There is no doubt, if you dig back through the 90s’ to the present time, you can find a handful of timeless hip-hop verses. Of course, everyone is entitled to their very own opinion on which verse is arguably the “dopest” or not, but we are going to take you down memory lane on artists who have catalogs that are still being dissected by bar biters and enthusiasts.
“I ain’t a killa but don’t push me, revenge is like the sweetest joy next to getting…”
Tupac aka Makaveli (Killuminati all through your body…) “Hail Mary” Album: The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory
Straight out the gate on the first verse, Tupac brings the heat, spitting knowledge and giving us life music through his core as the song continues.
“Hah, sicker than your average, Poppa twist cabbage off instinct….. Pink gaters, my Detroit players… Poppa been smooth since days of Underroos..”
Album: Life After Death
Notorious B.I.G. “Hynotize” Ft. Pamela Long (Total)
This whole song can be picked apart, but the first verse is definitely a crowd pleaser.
“I’mma get in a n*&^a chest like a bunch of phlegm… like a f&*(*&g ram on a hunt for a lamb.. Hair nappy like Pam, man f&*k your plan…”
Album: Carter III
Lil’ Wayne “Let The Beat Build”
These eight bars made you not want the song to end, he went all the way in. This verse embodied this entire project.
“And, my physical frame is celebrated ‘cause I made it one quarter through life, some Godly-like thing created, got rhymes 365 days annual…. cuss while I pus from my skull, ‘cause it’s pain in my brain vein, money maintain…Time is illmatic, keep static like wool fabric…”
Nas Ft. AZ- “Life’s a B&*(h”
A rap genius indeed! Nas bar game is quick and clever.
“Thinking of a master plan, because there ain’t nothing but sweat in my hand. So I dig into my pocket, all my money spent, so I dig deeper but still coming up with lint.. Thinking how could I get some dead presidents.”
Eric B. and Rakim- “Paid In Full”
Album: Paid In Full
This verse comes from Rakim. This entire song is a classic from Eric B. and Rakim. Almost every rapper true the art in the game has referenced verses and sampled many parts of this entire song.
“H to the izz-O, V to the izz-A, for sheezy, my neezy, keep my arms so breezy, Can’t leave rap alone the game needs me. Haters want me clapped in chrome, it ain’t easy.”
Jay Z- “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)”
Album: The Blue Print
The Marcy Houses housing projects legend definitely dropped some major gems through this song, as he broke down his life’s story. The first verse gives you his signature word play, but if you really pay attention to the lyrics, it is deep.
“Rappers stepping to me they want to get some, but I’m the Kane so you know the outcome, another victory, so yo you know the outcome. So pick a BC date cause you’re history.”
Big Daddy Kane “Ain’t No Half Steppin”
Album: Long Live The Kane
As soon as this song comes on, you probably could name at least 2 songs off the jump that was influenced by this one or rappers who might have been inspired by his flow. Legend.
“Ten times out of nine, now if I’m lyin’ find the quickest muzzle, throw it out my mouth and I’ll decline, King meets queen, then the puppy love thing… Become a musician to abracadabra all the sadder, thoughts of me, thoughts of she, thoughts of he..”
Outkast- “Ms. Jackson”
A-T-L legends climbed the Billboard with this hit record. It’s something when rappers or artists get personal; it makes for the best music. Andre 3000 adds the theatrics and you felt it.
“Visions of Martin Luther staring at me, Malcom X put a hex on my future, someone catch me, I’m falling victim to the revolutionary song, the Serengeti’s clone.”
Kendrick Lamar- “Hiii Power”
Kendrick Lamar is like a firecracker once he gets going in a verse; there is no stopping his phenomenal energy behind his word game. This song is relevant, still.
“How dare you try to step on my suede shoes, Top Gun shut down your firm like Tom Cruise… Acting fools breaking s&*t down to molecules.”
Busta Rhymes- “Woo Hah!” (Got You All in Check)
Album: The Coming
Busta Rhymes energy is through the roof! His unique approach to the bar game is definitely legend. The whole second verse was ill.
“Rhyme slaying, straight suckers I’m slaying, hoes I’m laying, niggas gon’ barely stand, I got ‘em laying and praying, delaying, decaying.”
Mystikal- “Here I Go”
Album: Mind of Mystikal
The 504 rap icon will make you feel what he is saying. The emotions he puts behind his bar has been coined his signature.
“All my real dogs still kick it with me, All my down h*&#s still tricking with me, all the true gangstas know, Nate ain’t never love no h*.. Nate ain’t passing nothing but dro indeed, real trees, chronic leaves, no seeds.”
Dre- “Xxplosive” featurying Nate Dogg, Kurupt & Hittman
- Album: 2001
This one goes to one of the West Coast pioneers, Nate Dogg. His singing/rapping brought a new element to the eight-bar arena, setting a trend that still exist in modern day hip-hop.
“Yeah, officer from overseer, you need a little clarity? Check the similarity! The overseer rode around the plantation, The office is off, patrollin’ all the nation, The overseer could stop you, “What you’re doing?” The officer will pull you over just when he’s pursuing…. And if you fought back, the overseer had the right to kill, The officer has a right to arrest.”
KRS 1 “Sound of da Police”
Album: Return of the Boom Bap
From 1993 to 2017, it’s a shame the lyrics to this hit record by one of the greatest to ever do it is still accurate. KRS 1 stands for no fear when it comes to spitting truth into bars; he literally shines light on tough topics. Verse 2 gave a good synopsis of the song in it’s entirety.
Fun fact about this list is rapper Kanye West was behind a few of these hit songs. Can you guess which ones he produced on?
So, now that you’ve viewed the list (and maybe did some research too), who has the dopest lyrics in history? We want to know what you think.
Written By: Keandra “Ke’Ke” Scott