Producer: Kanye West
Album: Paper Trail
Label: Grand Hustle, Atlantic
When T.I., Jay-Z, and Kanye West all got on stage together at MSG (along with Diddy and 50 Cent) one thing became perfectly clear: With enough star power, anything can be an event. Maybe that's why, about a year later, the trio teamed up and brought Lil Wayne along for the ride, on the M.I.A.-sampling "Swagga Like Us."
The song was an event record, instantly spawning a million debates in comments threads about who had the best verse. The foursome would go on to give us one of the best hip-hop Grammy moments since Eminem and Elton, when they united on stage along with a pregnant M.I.A. to perform the track at the 51st Grammy Awards.
In the long run, "Swagga Like Us" had two lasting effects. It helped popularize the big-name posse cut among the titans of rap. (Drake's Eminem/Wayne/Kanye collab from the following year, "Forever," might as well have been called "SLU 2009.") The other thing this song did was to lay the groundwork for the catchall phrase of the next few years: Swag. —Insanul Ahmed
Best Verse: T.I.