17. Lupe Fiasco "SLR" (2010) (2nd Verse)
Label: AtlanticBy calling his record "Super Lupe Rap" and pummeling the competition with three episodic verses over Soundtrakk's bubbly backdrop, the Chicago MC essentially spoke into existence what separated him from the commercial frivolity that dictated the industry (and, to an extent, underscored the label turmoil that would continue with Atlantic Records).
The second verse is two solid minutes of Lupe Fiasco's finest wordplay, coupling sharp humor ("Flow is so nuts, the track is gettin' teabagged") with fiery execution ("Mayweather on the speed bag/Automatic weapons keep the same rhythm he has"). Its source of significance extends beyond metaphors, as Lupe also effortlessly buries Soulja Boy's identity six feet under when he quips, "Call it being 'Pretty Lyrically Swag'/Soulja call it 'Super Lupe Lyrical'/You can't understand me nor mimic my miracles."
"Two-man Big Pun, a one-man Slaughterhouse/A two album Jay-Z, a one nigga Wu-Tang/Young and hungry Mos Def, a conscious rapping Lil Wayne." A boastfully prodigious claim, yes, but it was believable at the time as his trajectory for untouchable status seemed imminent. And then Lasers happened. —Edwin Ortiz