25. Meek Mill "House Party" (2011) (1st Verse)
Producer: The Beat Bully
Label: Maybach Music GroupOut of the gate, Meek Mill's "House Party" is one of the most distinctive and memorable for its opening lines alone, "She said meet me in the bathroom, I fuck her while the water running/Her friend knocking at the door and she's screaming out, 'I'm coming!'" No more perfect image could be culled from the American language to open a song called "House Party" than the story told in the space of two bars. Just a few words set an entire scene and push a plot in motion. Our brains fill in the rest, but it's all so easy to imagine.
The power of his delivery makes it all the more truthful. It's the kind of scenario one might brag about in an offhand manner. With the alarm-klaxon production and his raw-nerve vocals, Meek transports the listener to that exact time and place thanks to a real sense of urgency. We hear her friend pounding at the door, the tension in the moment—a reminder that situations like that are what they are as much for the adrenaline of risk as the satisfaction of the reward.
That's not even taking into account the rest of the verse, each line delivered with intense directness that even sounds playful in parts, "White girrrrls, gone wild/We don't judge 'em though, they ain't on trial." Meek manages to hit the most important touchstones of a classic verse throughout: Unforgettable phrasing that lodges in your brain and stays there, striking imagery in his writing, and the ability to capture a feeling or mood larger than the sum of each word. —David Drake