The 25 Best Rap Verses of the Last 5 Years

12. Gunplay "Power Circle" (2012)

Producer: Young Shun, Beat Billionaire, Boi-1da, Cardiak, Don Cannon, Tone Beats, The Beat Bully, Ayo The Producer, The UpperClassmen, KyeBeatz
Album: MMG Presents: Self Made Vol.2
Label: MMG, Def Jam

Who the hell didn't want to be rewarded with a plate of sea bass after hearing Gunplay's introductory verse on "Power Circle?" It was the most anticipated track on Maybach Music Group's second group compilation, Self-Made Vol. 2, and Gunplay went into it like it was his last verse, ever. It actually is all on Gunplay at that moment, and he's got some standout lines in the first verse. Laughable or not, you know them: "Been shittin' on you fucks a long time, time to pee now." But in the same breath, he's rhyming lines like "When you finish first they hate you worse, startin' to see now."

Gunplay's entire verse is representative of his newfound fame. A braggadocious line like "I'm at the round table, where your seat at? Where your plate, where your lobster, where your sea bass" is his reality that he's made. More significantly, he addresses the roles he now plays in the MMG power circle: "Taking pictures acting like we rap" signifies he's aware of how to handle himself in the spotlight, and yet he finishes the verse imagining his own death, and what he would do until the end. Gunplay's rhymes are angry. He's a character but his high-pitched, angered vocals assert his power in the MMG circle, and industry. It's such a powerful first verse that it even leaves a screaming Meek Mill looking weak in Gunplay's shadow. —Lauren Nostro

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