Deciding the 10 best hip-hop rap lyrics ever requires choosing a list of some of the most verbally dexterous scribes that hip-hop has given birth to. These ten lyricists offer an impeccable ability to paint with the color of words until you either see it in your mind or feel it in your heart. These ten best hip-hop rap lyrics are just short moments in these artists' impressive catalogues.
- Nas "Life's a B*tch" "I switched my motto / Instead of saying f*ck tomorrow, that buck that bought a bottle could've struck the lotto." This vivid articulation of hope in the face of despair could be defined as the same circumstances that created hip-hop culture in the first place. Nas's hip-hop lyrics show maturity, urgency and a vivid view of urban struggle.
- Common "Resurrection" "Words of wisdom wail from my windpipe / Imaginations in flight, I send light like Ben's kite / I've been bright." How often does Benjamin Franklin wind up in hip-hop lyrics? When you have the ability to resurrect the status quo of rap ability like Common, expect the unexpected.
- Big Pun "Twinz (Deep Cover '98)" "Dead in the middle of Little Italy little did we know, that we riddled some middleman who didn't do diddily." This rigid, rapid tongue-twister will be just as hard to forget as it is to say. Pun's grit mixed with limitless wit should place him in any of those "best rapper ever" conversations.
- Eric B. & Rakim "Microphone Fiend" "Music orientated so when hip-hop was originated, fitted like pieces of puzzles, complicated." Rakim proudly raised the standards of hip-hop lyrics with this statement. His microphone addiction allowed us to get high off of his talent right along with him.
- Kool G Rapp "Streets of New York" "It gets tiring, the sight of a gun firing / They must desire for the sound of a siren." Kool G Rapp takes us inside the violent realities of his New York environment with these melancholy lyrics. Hip-hop songs of this social caliber deserve to be studied in universities.
- Canibus "Beasts From the East" "I'll make you question any and everything you've ever believed in by peeping your deepest secrets like psychic readers." Canibus merges ego with excellence with this clever collection of words. His confidence is an understatement.
- Jay-Z "Cashmere Thoughts" "Eighteen carat gold pen when it hits the sheets / Words worth a million like I'm rapping 'em through platinum teeth." Wealth enters a whole new type of treasure chest when Jay-Z's rap lyrics convert to precious metals. This concept was thoroughly executed, leaving no valuable stone unturned.
- Outkast "So Fresh, So Clean" "Those huge baby eyes get to running off at they mouth and telling me everything that's on yo' nasty mind / They say you're malnutrition in need of Vitamin D and inviting me to that tingle in your spine." Andre 3000 keeps his playboy status with these flirtatious hip-hop lyrics. He's so fresh, so clean and so poetic.
- Pete Rock & CL Smooth "Mecca and the Soul Brother" "I pull women like a wisdom tooth without any conversation with Doctor Ruth." CL Smooth cleverly portrays the duties of a dentist when it comes to attracting the opposite sex. And as a dentist, he didn't need another doctor's advice about sex.
- Notorious B.I.G "The What" "Biggie Smalls is the illest / Your style is played out, like Arnold wondered, What you talkin bout Willis?" This duet with Method Man proved that B.I.G. could hold his own on a track with who ever. Even Gary Coleman's character from TV's "Different Strokes" was big enough for this extra large wordsmith to reference.
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