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Culture Music

The 25 Best Future Features

Say what you want about Future, but it’s abundantly clear that the Atlanta native is one of the kings of great features. 

The rapper/singer hybrid artist (whose real name is Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn) has crafted tons of bangers on his own and done a hell of a lot of fire features along the way. Whenever industry friends such as DJ Khaled, Drake, Lil Uzi Vert, and more pull up to give him a guest spot on their songs, greatness ensues. It’s about time we give Future his flowers and acknowledge his finest guest spots across 22 amazing tracks. 

Be sure to add these songs to your playlist so you can get all the more familiar with Future aka “Future Hendrix” aka “Future Pendergrass.”

1. ‘Bugatti’ with Ace Hood and Rick Ross

Once Future comes in with his foreboding chorus, the anticipation hits a fever pitch. He shouts out the Haitian and Jamaican massive before going crazy with the one line everyone remembers from this song. “I WOKE UP IN A NEW BUGATTI!” You can’t help but jump out of your seat (and possibly spill your drink on the club patron next to you) when Future’s chorus takes over the track.

2. ‘3500’ with Travis Scott and 2 Chainz

One of the more underrated hip-hop artist combinations is the one between Travis Scott and Future. Whenever they hop on a track together, their signature vocal deliveries flow together so well and compliment each other in the best way possible. On this track, Future glides in with a quick intro and returns, later on, to bless the track with one of his hardest (and lengthiest) verses.

3. ‘Grammys’ with Drake

What A Time to Be Alive clearly proves that Drake and Future are a match made in Trill Heaven. Future made sure to hop on Views to assist the Canadian superstar for some good old-fashioned bragging in lyrical form. His brief interlude provides a more hysterical moment, then he gets serious with a catchy chorus and an expectedly braggadocious verse. All the while, Future gets to shine with a beat switch-up that perfectly compliments him.

4. ‘All I Know’ with The Weeknd

It seems like the woman that The Weeknd is pursuing has heard about how he moves out in these streets. That’s why the sultry singer makes it his mission to ease her doubts. Future pops up here to here with a totally different mission statement, though. But it doesn’t take away from the song one bit – it provides a cool yin and yang moment between the two singers that work on the whole.

5. ‘Love Me’ with Lil Wayne and Drake

Future and Drake share chorus duties here, with Future doing most of the heavy lifting in that regard. He’s the very first voice you hear and catches your attention with some hella catchy lines that you’ll be singing at an ignorant volume before you know it. Of course, Future’s part helps you vibe out even more once you have a little “inspiration” and some good drank inside your system.

6. ‘Down for Life’ with PARTYNEXTDOOR, Travis Scott, Rick Ross, and Kodak Black

Future is always willing to hop on a DJ Khaled-produced posse track. With songs like this one, you’ll instantly recognize just how integral Future Hendrix is to Khaled’s most recent LPs. Future blessed this tough tune with its first verse and handles his duties well. Once Future gets out of his spelling bee bag at the beginning, he drops a few cool bars about finding a real one he’d spend it all for and protect at all times. You gotta appreciate the Hot Boyz bars he threw in here, too – “You better hope I don’t OD, I keep a chopper like BG/Young Money n***a no PG, slow it down for me like Juvie.”

7. ‘That Range Rover Came With Steps ’ with Yo Gotti and DJ Khaled

Like the title says, it took a whole lotta work to cop the finer things in life for your favorite rap artists. Future got that point across quite well on this track as he drops some inspirational bars about everything it took to get to where he is now. Plus he made sure to speak on the many ills that come with having all that success and what he’s willing to do to put his haters to rest. Future rides this beat to infinity and beyond, fam.

8. ‘Die for Me’ with Post Malone and Halsey

Future is not to be trifled with in the love department. The same goes for Post Malone. On this track, they lament the broken promises delivered to them by that special lady they thought was “The One.” Future details his troublesome relationship with a woman via a heart-tugging verse, plus he also makes sure to offer his own flip of this song’s catchy ass chorus.

9. ‘New Level’ with A$AP Ferg

The hype levels for this banger are off the charts! You can let this thing ring off in any club across the world and everyone will turn the dancefloor into the biggest of mosh pits. Future’s inclusion here comes across as essential thanks to his immaculate shit-talking about leveling up to the max and calling out those fakers. “I just dipped and dabbed with the semi tucked/You on the red carpet surrounded by pop stars tryna act tough.” TELL EM, FUTURE!

10. ‘Don’t Judge Me’ with Ty Dolla $ign and Swae Lee

This R&B ode to not judging anyone by their cover shines thanks to the trio of superstars featured on it. Future gives this song a verse that describes his inebriated state and mentions an indecent proposal that he hopes to have fulfilled while he’s in it. His featured verse meshes so well with the song’s moody production even though it’s shorter than we would have liked it to be.

11. ‘Smoke Break’ with Chance The Rapper

This is one of Chance’s more underrated songs and it totally deserves way more plays thanks to its chill production & dope concept. Everyone can relate to not having much time to enjoy their old hobbies with their significant other once a baby comes into the picture. Future joins Chance here and offers a worthwhile verse that’s all about honoring his lady the best way he knows how. “Super ain’t saving no hoes” cause Future’s “tryna crown me a queen.” Priorities.

12. ‘holy terrain’ with FKA twigs

Is Future worthy enough of meeting FKA twigs’ high standards for a potential partner? After listening to him pour his heart out here and attempt to better himself, we think he has a shot. Both artists tell a heartfelt story here that’s easy to comprehend. This song in particular presents one of Future’s more “under the radar” classified verses. Future makes it abundantly clear that any woman that prays for his soul is clearly the right lady for him.

13. ‘Jump Out The Face’ with Meek Mill

Another artist that Future has developed amazing chemistry with is Philly’s own Meek Mill. Whenever they link up, it’s always a movie! On this banger, Future spends most of his time hustling to the max, stunting as hard as possible, and stealing a few of his foes’ “lady friends” along the way. Future’s work on this track’s bridge, chorus, and singular verse is worthy of a championship ring.

14. ‘Live Off My Closet’ with Lil Baby

Lil Baby has quickly morphed into one of the new generation’s hottest rappers thanks to his non-stop flow. With Future by his side here, listeners are treated to an absolute neck breaker of a track. Future’s appearance is capped off by a verse that matches Baby’s ability to easily adjust to the cadence of any track he hops on. When these two get into some of that good old-fashioned “rich talk,” it sounds next level. We clearly need more collaborations from these two!

15. ‘Wassup’ with Lil Uzi Vert

Future and Lil Uzi Vert have hopped on a bunch of dope turn-up tracks with each other thus far. One of the best joint works is most definitely this one. Their heavy boasting here over an infectious beat is so live! “Everybody know I come from outer space/I got racks on me, you do not wanna race.” Future’s not tryna hear from any of you lil’ peons!

16. ‘Simple Things’ (Remix) with Miguel and Chris Brown

Miguel, Chris, Brown, and Future aren’t looking for someone famous to call their own. They just want a real one, obviously. You can’t fault them for that – keeping it simple in the relationship department as they live the lives of not-so-simple pop stars sounds like a win-win to us. Future’s verse on this remix describes his dream situation with that one special lady. After hearing it in full, it’s easy to recognize that he left this song with its very best segment.

17. ‘Happiness Over Everything (H.O.E.)’ with Jhené Aiko and Miguel

This song has such a super chill vibe. That’s usually the case with everything Jhené Aiko sends into the universe. Future’s contribution to this rooftop lounge track comes in the form of some fitting adlibs and a verse that’s all about his baby girl & the wild allegations thrown against him thus far. Future just wants you to leave the drama behind and embrace him – is that too much to ask?

18. ‘Ready’ with B.o.B

It may be hard to believe now, but there was a moment in time when B.o.B was one of the biggest Southern rap artists on the scene. During the height of his career, the Winston-Salem, North Carolina-born MC delivered a headbanger of a track that had Future adding that extra sense of excitement to the proceedings. Future’s chorus here is on par with the party-setting hype that he gave us on his feature alongside A$AP Ferg.

19. ‘Real Thing’ with Tory Lanez

Getting caught up in a love affair definitely complicates things. After experiencing all the drama that comes with that, all one would like to do is be with a real one and leave those days of infidelity behind. Future makes sure to get that point across on this track as he acknowledges messing around, leaving a troubled “situationship” behind, and linking up with a lady that’s not all over the timeline. “She don’t post, so I know she won’t expose me.” Gotta keep a lady like that one real close!

20. ‘Money Ain’t No Issue‘ with Meek Mill and Fabolous

Like the song title says, Meek Mill, Fabolous, and Future have no issue dropping a band or two wherever they go. This bass-heavy party track rings off in the club thanks to the combined efforts of all three MCs. Future keeps the wealthy vibes going on this banger with a memorable chorus and a verse that gives us all an inside look at the life of luxury. TURN UP!

21. ‘Way 2 Sexy’ with Drake and Young Thug

Sampling Right Said Fred’s mega-hit “I’m Too Sexy” ended up being the right move to make for this Drake single. Even more great decisions were made once it was decided that Future and Young Thug needed to be on this track as well. Future’s inclusion here results in a nice flip of Right Said Fred’s iconic chorus, which means we get a whole lotta talk about being too sexy for your girl, your gang, that cap, etc.

22. ‘N 2 Deep’ with Drake

First off, the sample of “Get Throwed” for this song’s first half is masterful. Secondly, Drake’s mellow singing goes hand in hand with the production backing him up. And thirdly, Future makes good use of the mid-song beat flip. His quality verse is all about repping the finer things in life, showing off whenever he feels like it’s appropriate, and letting everyone know that the ladies flock to him with relative ease.

23. ‘B*****s and Bottles (Let’s Get It Started)’ with Lil Wayne and T.I.

DJ Khaled can always rely on Future whenever he needs a hook that can grab anyone’s attention. While Lil Wayne and T.I. offer up some triumphant verses here, Future supports their efforts with a chorus that can convince anyone to become their most ratchet self at any shindig. The two B’s mentioned on this track can make any situation that much better and Future makes sure to remind us hereafter every verse.

24. ‘U.O.E.N.O.’ with Rocko and Rick Ross

Some of you may have forgotten just how big this song was when it originally dropped in 2013. The soundscape backing this track up is so wavy, plus the verse delivered by the song’s main artist Rocko matches its tempo to perfection. Then there’s Future, who voices the track’s clever title with precision and gives you the most memorable part that you can’t help but belt out every time it comes on.

25. ‘Snitching’ with Pop Smoke and Quavo

Atlanta and New York join together for a musical union on this track that truly shines. Future arrives here in rare form here as he comes correct with one of his hardest verses of all time. The braggadocious lines about his riches are all here and accounted for, of course. But he also makes sure to drop a few extra bars about the paid “defenders” he has on speed dial and just how powerful the “Woo” is & always will be. It doesn’t get any baller than this line right here, though – “I caught a wave on some Maison Margiela/Audemars, water, Beretta, vendetta.”

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Culture Movies/TV

TJ Atoms on Favorite MCs, ‘Wu-Tang: An American Saga,’ and More

Mark Elzey

Ask anyone who’s watched an episode of Wu-Tang: An American Saga and they’ll tell you that TJ Atoms’ role as Ol’ Dirty Bastard is simply surreal. The young rap artist/actor honors the legacy of the fallen Wu-Tang Clan member’s legacy through his commendable acting chops and convincing mannerisms. Before the highly rated documentary drama series returns to Hulu for its second season on September 8th, we made sure to check in with TJ and pick his brain. Join us as we learn about TJ’s childhood spent in Philadelphia, his musical inspirations, and everything it took to master his important role as ODB.

ONE37pm: So I read that you were born and raised in North Philadelphia. What are some of your warmest memories from your time spent there as a child?

TJ Atoms: Some of my warmest memories in North Philly would definitely have to be just me and my homies chilling, laughing, and recording music at our crib we called the “Baked Carlton” – one of my favorite places, it was basically a frat house for kids who didn’t go to college.

ONE37pm: I made sure to do my research and check out the Bakery Boys, which is the Philly hip hop group you helped create. How did that rap collective initially come together?

Atoms: The Bakery Boys started with me and a few homies that skated in the city. At first, we were just recording raps over old-school hip-hop beats we found on YouTube. Then it kind of just took off from there – we started selling out shows around the city and the fanbase grew. This was before Twitter and Instagram really took off. We didn’t even know how to promote our music; we just had a movement.

ONE37pm: Who are some of the MCs that inspired you to pursue rapping back then? And who are some current artists that inspire you to keep making music today?

Atoms: Rappers that inspired me back then were Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang, Tupac, and Nas. I was a real hip-hop head and that’s all I really listened to. Currently, I don’t really have too many rappers or MCs that inspire me. I get inspired by life these days, real-time events, and things that happen in my day to day.

ONE37pm: I went ahead and looked up the music video for August Burns Red’s “Fault Line” and peeped you in there wreaking havoc on that poor car. Take me through the process of you getting cast for that opportunity.

Atoms: I got cast in the August Burns Red video when I was about 18. I was reading this book about quantum leaping and manifesting the life you want at the time, and one day I was just sitting in a park when this woman came up to me and said I had this look she was going for this video she was casting. It ended up being “Fault Line” and that video changed my life. Shout out to August Burns Red for that!

ONE37pm: Your casting credits include some pretty major TV shows, such as Blue Bloods, Orange is the New Black, and Godfather of Harlem. Which TV role would you say was the most challenging thus far?

Atoms: Playing ODB is definitely the most challenging role I have had so far because he was such a presence. He was really hard to imitate.

Mark Elzey

ONE37pm: You’ve gotten rave reviews for your portrayal of Ol’ Dirty Bastard on Wu-Tang: An American Saga. What steps did you take in order to fully embody him onscreen?

Atoms: The steps I took to really embody ODB was studying every clip I could find, talking to anybody who knew him personally, and using what I already knew as a Wu-Tang fan growing up. I watched every clip of ODB I could find on the internet. I even studied his son’s movements just to be super authentic in my delivery!

ONE37pm: Now you know I gotta ask this question – what are your top five favorite Wu-Tang tracks?

Atoms: My top five Wu tracks are “Can It All Be So Simple,” “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit,” “Da Mystery Of Chessboxin’,” “Ice Cream,” and “Shame on A…”

ONE37pm: What has you excited about the second season for Wu-Tang: An American Saga?

Atoms: I’m most excited to see the group finally come together in Season 2. Some people might feel like this is really Season 1 because this is the first time we see the Wu-Tang clan together, making music and performing their hit singles. We get to see how people are supposed to unite for the bigger picture. Wu-Tang Season 2 is about brotherhood, comradery, and unity.

ONE37pm: Your next film project is Fels High opposite Omari Hardwick. How has it been working alongside him?

Atoms: Working with Omari was a learning experience because he’s a real OG in the acting world. He’s really like a teacher on set, helping actors reach their fullest potential in every scene. He’s a very respectable person and I was grateful to have had him a part of that project.

ONE37pm: Thank you for a great interview!

Categories
Culture Music

The 52 Best Drake Features

Who’s the first rapper/singer you think of when the phrase “HE DON’T MISS!” comes to mind? It can be no one other than Toronto, Canada’s very own Drake. The man went from starring in the lowkey fire series Degrassi: The Next Generation to blossoming into one of the biggest stars in all of music. Everyone knows that when you get a feature from the “Champagne Papi” himself, that song will most likely rocket up the charts and become an even better listen because of it. There’s a seemingly endless lineup of tracks that feature a memorable “Drizzy Drake” feature, but we managed to shorten that list down to 52. So without further ado, here are the very best Drake features of all time.

1. ‘Stay Schemin’ with Rick Ross and French Montana

Drake came ready for war as he arrived with plenty of lyrical ammunition for his haters. He especially had a whole lot of energy for Common, who he was beefing with at the time. Drake’s verse on here is extra combative, which is just how we like it. Rick Ross’ Kobe adlib and Drake’s furious vitriol for his adversaries easily make this track an unforgettable banger.

2. ‘Amen’ with Meek Mill

This pre-Meek Mill and Drake beef recorded track flips a familiar Sunday Service tune. And it still slaps to this very day. Drake provided this song with a verse that’s all about the many blessings afforded to him and his loved ones. He also provided a bit of his signature shit-talking with one of the best lines of the song – “Talking bout these other rappers getting old is even getting old.”

3. ‘No Guidance’ with Chris Brown

For some reason, Drake has a penchant for recording some really good music with artists he once hated. After patching things up, he and Chris Brown decided to hop in the studio and provide this sultry R&B tune. The video makes this song even better, by the way! Anyway, Drake taps into his sing-songy vibes as he lovingly describes a special lady in his life that definitely “got it.”

4. ‘Going Bad’ with Meek Mill

This song arrived after Meek Mill and Drake’s beef got left to the wayside. The grown men talk on this tune is inspiring and so is the video that has a bunch of powerful figures in it suited up to perfection. Both rappers flex their mass success here and provide verses full of poignant lines. Drake’s braggadocious style matches the tone of this track wonderfully as he goes “I got more slaps than The Beatles (Beatles)/Foreign shit runnin’ on diesel, dawg/Playin’ with my name, this shit is lethal, dawg.”

5. ‘Work’ with Rihanna

Drake’s undying affection for Ri-Ri comes through every time the both of them are onscreen. While the lovable songstress sings about wanting a deeper connection with her love interest, Drake is only interested in the types of activities that happen underneath the sheets. His verse immaculately breaks down those sentiments and showcases the immense chemistry that both artists have developed over the years.

6. ‘Aston Martin Music’ with Rick Ross and Chrisette Michele

The smoother the track, the better whenever Rick Ross and Drake link up. The name of this track is pretty much directions as it’s letting the listener know that it’s perfect for a two-seater with your current lady. Drake does double duty here as he provides a smooth hook alongside Chrisette Michele and a verse that’s still one of his very best. “I never threw away that paper with my Grammy speech/Because I haven’t hit the pinnacles I plan to reach.” How prophetic.

7. ‘Moment 4 Life’ with Nicki Minaj

Young Money era Drake was and still is a whole vibe. You can tell the man was hungry and always ready to show the world how much of a prime lyricist he could be. On this Nicki Minaj-helmed hit single, Drake delivered a celebratory verse that showed love to his team and the man that brought him into the game. And remember, folks – ‘Cause everybody dies, but not everybody lives.” Now that’s a quotable to live by!

8. ‘Seeing Green’ with Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne

You can never go wrong when this Young Money/Cash Money trio goes bar for bar on the very same song. In the case of this song, Drake easily stood out as the person with the best verse of ‘em all. What we get from a more seasoned version of Drake here are some major boasts about his career and his riches, plus a fun lil’ verbal break beforehand that produces a line worth living by – “You know, one of the perils of makin’ money is you can afford to be dramatic.” FIRE!

9. ‘Forever’ with Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Eminem

Do you know what’s funny? No one can probably tell you the name of the documentary this song is meant for, but they can damn sure tell you the whole lineup of MCs featured on it. Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Eminem all came through with incredible verses. And thankfully, so did Drake. Alongside his lyrical workout, Drake also provided a chorus that has the power to inspire anyone to pursue their dreams.

10. ‘Believe Me’ with Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne and Drake usually come together like a championship tag team and dominate any track they hop on. On this early cut featuring the two, Drizzy Drake spoke on the immense potential he showed during his start in the industry and his proud mentor. His masterful verse truly embodies his love for Wayne and how much of a loyal YMCMB soldier he was always willing to be.

11. ‘BedRock’ with Young Money

The late 2000s run of Young Money is the stuff of legend. Lil Wayne signed a bunch of promising artists that started strong as a collective. Their opening salvo of posse cuts was certainly radio-friendly and catchy as all hell. This lovey-dovey single let Drake rap about his special someone with a short and sweet verse that matched the vibes of everyone featured on it.

12. ‘Poetic Justice’ with Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar’s first album is considered a classic and for good reason – it tells the story of Kendrick’s California upbringing via strong production, great features, and K-Dot’s immense lyrical skill. When it came time to speak to the ladies on that album, Drake arrived with a very worthwhile assist. Anytime Drake drops a bunch of fly lines about his latest female infatuation, you know it’s gonna be a good time. And that’s definitely the case here.

13. ‘F**kin’ Problems’ with A$AP Rocky, 2 Chainz, and Kendrick Lamar

Do you guys wanna talk about a great all-star hip-hop cut? Then you gotta mention this fun-loving ode to stunting with a vengeance and having an addiction to the finest of ladies. Drake stepped up to the plate to deliver a home run of a verse that saw him take aim at his rivals and make it clear that he’s willing to “upgrade” his main squeeze at any cost. “I will pay to make it bigger, I don’t pay for no reduction.”

14. ‘Walk It Talk It’ with Migos

The Soul Train vibes that were on full display in the music video for this track truly bring it to life. And once Drake joins the famous “Soul Train Line” to show off his fly footwork, hilarity ensues. But his verse is no laughing matter – Drake provides some momentous bars about ignoring needless beefs, vibing with the Migos, and always staying in his zone.

15. ‘No Frauds’ with Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne

The Three GOATs of YMCMB came together once again here and produced quite the lyrical assault. Nicki Minaj takes aim at Remy Ma, while Lil Wayne and Drake speak on the highs & lows of their respective careers. Once again, Drake takes MVP honors via his game-winning verse. When someone literally describes the sound of their net worth, you can’t help but feel every bit of that grand proclamation.

16. ‘Sicko Mode’ with Travis Scott

The opening salvo unleashed by Drake here clues you into just how legendary this track will be. The main star featured on this banger gets plenty of time to enter into a higher form of excellence, of course. But Drake gets to slide over two fire instrumentals and damn near take the song for his own. You’ll be left wanting a full version of the beat held up by Drake at the very start of this song every time. But at least you’ll still leave satisfied thanks to his second verse. Never forget, folks – “Checks over Stripes.”

17. ‘Every Girl’ with Young Money

In retrospect, this song has some facepalm-worthy cornball lyrics. Luckily, that’s not the case when Drake pulls up to provide his flirtatious second verse. Young Drizzy harps on his special lady having trouble fitting her immense exterior into some jeans, all the ladies he’s forgotten the names of, and asks a very important question – “Are any of y’all into girls like I am? Les-be-honest!”

18. ‘Pop That’ with French Montana, Rick Ross, and Lil Wayne

French Montana knows just who to call when it’s time to produce a track that will dominate the clubs and get a dizzying amount of radio plays. Uncle Luke’s “I Wanna Rock” lays the foundation for this twerking anthem and gives French, Ricky Rozay, Weezy F. Baby, and Drizzy Drake the perfect opportunity to spit some party-friendly bars. Drake’s verse easily commanded the most attention and showcased his swaggiest persona to date, which is “Champagne Papi.”

19. ‘Blessings’ with Big Sean and Kanye West

Gratitude should always be your best attitude. That’s clearly the motto here when Big Sean, Kanye West, and Drake come together for a song that counts their many blessings. Drake makes it clear that he and his crew on this song aren’t making a return & never left, plus he eloquently speaks on those failed individuals that don’t do a whole lot but sure have a lot to say. When he said “I am just worried ‘bout my mama worrying less,” we definitely felt that!

20. ‘Who Do You Love?’ with YG

When Drake links up with West Coast rap artists, greatness ensues. He and YG came together like Voltron here to speak on the immense clout they both possess. Once YG gets done flaunting his power, Drake follows up by doing the same via a fire verse. His whole “too big” diatribe still sticks out in our mind for all the right reasons – “And my name too big and my gang too big/Young Money shit, me and Lil Wayne too big/I’ma crush that ass even if it ain’t too big/I would pinky swear but my pinky ring too big.”

21. ‘No New Friends’ with Lil Wayne and Rick Ross

“No new friends, no new friends/No New friends, no, no new.” That single quotable had everyone and their grandmother screaming it out and living by it through the spring and summer months of 2013. Drake provided that life-changing line, but he also made sure to supply this DJ Khaled-helmed anthem with a memorable verse. That familiar OVO Sound came through heavy here thanks to Drake’s short yet sweet lyrical exercise. “F**k her on the floor ‘fore we make it to the bed/That’s what yo’ ass really call started from the bottom.” Well damn, Drake!

22. ‘What’s My Name?’ with Rihanna

Do you know what the world needs right about now? More Rihanna and Drake songs. If we’re going to get any closer to world peace, then they both need to head into the studio and record another ode to love together. Songs like this one are proof that their musical chemistry is undeniable. The way he mentions a mathematical equation and immediately segues into some flirty bars on this song is nothing short of amazing.

23. ‘Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready)’ (Remix) with Alicia Keys

Drake arrived on this Alicia Keys gem to give us the best of both worlds, which is his lyrical dexterity and his soft-spoken singing. His bars about fearing a life where he hasn’t met that special one, searching for a woman with substance, and doing the unthinkable for that special lady still resonates years after he spit them. And his soulful vocals alongside Alicia sound oh so wonderful.

24. ‘Love Me’ with Lil’ Wayne and Future

As long as the ladies in these three men’s lives love them, then there’s simply nothing else to care about in this world. That message comes across loud and clear thanks to the combined efforts of this three-man superteam. Drake helps magnify this track’s catchy chorus by joining in alongside Future, which was an early glimpse into the magic both men would eventually create years later.

25. ‘Family Feud’ with Lil Wayne

When Drake starts going in on this track, he speaks on all the biggest issues and feuds that went on at the time. As a very topical song, this remix of the quality Jay-Z original proves to be an incredible lyrical time capsule. Drake makes it clear that solutions need to be made in order to prosper, but things can still be handled on wax if the situation calls for it. Lil Wayne’s verse is equally amazing here, by the way.

26. ‘Versace’ (Remix) with Migos

Drake slid right into the all-powerful Migos flow as if it was always embedded into his rapper DNA. It’s impressive how much he manages to sound like the fourth unofficial member of the Atlanta trio. “I’m tryna give Halle Berry a baby and no one can stop me (smash!)” Drake verses and Migos ad-libs go together like fine wine and aged cheese. We need more collabs like this ASAP!

Honorable Mentions
27. ‘No Lie’ with 2 Chainz

28. ‘Shit’ with Future and Juicy J

29. ‘Gold Roses’ with Rick Ross

30. ‘Used to This’ with Future

31. ‘Where Ya At’ with Future

32. ‘Truffle Butter’ with Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne

33. ‘Girls Need Love’ (Remix) with Summer Walker

34. ‘Come Closer’ with WizKid

35. ‘No Stylist’ with French Montana

36. ‘Oprah’s Bank Account’ with Lil Yachty and DaBaby

37. ‘Look Alive’ with BlockBoy JB

38. ‘Never Recover’ with Lil Baby and Gunna

39. ‘Big Amount’ with 2 Chainz

40. ‘Both’ with Gucci Mane

41. ‘Yes Indeed’ with Lil Baby

42. ‘I’m On One’ with DJ Khaled, Lil Wayne, and Rick Ross

43. ‘Having Our Way’ with Migos

44. ‘100’ with The Game

45. ‘Life is Good’ with Future

46. ‘Say Something’ with Timbaland

47. ‘Mine’ with Beyonce

48. ‘Recognize’ with PARTYNEXTDOOR

49. ‘Money to Blow’ with Birdman and Lil Wayne

50. ‘Only You (Freestyle)’ with Headie One

51. ‘Tuesday’ with iLoveMakonnen

52. ‘No Complaints’ with Offset

Categories
Culture Music

The 20 Best Travis Scott Features

“STRAIGHT UP!” “LA FLAME!” “IT’S LIT!” Ten times out of ten, those adlibs magnify the greatness of any song Travis Scott blesses with his signature vocals. It doesn’t matter if he chooses to switch up his vocal delivery via Autotune or go all-natural – the man that calls himself “LaFlame” or “Cactus Jack” brings so much to any artist’s song he chooses to assist. Travis has appeared on a ton of songs that feature a who’s who of current-day (and even past!) hip-hop royalty). He’s even dipped his toes into the booming genres of reggaeton, EDM, and R&B. There are 19 songs in particular that showcase Travis at his very best. We’ve just so happened to have compiled 19 of those tracks and we’re hoping you’re going to add them (or already have added) to your day-to-day playlist.

1. ‘Zeze’ with Kodak Black and Offset

When those Caribbean steel drums come over the loudspeakers and deliver that familiar riddim, you already know the club’s about to get thrown into a frenzy. As soon as this tune gets going, the first voice you hear is Travis’ and he comes through with a chorus that sticks with you forever. The way Travis slides over this party-friendly tune is masterful.

2. ‘Dark Knight Dummo’ with Trippe Redd

Travis joins fellow eccentric rapper Trippie Redd on this bass-heavy track to bring nothing but madness. Both of them sound like long-lost twins and can quickly convince any first-time listener that they should do more songs together. Travis meshes so well with the chaotic production of this tune with one of his game-winning Autotune verses.

3. ‘Top Floor’ with Gunna

Travis plays double duty here over this Gunna banger. The chorus delivery is top-notch (unsurprisingly) and he makes sure to drop off a verse that delves into his rewarding and sometimes toxic life as a superstar. The beat is hard and Travis makes sure to supply it with a chorus and a few bars to make it sound even harder.

4. ‘Let It Fly’ with Lil Wayne

You’d be forgiven for thinking this was a lost Travis album cut since he kicks off the record with a quick chorus that leads right into a super dope verse. But you’d be wrong in thinking so – this record actually belongs to Lil’ Wayne and is featured on Tha Carter V. It’s fitting that Travis calls himself “Mr. Michael Myers” on this track because he audibly murders this track with Weezy F. Baby in tow.

5. ‘Rerun’ with Quavo

If there’s a wavy beat in his midst, Travis will most likely step on to ride it and deliver his unmistakable vibe. This song is the perfect embodiment of that approach and features Travis & Quavo working in tandem. This collaboration comes off well and has the ability to transport listeners somewhere extra high above the clouds.

6. ‘Go Legend’ with Big Sean

Metro Boomin provided one of his hardest beats to the Detroit legend that is Big Sean for this one. You know it’s going to be a classic as soon as that Diana Ross voice sample seeps through your headphones. Travis makes an appearance here with a celebratory chorus that’s simple and catchy as all hell. “We go legend, we go legend (Yeah, yeah).”

7. ‘Power is Power’ with The Weeknd and SZA

The power trio of the Weeknd, SZA, and Travis worked like a charm for this Game of Thrones-themed anthem. After the first two artists deliver their verses, Travis steps in to provide one of his own. And thankfully, he matches the immense star power and quality of his two contemporaries. “Who’s hotter? Been a monster with a crown.” Travis’ royal delivery shines bright here.

8. ‘Big Shot’ with Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar and Travis join forces on this track to describe all the incredible benefits that come with being recognizable ballers. K. Dot kills it as always and Travis makes sure to not get shown up by adding a fire verse. The shoutout to Pimp C and the whole bar about him “runnin’ through these waves like I’m Moses” stands out in the best ways possible. Wakanda Forever, indeed.

9. ‘4 AM’ with 2 Chainz

These two Southern rap idols have a long history together due to their time spent together as members of G.O.O.D. Music. Plus they did some work together during Travis’ rise to superstardom alongside Grand Hustle Entertainment. This super chill track comes with your usual braggadocious 2 Chainz verse and one of those super catchy Travis choruses. It’s easy to catch yourself singing said verse at an ignorantly loud volume at the exact time this record is titled after.

10. ‘Champions’ with Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, Quavo, Gucci Mane, Yo Gotti, and Desiigner

Yeezy is known for featuring a massive amalgamation of artists on his arena-worthy singles. In the case of this song, Kanye West linked up with the best of the South to spit some championship-worthy bars as if he and his team just won the NBA Finals. Travis’ inclusion here sees him proudly describing dead presidents getting thrown up into the air and his winning team’s ownership of the city. Travis’ chorus is the glue that holds this all-star team effort together.

11. ‘Sin City’ with John Legend, Teyana Taylor, CyHi Da Prynce, and Malik Yusef

The entire concept around this song is easy to comprehend – in order to move higher up the ladder, one must commit a series of obscene acts in order to ascend in the song’s fictional city. Hence the name “Sin City.” Travis kicks things off wonderfully on this track by describing the ills and decadence derived by drunken nights, breaking the speed limit, and dark thoughts.

12. ‘Heavy Camp’ with Blac Youngsta

This one’s most certainly for the clique. Before Blac Youngsta recounts his days of everyone doubting his future successes, Travis starts it all off with one of his trademark choruses. And once he’s done setting the right vibes, he pops up from time to time to keep the ball rolling with some super chill ad-libs and a cool pre-chorus to boot.

13. ‘Uber Everywhere’ (Remix) with Madeintyo

“Uber Everywhere” was already a strong bop on its very own. Then the remix graced everyone’s ears and convinced them all that Travis should have been on the original from the jump. The way he slides onto this track so smoothly is masterful and his verse goes hand in hand with the rich boy talk Madeintyo does so well. You can’t help but blurt out the entirety of Travis’ verse alongside all those yeah’s.

14. ‘Sky Walker’ with Miguel

Travis is a chameleon. The man can hop onto any song at any tempo and not feel out of place. On this mellow R&B gem from Miguel, Travis joins in on all the party time fun by blessing it with a fitting verse. He basks in his greatness, sends shots at his detractors, and enjoys all the wild moments that come with being a superstar.

15. ‘Ghostface Killers’ with 21 Savage and Offset

21 Savage, Offset, and Travis are not to be trifled with. That message comes across loud and clear thanks to the extra hard bars delivered here and the neck-breaking beat backing them all up. Travis talks his shit and makes it sound so good from start to finish. “Ride suicides, we keep this shit alive (Yeah!).” Straight up indeed. 

16. ‘Portland’ with Drake and Quavo

There’s just something about a beat that’s adorned with a graceful flute rhythm that gives us life. That’s the case with “Portland,” which is one of Drake’s more underrated tracks. The boy Drizzy and Quavo set the stage, which paves the way for Travis to step in and arrive with a sick bridge & a fire verse. We lose our minds at this part every time – “Flood my Rollie, told my bitch: ‘Let’s go snorkelin’!’ (Yeah)/Out in Portland, tryna get in her organs (Yeah).”

17. ‘Hot’ (Remix) with Young Thug and Gunna

Young Thug, Gunna, and Travis first made musical magic together on “Floyd Mayweather.” But their second group effort stands as their finest trio work to date. “Hot” already slapped and managed to slap even harder once Travis showed up to raise the temperature. Travis raps for longer than expected on here and doesn’t waste any of the extra time afforded to him. These three are definitely “hot like the 504 Boyz.”

18. ‘TKN’ with ROSALÍA

Shout out to the Bilingual God Travis! When you want to talk about someone that clearly understood the assignment, it’s that guy. This reggaeton infused tune gets the body moving thanks to its dance club-ready production. ROSALÍA handles much of the heavy work on this track, while Travis comes with an assist in the form of his own Spanish callouts and short & sweet verse.

19. ‘Love Galore’ with SZA

Who knew SZA and Travis would sound so good together? We were just as shocked as everyone else when this song first dropped and ended up being such a comfortable listen. Travis comes with his ad-libs, but also makes sure to start this song off with his lowkey vocal delivery and a worthwhile verse.

20. ‘Out For The Night Pt 2’ with 21 Savage

For this song sequel, 21 Savage brings Travis onboard to wax poetics about a special lady. Once Travis gets a chance to spit a few bars, he makes sure to compliment the beat switch before he also speaks on his lit lifestyle. This is a song of two parts that allows both 21 and Travis to shine in their chosen element.

Categories
Culture Music

Detroit’s Babyface Ray Embodies Hustle, Persistence, and the Grind

Stories of songs blowing up and artists emerging from obscurity to viral fame are rife in rap. However, it is much rarer to see reports of artists who have been making music in their local scene for years, getting better over time and achieving a level of consistency that forces everyone to be attentive. The days of anonymous, half-realized rap phenomena and demo tapes are over. Aside from the occasional viral superstar, the traditional way to build hype is to make a name for yourself, and that’s what Detroit’s Babyface Ray has been doing for the past decade.

Babyface Ray has been distributing lifestyle raps since 2010, making his presence felt in a crowded and talented scene in Detroit. Babyface Ray, 30, didn’t know music would take him to this place when he was 23, but now he’s being paid to rap.

Babyface Ray was born on February 7, 1991, as Marcellus Register on Detroit’s Eastside. Babyface began selling burnt CDs as a teenager in his high school, eventually connecting with Peezy and a group of other local rappers who had created a sensation in Detroit and formed a local supergroup known as Team Eastside.

He left high school after joining the group to focus on music. Babyface, Dame, Lil P, Snoop, and the other group members came from the Eastside and helped usher in a new era of Detroit Rap, embracing the dark sound synonymous with the city. It was this style that led Babyface to be best known for his creative results and lifelike lyrics.

It wasn’t easy for Babyface, though, as he has persisted in his craft for ten years. This perseverance helped Babyface appreciate and dedicate his music to the city that raised him: Detroit.

With Babyface’s entrepreneurial grind over the past decade, he has developed a monstrous discography. He impressed listeners by releasing more albums such as Ghetto Wave, Young Wavy, and Legend. In 2015, Ray dropped MIA Season, which helped him establish his name in music.

MIA Season 2 is the sequel to his breakout mixtape of 2015 and is his latest and was arguably one of the best Detroit rap albums of 2019. MIA Season 2 also included a feature from 42 Dugg. Additionally, he recently released Unfuckwitable in 2021, a seven-track EP, where Moneybagg Yo was featured on “If You Know You Know.”

If you’re not familiar with Babyface Ray, check out tracks such as “Champions,” “Paperwork Party,” and “Allowance,” to name just a few of his most streamed songs.

Categories
Culture Music

The 50 Best Kendrick Lamar Songs

K. Dot. King Kendrick. Cornrow Kenny. King Kunta. Kung Fu Kenny. Top Dawg Entertainment’s shining beacon of hip-hop greatness has many monikers, but his born name precedes them all – Kendrick Lamar.

Kendrick’s a definite fave of ours and a multitude of hip-hop diehards thanks to his masterful wordplay, strong discography, and dedication to reflecting on the social ills of the modern world. When he hops on a track, you can bet that he’ll deliver a bevy of quotables and make you reflect on the serious topics he touches on. His delivery of quality mixtapes, EP’s, and LP’s have made it so hard to hit the skip button – why would you when K. Dot regularly provides incredible bars backed by wonderfully crafted beats? We made sure to revisit all of Kendrick’s projects so we could reflect on the best songs he’s put on each one.

Prepare to build yourself an all-new daily commute playlist as we list the 50 greatest Kendrick Lamar songs of all time.

1. ‘Wanna Be Heard’

A young K. Dot popped up on this joint to deliver some bars about his desire to be placed among the greatest. And he made it clear that he wanted to do that by properly representing the hood he knows so well. “Wanna Be Heard” acts as a brief history lesson that covers Kendrick’s upbringing and his grand ambition as a world-renowned MC. 

2. ‘Far From Here’ (feat. ScHoolboy Q)

Anytime a member of TDE’s Black Hippy crew gets together on a song, magic ensues. And that’s definitely the case here as Kendrick and ScHoolboy Q join forces to lament their many struggles. Times are definitely hard no matter the time or place. Both rappers make those hard times sound so soulful and make it easy to relate as you bump your head extra hard to their heartfelt delivery.

3. ‘Thanksgiving’ (feat. Big Pooh)

This is one of those celebratory records that sounds like Kendrick is in the middle of the Super Bowl celebrating a championship win. The added element of a triumphant Big Pooh verse makes this stadium status banger even better. “Thanksgiving” is quite the bold statement in hip-hop form and we’re glad Kendrick got to be the one to deliver it.

4. ‘P&P 1.5’ (feat. Ab-Soul)

Do you know what will definitely make you feel alright? The two main elements that K. Dot and Ab-Soul rap about on this super chill tune. This is another one of those joints that speak on the ills that constantly trip up both rappers’ lives. By the end of each verse, both MCs make it clear that the only thing that can lift their spirits is the company of a beautiful woman and some good liquor.

5. ‘Barbed Wire’ (feat. Ash Riser)

The instrumental for this one goes extremely hard, which is part of the reason why it’s such a gem. “Barbed Wire” features a K. Dot that stays right in the pocket in the finest way possible. By kicking off every verse with “Have you ever felt like…,” Kendrick delves into a series of questions and events that makes you reflect on everything he’s spitting about on this track in comparison to your life.

6. ‘F**k Your Ethnicity’

This booming introduction to Section.80 makes quite the bold statement with its title. But after it comes to a close, you leave it with a clearer idea of what K. Dot was going for and end up appreciating it even more. It doesn’t matter what you represent because Kendrick rocks with you all the same. This tune hits hard and stands out as one of the best hip-hop album starters the genre has ever been treated to.

7. ‘Hol’ Up’

As far as feel-good Kendrick songs go, this one is certainly among the best. What we get here is a braggadocious track that speaks on Kendrick’s many highs and how quickly he’s managed to bypass most of his peers. Listening to him go on about being wise for his young age is also another crucial element of this song’s overall message.

8. ‘A.D.H.D.’

“A.D.H.D.” is a super spacey tune that places your mind, body, and soul onto another plane of existence. Its production makes you feel as if you’re floating through space, while Kendrick’s wonderful wordplay puts you on a natural high. You can’t help but see everything move in slow motion as this chill-inducing tune comes through your loudspeakers.

9. ‘Chapter Six’

The jazzy overtones tied to this one also exude those relaxed vibes a lot of early Kendrick songs live by. While it may not offer a bunch of mind-blowing quotables, “Chapter 6” still puts forth an easy-to-comprehend message that quickly gets stuck in your head. We also hope and pray that a lot of you young heads reading this also make it to 21.

10. ‘Ronald Reagan Era (His Evils)’ (feat. Ash Riser, Ab-Soul, and RZA)

Kendrick goes all out here to make it clear that the individuals that came up in his city had quite a tough upbringing during a tumultuous time in American history. Thanks to the added presence of Ash Rizer’s soulful intro, Ab-Soul’s hilarious callout, and RZA’s unexpected assistance on the chorus, “Ronald Reagen Era (His Evils)” reaches the top of the list for K. Dot’s best songs. You can’t help but feel like you’re riding through Compton looking for trouble when this one comes on.

11. ‘Poe Mans Dreams (His Vice)’ (feat. GLC)

The trials and tribulations of a young street prodigy come into full view here. Kendrick details all the inner thoughts that go through one’s head as one witnesses the ills that come with being raised in a tumultuous environment. But by the time this track wraps up, Kendrick drops a bunch of life lessons for those that went through what he went through and are looking to become a better person.

12. ‘Rigamortis’

The flow that your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper adores is all over this impressive display of fast and furious wordplay. “Rigamortis” is one of those Kendrick tracks that instantly makes it clear just how much of a lyrical threat he is. First-time listeners are usually left in awe once this one wraps up and longtime K.Dot Stans go back to it on the regular. Kendrick leaves several bodies in his wake by the time he brings his super-fast flow to an end.

13. ‘Blow My High (Members Only)’

As soon as this track kicks in, Kendrick blesses us with a few bars from the late great Pimp C. That rousing dedication sets the tone perfectly for “Blow My High (Members Only),” which is a song that sends all the love in the world to Pimp C, Aaliyah, and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. The production tied to this track is certainly bop-worthy, while K. Dot’s bars provide a noteworthy dedication to three musical legends.

14. ‘HiiiPower’

Kendrick gets real reflective and provides a whole lot of food for thought on this one. This Section.80 cut is most definitely one of his most powerful contributions to the hip-hop medium – it examines the everyday ills of being a black person trying to thrive in America and mentions the many leaders that fought to help them fight for prosperity. Fighting the system with the words spoken on “HiiiPower” will certainly get anyone amped up in the fight for equality.

15. ‘Sherane aka Master Splinter’s Daughter’

The prayer placed at the beginning of this album intro exudes images of a group of young brothers seeking holy refuge from their everyday struggles. And once the beat kicks in, K. Dot tells the story of a young woman that takes him on a wild ride through feelings of puppy love. This song’s breakdown of a young Kendrick pursuing the girl of his dreams is quite an engrossing tale. Shout out to Kendrick for tagging the name of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ master on this song’s clever title.

16. ‘B***h, Don’t Kill My Vibe’

Kendrick isn’t really asking for much here – he simply wants to vibe out without any negative elements disturbing his peace. Getting into an uplifting mood and feeling out everything around you are the sort of themes that come through front and center on this track. K. Dot floats so wonderfully over the soothing soundscape for this track and turns it into a complete vibe setting experience.

17. ‘Backseat Freestyle’

This head banger sounds like Kenny’s pulled up to a cipher to body anyone and everyone in his vicinity. “Backseat Freestyle” is supremely braggadocious and showcases a rare moment of Kendrick talking that fly ish. We’re glad he decided to stop being humble for a moment – this song thrives because of it. We’re betting that a lot of you reading this rapped a few bars to this song’s instrumental in your homie’s ride.  

18. ‘The Art of Peer Pressure’

We’ve all been there before – the homies say anything and everything to make you engage in some illegal activities. And once you’ve decided to heed their advice, you end up on the bad end of your horrible decisions. “The Art of Peer Pressure” provides one of those well-crafted storytelling tunes that Kendrick is most known for. A whole lot of lessons are learned here as K. Dot retells the sort of stories that have become tied to the young, wild, and reckless.

19. ‘Money Trees’ (feat. Jay Rock)

“Money Trees” has so many moments where a concert audience can join in and belt out its lyrics. As soon as the first few notes of this track come on, you and everyone around you will instantly get excited. K. Dot and Jay Rock show off their Black Hippy chemistry with their super chill flow on this one – you can’t help but rap along to this tune as both MCs wax poetics about getting’ to that paper.

20. ‘Poetic Justice’ (feat. Drake)

A Janet Jackson sample. A Kendrick verse that’s dedicated to the ladies. And a quality Drake feature. Those three elements ended up concocting one of the smoothest odes to women K. Dot has ever recorded. Kenny shows off the casanova side of himself here while Drake offers his usual delivery of lyrics that keeps his heartthrob status intact. “Poetic Justice” works so well when the lights are low and the mood is set (if you know what we mean).

21. ‘Good Kid’ (feat. Pharrell)

Coming up in Compton provided a pretty tough upbringing for Kendrick. With the assistance of Pharrell, TDE’s top dog gives listeners a detailed account of the thoughts that run through his head regarding that arduous lifestyle. K. Dot speaks on unfriendly encounters, drug addiction, gang affiliations, and everything in between on this one.

22. ‘m.A.A.d city’ (feat. MC Eiht)

We go from a mellow reflection on Kenny’s life on “Good Kid” to a banger that changes the mood to a chaotic one with “m.A.A.d city.” This song places you smack dab in the middle of some intense gang warfare – Kendrick’s vivid descriptions and ScHoolboy Q’s signature callouts bring you into their tumultuous hometown. The switch-up in the middle of this track makes it even better thanks to a booming 90s Dr. Dre-esque beat and a hard verse from West Coast veteran MC Eiht.

23. ‘Swimming Pools’

The many ills that plague folks that deal with alcoholism can be detrimental to one’s physical and mental attributes. Kendrick touches on that rarely rapped-about topic and delves into the inner monologue that goes through his head when liquor is a part of the equation. As far as hit singles go, this is one of Kendrick’s best since it covers a very serious topic and still manages to be a total club/radio banger.

24. ‘Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst’

Three individuals come into the picture on one of Kendrick’s finest examples of past reflections. “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” transports listeners into the life of a troubled youngster, a pissed-off brother of a sister that does whatever she can to get by, and that very same sister. This track produces four chapters full of deep looks at the lives of a group of people whose stories must be told. The way Kendrick wraps up this song by speaking on the people he mentioned beforehand is masterful.

25. ‘Compton’ (feat. Dr. Dre)

You just can’t go wrong with a song that features bars from Kendrick and Dr. Dre. And the added element of some incredible production from Just Blaze is just the perfect cherry on top. “Compton” is an audio tour through one of California’s most talked-about locales and excels as the city’s unofficial theme song. It doesn’t get any harder than this collaborative track that brings together two of the West Coast’s hip-hop kings. 

Honorable Mentions
26. ‘The Recipe’ (feat. Dr. Dre)

27. ‘Black Boy Fly’

28. ‘Wesley’s Theory’ (feat. George Clinton & Thundercat)

29. ‘Institutionalized’ (feat. Bilal, Anna Wise & Snoop Dogg)

30. ‘These Walls’ (feat. Bilal, Anna Wise & Thundercat)

31. ‘Alright’

32. ‘For Sale? (Interlude)’

33. ‘Momma’

34. ‘Hood Politics’

35. ‘How Much a Dollar Cost’ (feat. James Fauntleroy & Ronald Isley)

36. ‘Complexion (A Zulu Love)’ (feat. Rapsody)

37. ‘The Blacker the Berry’

38. ‘You Ain’t Gotta Lie (Momma Said)’

39. ‘I’

40. ‘Mortal Man’

41. ‘DNA.’

42. ‘FEEL.’

43. ‘LOYALTY. (feat. Rihanna)

44. ‘HUMBLE.’

45. ‘LOVE.’ (feat. Zacari)

46. ‘DUCKWORTH.’

47. ‘Untitled 03 | 05.28.2013.’

48. ‘Untitled 08 | 09.06.2014.’

49. ‘All The Stars’ (feat. SZA)

50. ‘Big Shot’ (feat. Travis Scott)

Categories
Culture News

The Newest Member of Young Thug’s YSL Deserves Your Attention

YTB Trench has been quite busy this first half of 2021, steadily releasing music over the course of these past few months. The rapper just unleashed the music video for his single ‘F.O.F.G’ two weeks ago, and has recently been featured on three collaborations with Young Thug: ‘Paid the Fine,’ ‘My City Remix,’ and the ‘Mob Ties Remix’ from Slime Language 2. The video for ‘F.O.F.G’ has already notched nearly 120,000 views as of this writing, making it the artist’s second-most watched video on his YouTube page behind his popular single ‘Trenches,’ proving that while still early in his career, Trench already has some major attention in the music industry. The latest guest to join host Mike Boyd on Monday to Monday, the two discuss the latest happening in his career.

The two kick start their conversation with Boyd giving props to Trench for representing the Midwest (Cincinnati, Ohio) in the music scene. “For sure,” says Trench before noting the lack of representation of rappers from Cincinnati. “There aren’t too many artists where I’m from, so that’s been another chip on my shoulder pushing me to go harder doing what I do.”

Boyd and Trench then dive into the extremely successful Slime Language 2 compilation album from Young Thug where as mentioned earlier, featured three appearances from the artist. “It all started after I got signed. Young Thug contacted me on Instagram, and after that he flew me out to Los Angeles. The album was already in the midst of getting released—actually it was done! I was there for about two or three days, and the team came with a specific track (‘Paid the Fine’). They told me to put my imagination on it and not to hold myself back. So that’s what I did.”

After a discussion about how Trench genuinely blends his emotions into his music, Boyd then asks Trench about the meaning of family, and how special it is to be a part of YSL. “Blood doesn’t make you family,” he tells Boyd before going further. “That’s how I know when I genuinely love a person because it’s easy—there is no challenge. If I’m around you and picking up your vibes, then that is genuine, and that’s what it’s like with the YSL family. I’m around a bunch of GOATs, so what do you think I’m going to be?”

Boyd and YTB Trench had a really cool conversation that you can check out above. In the meantime, you can keep up with all of the rapper’s latest updates on both Instagram and Twitter.

Categories
Culture Music

The Best Notorious B.I.G. Albums, Ranked

“It was all a dream, I used to read Word Up! magazine/Salt-n-Pepa and Heavy D up in the limousine/Hangin’ pictures on my wall/Every Saturday Rap Attack, Mr. Magic, Marley Marl.”

How could you not know the lyrics to one of the most inspirational, coming of age themed rap songs of all time? The way Christopher Wallace aka “The Notorious B.I.G.” eloquently described his rise to hip-hop stardom was masterful and simply unforgettable. When Biggie Smalls existed on this Earth in physical form, he blessed our ears with two solo albums that showcased his mastery of the microphone. He exuded a different type of swag, instilled confidence in all the fellas that looked just like him, and came hard on every song he starred on. We lost the Notorious B.I.G. far too soon, but his family, friends, and fans have done an incredible job of making sure his memory is never forgotten.

We’re going to aid in those commendable efforts and take a look at all the LPs that were graced by Biggie Small’s presence. From the albums he recorded while he was still here right on up to his posthumous efforts, these are all of the Notorious B.I.G. albums ranked from weakest to strongest.

6. ‘Conspiracy’

After dropping his debut album for the world at large, Biggie chose to link up with his ensemble of fellow MCs to offer up this collaborative effort. That LP is the Junior M.A.F.I.A. project known as Conspiracy. To be quite honest, this album hasn’t really aged all that well. The production featured on the majority of it screams “generic mid-90s boom bap fare” and the bars aren’t particularly memorable. There’s a few undeniable hits on this album, though – “Player’s Anthem,” “Get Money,” and “Lyrical Wizardry” have definite replay value. As for the rest of this LP, Conspiracy just doesn’t hold up in this day and age. And judging by the reviews that came out for it at the time of its release, a lot of critics weren’t too fond of it either.

5. ‘The King & I’

Faith Evans’s soulful vocals and Biggie’s smooth cadence when it comes to rapping prove to be the perfect match. This posthumous collaboration LP brings the two together for an album that has a few gems worth mentioning. “A Billion” offers a rousing solo from Faith herself, while “Legacy” delivers a soothing vibe that kicks off the album on a very strong note. Then there’s a bunch of other solid tunes littered throughout the rest of this album’s tracklist – “Can’t Get Enough,” “Tryna Get By,” “The Reason,” and “I Don’t Want It” are supremely strong efforts. The one thing holding this album back from being great is the overstuffed feeling it produces due to it featuring 25 songs in total. And sadly, a lot of those songs feel like filler and should have been left on the cutting room floor. The King & I is still a recommendable effort from Faith and Biggie, but it doesn’t truly excel as a full playthrough.

4. ‘Born Again’

Biggie’s first posthumous compilation album isn’t well remembered by many, which is a crime. Born Again has a couple of songs on it that are still held up as some of B.I.G.’s best songs from his storied catalog. “Notorious B.I.G.,” “Dead Wrong,” “Dangerous MCs,” and “Biggie” still have a ton of replay value. Some of the harder cuts on this album feature some surprising guest stars, such as Redman, Sadat X of Brand Nubian fame, Snoop Dogg, etc. “Who Shot Ya” is on this project, which should let you know how much of a forgotten gem this is. The more party-friendly songs on this album are the weakest efforts on it, however. And the beats that accompany those tracks are nothing but ear sewage, sadly. It’s hard to be upset with Born Again when you have quality Bad Boy group efforts like “Let Me Get Down” and “If I Should Die Before I Wake” on it, though.

3. ‘Duets: The Final Chapter’

Biggie’s second posthumous effort features a who’s who of hip-hop and R&B legends strewn all over it. And for the most part, they match up with Biggie’s archived verses quite well. “Spit Your Game,” “Whatchu Want,” “1970 Somethin,”, and “Get Your Grind On” are fiery rap-a-thon clinics. The main party-ready joint (“Nasty Girl”) still rings off in the club and at random weddings. The Bob Marley collab (“Hold Ya Head”) is the type of track that the world never thought they’d even get to hear – thankfully, Duets: The Final Chapter makes that dream music scenario a reality. This album is a bit stuffed, which means a few songs here and there feel like total wastes. But the good far outweighs the bad here, so there’s a lot to love from this Biggie collab compilation.

2. ‘Life After Death’

Just a few weeks after the tragic passing of B.I.G.’s death, the world was treated to his second album. And man, what a hell of a follow-up it is. Life After Death is one of the few hip-hop double albums that’s a lot better than you’d expect. “Hypnotize,” “Kick In The Door,” “I Love the Dough,” and “What’s Beef” are just some of the songs on this massive project that hit on all cylinders. A good majority of this LP provides an easy listen thanks to some amazing beats, quality collabs, and classic Biggie bars. “Sky’s the Limit,” “Ten Crack Commandments,” and “Sky’s the Limit” make up the second half of this project and do an awesome job of keeping the good streak of songs going. There are a few weaker tracks on this project, which should be expected since it’s a double album. But once you reach the end of Life After Death, you’ll be left satisfied and a bit depressed when you start to ponder about what would have come from Biggie if he was still with us.

1. ‘Ready to Die’

Ready to Die is considered hip-hop royalty by many – its cover is the very definition of paradigmatic and the songs that make up its tracklist are considered homework for anyone looking to research the very best of the genre. Biggie came into the game like a force to be reckoned with as evidenced by the wealth of quality material he dropped on this album. “Things Done Changed,” “Gimme the Loot, “Machine Gun Funk,” and “Warning” hit hard and leave an indelible mark on anyone that jams out to them. Then there are iconic songs featured on here, such as “Juicy,” “Big Poppa,” “Unbelievable,” and “Respect.” Ready to Die is the type of exclamation point that all rappers should hope to attain with their first major studio effort. Biggie’s greatness was solidified from the very beginning thanks to this amazing debut album.

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Culture Music

The Best Notorious B.I.G. Albums, Ranked

“It was all a dream, I used to read Word Up! magazine/Salt-n-Pepa and Heavy D up in the limousine/Hangin’ pictures on my wall/Every Saturday Rap Attack, Mr. Magic, Marley Marl.”

How could you not know the lyrics to one of the most inspirational, coming of age themed rap songs of all time? The way Christopher Wallace aka “The Notorious B.I.G.” eloquently described his rise to hip-hop stardom was masterful and simply unforgettable. When Biggie Smalls existed on this Earth in physical form, he blessed our ears with two solo albums that showcased his mastery of the microphone. He exuded a different type of swag, instilled confidence in all the fellas that looked just like him, and came hard on every song he starred on. We lost the Notorious B.I.G. far too soon, but his family, friends, and fans have done an incredible job of making sure his memory is never forgotten.

We’re going to aid in those commendable efforts and take a look at all the LPs that were graced by Biggie Small’s presence. From the albums he recorded while he was still here right on up to his posthumous efforts, these are all of the Notorious B.I.G. albums ranked from weakest to strongest.

6. ‘Conspiracy’

After dropping his debut album for the world at large, Biggie chose to link up with his ensemble of fellow MCs to offer up this collaborative effort. That LP is the Junior M.A.F.I.A. project known as Conspiracy. To be quite honest, this album hasn’t really aged all that well. The production featured on the majority of it screams “generic mid-90s boom bap fare” and the bars aren’t particularly memorable. There’s a few undeniable hits on this album, though – “Player’s Anthem,” “Get Money,” and “Lyrical Wizardry” have definite replay value. As for the rest of this LP, Conspiracy just doesn’t hold up in this day and age. And judging by the reviews that came out for it at the time of its release, a lot of critics weren’t too fond of it either.

5. ‘The King & I’

Faith Evans’s soulful vocals and Biggie’s smooth cadence when it comes to rapping prove to be the perfect match. This posthumous collaboration LP brings the two together for an album that has a few gems worth mentioning. “A Billion” offers a rousing solo from Faith herself, while “Legacy” delivers a soothing vibe that kicks off the album on a very strong note. Then there’s a bunch of other solid tunes littered throughout the rest of this album’s tracklist – “Can’t Get Enough,” “Tryna Get By,” “The Reason,” and “I Don’t Want It” are supremely strong efforts. The one thing holding this album back from being great is the overstuffed feeling it produces due to it featuring 25 songs in total. And sadly, a lot of those songs feel like filler and should have been left on the cutting room floor. The King & I is still a recommendable effort from Faith and Biggie, but it doesn’t truly excel as a full playthrough.

4. ‘Born Again’

Biggie’s first posthumous compilation album isn’t well remembered by many, which is a crime. Born Again has a couple of songs on it that are still held up as some of B.I.G.’s best songs from his storied catalog. “Notorious B.I.G.,” “Dead Wrong,” “Dangerous MCs,” and “Biggie” still have a ton of replay value. Some of the harder cuts on this album feature some surprising guest stars, such as Redman, Sadat X of Brand Nubian fame, Snoop Dogg, etc. “Who Shot Ya” is on this project, which should let you know how much of a forgotten gem this is. The more party-friendly songs on this album are the weakest efforts on it, however. And the beats that accompany those tracks are nothing but ear sewage, sadly. It’s hard to be upset with Born Again when you have quality Bad Boy group efforts like “Let Me Get Down” and “If I Should Die Before I Wake” on it, though.

3. ‘Duets: The Final Chapter’

Biggie’s second posthumous effort features a who’s who of hip-hop and R&B legends strewn all over it. And for the most part, they match up with Biggie’s archived verses quite well. “Spit Your Game,” “Whatchu Want,” “1970 Somethin,”, and “Get Your Grind On” are fiery rap-a-thon clinics. The main party-ready joint (“Nasty Girl”) still rings off in the club and at random weddings. The Bob Marley collab (“Hold Ya Head”) is the type of track that the world never thought they’d even get to hear – thankfully, Duets: The Final Chapter makes that dream music scenario a reality. This album is a bit stuffed, which means a few songs here and there feel like total wastes. But the good far outweighs the bad here, so there’s a lot to love from this Biggie collab compilation.

2. ‘Life After Death’

Just a few weeks after the tragic passing of B.I.G.’s death, the world was treated to his second album. And man, what a hell of a follow-up it is. Life After Death is one of the few hip-hop double albums that’s a lot better than you’d expect. “Hypnotize,” “Kick In The Door,” “I Love the Dough,” and “What’s Beef” are just some of the songs on this massive project that hit on all cylinders. A good majority of this LP provides an easy listen thanks to some amazing beats, quality collabs, and classic Biggie bars. “Sky’s the Limit,” “Ten Crack Commandments,” and “Sky’s the Limit” make up the second half of this project and do an awesome job of keeping the good streak of songs going. There are a few weaker tracks on this project, which should be expected since it’s a double album. But once you reach the end of Life After Death, you’ll be left satisfied and a bit depressed when you start to ponder about what would have come from Biggie if he was still with us.

1. ‘Ready to Die’

Ready to Die is considered hip-hop royalty by many – its cover is the very definition of paradigmatic and the songs that make up its tracklist are considered homework for anyone looking to research the very best of the genre. Biggie came into the game like a force to be reckoned with as evidenced by the wealth of quality material he dropped on this album. “Things Done Changed,” “Gimme the Loot, “Machine Gun Funk,” and “Warning” hit hard and leave an indelible mark on anyone that jams out to them. Then there are iconic songs featured on here, such as “Juicy,” “Big Poppa,” “Unbelievable,” and “Respect.” Ready to Die is the type of exclamation point that all rappers should hope to attain with their first major studio effort. Biggie’s greatness was solidified from the very beginning thanks to this amazing debut album.

Categories
Culture Music

The 50 Best Hip-Hop Albums of All Time

As a musical genre, hip-hop has morphed into a mainstream force that impacts everything from the way we dress to the way we speak.

From the rough & tumble streets of the Bronx in the 70s right up until the current day, masterful wordsmiths have taken to the mic to put their lyrical art on full display. Rap/hip-hop aficionados all over the globe have been treated to some of the finest pieces of work in all of music from mega-popular acts and underground legends. While there are hundreds of recommendable albums worth mentioning here, we decided to come up with a definitive list of 50 hip-hop albums that will always stand the test of time due to their unbridled musical excellence and relevant social commentary.

The LPs scattered all over this list should implore you to dig into the digital crates and unearth the lyrical gems each GOAT-tier MC provides.

1. ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ – Lauryn Hill

Queen Hill arrived on the scene as a member of the legendary trio The Fugees (more on that group later). When she decided to step out on her own and deliver her first solo LP, the world got treated to an all-time classic. This LP props up black women as a whole and speaks on the issues that plague them on a daily basis (dealing with one’s sexuality and sense of identity, for instance). Lauryn Hill mashed up a number of genres and came away with an amazing hodgepodge of songs that inspired an entire generation of women to pursue their musical dreams.

2. ‘Criminal Minded’ – Boogie Down Productions

The debut LP from the collective trio of KRS-One, D-Nice, and DJ Scott La Rock is an East Coast gem that still knocks to this very day. The clever amalgamation of rap/hip-hop, rock & roll, and reggae influences played the background perfectly while KRS-One released a flood of hard-hitting bars. Songs like “South Bronx” and “The Bridge is Over” are monumental hits off of this monumental LP. Thankfully, the rest of the songs on offer here are just as phenomenal as those undisputed hip-hop gems.

3. ‘Only Built for Cuban Linx…’ – Raekwon

Mafioso rap sounds so legit whenever Raekwon the Chef and Ghostface Killah deliver it. Both of these Wu-Tang affiliates mastered that art and inspired a generation of fellow MCs to follow in their footsteps thanks to this certified classic. The production is ace, the skits are actually worth listening to, and the songs themselves are top-tier 36 Chambers material. From front to back, Only Built for Cuban Linx… provides listeners with a rugged trip through a life filled with gangland activities and unmatched machismo.

4. ‘Liquid Swords’ – GZA

GZA is truly “The Genius.” He put his proficiency for intelligent raps on full display on his debut LP, Liquid Swords. RZA truly got in his production bag and blessed this LP with some of the finest beats he’s ever created. And thankfully, GZA’s flows perfectly stayed in the pocket for each banger as he broke down the trials and tribulations of a hood upbringing. When the opening notes to “4th Chamber” kick in, every rap head in the vicinity has no choice but to rock an ugly scowl while they bump their head in place.

5. ‘Raising Hell’ – Run DMC

Run DMC’s unmatched synergy can be dissected in full just by listening to this seminal LP. Run and DMC go back and forth like the fast & furious tandem they are over masterful beats/cuts from Jam Master Jay. “Peter Piper,” “It’s Tricky,” and “My Adidas” are peak Run DMC. And one can’t forget the mega hip-hop/rock & roll crossover hit that is “Walk This Way” with Aerosmith. Raising Hell is required homework for any modern-day MC that wants a lesson or two about mastering the art of rap.

6. ‘Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ – 50 Cent

As soon as that quarter drops, everyone knows what’s coming next. 50 Cent’s blockbuster album starts off with a bang and doesn’t slow down the whole way through. The man known as Curtis Jackson caused a bootlegging frenzy upon release and broke into the mainstream consciousness due to the greatness of this LP. “In da Club” is just one of the many solidified bangers that have pushed this album to legendary status and signified Fif’ as one of the best to ever do it.

7. ‘The Infamous’ – Mobb Deep

Queensbridge’s very own Havoc and Prodigy (RIP, King!) catapulted themselves to a higher level of hip-hop excellence once their second album offering hit the streets. The Infamous offers gritty descriptions of two young men making their way through a life filled with plenty of turmoil. Both MCs brought furious young energy to each track and did it all while dropping street knowledge on the back of classic beats. “Shook One, Pt. II,” “Survival of the Fittest,” and “Give Up the Goods” are just three of the reasons why this album will always stay in rotation.

8. ‘3 Feet High and Rising’ – De La Soul

Noted producer Prince Paul helped form the soundscape for De La Soul’s debut album. It was released during a time where gangsta rap was all the rage, yet it still managed to garner plenty of attention and praise thanks to a deviation in theme and sound. The colorful cover itself is iconic and so are the songs that match that image’s super cool vibe. Posdnuos, Trugoy, and Maseo have always been a winning trio – jamming to joints like “The Magic Number” and “Me, Myself, and I” do a good job of convincing everyone of that undisputed fact.

9. ‘The Marshal Mathers LP’ – Eminem

Detroit’s premier wordsmith built up a strong catalog of songs with his first two albums. But things truly took a turn for the better once Eminem released The Marshal Mathers LP. Em’s slick wordplay and outlandish disses for the world at large are in fine form here. Songs like “Stan” showcase a version of Em that’s willing to delve into the sorts of topics that are rarely mentioned within hip-hop. The rest of The Marshal Mathers LP hits all the high notes that fans have come to champion about one of rap’s certified GOATs.

10. ‘Reasonable Doubt’ – Jay-Z

The Jigga Man arrived on the scene in full mafioso garb and had the lyrics to match all that bravado with Reasonable Doubt. The very best luxury raps are littered all over this magnificent debut LP. It says a lot about an album when you can play the first five seconds of every song on it and most folks recognize it without too much effort. Listening to this album is a worthwhile experience since it successfully mirrors the high stakes that come with organized crimes and other risky endeavors.

11. ‘Hard Core’ – Lil’ Kim

The “Queen B” kept it all the way real and raunchy when she stepped into a hip-hop arena that tends to be dominated by the opposite sex. With Hard Core, Lil’ Kim threw all caution to the wind as she spits with the best of ‘em. While there aren’t a ton of features on this one, the guests that do appear do a great job of further strengthening Kim’s repertoire of provocative (in a good way) songs. “Big Momma Thang,” “No Time,” “Crush on You,” and “Drugs” are held up as some of Kim’s greatest songs. And as luck would have it, they all appear on this album.

12. ‘The Blueprint’ – Jay-Z

The Blueprint is practically a how-to guide on how to put together an album that simply can’t be denied. With a nice mix of Kanye West and Just Blaze beats to support him, Jay-Z floats all over each track with ease and exudes his best qualities as an MC. He goes for the jugular on “Takeover,” gets super celebratory with “Izzo (H.O.V.A.),” throws lyrical bouquets at the ladies with “Girls, Girls, Girls,” and goes toe to toe with Eminem on “Renegade.” This is the album that laid the foundation for some of your favorite rappers, so all praises due to The Blueprint.

13. ‘Paid in Full’ – Eric B & Rakim

Rakim is referred to as the God MC for good reason – his furious flow and penchant for crafting bars that hit you right in the soul have afforded him the right to accept that moniker. With DJ Eric B by his side, Rakim changed the rap game in a dramatic fashion with this incredible LP. The cover itself evokes dreams of making it big through one’s undefeatable hustle – thankfully, Rakim reflects that hunger for greatness through his kingly bars and delivery. Paid in Full inspired a whole generation of 90s babies to step to the mic and it’s easy to see/hear why. Never forget – “MC means move the crowd.”

14. ‘It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot’ – DMX

Darkman X’s yin and yang qualities made millions of fans flock to him. Even though he may have found himself in the worst situations imaginable, his faith and undeniable passion inspired others to remain strong just like he did. DMX’s magnum opus It’s Dark and Hell is Hot showcases the Ruff Ryder representative’s many trials and tribulations through some of the hardest rap songs ever laid on wax. “Get at Me Dog,” “Stop Being Greedy,” and “The Convo” are just a sample of the headbangers that make this album an unforgettable trip with the Darkman himself. 

15. ‘It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back’ – Public Enemy

Chuck D’s socially conscious lyrics, Flavor Flav’s magnetic persona, Terminator X’s intense scratches, and The Bomb Squad’s boomin’ beats were a winning combo back in the day. It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back masterfully combined all of those elements while producing an album with an unapologetic message that remains relevant to this day. “Fight the Power” and “Bring the Noise” are clear examples of the heavy hitters that define this bodacious hip-hop classic.

16. ‘Ready to Die’ – The Notorious B.I.G.

Christopher Wallace aka The Notorious B.I.G. left an indelible mark on the world of hip-hop. Even though he only left the world before he could really get going, his two solo projects produced a discography full of tracks that Golden Era rap fans swear by. Biggie’s hard-hitting lyrics and flow delve into a wide range of hood tales all over his amazing debut album, Ready to Die. This classic album features songs that describe the daily lives of stick-up kids (“Gimme the Loot”), achieving one’s lofty dreams (“Juicy”), and staying ahead of those that simply want to stick you for your paper (“Warning”). Ready to Die is an autobiographical listen that perfectly encapsulates the rough and tumble upbringing of Bad Boy’s greatest MC.

17. ‘Illmatic’ – Nas

The world truly sat in the hands of a young Nas when he arrived with his debut LP, Illmatic. He managed to meet the overwhelming hype attached to his name and did it with only 10 tracks. Nas’s production dream team at the time (DJ Premier, Large Professor, Q-Tip, Pete Rock, and L.E.S.) created a strong array of soundscapes that allowed the Queensbridge MC to lyrically prosper. Nas’s aptitude for storytelling and smooth flows can be heard through songs like “N.Y. State of Mind,” “The World is Yours,” “Represent,” and “One Love.”

18. ‘Doggystyle’ – Snoop Doggy Dogg

Doggystyle is practically a West Coast party that bangs through your speakers every time you throw it on. Young Snoop tapped into the sounds of the region that raised him as he took listeners on a wild ride through the streets of L.A. Doggystyle remains an easy listen to this day thanks to a number of factors, which includes top-notch beats from Dr. Dre, raunchy lyrics that always elicit a few laughs every time they’re heard, and a collection of L.A. MCs that ruled the 90s. Snoop Dogg came into the game like a force of nature – his continued relevance is due in part to this hard-edged album debut.

19. ‘Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)’ – Wu-Tang Clan

Never forget – Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nothin to ‘eff with. That statement will always ring true no matter the time we live in. Every member of the Wu-Tang got together like Voltron to give hip-hop heads across the globe one of the grittiest records of all time. Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) can get a flood of fans to flip into mosh pit mode, which should tell you just how monumental everything on that LP is. The posse cuts are out of this world and helped define the best qualities of each Wu-Tang member. “C.R.E.A.M.,” “Method Man,” “Protect Ya Neck,” and “Da Mystery of Chessboxin’” are essential listening if you ever want to consider yourself a true rap aficionado.

20. ‘The Score’ – The Fugees

New Jersey’s own Fugees camp ascended from their underground origins to a level of mainstream superstardom thanks to this album. All three parts of the mega trio brought their signature traits together and managed to craft undeniable jams in the process. The East Coast vibes knock extra hard on this one, as evidenced by “How Many Mics,” “Ready or Not,” “Fu-Gee-La,” and “The Score.” “Killing Me Softly With His Song” put Lauryn Hill’s heavenly vocals front and center, which is one of the many gifts The Score gave to the world.

21. ‘Midnight Marauders’ – A Tribe Called Quest’

A Tribe Called Quest mastered the art of jazzy samples and boom-bap instrumentals when it released its third album. Hip-hop stables don’t get any better than the trio of Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Jarobi White. Their incredible synergy can be heard throughout each and every part of this album (special shout out to Tribe’s long list of friends that agreed to appear on the cover, too). Backpackers everywhere live by songs like “Award Tour,” “Electric Relaxation,” and “Lyrics to Go.” Midnight Marauders is a whole vibe that’s super chill and worth experiencing on more than one occasion.

22. ‘Aquemini’ – Outkast

This pick also falls into the category of “amazing third release from an illustrious hip-hop group.” Outkast already built up an amazing track record with Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik and ATLiens – once they released Aquemini, it was quite evident that their superstar status had reached another level. This LP featured those signature Andre 300 and Big Boi traits that we’ve all come to appreciate, such as southern bounce, tongue-twisting flows, and thought-provoking lyrics. “Rosa Parks,” “both parts of “Da Art of Storytellin’,” and “Aquemini” all lift this project to the high heavens where only the greatest hip-hop albums reside.

23. ‘All Eyez on Me’ – 2Pac

Once 2Pac’s prison sentence came to an end, he aligned himself with Death Row and emerged from its studios with the album most people hold in high regard. 2Pac’s frustrations and triumphs were told in equal parts across this two-disc LP. Most double albums feel bloated and full of filler, yet All Eyez on Me stands apart from the pack thanks to a mix of strong singles and underrated B-Side cuts. “Ambitionz Az a Ridah,” “How Do You Want It,” “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted,” and “I Ain’t Mad At Cha” are just a few of the bangers that define the greatness of this album.

24. ‘Mecca and the Soul Brother’ – Pete Rock & CL Smooth

This album is one of those ultimate knockers that cause necks to break everywhere due to excessive head bobbing. Pete Rock laid the audio groundwork for his man’s CL Smooth to lay down his most memorable rhymes. Mecca and the Soul Brother describes the everyday life of an urban NYC denizen thanks to CL Smooth’s vivid wordplay. “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” still stands tall as one of the greatest song tributes of all time. The rest of this LP exposes those who don’t know to the incredible production of Pete Rock and the slick bars that come courtesy of CL Smooth.

25. ‘The Chronic’ – Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre is a noted perfectionist. Whenever he drops an album, it’s an event that brings everything to a standstill. That’s because it rarely happens due to the fact that Dre works his sound until it matches the high quality established by his debut album. The G-Funk established by The Chronic inspired an army of West Coast MCs to follow in Dre’s footsteps, which should clue you in to just how monumental it was. “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang,” “Let Me Ride,” and “F**k wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)” are the type of songs that simply can’t be denied. The Chronic is GOAT album material, no matter the coastal region.

Honorable Mentions
26. ‘Black on Both Sides’ – Mos Def

27. ‘The Low End Theory’ – A Tribe Called Quest

28. ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ – Kendrick Lamar

29. ‘Efil4zaggin’ – N.W.A.

30. ‘Madvillainy’ – Madvillain

31. ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ – Kanye West

32. ‘Fantastic, Vol. 2’ – Slum Village

33. ‘Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101’ – Young Jeezy

34. ‘Tha Carter III’ – Lil Wayne

35. ‘The Minstrel Show’ – Little Brother

36. ‘Good Kid, M.A.A.D City’ – Kendrick Lamar

37. ‘Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde’ – The Pharcyde

38. ‘The College Dropout’ – Kanye West

39. ‘Paul’s Boutique’ – Beastie Boys

40. ‘Supa Dupa Fly’ – Missy Elliot

41. ‘Critical Beatdown’ – Ultramagnetic MCs

42. ‘2001’ – Dr. Dre

43. ‘Trap Muzik’ – T.I.

44. ‘Supreme Clientele’ – Ghostface Killah

45. ‘Death Certificate’ – Ice Cube

46. ‘The Renaissance’ – Q-Tip

47. ‘The Black Album’ – Jay-Z

48. ‘ELE (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Event’ – Busta Rhymes

49. ‘EVE’ – Rapsody

50. ‘AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted’ by Ice Cube