What me worry? Nah buddy I’ve lost before, so what
You don’t care, I’m dirt motherf***er, I can’t be crushed
EL-P (Run the Jewels) - Talk to Me
Every time Run the Jewels drops a new album, hip hop heads sit up and listen. RTJ3 continues to bring hot fire to the rap world, and so far my favorite track on the album is this one right here. I’ve never given EL-P as much credit as he deserves as a rapper, but his verse really shows off the skills he brings to the table. Snide and biting, with a self-deprecating edge, this line kills me every time I hear it.
You bastards overlooking street art
Better yet, street smarts but you keep us off the charts
So motherf*** your numbers and your statisticians
F*** y’all know about true competition?
That’s like a AL pitcher on deck talking about he hittin’
The only one who’s hitting are the ones that’s currently spittin’
Phife Dawg (A Tribe Called Quest) - We the People
Malik Izaak Taylor aka Phife Dawg (RIP) was one of the most gifted lyricists to ever pick up a mic. It’s hard to imagine A Tribe Called Quest without him, and thanks to this killer posthumous verse we don’t have to yet. Maybe it’s this charged political moment, but Tribe hasn’t felt this vital in a decade.
You can either sink, swim or be the captain
Get the last word, I’mma get the last laugh in
People say “Jidenna why you dressin’ so classic”
I don’t want my best dressed day in a casket
Jidenna - Long Live the Chief
Jidenna’s promised debut album never dropped this Fall, but between this song and Chief Don’t Run, he had an amazing year anyways. Meanwhile, his impressive performance on Netflix’s Luke Cage should’ve put him on everyone’s radar.
Shapes falling out of the fringe
All heart, though we would’ve made cowardly kings
They will chop you down just to count your rings
Just to count your rings
Just to count your rings
Aesop Rock - Rings
The king of college-level-vocab-rap returned in 2016 with The Impossible Kid, a tremendous album full of great one-liners and oddly poetic moments. But my favorite remains this track’s chorus, a simple repeated line that seems to hit harder every time he says it.
Come with that headbanger boogie for dat ass
Villain give a bully ten noogies for the cash
Or dash, dip slow on a marathon
Or maybe he gon’ sing Calypso like Farrakhan
Or Frank Sinatra, mon...
DOOM (The Avalanches) - Frankie Sinatra
No DOOM album this year, but the man in the mask wasn’t exactly hidden, either. It was an amazing surprise when The Avalanches dropped their new album this summer, and an even better surprise when I heard this instant-classic verse that could’ve only ever come from The Villain Himself. Also worth hearing for Danny Brown’s typically unhinged and exuberant flow.
So how about it TAYters? Favorite rap lyrics from 2016? Favorite any lyrics from 2016? Poems? Limericks? Share in the comments.