Allhiphop's list of the 20 Greatest Verses Of All-TIme

May 14, 2005
Its a few I would switch out, but not a bad list at all...

By The AllHipHop Staff
Ladies and Gentlemen: we , the staff at, have seen many lists over the past few years regarding whos the best emcee, and what are the greatest albums of all time. Weve decided to throw our hats into the ring and give you our consensus views as a staff as to the answers of these things. Enter: DIGITS, an ongoing series. The rankings are based on the number of reoccurring songs or artists appeared on a composite list. Songs with the fewest instances were eliminated First up: The 20 Dopest Verses of All Time.

How do you quantify dope? Is it the most lyrical? Is it the most emotionally raw? Is it the best delivered? Where does flow come in? How quantifiable is something so subjective? Sometimes a verse looks way better on paper than it does when you hear it. For this exercise, the dopest verse typically involves when an emcee abnormally blacks out on a verse. Sometimes its a highly lyrical performance. Sometimes its a relentless assault far beyond the walls of the 16 bar box. With such a list, youd probably get a different 20 verses depending on the day of the week (we sure did). But we sat down and hammered out this list based on the first 20 that came to mind from each of us. Then we tallied up the ones with the most votes, and then battled continuously over which ones would be whittled down to the final list (in random order). Hate or love it, without further ado, AllHipHop.coms 20 Dopest Verses of All Time!

(To hear the song in which each verse resides, just click the title of the song.)

King of Rock-Run DMC - King of Rock (1985)-First Stanza DMC Followed By Run

Im the King of Rock, There is None Higher! Think about that. Yes there were 4 Beatles (Sorry Run). Only Jay could play an instrument, but the DJ aborted them as the group made a proclamation that would change the world and our lives forever. They didnt wear costumes like most of the acts in the '80's. There werent even any non-MiJac Black people on MTV, much less Rap/Hip-Hop. The minimalist rock drums (You crazy for that one, Rick). The reverb on DMC's booming voice, copied by so many afterwards. The rush of those guitars that pretty much deaded any disco powered Hip-Hop related music. The power of DMC. The swagger of Run. Its iconic. Its everlasting. Its the greatest verse of all time in our eyes.

Winter Warz-Ghostface - Killah Ironman (1996)-Cappadonna Verse :wink:
to the gutter and back. He doesnt pause for a breath, hes just relentless. He may not be on top of the overall emcee list, but Cappas "Winter Warz" verse is like Sleepy Floyds 53 Point NBA Playoff game: An all-time performance from a footnote player.

Victory-Puff Daddy & the Family - No Way Out (1997) Notorious B.I.G. 1st verse.

There are so many reasons why this verse is here. The last virtuoso performance of Biggie. The first salvo from a top selling, yet underrated album. Puffys suspense building intro combined with Rocky Balboas Championship pedigree, and then B.I.G.s explosive abandonment of the slow flow that made him king. Arguably better than any verse on his last album, the power of the verse can be summed up in one stanza. Warm nights I perform like Mike/Anyone, Tyson, Jordan, Jackson. Nuff said. We dont know whats on his tombstone, but no greater epitaph exists for his music career.

Live At the BBQ Main Source - Breakin Atoms (1992) Nas Verse
, Nas was definitely causing hysteria. While Main Source was NOT forever, and Akinyele went from dropping rhymes to bumping rumps, Mr. Jones would go on to greater heights as arguably the premiere lyricist of his generation. This verse was his entry and calling card.

The Headbanger-EPMD - Business Never Personal (1992) Redman Verse
, and just flat out bugged, Redman was as raw as it got for a lyricist in his era. The cherry on top of a hardcore chocolate sundae, the cleanup verse was frenetic, comical, violent, and everything about Hip-Hop in that era, complete with the metaphors and similes. Respect is due and this verse keeps collecting.

The Message-Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5 - The Message (1982) Grandmaster Melle Mel 1st Verse.

Post-Civil Rights. Post Disco. Product of Reaganomics. Urban. Gritty. Broken glass everywhere, people pissing in the corners, yo they just dont care. Mel took us from the parties in the club and took it to the mud. Mirroring Stevie Wonders abandonment of Berry Gordy-flavored bubble gum, Mel took that disco rap and slammed it in the grime. Yeah, he yearned for the color TV to watch the Sugar Ray fight, but The Message was the truth from the mouth of the Grand Master. Not from the Klan, but representing the Clan. The Furious Five. The world would never be the same.

"Puffin on Blunts and Drankin" Tanqueray-B-Side to Dr. Dre F**k With Dre Day Single (1992) Kurupt Verse

It was supposed to be a throwaway record. 7 Minutes which began with Dre poppin off of a G-Funked up "Impeach the President." Nobody told that to the Dogg Pound. With apologies to Rage, who got the rhyme of the month when the bible was still sacred, Kurupt BLACKED OUT! Just relentless mic slaughter with wordplay, delivery, even spelling. It was brutal and unforgettable. It was Kurupts message to the East Coast: Death Row was for real on the mic. He edges Rage due to emotion and length, but the female lyrical murderer gets honorable mention for her own lyrical tornado on this.

Raw-Big Daddy Kane - Long Live The Kane (198 8)
1st. Verse

You got a small taste of him on Just Rhymin With Biz. Cameo, Afro, Virgo, Domino. Well this verse on "Raw" brought another word virtuoso. Hardcore. That voice, so dominant. If you never saw Kane, youd think he was 9 feet tall with the force of the terminator. Words were simultaneously smooth and rough. Subtle and powerful. Kane perfected both sides of the spectrum so well that the balancing act was in full effect. You got up and dancedcause Kane said so. The skill to ill and break and take. Long live the Kane.

Straight Outta Compton-N.W.A. - Straight Outta Compton (1989) Ice Cube

The shot heard around the world. When Im called off, I got a sawed off, squeeze the trigger and bodies are hauled off. There were others who were more outlandish, and others who were more authentic, but not many were more convincing. Ice Cube entertained and terrified those who were close enough to see, and enthralled those who were so far away they could only live vicariously through his verse. Down, with a capital CPT. This verse is the reason your parents hate rap music and is the progenitor of mainly everything we argue about concerning the life and death of Hip-Hop.

The Symphony-Marley Marl - In Control, Vol 1 (198 8)
(Kool G. Rap Verse)

Batting cleanup on a song with the Kane wasnt easy but the Kool Genius delivered what many hail as the greatest verse of all time. Twice as horrifying as Vincent Price, D-evil (Before Hov) in a spell of a sleep, and while hes counting his money you count sheep (Sleeping). It was verbal assault in its purest form. You couldnt replace him , ice him or ace him. Base him face him slice him or race him. Indestructible on the microphone and rumors say he initially rhymed the verse until the tape reel popped. G rapped for so long the video had to cut a portion of his verse. The only rapper to have ever rendered Kane in his prime as anti-climactic on a track.

Beast From The East-The Lost Boyz - Love, Peace, & Happiness (1997) Canibus Verse

From nowhere, newcomer Canibus destroyed this track like the Knicks destroy the dreams of their fans. Even with a dope Redman verse, you dont remember anything from this song but lyrical devastation. The fire in his voice. The raw lyricism. It was almost like the next stage of evolution. I existed, in the Garden of Eden getting lifted, sticking d**k to Eve before she was Adams mistress. All you could do was cover your mouth and go Ohh, did you hear that! 50 bucks says we can tell you exactly where your tape popped. Thank God for CDs.

Triumph-Wu-Tang Clan - Wu-Tang Forever (1997) Inspectah Deck Verse

Rhyming over the drums of war and blanketed by string instruments, Deck heralded the triumphant return of the Clan, passionately referencing Socrates, atomic bombs, forensic science and just about everything but the kitchen sink. On a double album with 8 other emcees with different styles, The Inspectah Deck had perhaps the most memorable verse of them all.

U Dont Know-Jay-Z - The Blueprint (2001) 1st Verse

No more admiring the Jiggaman from 4 fiends away, The Blueprint represented Jay-Z s first real attempt to let us in. Even in an attempt to be more soulful, Marcys finest showed hes at his best when hes bringing the grit and the game at the same time. U Dont Know is almost Where Im From part 2, but with more passion and more force. Just Blaze on the boards gives Jay just enough fuel to blast off about the place where the hoods swallowing (pause) and theres so much coke that you can run slalom. Even when talking on the hood, Jigga throws in something like skiing to show he wasnt your average hustler. Now you know.

Times Up-O.C. - WordLife (1994) 1st Verse

The first call to arms of the Keep It Real Brigade. Previously seen batting clean-up on Organized Konfusions Fudge Pudge,O.C gives a stern warning to those who pose lyrical but really aint true, delivering a caveat to posers and rappers who present themselves as gangsters and thugs when their actual lives deviate from their rhymes. While skilled, O.C.s career wasnt been mainstream, but he spearheaded the underground vanguard and put fakers on notice: their time was up!

Lyrics of Fury-Eric B & Rakim - Follow The Leader (198 8)
2nd Verse

Hes got more classic songs, and hes definitely got more popular songs to reference, but the original god mc rarely showcased lightning fast mic crushing flow such as he represented on Lyrics of Fury. Funky Drummer powered, guitar enhanced, no hooks or funny business. Rakim switches flows, and rhyme schemes effortlessly with a punishing array of line after line. The second verse gets the nod over the other two for the energy, the pace, and capable, breaks the unbreakable series that leaves you breathless. You dont have time to clap to this. Just listen and let the rhythm hit you.

Respiration-Black Star - Black Star (199 8)
Mos Def Verse

B-Boy intro and melancholy beat segue into a robust Mos Def delivering his version of The Message. No longer Reaganomics, but the post Bush, Clinton era America highlighted by Giuliani dystopia masquerading as Disneyfied New York. Mos describes a Rotten Apple encapsulated by higher costs of living, a stock market tempting brokers towards dishonesty, and evening news casting urban as villain, and overall the everymans attempt to sift through the garbage and survive. The city was alive and breathing and Mos Def had his finger on the pulse.

Dream Shatterer - Big Pun - Capital Punishment (199 8)
1st verse

Its Big Pun, the one and only son of Tony Montana, you aint promised manana in the rotten manzana. So true in light of Pun tragically passing away due to complications of his massive gerth. Providing gargantuan lyrics every time he touched a mic, Pun was the beacon for Latinos in Hip-Hop who for too long were relegated to second string status in the rap game. The Boricuas flow stole many a show [Off The Books, Banned From TV, et. al] but on Dream Shatterer hes going for self, asserting skills knows no color in the process: Im the first Latin rapper to baffle your soul, master the flow, n***as be swearing Im blacker than coal.

Elevators (Me & You) OutKast - ATLiens (1996) Andre 3000s 2nd verse

Mr. Three Stacks was already flowing something crazy since he and Big Boi laid that Southernplayalistic music for your trunk. There is nothing too outerworldy about the track or the flow, but the beauty is in the simplicity of it all. Illustrating his position as a layman that has a superior rap ability with tongue and cheek chutzpah, [True I got more fans than the average man but not enough to loot to last me/To the end of the week I live by the beat like you live check to check, if it dont move your feet then I dont eat, so we like neck and neck], his job security is since no longer an issue.

Born Killer Scarface - Mr. Scarface Is Back (1991) 2nd Verse

For the budding psychotic, Scarface provided the soundtrack of a lifetime. For the uninformed, he offered a glimpse in to the mind of a man tettering on the edge of insanity. Combine that with one Brad Jordans penchant for being one of the Souths finest and you have a verse for the ages. My momma did her part / But it ain't her fault that I was born with out a heart / In other words I'm heartless duke / I don't love me, how the f**k I'mma love you? With lyrics like these and a bar none mentality Mr. Scarface received a universal ghetto pass.

Renegade-Jay-Z - The Blueprint (2001) Eminem 1st verse

Absent the antics. Minus the mom mashing. No Hailey in sight, Mr Mathers' lyrical gymnastics outshined S. Dots verse over the melody of the beat he himself created. The verse that made Eminem all good in the hood on a critically acclaimed album, and gave a true blueprint on how to flow yet deliver a message. Dropping with the bassline and rising with the background strings, then breaking the pattern for onomatopoeia, Mr. Kiss My @#%$ was certainly the Renegade on this joint.

....yea, Ima Need All That....​
TG/G.B'z the fam, ESD what I bleed
'...Now yall know why I flow like that...I aint Em, I here to put the real hood on the map, b****!!!!"...'
^^^ Same thing I thought. So many Jay verses before U Don't Know..

I mean its hard to pick the best 20 verses

And, contrary to popular belief, banned camp is NOT fun.​
That entire beast from the east song was flames.....Even A+ went off...I think Canibus wrote that @#%$ tho....

Canibus had like 50 bars.....One of the better verses that I've heard...
antone smith , greg carr , preston parker ,andre fluellen ,tony carter,letroy guion , everette brown , paul griffin , geno hayes , myron rolle , marcus ball , Patrick Robinson​
Big is on there Nay.... His Victory verse...

Victory-Puff Daddy & the Family - No Way Out (1997) Notorious B.I.G. 1st verse.
antone smith , greg carr , preston parker ,andre fluellen ,tony carter,letroy guion , everette brown , paul griffin , geno hayes , myron rolle , marcus ball , Patrick Robinson​
em's verse on renegade was :wow:
*****ing aint you, ready to start snitching aint you, I FORGIVE YOU, hustling just aint you aside from the fast cars, honeys that shake they @#%$ in bars, you know you wouldnt be involved, with the under world, carriers of mac milli's, east coast bod-iers, west coast cap peelers, lil monkey @#%$ turned gorillas"
i really like that list. i must have listened to the Beast from the East verse 10 times after i heard it.
She said not on the first night, I asked at twelve
D.C. they put her on me, so I'm feelin myself like I lost my keys
I just lietened to a couple of them tracks yesterday on the site and I didn't know "The Symphony" was that hot.

My 1st addiction was GI Joes and icies after that it was light skinned girls and Nikes
Even tho I aleady ate, fat boy gotta eat agian. I'm always hungry! - Big Kuntry King
Jay's 2nd verse from renegade need to be up there. Every word he said in that was mind-boggling. I'd put T.I.'s verse on Drive Slow too, homeboy spazzed.
But on a side note, read my sig.

Looking to get a new plan?
Want unlimited text, data, nights/weekends at 7PM for $30(or less) a month?
Want a Sprint mogul for $200
PM me for details :pimp:
That's a decent list. I agree that there are some other Jay verses they could've picked over that easily. Personally, I was checking for two things: 1- My dude Donna on Winter Warz. That has to be on everyone's list. I don't think we've ever seen such a marginally good rapper get that hot before and I don't even know if it'll ever happen again. It's pretty much how they described it, he went for 50 outta nowhere on that joint :pimp:
2- My dude Canibus had to get at least one nod. He's got so many unreasonably and devastatingly hot 50 bar verses that at least one had to make the cut. The joint they posted is one of my favorites but I don't know if it's his best. I might've went with his DJ Clue Freestyle. That's the one that really let me know son was on some next level evolved type @#%$ :lol:
***I'm as hood as a hoopty, keep it gangsta in Gucci, put your girl in some Pucci, she'll let me play in her coochie!***
deepinthejeep is correct. That is arguably one of the nastiest features of all time.

-Prodgigy's 2nd verse on the original "Quiet Storm"

-Ghostface's verse on "Holocaust"

TEAM [Scrubs]
[Which one is Pam?] - Creed Bratton.​
Speaking of Ghost, you know what they missed that absolutely has to be on there? All That I Got. 30 somethin bars of the best portrayal of what it's like to come up poor in the hood ever put on wax, bar none.
***I'm as hood as a hoopty, keep it gangsta in Gucci, put your girl in some Pucci, she'll let me play in her coochie!***
i knew cap on winter warz and deck on triumph would be in this list :pimp:
A.J. Burnett--Roy Halladay--Troy Glaus--Aaron Hill--Lyle Overbay--Alex Rios--Vernon Wells--Frank Thomas​
The whole song is crazy...

[Mr. Cheeks]
Yo, we come through like bulls, @#%$ take two puffs and pass,
@#%$, watch your back once you talk out your @#%$
I pack 380 and my stash for protection,
family is raged, the world is acting crazed
I never thought I'd make it, it was hectic when I scrambled
on point like a knife I'm takin' life as a gamble
And living in the rotten apple, yo where every core is rotten
all my @#%$ rest in peace ya see you gone but not forgotten
now my main wifey, deaded shaded chicks,
official Lost Boyz since the year of 86
And @#%$ these crooked @#%$ I could kill em with a passion,
at times I feel like slashing in Jamaican Queens fashion
You think you can @#%$ around, but kid you're just thinking
It's over when I'm sober, imagine when I'm drinking
Without blinking man, I'll tear your crew like pages
I'll rip you from the backyard, park jams and stages.

A plus the lyrically superb one, spittin rhymes
Off the top of the tongue to burn ya ear drums
Rotten @#%$, make the opposite team call a time out,
knockin @#%$ three times my size out
The crowd loves me, so when I aint around they ask for me,
I buckle up to catch wreck like a crash dummy
For the fast money, I get up in that @#%$ money
the fact you tryin' to test me kinda bugs me
I leave crews fed up, like handicap @#%$ tryin' to get up
Emcees get wet up with lyrical gun pellets,
I blow up the spot when it's time to rock
I speak through a mic my voice peak out at a hundred watts
Who wanna cipha, I get dumb
Word to my mother the father the holy ghost and Rev. Run
When it's all said and done, I end the service
Concocting the type of verses that average emcees seem to worship

My style is Milk of Magnesia, clutch divide speeding bust
the more the merrier, secure the area, my la familia
is ultimate superior we dont jack cars
we jack for aircraft carriers
I bounce like trampolines, when I be blowing the feces to pieces
hymn em like sewing machines and Jesus
When the shadows of the barrel pointing out my boy Camarro
I get punished like pharaoh for splittin'
You're better off singing Christmas carols for Christmas,
because I'm on point like bow and arrow equipment
The president of chicken head conventions
I give you a deluxe Ku Klux lynchin'
I got a headache from the stress, success not wearing a vest
5-11 for being dirty and courts at 9:30
Yo, Mr.Cheeks, I made this @#%$ call police
she tried swallowing a nine piece
forgot the warrantee on false teeth
I return like Makaveli on 18 inch Pirelli's
assault and battery like my palms was ever ready
sharp as machete's
matter of fact I slap (?) ...

Canibus brings the sickest drama,
fierce enough to pierce the thickest armor
I smack @#%$ who try to suck @#%$ through a condom
Playing with the mic is something I wont do
my only concern when I approach you, is to roast you
I smoke you and whoever you standing close to
and make every man in your crew deny that he knows you
defeating, @#%$ like Segal Steven,
putting Emcees in, positions to prevent 'em from breathing
I'll make you question any and everything you've ever believed in
by peeping your deepest secrets like psychic readers,
What's the matter with ya'll, I splatter ya'll
against the mutha @#%$ wall with these raw lyrics I catapult
None of ya'll got the balls big enough to battle,
I go On & On like Erika Badu
a hundred times nicer than the best is
twice as arrogant as KRS is, who wanna test this
@#%$ yall you dont impress me and no one can test me
An Emcee so ill, I got AIDS scared to catch me
All that @#%$ you poppin will stop, when I put you in a headlock,
and apply pressure until I crush your mutha @#%$ noggin
I grab mics and push @#%$ to the left
so fast their hearts end up on the right side of their chests
My hypothesis, is that nobody can see this
lyrical genius, I got it sewn like a seamstress
But if you want to battle, I'm down,
If you got nine lives, I'll take eight of them off your hands right now
Step up and get your neck cut from ear to ear
If you survive, then you can cover your scar with a beard
I'm the illest from Queens to the new Jerusalem briddicks
anyone who aint feeling my shidick can suck my didick
You need to quit it, if you aint spitten
more than 50 bars per minute cause you aint in lyrical fitness
kickin' boring raps with metaphors that's wack
all of ya'll mutha ****as need NordicTrack
to get ya weight up, @#%$ with Canibus you get ate up
get beat down and sprayed up, just for bringing my name up
been rockin longer than @#%$ twice my age
back in the days before Bob Marley was rockin a fade
before Honest Abe signed the paper that freed slaves
before Neanderthals was drawing on walls in caves
I existed, in the garden of Eden gettin lifted
stickin @#%$ to Eve before she was Adams mistress
Before Christ created Christmas, I been in lyrical fitness
The Canibus is spitten till' he's spitless
50 bars of total sickness, you wont forget this
I'm puttin' every wack Emcee alive on my @#%$ list
verbally vicious, tele-connectically gifted
took you a minute, to exhibit that I'm sick wit it
Now you tell me who you think is damaging @#%$
going once, going twice
Sold to that @#%$ name Canibus
Me and Mr.Cheeks, A-Plus, and Funk Doctor
hopping out the Hue helicopter to suey chop ya

antone smith , greg carr , preston parker ,andre fluellen ,tony carter,letroy guion , everette brown , paul griffin , geno hayes , myron rolle , marcus ball , Patrick Robinson​
Thats not a bad list.

I dont agree 100% with it, but its not bad at all.

You numba 1 and i'm negative 2
Basically that means I'm STILL betta than you
My style is impetuous. My defense is inpregnable.And I'm just ferocious. I want to eat his children.​
Something from Renegade had to be on there. :pimp:
Got a white girl here and a need a favor............. my number 8 jersey on so I need to........​
antone smith , greg carr , preston parker ,andre fluellen ,tony carter,letroy guion , everette brown , paul griffin , geno hayes , myron rolle , marcus ball , Patrick Robinson​
I saw the title and said thats to hard, it shoulda been 25 verses

This is a good list but Nay's right no Pac is a lil wild(I Wonder if Heaven got a Ghetto verse/Changes verse), and Mos Def's verse on Theives in the Night > than the 1 on this list

Id like to kno what did they consider in making this list, Good good good thing they didnt # this

Theres so many great verses out there I def have to disagree my list would be different

Team Otaku
"Its painful how sexy I look in this."
Top Bottom