Album: Watch The Throne

"Niggas in Paris" is Kanye West's most exuberant late-period stunting track, as joyous and carefree as he's sounded in years. Full of unforgettable, hooky lines that lodge in your head for days, the whole song has become iconic. (I guess that'll happen when you play it nine times in a row at the end of your concerts.) It's a duet, of course, on the joint album he made with his mentor Jay Z. But from the opening "mallll/ballll" rhyme scheme to his Ma$e-like false modesty of "this old thing?" to the alternative marriage plans he suggests for Prince William and the Olson twins, Kanye owns this one. (Unlike many of the songs on Watch the Throne.) There's just something completely liberating about the song's gleeful tone, a perfect exhibition of two rap masters' playfully competitive chemistry. —David Drake