17. A$AP Rocky f/ Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson & Big K.R.I.T. "1Train" (2013)
The best evidence of the scattershot nature of the hip-hop consciousness. This song is stacked with stars—yet they're mostly only stars on the rap blogs, with many of the names on the song unbeknown to casual rap fans. But each and every one one of them have distinct sounds, styles, and worldviews. They're all at different points in their careers so they all approach the song differently.
For A$AP it's time to show that he's more than just a "fashion rapper," that he can hang with rap's brightest. For Joey Bada$$ and Action Bronson, both of whom had been riding a steady wave of success, it's standard fare (though Joey does boast a Roc Nation signing).
Meanwhile, for Kendrick Lamar and Danny Brown—both in the prime of their careers-it's another top notch display of word play wizardry with the latter providing, "Lawless, obnoxious, on that suck my cock shit/That is my synopsis, ostrich posh shit/Hoes on some goth shit, stop it! You not this!/Novice, regardless, heartless, and awkward."
But it's Yelawolf and Big KRIT who go the hardest and have the most to prove. They both had Internet buzz that failed to result in commercial success and with their career windows closing, they threw all they could at a high profile feature. Yela spits in the face of chasing sales rather than an artful craft, "Radioactive's going gold and so? GREAT. Do I give a flying duck/If I'm applying love to my rhyming?" When you hears bars like this, how can you not love it? —Insanul Ahmed
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