Lyricism is the backbone of hip hop. Although there are a ton of rappers who aren’t saying a gotdamn thing, there are those who are exceptionally gifted at putting words together over a beat. And with so many songs dropping during any given month, we feel that those rhymes that combine lyrical dexterity and cleverness with verbal gymnastics should be celebrated.
Each month, we’ll spotlight five or so of the finest offerings and leave it up to you to vote who had the Verse Of The Month. After we tally the votes, we’ll post the winner of the fan-vote as well as who The DopeHouse ultimately thought put together the best display of lyricism.
January is a notoriously slow month in hip hop where artists are gearing up for the new year. 2017 is a little different as some of hip hop’s finest have come out firing. Two family members of the Slaughterhouse collective caught bodies over other people’s beats. Royce 5’9″ destroyed everything in sight but really got busy on “Beats Keep Callin” while KXNG Crooked wrecked Kanye’s “Real Friends.” Joey Bada$$ made his presence felt during The Donald’s inauguration with “Land of the Free” while Lloyd Banks and J.I.D. slayed “History 2” and “Bruuh.” And, of course, there’s Killer Mike on “Pots & Pans.”
(Each link above includes song and lyrics.)
If this is any indication, 2017 is going to be a year of emcees stepping up their lyrical proficiency with no wasted bars.
Good luck picking a winner.
SoundCloud decided to remove Crook’s freestyle, so we’ve included it below.