Hip-hop comes with a lot of guest verses, and 2011 was no exception to the rule. Sometimes featuring extra rappers improves a track by building on the artist’s energy and offering different perspectives. Other times, it hurts a good song and brings it back to earth. In this case, we are only looking at successes. Below are the top 10 guest verses of 2011.
Drake on DJ Khaled’s “I’m On One”
“I’m gettin so thowed, I ain’t went this hard since I was 18/Apologize if I say, anything I don’t mean”
It happened this year, I begrudgingly became a Drake fan and this verse — the verse of the summer — was the catalyst for that fandom.
Kendrick Lamar on the Game’s “the City”
“Living in the city where the skinny n*ggas die and the semi bullets fly, but it turned me into a lion.”
I’m still sort of skeptical of Kendrick Lamar’s ability to carry his own album, but he’s no doubt shown that he can rap with pretty much anyone as he does — acapella no less — jaw-droppingly well on the opening track to the Game’s the R.E.D. Album.
Freddie Gibbs on Curren$y’s “Scottie Pippens”
“I’m gangbang affiliated, federal investigated, self educated, all my co-conspirators catchin cases/I dropped straight out of college and I majored in home invasions”
Gibbs’ verse on “Scottie Pippens” is the highlight of the otherwise so-so Alchemist-Curren$y Covert Coup album; it sounds like he takes a deep blunt pull and raps his sing-songy ass off.
Tity Boi on Juicy J’s, “Zip and a Double Cup (Remix)”
“Put two blunts together like extension chords/smoke a whole notha ounce cuz a n*gga bored”
1) I still insist on calling 2 Chainz his old name Tity Boi. 2) The only dude who could outdo Juicy J on a track like this is a wailing Tity Boi.
ASAP Ferg on ASAP Rocky’s “Kissin Pink”
“I be on my fergenstein/I stay on my money grind/then I’m goin out of my mind”
Little known ASAP Ferg stole the scene with his hilarious sing-songy verse on this Beautiful Lou produced jam from LiveLoveASAP.
Ludacris on Big K.R.I.T.’s “Country Shit”
“My trunk bumpin like it’s injected/ass shots like a stripper”
Luda is always pretty magical over the right beat, and while folks can be down on his solo material, the man is a legendary feature artist.
Andre 3000 on Beyonce’s “Party”
“Kiddo says he looks up to me, this just makes me feel old/Never thought that we would become someone else’s hero”
Maybe we’re just excited to hear 3000 on the mic, but this verse felt like the perfect complement to Yonce’s swagu.
Beanie Sigel on Meek Mill’s “Dreamchasers”
“Christmas missed us, no birthdays or Easters/Used to snatch bags from Halloween trick or treaters”
Beanie is great when reminiscing on his Philly upbringing and this sorrowful beat is a nice palette for those raps.
Danny Brown on Roach Gigz’s “Drugs (Remix)”
“Passed out on the couch/with a lit cigarette hangin out my mouth”
This beat and subject matter was one of the more logical pairings for DB to continue his 2011 hot streak with Gonzo-esque raps.
Bentley on G-Side’s “16 Shots”
“In my lifetime like the guy from Marcy/I be ridin round like I’m in the car seat/strapped cuz I seen what they did to Gaddafi, Malcolm, Martin”
On the fiery fed up “16 Shots” from G-Side’s Island, nobody was more amped than Huntsville vet Bentley.