Album: Yeezus

Kanye West took rankings into his own hands mid-year when he tweeted, "I open the debate... The 2nd verse of New Slaves is the best rap verse of all time....meaning ... OF ALL TIME IN THE HISTORY OF RAP MUSIC, PERIOD." We're not quite there, but it was surely one of the year's best.

May 17, 2013 was a thrilling night. West was set to premiere the first song from his upcoming album, Yeezus, by projecting a video across 66 buildings worldwide. The visual featured a tight shot of West hostilely rhyming the words to his new song. Soon it became clear, though, that the rollout for "New Slaves" would only be topped by the song itself; it was West channeling his socially-minded "Kanye-To-The" days in an updated and more aggressive, angry way.

The second, and lengthier, verse on the track finds Yeezy unpacking weighty issues of materialism, racism, classism, and the Prison Industrial Complex, as well as his relationships with corporations and the media. The minimalist beat allows his words to be the star throughout, and the verse sets the tone for Kanye's latest opus. His words are like windows, we can see the blood on the leaves.