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Top 10 Rap Songs: February 1, 2013


Which new hip-hop songs deserve your attention this week? I found the best of the best. Now go forth and impress your friends and neighbors with thy unparalleled knowledge of new hip-hop. Here are the top 10 rap songs of the week.

10. Ab-Soul + JMSN - "You're Gone"

Oh, Ab-Soul is quite the charmer: "Since you’ve been good, I've slipped a present in that drink you drinking." Way to ruin an otherwise decent song.

9. Big K.R.I.T. - "Gettin' Mine" (Ft. Rapsody & Heather Victoria)

Live from the underground: Big K.R.I.T., Rapsody, and Heather Victoria. Consider this the appetizer to K.R.I.T.'s King Remembered In Time mixtape. 9th Wonder on the beat.

8. Slum Village - "Long Way Down" (Ft. Young RJ, Black Milk, Victor Scope)

It's a Detroit block party, as Slum Villa link up with Young RJ and Victor Scope on the riotous "Long Way Down." RJ holds down the boards and still delivers a solid verse, but the scene-stealing cameo belongs to fellow producer-rapper Black Milk. "Long Way Down" appears on SV's Dirty Slums 2.

7. YG - "Playin'" (Ft. Wiz Khalifa, Young Jeezy)

A breezy, feelgood cut from Compton's YG, alongside Khalifa and Snowman. Cardo's production is the real star of the show. Bonus points to Wiz for responsible behavior, though: "I'm trying to get drunk, then call a cab." If you like YG's playful steez, there's more on his DJ Ill Will-hosted mixtape, Just Re'd Up 2.

6. Big Noyd - "Naturally Born" (Ft. Large Professor & Kool G Rap)

Queens legends G. Rap, Noyd, and Extra P connect over a dusty Ayatollah beat to rep their borough. Oh, the stories these three could swap for days.

5. Ras Kass - "Judas" (Ft. Planet Asia, Chace Infinite)

It feels like Ras Kass pops up out of the blue every now and then to announce a new project. Then, he disappears for years. This time, the west coast lyricist is warming up for a commercial version of his Barmageddon mixtape, set for Feb. 12. "Judas" originally appeared on that project last November.

4. Lil Wayne - "Love Me" (Ft. Drake and Future)

Here's the first single from Lil Wayne's I Am Not A Human Being II, out Feb. 19. It's actually exactly what you might expect from Tunechi - slick, brash, sing-songy, lots of stretched out syllables. And there are references to kush, drank, and Hall of Fame groupie Karrine "Superhead" Stephans. Drake is merely here as adornment.

3. Nickelus F. - "Number 15" (Ft. Drake)

Ah, the track that had Internet going, "Who the f*ck is Nickelus F.?" — everyone except the rappers he crushed en route to his BET's 106 & Park Freestyle Fridays victory in 2007, or those who remember him as the "AM 2 PM" guy. Nick Fury has been heating up the underground circuit for almost a decade now. We finally get to hear him spit alongside his buddy Drake on "the hookah track." Nickelus uses the occasion to reflect on his grandfather's illness and the senseless murders in his hometown of Richmond.

2. Havoc - "Tell Me to My Face" (Ft. Royce da 5'9")

"I don’t do the back and forth. Let’s get it over, n***a, tell me to my face," Havoc tells an unnamed foe on "Tell Me to My Face." Count me among those who couldn't listen to the song without thinking about the Mobb Deep beef. Meanwhile, Nickle Nine keeps up his admirable quality of making every rhyme count: "F**k my trigger finger, the whole arm’s itching, I got the poison ivy."

1. T.I. - "Memories" (Ft. Kendrick Lamar, B.o.B., Kris Stephens)

T.I. and co reminisce on the good times with the women from their past. It's a warm, cuddly tune — the beat leaves plenty of pockets for the emcees to maneuver. The song was left off T.I.'s Trouble Man because of sample issues.
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