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Top 100 Rap Songs of 2008


40. Q-Tip feat. Norah Jones - "Life Is Better"

© Universal Motown
Norah Jones continues her streak of brilliant hip-hop collaborations ("Soon A New Day" with Talib Kweli and "Take Off Your Cool" with Andre 3000?) with this silky smooth funk-jazz banger.

39. Saigon - "Believe It" (feat. Red 5)

© Henry Adaso
Saigon leaked this street anthem on his way out of Atlantic Records. This soulful drop finds Sai-Giddy addressing his ordeal at the label while simultaneously speaking to the struggle of America's urban youth. [Audio]

38. Joell Ortiz - "Memories"

Former Dr. Dre signee Joel Ortiz recalls his fondest hip-hop memories over Salaam Remi's sample-heavy production. [Video]

37. Joe Budden - "Who"

On this 15-minute tirade (released in 3 separate installments), Joe Budden brilliantly dissects hip-hop's ups and downs with the stark honesty of an artist who's seen both ends of the spectra.

36. Ludacris - "Undisputed"

&copy DTP / Def Jam
On this Don Cannon-tracked heater, Luda bristles with brutish bark: "I been scouring the earth / making my fans catch the Holy Ghost at my shows like your grandma at church." [Video]

35. Large Professor - "The Hardest" (Feat. AZ & Styles P)

Two of the hardest MCs ever + One of hip-hop's greatest sound architects = 4 minutes of bliss.

34. The Game - "Letter to the King" (Feat. Nas)

The Game - LAX
© Geffen
"Letter to the King" is the most compelling track on Game's L.A.X. Game pays homage to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other leaders of the Civil Rights movement, with Nas riding shotgun.

33. Pacific Division - "Taste"

Set to jubilant keys and pillowey synths, Pac Div's "Taste" is an intoxicating neck-snapper. [Video]

32. B.O.B. - "Generation Lost"

Note to new rappers: When all else fails, try a song about zombies.

31. The Knux - "Cappuccino" (Remix)

While Krispy and Al Millio may look like Kid-N-Play, they actually sound like a cross between Hieroglyphics and OutKast. The OG version of "Cappuccino" is poignant, but this boom-bap remix makes the latter comparison a bit more prominent.
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