4. Drake "Stay Schemin'" (2012)
Producer: The Beat Bully
Album: Rich Forever
Label: MMG, Def Jam
Once upon a time, Drake made a record called "Successful" on which he pledged: "Diss me and you'll never hear a reply for it." But that was way back in 2009 before he actually had "the money, money and the cars, cars and the clothes," not to mention "the hoes." Two years later Common dropped "Sweet," his harshest diss track since the time he went at Ice Cube on "The Bitch In Yoo." Drake was not mentioned by name but Common eventually confirmed that the song was directed at Drizzy. (Com never confirmed the speculation that he was enraged by Drake's dalliance with his on-and-off girlfriend Serena Williams.) Where "Sweet" was a relatively minor release, everybody heard Drake's reply. His guest verse on the final track of Rick Ross's Rich Forever mixtape made "Stay Schemin" one of the biggest hits of the year. Loaded with quotables, Drake's 28 subliminal bars decimated Common from the first line ("It bothers me when the gods get to acting like the broads.") He went on to question whether "Sweet" was just a publicity stunt to prop up record sales before delivering the coup de grace ("I'm just hitting my pinnacle, you and pussy identical"). Ouch.
Drake also took a swipe at Kobe Bryant's wife at a time when the couple seemed headed for divorce. (Ever the gentleman, Drake later apologized to her for the immortal line "Bitch you wasn't with me shooting in the gym.") Drake did not take back his line about how "we can't wait to run into you." In fact, he and Common reportedly got into a scuffle at the 2012 Grammy Awards. "You think Drake will pull some shit like that? You never know!" —Rob Kenner