2016 was a fantastic year musically. We got great contributions from all genres this year, but especially from Hip-Hop. This year we got amazing verses from newcomers, the biggest names in the game, and even a monster verse from a Legend. So I took it upon myself to rank 2016’s best.
25. Summer Sixteen (Second Verse) – Drake
“All summer, all summer sixteen” Drake not only created the catchphrase of the summer in January, but he set a tone for the rest of the year. His first verse was solid in which he once again addressed the Meek Mill beef and even going into further detail of the actual night, but it was the second verse that takes the crown. Beginning with his Toronto naysayers, specifically Tory Lanez, Drake takes shots at everyone. He comes directly at Jay-Z and even sends a playful one to Ye’, and to top it off he ends the verse with a Khaled cosign.
Quotable Lines: “I’m that n*gga, what’s I’m saying, getting things done ’round here/ How you let me run it down here, I’m not even from around here.”
24. Key To The Streets (Two Chainz verse) – YRN Lucci ft ( 2 Chainz , Lil Wayne, and Quavo)
2016 was a strong year for Two Chainz. Along with dropping two fire mixtapes, he gave out a couple equally fire guest verses, and “Key To The Streets” is one of them. He took one of the hottest songs in the country and absolutely bodied it. Placing his verse at the beginning of the song, he gave delightful first impression.
Quotable Lines: ” I got the key to Wraithe, inside look like outer space/ I got a meal with no plates, I take myself on dates.”
23. Not A Regular Person – A Boogie
A Boogie is the hottest new rapper out of New York and listening to this song it’s easy to see why. With no true chorus , A Boogie rips through the entire three minutes with what might be bar for bar his best work. He showcases his fantastic storytelling abilities by detailing about all the things he’s seen and experienced. From the street life he lived to the death of one of his bros to the foreign whips he now cops, A Boogie has seen too much to be regular, further giving proof for why he’s in the position he’s in.
Quotable Lines: “Way too much blood for a napkin , Won’t nobody tell you what happened/I’m good when you see me in traffic,Automatic in the Benz 4matic / In the S550 I’m speeding.”
22. Monta ( Lil Yachty Verse) – Post Malone ft Lil Yachty
Lil Yachty had meteoric 2016 and he did it with the help of his smash guest verses. Every time Yachty gets on a track with a big name, he doesn’t play around and “Monte” is prime example. On the track dedicated to Pacers guard Monta Ellis, Yachty shows some clever lyrical ability by mixing clever basketball references with his rap-singsong style. He stole the show on Post Malone’s mixtape, providing what might’ve been the strongest verse on it, and that earns him one of the years’ best.
Quotable Lines: “Who the f*ck say the Lil Boat wasn’t balling, I’m balling like Spalding you know this sh*t/ I won’t sign no contract ’til my contract built, like a n*gga who just went pro and sh*t/ I’m first round pick you can check my diamonds, they shining they big as a toe and shit.”
21. Litty (Tory Lanez Verse)- Meek Mill ft. Tory Lanez
Meek Mill had a solid come back with DC4. He snapped on a lot of the songs and all his guest features were fire too. Of all the standout features though, Tory Lanez shone the brightest on “Litty.” Lanez handled chorus duties and added in a monster second verse. Throughout the verse details how hectic or lit his life has become including women lying about sleeping with him and a few shots at his haters that constantly talk down on him. Definetely one of Lanez’s best of the year, proving he can go bar to bar with anyone.
Quotable Lines: ” N*ggas talking bout my hair line, I laugh about it, I be feelin’ them/ See we both be making M’s, they be making memes, I be making millions”
20. No More Parties (Kendrick’s Verse) – Kanye West ft Kendrick Lamar
Kanye kicked off the new year in a way on he could. He would close out 2015 by dropping “Facts” on New Years Eve, a track that he took aim at Nike and give his two cents on a variety of topics, including Bill Cosby. The track that set off the new year for Kanye though was “No More Parties In LA” featuring Kendrick Lamar, and Lamar snapped. As he tells the story of an old flame he flew out to LA, Kendrick gets quite comical professing about all the things he would tell her just to be able to sleep with her. We get a different Kendrick than the conscientious one we’re used to, but it was nice to see a less serious Kendrick still kill a track.
Quotable Lines: “Make a n*gga say big words and act lyrical, make me get spiritual/ Make me believe in miracles, Buddhist monks and Captain Crunch cereal/ Lord have mercy, thou will not hurt me.”
19. No Heart – 21 Savage
You’d be hard pressed to find rappers who have had a more successful singular year than 21 savage had with 2016, and he owes it to tracks like “No Heart.” ” Young Savage why you trapping so hard” is the line everybody screams out whenever the song is played, but it’s the first verse that shows 21’s rapping talent. This verse is as savage as it gets as 21 raps about his affinity for guns and his lack of restraint when it comes to using them, especially for those with twitter fingers. The lyrics are so popular they’ve even generated a viral twitter meme. 21 owned 2016, and rappers everywhere need to be on lookout for what he’s got planned for 2017.
Quotable lines: “You was with your friends playing Nintendo, I was playing around with that fire/ Seventh grade I got caught with a pistol, sent me to Panthersville/ Eighth grade started playing football, then I was like f*ck the field/ Ninth grade I was knocking n*ggas out , n*gga like Holyfield”
18. Big Amount( Drake verse) – 2 Chainz ft. Drake
Whenever Drake and 2 Chainz link, it’s always some fire, and “Big Amount” was no different. Drake began with a shoutout to Chainz before he rips his verses. Drizzy talked his shit all over the verse, proclaiming not only that he is the biggest rapper out, but that he is and he’s not even a full-time rapper. People don’t realize that Drake got on a trap beat and rapped about being more of a pop artist than a rapper, and still killed the track. You gotta’ respect that genius. He made sure to throw in a Michael Jackson reference and even gave a shout-out to Bankroll.
Quotable Lines: “Got the Billboard melodies, rap is something I do on the side/ crossed over to the other side, and I didn’t even have to die”
17. Don’t Ever Play Yourself ( Fabolous Verse) – DJ Khaled ft. Jadakiss, Fabolous , Fat Joe, Busta Rhymes, and Kent Jones
Punchlines, punchlines, punchlines. That is Fabolous’s specialty and he brought a boatload of them to one of the most slept on songs of the year in “Don’t Ever Play Yourself.” This song featured five fire verses and Fabolous delivered arguably the best one. Fab lets it be known in the beginning he ain’t never played himself or switched up and that’s why he’s as successful as he is. He destroys the rest of his 16 with bars about watches, his baddies, and even throws in a clever Odell reference, further cementing why he is The Punchline King.
Quotable Lines: “See I’m showing the Piguet off, gave the Rollie a day off/ Still got that work, I don’t know about no layoffs/ Team still balling so I guess we in the playoffs/ Team full of baddies, all my b*tches in a slayoff”
16. Good Drank ( Gucci Mane’s verse) – 2 Chainz ft. Gucci Mane and Quavo
Gucci Mane might’ve been 2016’s Man Of The Year. He was finally released from jail, and the Gucci that came out was completely different one from the one that came in. Along with dropping probably at least 50 pounds, Gucci also dropped three albums and handed out multiple fire guest verses, best of which is “Good Drank.” The Mike Dean produced beat is one that you usually wouldn’t find Gucci on but that didn’t stop him from floating all over it. He brags about the quick checks that immediately followed his release along with a few playful shots at a certain Golden State Warrior.
Quotable lines: “Three mil in a month, but I just did three years on a bunk/Oh you in a slump, I’m headed to Oakland like Kevin Da Runt/ What is your point, Stroll with the Steph, f*ck Kevin Durant”
15. Mixtape ( Lil Yachty’s verse) – Chance The Rapper ft. Young Thug and Lil Yachty
“Mixtape” was the sleeper song on Chance 3. On a song where we got fire verses from all three artist, it was the newcomer of the group, Lil Yachty, that came the hardest. I personally think this is the hardest Yachty verse ever, and there’s good reason. He spit about a variety of topics including losing his brother to the system, dropping out, and the whispers of him being a one hit wonder. If you still have doubts about Lil Yachty’s rapping ability, give this song a play, and I’m sure it’ll change your opinion at least slightly.
Quotable lines:”F*ck them reviews that they put in the paper, did what I want,didn’t care about a hater/ Delivered my tape to the world as a caterer/ Oh, they fuck with me cause I’m different, new sound, new appearance”
14. Black Beatles (Swae Lee’s verse) – Rae Sremmurd ft. Gucci Mane
“Black Beatles” might be the song of the year and even though the mannequin challenge had a lot to do with it, that’s not the only reason. Swae Lee has a penchant for catchy hooks which is why he handles most of them for Rae Sremmurd, but his opening verse of the song was killer too. He kept people into the song after the chorus by floating seamlessly between singing and rapping , and he even made sure to pay homage to the actual Beatles.
Quotable lines: I’m a f*cking Black Beatle, cream seats in the Regal/ Rocking John Lennon lenses, like to see em spread eagle/ Took a bitch to the club and let her party on the table, screaming everybody’s famous”
13. Big Amount (2 Chainz’s Verse)
I wasn’t that big of 2 Chainz fan… until I heard his verse on “Big Amount.” Outrapping Drake is no easy task, but Chainz did that clearly on this one. The wordplay was crazy, whether he was talking about women or Waffle House. He kept each line tight and intricate, fitting in wordy phrases in small breaths in ways I didn’t think 2 Chainz could.
Quotable Lines: ” I bought the dress that she in/ Red bottoms in his and hers, got a Rollie in his and hers/Got a car in his and hers, walk in the zoo and say, “Pick a fur””
12. Weston Road Flows – Drake
Drake did this one for his n*gga Renny. Drake choosing to go with no hook on this one, and opting for straight bars instead,”Weston Road Flows” had me thinking of 2011 Drake. The song dedicated to the the street he grew up saw Drake once again get reminiscent. He dropped bars about his pre-fame life, but also made sure to let to address the current state of rap. Along with bragging about how much better his sales numbers are, he even saved a few bars for Canadian rival, Tory Lanez. Definitely one of Drake’s strongest of 2016.
Quotable Lines: “Weston Road flows, my confidence level getting settled/ Don’t get hyped for the moment then start to backpedal/ Don’t let your newfound fame fool you or cloud up your judgement To talk loosely/ I really do this”
11. Don’t Ever Play Yourself ( Kent Jones verse) – DJ Khaled ft. Jadakiss, Fabolous , Fat Joe, Busta Rhymes, and Kent Jones
I know earlier I said Fab arguably had the best verse on this track, but Kent Jones was the reason I said arguably. Being the least known name on this feature heavy track just gave Jones all the more reason to go here, and he rips this verse. He dispels all talks about him being only a pop artist with his sick uses of metaphors, punchlines, and wordplay. If you haven’t heard of Kent Jones yet, this verse will be a strong introduction. DJ Khaled knew what he was doing by letting Jones close out the song.
10. Bad and Boujie ( Offset’s verse) – Migos ft. Lil Uzi Vert
Bad and Boujie is undeniably one of the biggest hits of the year, and Offset is the reason why. He handles chrous duties along with providing a monster first verse. The adlib filled verse finds Offset speaking on a variety of topics, from taking dudes’ girls to appearing courtside with ’em, and he even barks during the song in a way that isn’t corny. He even creates arguably the catchphrase of the year ” Dat Way!” and even gives a shoutout to Gwinnett. Offset gets all the credit on this one.
Quotable Lines: “So my money makin’ my back ache/ You n*ggas got a low acc rate / We from the Nawf, yeah dat way / Fat cookie blunt in the ash tray / Two b*tches, just national smash day ”
9. Everybody Dies – J. Cole
J. Cole had a very quiet 2016, but when he finally returned he did so with a bang. He dropped two songs about a week before his surprise album dropped and he took shots at everybody. The first track, “False Prophets,” was believed to be directed at Kanye, but it was the second track, “Everybody Dies,” which was alot more direct. Cole sent shots to all these new 2016 rappers, namely Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Yachty, and his message was clear. Y’all not real rappers and y’all end is coming soon.
Quotable Lines: “The would-you-take-a-break-please rappers, bunch of words and ain’t sayin’ shit, I hate these rappers/ Especially the amateur eight week rappers Lil whatever. just another short bus rapper/ Fake drug dealers turn tour bus trappers, Napoleon complex, you this tall rappers / Get exposed standing next to 6’4″ rappers”
8. Pick Up the Phone ( Quavo’s verse) – Travis Scoot & Young Thug ft. Quavo
What a year for Quavo. He went from being the just another member of the Migos to becoming a damn near smash solo artist. Quavo started his solo journey last year, but in 2016 it blew up and his smash verse on “Pick Up the Phone” is a big reason why. Quavo’s ability to seamlessly switch between rapping and harmonzing is on display here. He asks the drugs for mercy on his life and even apologizes to his girl. Quavo’s verse is so damn good that one of the lines became the name for Travis Scott’s album. That says it all.
Quotable Lines: “She in love with the pipe, I draped her up in ice, I pour my four on ice/ Birds in the trap sing Brian McKnight, percocet and codeine please don’t take my life”
7. Telephone Calls (Tyler, The Creator) – A$AP Mob ft. Tyler, the Creator
Tyler snapped. On this one Tyler, The Creator was talking that straight cash the whole way through. He made his disdain for high fashion brands known, implying he’s fresher than everybody in his typical vans and shorts attire. He bragged about his McClaren and the tennis court in his crib. Tyler, Creator got on the track with two of Hip-Hop’s freshest, and out rapped them both at what they rap about best. Tyler reminded everyone in case someone forgot that he still got it.
Quotable Lines: “Shirt is striped, my shorts are short , my Vans are Vans cause Tyler does not f*ck with Giuseppe/ F*ck the Gucci, f*ck the Raf and fuck the swag and all that other shit they wearing / F*ck the Rolls and f*ck the Rari ,f*ck the Lambo, Tyler only ride McLaren”
6. Ultralight Beam (Chance, The Rapper’s verse) – Kanye West ft. Chance, The Rapper
At one point, I thought there was no way in hell nobody would have a better verse than Chance did on “Ultralight Beam,” but then I realized it was only February. Regardless it still speaks volumes that ten months later only five other verses were above this one. This was the verse that exposed the whole world to Chance and for good reason. Chance saw what he had in Sunday Candy, and he ran with it for the rest of 2016. His brand of Gospel rap has taken off and Ultralight Beam is at the forefront of it. He used this verse to not only praise God, but to literally will himself to a Grammy nomination. Now ten months later, Chance has his grammy nomination and is undeniably one of the hottest and brightest rappers out, and he owes a whole lot of it to this verse.
Quotable Lines: “I made Sunday Candy, I’m never going to hell, I met Kanye West, I’m never going to fail/ He said let’s do a good ass job with Chance three, I hear you gotta sell it to snatch the Grammy/ Let’s make it so free and the bars so hard ,that there ain’t one gosh darn part you can’t tweet ”
5. Holy Key ( Kendrick’s verse ) – DJ Khaled ft. Kendrick Lamar and Big Sean
DJ Khaled had fire verses and songs all over his all album, but none more so than “Holy Key.” “Holy Key” saw Big Sean and Kendrick go head to head once again, and if you remember “Control” , you knew something serious was coming. Once again Kendrick snapped, reverting back to his conscious rap this track was made for Kendrick. Kendrick reflects on this crooked world and all that’s been going on it,from the cop killings to the false idols people worship nowadays, pretty much concluding only the Holy One can save it at this point.
Quotable Lines: ” I don’t wear crosses no more, Yeshua’s coming back,I ain’t scared of losses no more, I see life in that/ I don’t resonate with the concept of love and hate cause your perspective is less effective and rather fake/ The universe and the heavens work in my DNA , Kendrick said “F*ck Mother Earth,” that’s PSA ”
4. No More Parties In LA ( Kanye West’s verse) – Kanye West ft. Kendrick Lamar
It’s a very rare occasion when Kendrick get outrapped by somebody, but that’s just what Kanye did on “No More Parties.” This is Kanye at his finest, giving us flashbacks of the “Late Registration” and “Graduation.” Kanye was fed up, and he unleashed all his frustrations on this track. He hates what fame has done to his life, he hates what money has done to life, and he hates what it’s done to those around him the most. He’s sick and tired of the LA life, and on “No More Parties” he holds nothing back.
Quotable Lines: “I done got Lewinsky and paid secretaries/ For all my niggas, with babies by bitches/ That use they, kids as meal tickets/ Not knowing the disconnect from the father, the next generation will be the real victims/ But you can’t fault ’em really”
3. Solo (Reprise) (Andre 3000 verse) – Frank Ocean
It seems like the only time an Andre 3000 verse pops up is when Frank Ocean drops. Well on Ocean’s latest, Andre 3000 delivered once again and this time it only took him slightly over a minute. “Solo” finds Three Stacks questioning everything, from himself and his stature in rap, to these fake women, to rappers nowadays who don’t even write their own lyrics. The the culmination of all these things have him feeling so low, masterful wordplay and a masterful verse by the legend.
Quotable lines: “So low that no more high horses, so hard to wear Polo/ When I do, I cut the pony off, now there’s a hole that once was a logo, how fitting/ So low that I can give a f*ck about what is trending”
2. Holy Key (Big Sean’s verse) – DJ Khaled ft. Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, and Betty White
Like I said under Kendrick’s verse, when him and Big Sean connect, they bring out the best in each other . Last time they met on “Control” Kendrick and his name dropping were able to secure him the W, but the second time around Big Sean made sure he came out on top. “Holy Key” finds an impassioned Big Sean getting more conscious than ever before. You hear the tone in his voice change as he starts rapping about the Police Brutality and even ends his verse with a threat. Kill me, and the holy me you’ll have to deal with will be a lot worse.
Quotable Lyrics: “Father help us, police doing target practice with real bodies/ Mommas in the streets, crying, standing over a still body/ N*ggas over stressing, we under investigation, every day off to the races, can’t f*ck with you if you racist/ Beat your ass until you purple, they can’t even tell what your race is”
1. 4PM In Calabasas – Drake
I once heard a rapper’s first post-album release is the true definition of where they are. Well if that’s the case, Drake is in an excellent space. After “Views” dropped a lot of people were talking down on it, one person’s comments in particular (Joe Budden) must’ve sent him over the edge, and alas we get “4PM in Calabasas.” If there was a question if Drake still had bars, he nipped them al in the bud. He sent shots back to Joe Budden and even dedicated a couple sneaky bars to Diddy incorporating a few of his old lyrics just so everybody knew it was toward him. Drake made sure to add the Drake touch too by singing the final bar of the verse. Drake said at this point his revenge is warranted, and 4PM is just the first taste of it.
Quotable Lines: “Costa Careyes, I got her kidnapped/ She ain’t sorry and I ain’t sorry, it’s too late for sorry/ Green, White, and Red on my body cause I’m dipped in Ferrari/ All she wanna do is get high and listen to PARTY”