You know what’s cool about rap music? Everything. Everything is cool about it. It’s the sounds of the streets made from the hearts of the underclass! It’s all so inspiring so I present to you the best 20 songs of 2012.
Sidenote: There’s nothing cool at all about lists. So it goes… #KurtVonnegut
#20 Chief Keef with Lil Reese “I Don’t Like”
Keef is the 2012 Soulja Boy with better beats and a lot of felonies so I’m not going to say anything ill of him, good luck with life!
#19 El-P with Killer Mike, Despot “Tougher Colder Killer”
I don’t think there’s a meaner moment in hip-hop this year then when Killer Mike says, “You’re daddy should have left home like millions of other dads did.” So mean Killer Mike.
#18 Gucci Mane “Trap God Intro”
Gucci vs Gotye, I’ve been waiting for this all my life.
#17 A$AP Ferg “Persian Wine”
It’s rare to listen to a song that makes you feel high but very good job on this one. Plus, I like Ferg more than Rocky at this point. I know you’re concerned but we’ll get through this together.
#16 Smoke DZA “New Jack”
If you put an ECW wrestler in your video, you’re making someone’s end of year’s list. Sorry that it was mines.
#15 LEP Bogus Boys “Showtime”
An “ad lib” is that quiet tag a rapper will put the end of lyric, like Gucci Mane says “BURRRR!” (he’s icey) or Master P says “Uhhhhhh!” but here in the second verse, Moonie says “Money” at the end of every single lyric. I feel like we’ve finally reached post-modern ad lib territory which I’ve been waiting YEARS for.
#15 Kanye West with Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz “Mercy”
“Swerve” jokes will never get old when you are drunk and walking on a crowded sidewalk.
#14 Rick Ross with Drake, French Montana “Stay Schemin”
When the best Ross line is him stopping Drake’s verse to repeat it, “Bitch you wasn’t with me shooting in the gym!” it reminds us that love is all around. Also, this may have come out last December but it’s on a mixtape from January so if you’re that much of a stickler for rules move to Germany.
#13 Young Giftz with Tree “Nino”
My favorite chorus of the year.
#12 Danny Brown “Grown Up”
I don’t like nostalgia and this song drips with it and while Danny usually goes very dark (this is a great example and a great song) this song proves he’s versatile; no screaming, no drugs, just regular raps for kids and Scion drivers.
#11 Tyga with Nicki Minaj “Muthafucka Up”
I love cursing but do they have to put it in the title? Well, I guess so…it’s there.
#10 Killer Mike with Big Bun, T.I. “Big Beast”
It’s a great song with a meandering video but if there’s cannibal strippers it can’t be that meandering.
#9 Earl Sweatshirt “Chum”
Introspective rap sounds hallow unless you started off your career with something completely different.
#8 Future “Turn on the Lights”
Usually rappers are wanting to turn OFF the lights so I like the slight difference.
#7 Gunplay “Bible on the Dash”
A. Best rapper name of the year B. Top 3 song title of the year. C. Top robbery video of the year. D. Top Fight With 50 Cent’s Entourage Video of the year. Just a great year for Gunplay!
#6 Nas “The Don”
Does anyone know if hip-hop was created in New York? Has this ever been addressed by rappers from New York? I hope so, they seem to have so little pride up there.
#5 Schoolboy Q “There He Go”
I want to be friends with Schoolboy Q. Like, I feel like we really could be good friends.
#4 Action Bronson & RiFF RaFF “Bird on a Wire”
The best beat of the year and Action has so many great one-liners, obviously the best being: Tailor me a leather suit, on some Jodeci shit. I’ve always
wanted needed a leather suit.
#3 Meek Mill “Dreamchasers 2 Intro”
Too many great Meek Mill songs (I know you Millacs are foaming at the mouth lol) but if you’re going to start your song with an insane Tyson speech, rap about the Illuminati, AND use the phrase “go bonkers with a 100 racks” then you are the best Meek song of the year.
#2 French Montana with Rick Ross, Drake, and Lil Wayne “Pop That”
This song wraps up my feelings about rap perfectly. Morally, I’m opposed to everything they talk about this song; the sexism, misogyny, degradation, rampant capitalism BUT I CAN’T STOP VIOLENTLY NODDING MY HEAD SO I WILL PUT IT ON REPEAT FOR DAYZ AT A TIME. And Drizzy’s verse is solid.
#1 Kendrick Lamar with Gunplay “Cartoon & Cereal”
Weird to a pick a song that didn’t make the most critically lauded rap album in two years but here we are. I’m past the point in my life trying to figure out why I prefer one song to another, “It’s lyrical! It’s deep!” It doesn’t really matter. Different songs create a certain feeling of euphoria but I can still tell the ones where the euphoria comes from a place of “Hmmm, it took a lot of effort and thought to put together that lyric/verse/chorus/concept” and others where it’s just a hot beat (See #2).