The 25 Best Eight-Bar Verses in Rap History

13. Nas on "Mo Money, Mo Murder (Homicide)" (1995)

"Yo, in a mahogany, black scenery, that was lightning and rain drops/
I'm tied up in the basement cocaine spot like Bangkok/
I'm blindfold, Vietnam type mind control this torture/
His accent sounds like the rarest culture/
Askin' me, my atrophy stabbin' me gradually/
Says his attribute, was satanic, masonic, ironic/
I felt reminded of my fast life ventures/
And winters, blinded 'til the flashlight enters"


Nas has always done great things on his own, but when he rolled with AZ, they brought the best out of each other. Here, Nas paints a vivid portrait of a hustler in deep trouble, “I'm tied up in the basement cocaine spot like Bangkok.” Nas often had harrowing street tales that unfolded through the course of a song, but here he creates scenery, suspense, and characters with distinct attributes (“His accent sound like the rarest culture”) by painting in broad strokes. —Insanul Ahmed

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