The 50 Best Songs of 2012 (So Far)

1. Rick Ross f/ Drake & French Montana "Stay Schemin'"

Album: Rich Forever
Producer: The Beat Bullies
Label: MMG


You know a song is dope when it makes you forget all its apparent contradictions. Rick Ross, French Montana, and Drake turn The Beat Bullies' brooding track into a referendum on realness in hip-hop of all things. Don't think too hard, just puff another blunt and play it again. Ross opens the discussion by wishing "RIP to all the real niggas worldwide" then proceeds to complain that life's too short to go to court—but at least he can take comfort in the fact that he's getting money. (No doubt about that.)

Drake goes hard on the second verse, observing without a trace of irony that rap has changed and that "there was a time it was rugged." French contributes the song's woozy singsong hook and a deceptively ill third verse ("watch the body tilt when you hit the head"). Until that point the threat is all implied, but the song works because, as Ross reminds us, "I ride for my niggas dawg."

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