"The Truth" slams into hip-hop perfection with its infectious beat and catchy hook. Freeway's gasoline flow alone will keep your rewind button fully employed. [Video]
Kid Cudi crafts a trippy psych-jam for the lonely stoner who wishes to "free his mind at night."
This giddy lyrical back-and-forth is a good enough reason to pick up eLZhi's The Preface. El and fellow Motor City MC Royce engage in a fierce rhyming contest over Black Milk's sample-heavy concoction. "Motown 25" is 4 minutes of non-stop multi-syllabic rhyme schemes.
Dwayne Carter dons his overalls and proceeds to stitch his ailing patients one after the other. Wayne devotes each verse to a specific element of hip-hop, doling out countless quotables along the way. Easily the year's best concept rap song.
Jay Electronica's brooding piano on "Queens Get The Money" is a perfect match for Esco's stream-of-consciousness rhyming on this dashing intro to the Queens rapper's Untitled album.
2. Jay Electronica - "Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge)"
Jay Electronica is no ordinary rapper. And "Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge)" is no ordinary rap song. Jay flips the theme music from Eternal Sunshine into a gorgeous hip-hop gem. Powerfully plumbed with acoustic guitar, though the production is lo-fi. Its simplicity only accentuates the sound of Jay’s heart breaking. No hip-hop song in recent memory captured so perfectly the sentiment of despair and the possibility of hope. [Audio]
"Royal Flush" is the perfect rap song -- clever, fun, and memorable. Interestingly enough, it's Dre who registers the longest verse on this Big Boi gem. No one's complaining though. How could we, when he's cranking out intoxicating rhymes like, "Crack and I have a lot in common. We both come up in the '80s and we keep that bass pumping." Big Boi and Raekwon also post some poignant lines of their own, but Dre's verse will stick to your memory even after "Royal Rush" has pumped out its last bass. Then you hit the repeat button.