist that sucker was, simple and plain,

      Motherfuck him and John Wayne."

      Keep in mind this was released in 1989, when rap music was extremely new and very raw. It was an affront to "traditional" music and spoke to an entire generation that had been essentially ignored musically for years. Public Enemy came right out and basically insulted the two most revered and untouchable entertainers of the last fifty years. I still think they're some of the most powerful lyrics in hip-hop history.

      A more recent masterpiece, in my opinion, is Lose Yourself by Eminem.

      [–]really_dont_care 83 points84 points

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      I love black steel in the hour of chaos.

      "I got a letter from the government, the other day, I opened and read it, it said they was suckas"

      Also its an awesome prison break story.

      [–]Rafi89 37 points38 points

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      Lots of great P.E. out there. 'Welcome to the Terrordome' is another I'd recommend.

      [–][deleted] 83 points84 points

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      Cannibal Ox - Iron Galaxy

      Cannibal Ox is very underrated.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVeUQxi7960

      [–]not_panda_bear 14 points15 points

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      you were a still born baby, mamma didnt want you but you were still born!

      [–][deleted]

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      [deleted]

        [–]joeyjaboba 203 points204 points

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        "they get jealous when they see me on my mobile phone"

        [–]Almustafa 25 points26 points

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        "We ain't ready to see a black president"

        [–]av6344 21 points22 points

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        [–]radrico 16 points17 points

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        "We got money for wars, but cant feed the poor" has always been one of my favorite lines from Pac.

        [–]CommunistPenguin 20 points21 points

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        "Instead of a war on poverty, they got a war on drugs so the police can bother me" is very relevant today.

        [–]kbtran4 17 points18 points

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        Cop give a damn about a negro. Pull a trigga, kill a nigga, he's a hero

        [–]radd_it 75 points76 points

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        listr provided as a convenience, downvote to have it removed.

        [–]JAMmer124 17 points18 points

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        Logic seriously doesn't get enough love in the rap game. Phenomenal talent.

        [–]humundous 72 points73 points

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        All Word No Play by Sage Francis. Had been hearing it on mixtapes for a few months before I sat down with headphones to figure out what the hell the words were about. MIND BLOWN.

        [–]jag149 21 points22 points

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        Sage Francis is the closest thing rap has to a historian. His rhymes have so many references to other artists. I love "you aren't enough of an MC to be Jarobi's hype man".

        [–]hologramski 10 points11 points

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        Or

        As petty as it is Das EFX rocked that band aid ten years before Nelly did..

        First song of his I heard was Escape Artist. Ended up playing it on a loop for a few hours.

        [–]not_panda_bear 8 points9 points

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        sage is the man. everything he touches is gold. a healthy distrust is one of my favorite albums.

        [–]sakarteti 79 points80 points

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        [–]devilsdoormat 479 points480 points

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        Aesop Rock - No Regrets

        I think Aesop is one of THEE most talented rappers out there. Everything he says is beautiful. I'd pay money to sit in that brain for an afternoon.

        [–]mrmystery1 94 points95 points

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        100% agree No regrets and Daylight

        [–]Singhilarity 14 points15 points

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        9-5ers Anthem

        [–]BumScruples 12 points13 points

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        I love the little snippets of dialogue he creates with himself.

        E.g. in Shovel:

        I mean, absorbing attention's a must,

        You don't wanna be overlooked -

        -Yeah, but you don't wanna be looked over too much

        Love that lyric.

        [–]Skunkers 133 points134 points

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        Tech N9ne - Show Me A God

        I've listened to Tech's entire discography, and while he has a ton of impressive songs, this one really strikes a chord. He conveys so much anger, expressing what it's like to see everything your life meant crash in front of you, as if the way you raised was wrong. When all you really have is your mother and her way of life, and it seems like God wants to take both, it's like you want to challenge God himself.

        It's something I can relate to, so I see the song as really powerful. Other than that, "This Ring" is particularly impressive, perhaps even a masterpiece.

        [–]Neeks9 32 points33 points

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        You are correct. In my eyes Tech is the greatest rapper out there. The entire Strange Music camp is incredibly versatile and skilled.

        [–]HigherSocietyTDM 63 points64 points

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        surprised it took this long to find a tech song

        [–]whatthedilds 307 points308 points

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        fuck your ethnicity by kendrick http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-32vGd5oIM

        [–]wlesnia1 100 points101 points

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        Freddie Gibbs - Deep

        "All a nigga want is whips and chains

        prolly cause a nigga wasn't whipped with chains."

        [–]FugaYouDorphin 26 points27 points

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        Gangsta Gibbs is my favorite rapper right now. I can't wait for cocaine piñata.

        [–]digglez 71 points72 points

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        Sage Francis - Sea Lion

        [–]MrBillyLotion 382 points383 points

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        Notorious B.I.G. - The Ten Crack Commandments

        [–]JayEssArr 203 points204 points

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        Danny Brown "30" and XXX

        The opening and closing tracks off one of my favorite albums of all time. Both describe excessive drug use and the consequences thereof. They also discuss themes of social pressure, suicide, and maintaining one's image. I highly recommend this album, and these two tracks are classics.

        EDIT: Just wanted to specify that XXX opens the album and 30 closes it.

        [–]shmittymcshmittins 10 points11 points

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        Cool Ranch Doritos have never tasted so good.

        [–]Trilink26 7 points8 points

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        I love how his voice goes from crazy at the beggining of this album and slowly normalizes with each track then goes mental again with the last track

        [–]AccidentalNutTouch 8 points9 points

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        Haha, once again I meet you out of r/HHH.

        I fucking love XXX. Everyone says 30 is Bette but "And it's the downward spiral, got me suicidal, but too scared to do it so these pills'll be the rifle" is the dopest line he's spit.

        [–]USokhi 579 points580 points

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        "Dumb it Down" - Lupe Fiasco

        It is one of the most lyrically complex songs ever written. The entire thing is just metaphor after metaphor, yet it is not disjointed at all, it still retains a cohesiveness that makes it all the more impressive. You can spend forever analyzing these lyrics.

        Also, "Switch" - Lupe Fiasco

        Lupe takes us on a guided tour of all stylings of rap. His effortlessness in transitioning from one style to another, in terms of flow and lyricism, is what makes this track a lyrical masterpiece. Hard to think of many other rappers who could pull something like this off, it is one of his most impressive songs.

        Edit: grammar

        [–]DontPaniC562 71 points72 points

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        The Coolest and Hurts me Soul are lyrically best in my opinion.

        [–]cletusthedinglefairy 15 points16 points

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        I've been scrolling for some Lu. Streets on fire is a ridiculously complex song. That would probably be my vote.

        [–]Absentee23 28 points29 points

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        I can't belive I had to scroll this far to see Lupe.

        Kick Push is amazing.

        [–]fleur_delyk 22 points23 points

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        "Failure" has to take the prize for most lyrically complex, though it is, admittedly, not as coherent as "Dumb it Down."

        [–]UnimpressedAsshole 19 points20 points

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        "Go To Sleep"

        [–]jlet[🍰] 59 points60 points

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        2Pac - Life Goes On.

        [–]Augrills 254 points255 points

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        MF DOOM -- ?: When the beat changes and there's a few bars about Sub Roc, it makes the most powerful verse in DOOM's repertoire.

        MF DOOM -- Doomsday: Incredible off-beat wordplay. Quintessential MF DOOM.

        Crime Mob -- Circles: Most of the song is unoriginal and shitty, but Diamond's verse is incredible, however brief. There's about 20 seconds of that song that transcends. So much desperation in her voice. She's an amazing feature rapper.

        Kanye West ft. Rick Ross -- Devil in a New Dress: Kanye's really strong in this song, but Rick Ross is the one who shines. Even though it's "bullshit ice rap," no one understands excess as well as Rick Ross. He's classic.

        Shabazz Palaces -- The King's New Clothes Were Made by His Own Hands: Such innocence! No one can go from childlike to hard-as-fuck as quickly as Butterfly. If you've ever put effort into anything, this is a song you'll understand.

        KMD -- Suspended Animation: I believe SubRoc's part in this song is the reason we had Big L. Very strong. Zev Love X shines through with weirdness which would eventually evolve to MF DOOM level weirdness. It's song where you see that SubRoc was a great rapper, but DOOM was the brother with the right voice and style to make something different.

        Kanye West -- All Falls Down: This song is everything that people love about Kanye. It's a thoughtful pop song for anyone unsure of themselves.

        Joey Bada$$ -- Righteous Minds: This shows the type of music Joey Bada$$ raised himself on before he focused on the actual music. It's like a Will Smith/Big L moral child. In many ways, he is stuck in 1999, and you feel like he's going to evolve and be thoughtful in his career. Hopefully, it won't remain his masterpiece.

        Black Star -- Thieves in the Night: Talib and Mos Def at their finest. Even if I don't agree with them.

        [–][deleted] 13 points14 points

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        1999 as a whole is awesome.

        [–]CaptainMogan8008 21 points22 points

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        Aesop Rock - Merit

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndPJ1ag3Ob4

        Literally every time I listen to this song I hear something new. Pure genius

        [–]elhalconloco 496 points497 points

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        Eminem - Infinite

        The rhyme scheme is so complex and technical, blows me away every time

        [–]ramonycajones 174 points175 points

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        I've been really liking Renegade lately too - great rhyming and delivery by Em.

        [–]the_glitch 52 points53 points

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        This album as a whole needs more love

        [–]limosaurus 1444 points1445 points

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        Wonton soup- lil b

        [–]InTheCrosshairs 922 points923 points

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        Bitches suck my dick because I look like JK Rowling

        [–]curtismyers1 330 points331 points

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        TYBG

        [–]EliaTheGiraffe 45 points46 points

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        #BASED

        [–]METAL_AS_FUCK 463 points464 points

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        Old but relevant

        [–]TheMieberlake 357 points358 points

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        "Lil B stopped the Boston Bombers"

        -Obama

        [–]DirtyDaisy 245 points246 points

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        First I park my car

        [–]Childish_ 289 points290 points

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        then i fuck yo bitch swag

        [–]ChainedFactorial 190 points191 points

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        Eat that wonton soup, woop wet like wonton soup swag

        [–]ChainedFactorial 132 points133 points

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        DAMN SON, WHERE'D YOU FIND THIS?

        [–]Fuhdawin 78 points79 points

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        20 on my dick because I look like Miss America.

        [–]FugaYouDorphin 121 points122 points

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        TYBG

        [–]crustinXbeiber 111 points112 points

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        #RARE

        [–]Sleepipanda 279 points280 points

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        Oh Based God, of California, Swaggered be thine name. There is nothing that thou fears, because thine heart is made of diamonds. Please, give us our daily swag, our daily testaments, our daily you feel me?

        Based God, grant me the powers to command the trees, the ocean, the sun, the sky and the Miley Cyrus. Oh Based God, when thou transforms into Cyrus, or Tim McGraw, or Barbara Walters, grant me the wisdom to know the difference, and still witness thine divine godliness.

        Based God, lead us into temptation, and teach us to embrace all that was previously forbidden. There are no more rules Based God, for thou hast destroyed them all.

        Thank You Based God, for murdering Hip-Hop, and reanimating the corpse in thine divine likeness. Thank You Based God, for exposing the false idols, vampires and zombies that long to destroy us. Thank You Based God, for the power of thine holy Testaments. And finally Based God, Thank You for fucking my bitch.

        FuckBrooklyn. Amen.

        [–]Extravaganzar 70 points71 points

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        Another #RARE masterpiece, Ellen Degeneres

        [–]alexisnotonfire 24 points25 points

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        you can fuck my bitch based god.

        [–]ent_higherly_awesome 122 points123 points

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        Huge Atmosphere fan. A few of my favorites:

        The Waitress

        Became

        Fuck You Lucy

        [–]thegreattrun 21 points22 points

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        "The Best Day" helped me through some tough times not too long ago. Gotta love Slug.

        [–]classicesco 184 points185 points

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        Renegade - Jay-Z ft Eminem. I could listen to this song all day

        EDIT: jay-z had a very respectable verse. eminems was just better

        [–]Tylensus 579 points580 points

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        A good chunk of the Slim Shady and Marshall Mathers LP's.

        [–]ImNobodyFromNowhere 242 points243 points

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        Eminem can put together words into patterns more incredibly than any other person I've ever heard speak.

        *edit: there are too many examples to list.

        [–]attackmodeweeja 199 points200 points

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        I feel like in rap music the lyrics are only as good as the way they are delivered, just like a comedian might tell a joke, depending on the way it is delivered can entirely change the content and how it is received. Eminem at his best flows through his lyrics, he has a clear and distinct delivery. This is why I will never put lil wayne in a category as Biggie Smalls, eminem, Jayz, Nas or Tupac. Wayne is clever, but Its not just the lyrics that make eminem clever, its the way he says it. When he says

        "Extortion, snorting, supporting abortion Pathological liar, blowing shit out of proportion The looniest, zaniest, spontaneous, sporadic Impulsive thinker, compulsive drinker, addict Half animal, half man Dumping your dead body inside of a fucking trash can With more holes than an Afghan"

        nsfw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcQl8DwKwJU

        This is not easily quotable, but when Eminem runs through it flawlessly it makes perfect sense. The man is talented, and the slim shady lp has a sick combination of lyrical power and incredible flow.

        [–]ImNobodyFromNowhere 25 points26 points

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        You're absolutely right. He can put words together in a way nobody thought possible and make it sound so beautiful. He can even make up words that make perfect sense the first time you ever hear them.

        "When you're so good that you can't say it cause it aint even cool for you to sound cocky anymore."

        How can someone throw together irony, hypocriticism, and bad grammar, toss it atop some rhythm, and still manage to sound not only like you know what you're talking about, but that you're the best at it??

        *edit: a word

        [–]NotNolan 12 points13 points

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        Go to war with the Mormons, take a bath with the Catholics in holy water, no wonder they try to hold me under longer...

        Eminem is a lyrical genius.

        [–]discountphilly 15 points16 points

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        Eminem - Til' I Collapse

        Middle of the second verse. He even rhymes his yells. The "AH" sound, it sounds like its part of the beat.

        I got a list, here's the order of my list that it's in:
        It goes Reggie, Jay-Z, 2P"AH"c and Biggie
        Andre from OutKast, Jada, Kurupt, N"AH"s and then me
        But in this industry I'm the cause of a l"AH"t of envy
        So when I'm not put on this list, the shit does n"AH"t offend me
        That's why you see me walking 'round like nothing's b"AH"thering me
        Even though half you people got a fuckin' pr"AH"blem with me
        You hate it but you know respect you g"AH"t to give me
        The press's wet dream like Bobby and Whitney, Nate, hit me

        Then he does the same thing starting in the middle third verse with the "AA" sound, but more often (sped up if you think of it as a beat). You can actually see the pattern in the second one as it goes once in every line then twice every other line.

        My thoughts are sporadic, I "AA"ct like I'm an addict
        I r"AA"p like I'm addicted to sm"AA"ck like I'm Kim Mathers
        But I don't want to go forth and b"AA"ck in constant battles
        The f"AA"ct is I would rather sit b"AA"ck and bomb some rappers
        So this is like a full blown att"AA"ck I'm launching at 'em
        The tr"AA"ck is on some battling r"AA"ps who want some static?
        Cause I don't really think that the f"AA"ct that I'm Slim matters
        A pl"AA"que and platinum status is w"AA"ck if I'm not the baddest, so

        [–]ICallsEmAsISeesEm 193 points194 points

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        FACK

        [–]WhatThePenis 105 points106 points

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        Shove a gerbil in your ass through a tube...

        [–]CUNTFUCKINGHUGLOVER 141 points142 points

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        No, not Fuck. I said FACK.

        [–]DrPiranha 60 points61 points

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        F-A-C-K,F-A-C-K.

        [–]amad3000 7 points8 points

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        F A C K F A C K fack facking freak me!

        [–]mysaadlife 21 points22 points

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        Jay Electronica-Exhibit C This song shut down hip-hop for a summer. Also this subreddit needs to expand it's tastes a lot.

        [–][deleted]

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        [deleted]

          [–]BBA935 9 points10 points

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          De La Soul - Stakes Is High

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VW3gUu0Q8a4

          /threadclosed

          [–]onespursfan 60 points61 points

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          Warning by Biggie Smalls. Sickest flow I've ever heard.

          Listen for the line about slow singin and flower bringin.

          [–]Hamish909 7 points8 points

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          Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass 'okay, woke to a grocery list goes like this: duty and death anyone object come stand in the way you could be my little snake river canyon today'

          Outkast - Aquemini A true masterpiece 'Twice upon a time there was a boy who died twice and lived happily ever after but that's another chapter live from home of the brave with dirty dollars & beauty parlors & baby bottles & bowling ball Impalas'

          Im not a player - Big Punisher

          GZA feat Killah Priest - Basic instructions before leavin' Earth

          Outkast Feat Slick Rick - Da art of storytellin' part one The slick rick addition is completely necessary, the mans tone and flow is extremely underappreciated.

          Jedi Mind Tricks (Vinnie Paz + Stoupe) - "Saviorself" feat. Killah Priest Great track from JMT, love the historical feel.

          Necro - Who's Ya daddy/Sexorcity It's necro, it's disgusting but the flow is mental.

          Funkdoobiest - Rock On - A favourite of mine.

          I really can't stop, I could go on forever. Nice to see some real rap appreciation on reddit

          [–]LumpyTurd 1313 points1314 points

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          Eminem - Stan

          [–]Piratiko 1650 points1651 points

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          To be honest, Lose Yourself was fucking impressive lyrically. Just look at all the rhymes contained within each line and the consistency of the first verse:

          His palms(A) are sweaty(B)

          Knees(C) weak(C), arms(A) are heavy(B)

          There's vomit(D) on his(D) sweater already(B), mom's(D?) spaghetti(B)

          He's nervous(E), but on the surface(E) he looks calm(D) and ready(B) to drop bombs(F)

          but he keeps on(F) forgetting(B) what he wrote down(G) the whole crowd(G) goes so loud(G)

          He opens his mouth(G) but the words won't come out(G)

          He's choking now(G), everybody's joking now(G)

          The clock's run out(H), time's up, over, blough(H)!

          (even this last line, while it doesn't completely rhyme, has a great flow to it. It almost feels like it rhymes.)

          IMO one of the better rap verses I've ever seen.

          [–]Lokismoke 1340 points1341 points

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          His ability to rhyme is impressive. I watched an interview in which he stated that he hates when he hears that nothing rhymes with orange. Then went on to say he'd beat the interviewer with a "four-inch orange door-hinge after eating porridge with his friend George."

          [–]Mantschgo 199 points200 points

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          [–]DieselWeasel92 260 points261 points

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          By any chance have you seen this video? He really is impressive. Nearly every word in that song rhymes. It's insane.

          [–]Piratiko 213 points214 points

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          Yep.

          Never really dawned on me how great that verse is until that dude broke it down.

          It's easy to miss when every thread about the song immediately devolves into "LOL SPAGHETTI XD"

          [–]qasman 94 points95 points

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          That first verse on Till I Collapse.

          Jesus Christ.

          [–][deleted] 183 points184 points

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          This is great, but I think you missed one (The "Oh" sound).

          but he keeps on(F) forgetting(B) what he wrote(X) down(G) the whole(X) crowd(G) goes(X) so loud(G)

          He opens(X) his mouth(G) but the words won't(X) come out(G)

          He's choking(X) now(G), everybody's joking(X) now(G)

          The clock's run out(H), time's up, over(X), blough(H)!