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20 of the Best Hip-Hop Verses of 2016

Jerod Harris / Paras Griffin / Neilson Barnard, Getty Images (3)
Jerod Harris / Paras Griffin / Neilson Barnard, Getty Images (3)

If hip-hop is currently in the mumble rappers era, don’t jump to the conclusion that lyricism is dead. Lyricism is still an important foundation of hip-hop. Yes, some of the newer that have become popular in the game aren’t always the first to drop a hot 16, but there are plenty of MCs in hip-hop that are spittin’ some of the best verses of the year. As hip-hop has grown to become a multi-billion dollar industry filled with diverse artists who bring different contributions to the genre, lyricism is still key.

When Chance The Rapper delivers his gospel-inspired verse on Kanye West’s “Ultralight Beam” it’s hard not to get goosebumps. When André 3000 goes berserk on Frank Ocean’s “Solo (Reprise,)” it’s very easy to put the track on repeat. Then there’s newcomer Young M.A, who has proved to be one of the more respected lyricists of 2016, and shows out on “EAT.” Kendrick Lamar is one of the most consistent rappers in hip-hop history with his addition to Travis Scott’s “Goosebumps” and Nas is a walking legend that gets even more respect for his work on DJ Khaled’s “Nas Album Done.” No matter what era or generation, MCs who know how to spit will always be celebrated.

XXL takes a look back at 2016 to find out who had some of the best verses of the year. Lyricism is very much alive.


Chance The Rapper

Verse on Kanye West’s “Ultralight Beam”
 
 

 

André 3000

Verse on Frank Ocean’s “Solo (Reprise)”
 
 

 

Earl Sweatshirt

Verse on Danny Brown’s “Really Doe”
 
 
 

Vince Staples

First Verse on “War Ready”
 
 

 

Noname

First Verse on “Casket Pretty”
 
 
 

Offset

Verse on Migos’ “Bad and Boujee”
 
 
 

J. Cole

Verse on “Everybody Dies”
 
 
 

Black Thought

Verse on “Making a Murderer”
 
 
 

Kendrick Lamar

Verse on Travis Scott’s “Goosebumps”
 
 

 

Kodak Black

Verse on “Lonely”
 
 
 

Quavo

Verse on Travis Scott and Young Thug’s “Pick Up the Phone”
 
 
 

Riz MC

Verse on Swet Shop Boys’ “Zayn Malik”
 
 

 

Phife Dawg, Q-Tip and Jarobi White

First Verse on A Tribe Called Quest’s “Dis Generation”
 
 

 

Ka

First Verse on “Just”
 
 

 

Nas

Verse on DJ Khaled’s “Nas Album Done”
 
 

 

Pusha T

Verse on “Drug Dealers Anonymous”
 
 
 

Drake

Verse on “4PM in Calabasas”
 
 
 

Dave East

Verse on “Kiesha”
 
 
 

The Game

Second Verse on “Pest Control”
 
 
 

Young M.A

Verse on “EAT”
 
 
 

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