To start off with an internet age-old cliche: there’s too much music. In a year, there are more verses spit than anybody could ever keep track of. Whether the artist is making you screw your face with some sick lyricism or telling a story that resonates, we will remember a few of our favorites (then re-discover others later). For that simple reason, it’s also hard to remember every stunning verse you hear. While the Drakes, Nicki Minajs, and Kendrick Lamars will be immortalized for top notch verses, there is a ton of artists who fly under your radar. I decided to pick five from this year that definitely didn’t get enough attention.
Vince Staples – Progressive 3 (First Verse)
Sometimes, a memorable verse is fixated on one line that stands out upon first listen. For Vince, it was “as long as hell is burning, I’ll murder God if he was tryna fuck my paper, nigga that’s all I got.” Jesus. The verse is reckless as he calls Obama a “house nigga” and goes on about a narrative of a young man in the hood. “A penny saved is a penny earned/ so I’ll be stacking up this copper while the city burns” painted a vivid picture of where Vince’s head is at.
G-Eazy – I Mean It (Second Verse)
What G-Eazy does on this verse is an effortless warning to the rest of the rap game. The first verse was more having fun, then the second shifts into a focused state. “You people wonder who’s next up/ that conversation really ends here,” he spits halfway through. This is him distinguishing himself away from the rest of the competition, while backing it up that he does indeed have next. One final blow ends the verse: “She wears a ring, came through without it/ You really think she stay true? I doubt it/ Cause I’m fucking your girlfriend, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Ro Ransom – All We Are (Third Verse)
Compare Ro Ransom’s third verse on “All We Are” to Goku achieving Super Saiyan status. He starts out very calm with a speech, then takes a Mr. Hyde-esque turn with rage. “All my heroes died or did Heroin/ I should be getting high as fuck from here on in,” he kicks well deep into channeling his frustration toward the stereotype of New York artists and boasting that he let some of these wack rappers put their material out while he was on an extended vacation.
QuESt – Hunger (Second Verse)
Fun fact: the original version of “Hunger” was one long verse. I loved it better that way. Picking QuESt’s best verses is another list entirely. The 6ix-produced “Hunger” finds him on top of his competition like Triple H towering over his victim with a sledgehammer. “I ain’t been threatened by an album since I heard Food & Liquor” is a head-turning statement. He also lists off a lot of rappers in their prime stages that he feels like, like Jigga with his double time or “Lloyd Banks ‘03 gunning with the punchlines.”
Montana Of 300 – Slaughterhouse (One Verse)
As far as intros go, Montana of 300 had one of the best in 2014. Like Vince’s verse, Montana said something that stuck with me: “And greedy people hang around you when you promised them blessings/ would you still be loyal to God if he didn’t promise you heaven?” His flow and the haunting production are a match made in, well, you know. I’ve always enjoyed verses of this caliber, because it’s just an onslaught of his thoughts and feelings from the perspective of someone who grew up in a different environment.
What verses would you include in an underrated list for 2014?