Common rhymes about survival, enlightenment, a Grammy snub, and finding the new Preemo, in one breath.
© Getty Images/Donna Ward
No, he didn't apologize to Tribe Called Quest fans for briefly flubbing his "Electric Relaxation" performance at the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors
, but this throwback masterpiece will surely appease all fans of the Jungle Brothers era.
© Def Jam
One glance at the lineup conjures images of typical Wu-Tang heist. Instead, we get a spellbinding story about Ghost's run-ins with the law. This one takes an unpredictable twist, as Ghost decides to seek refuge in Yolanda's house. Amidst the chaos, he runs into one of the rooms only to find Method Man with his draws half-drawn (literally). Three minutes will have passed by the time you realize that this is a song, not a hood flick.
© Getty Images
Kanye abandons his signature sped-up samples for a foray into Euro synth-pop. In his quest for perfection, 'Ye scraped the original version of the song and brought in master producer Timbaland to tweak the drums.
6. Rakim, Nas, Kanye, & KRS-One - Classic (Better Than I've Ever Been)
Three legendary MCs and one MC known for his legendary high-handedness celebrate Nike's Air Force 1 sneaker.
By all standards, Andre 3000 had a terrific run in 2007. No other MC was as consistently exciting as Ice Cold. Everything he touched was magic. That probably explains his presence on three of the top 10 songs on this list. "Da Art of Storytelling" was undoubtedly the outstanding track on DJ Drama's forgettable debut, Gangsta Grillz,
thanks to two great verses from Dre and Big Boi.
4. Rhymefest - Angry Black Man on an Elevator
© J Records
Classic Rhymefest humor ("I'm Saddam, except I got weapons") sprinkled with Classic Rhymefest musings ("They sold MySpace for $500 million/They sold YouTube for $1.6 billion/And you're in the project fighting over a building"). Theme music for any revolution.
Ever dreamed of becoming a music superstar? Well, you won't, after hearing Devin Copeland and friends highlight the travails of a demanding music industry. The delight of the song, of course, comes from Andre's candid storytelling.
© Def Jam
Hip-hop emeritus brings his requisite gravitas to this unapologetic toast to the good life. Not to be outdone by Jay's celebratory rhymes, Diddy and his Hitmen toss some triumphant horns into the mix.
Photo © Jive Records
Two revered groups merge forces for the first time and yield a pulverizing hip-hop moment. From the goofy concept to the way the beat is tailor-made to suit each artist, "Int'l Players Anthem" is flawless. It doesn't matter if you're a backpacker, a purist, or a southern rap aficionado, this is one anthem you won't forget anytime soon.
Top 100 Rap Songs of 2007