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The 30 Most Lyrical Rap Songs of the Last 5 Years

26. Joe Budden f/ Crooked I, Joell Ortiz, Nino Bless & Royce Da 5'9" "Slaughterhouse" (2008)



This is the stereotypical "lyrical" song made for lists like these. Hell, it's made by five guys who spend a lot of their lyrics showing off about how lyrical they are. They even go for an extended 24 instead of a standard 16 because who needs a chorus? It's not enough that these guys brought bars galore, but they drive the point home decrying all the things hip-hop heads swear is ruining music like ringtones and Young Berg (who gets referenced twice) while name-dropping relics of the golden age like Biggie and DJ Premier (with an especially clever line by Royce that would go over any unlearned rap fan's head).

Yet, it's easy to forget the context this song was created in. Just before collaborating on this track, Joe Budden and Royce Da 5'9" were taking light shots at each other. Before an all out lyrical war broke out, they decided to squash it and join forces instead. Still, Royce was hesitant to do a song with Joe Budden, explaining to Complex, "I just don't like that n*gga." But it was the Internet all-star cast that attracted Royce to the song.

On the track itself, the award for Best Verse goes to Crooked I, for extended metaphors on the lines like, "Instrumentals get fucked on the stage/A pedophile, unless I dig in the crates and fuck with something my age," (again, nostalgic for an older era) and his tongue twisting wordplay, "You'll be missing until fishermen see your corpse/I'll be in Michigan sticking a chicken in my Michelin/Ready to pigeon pitch again from Switzerland to New York." He wasn't the only one however. The song's closer Joe Budden played with a tit for tat flow himself reciting, "Bars tremendous, it's in your best interest/I insist your men just, do your best Bush rendish/Endless, move more than two inches/My blood'll boil like I got a big skin cyst."

The song drove the Internet nuts and next thing you know, the MCs on this track minus Nino Bless formed a supergroup known as, what else, Slaughterhouse. —Insanul Ahmed

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