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DAR Hip Hop: 10 Of The Most Underrated Lyricists

By @TrueGodImmortal




Hip Hop is and always will be about lyrics. That's the basis. No matter how much the sound changes or the excuses that roll in for the artists of today who can't write great verses, lyrics are the foundation. The poetics in your words, the ability to craft multi-syllables, and how you put your wordplay together makes you a true lyricist at heart. While I consider myself to be a lyricist personally, there are so many artists who don't get as much credit as they deserve for being superior lyricists. Most of those rappers are underrated in general, but as lyricists, some of them are at the top of their craft. While we recognize Big Daddy Kane, Nas, Rakim, Kool G Rap, Biggie, Jay-Z, Andre 3000, and others as the greatest lyricists ever, there are a few names who should be in that conversation who usually aren't and that's what I wanted to discuss today. Let's take a look at 10 of the most underrated lyricists in hip hop.

*Black Thought 




-The leading vocalist for The Roots is seen as quite possibly the most underrated rapper of all time and for good reason. Over the 25 plus years he's been in the game making music, Black Thought has never dropped a bad verse. Not once. Not that I can recall. Through the countless  albums and large catalog of songs that The Roots are responsible for, Black Thought has maintained a level of lyrical excellence that isn't rivaled by many in the history of the genre. He is quite possibly the most lyrically consistent MC in the game over the last 20 years or so, and there's a number of verses to speak of when referencing his top tier lyricism. Whether you're looking at his feature verse on the Freddie Gibbs' "Extradite", the supreme wordplay on Pharoahe Monch's "Rapid Eye Movement", or even his show stealing verse alongside Raekwon and Joey Badass on "Bird's Eye View", Black doesn't short change you on his verses. Keep in mind, I haven't even gone into the best verses of his from The Roots albums. That's how dangerous he is. Black Thought is one of the greatest to ever do it and he needs be to recognized as such.

(Verse From Pharoahe Monch's Rapid Eye Movement)
"Take stock in the soul, spit properly/
That extended clip on my hip sits awkwardly/
I’m diabolical, follicle triggers that I cock and squeeze/
Sending shots to ancient Greece to pop Socrates/
I bear arms like button-downs without the sleeves/
Manic depressive and possessive like apostrophes/
My psychiatrist waive the doctor fees/
When I wave the pistol and say listen, quit watchin’ me so I can breathe/
National Association for the Advancement/
Of drugs for performance enhancement/
And it’s tough taking so many chances/
But I’ve been a bad seed from the womb, they call me ovary cancer/
And I got an ugly heart, although I’m totally handsome/
And I take the love of your life and hold her for ransom/
And my tactical cam that never stood for any national anthems/
What's hood, I am the actual answer/
And I’ll prove it/
Black attire, rapid fire, rapid eye movement/
I’m from a species that is higher, I am not human/
Extraterrestrial alien, a monster killer of conscience chillin’ in a barrel of lobster, ex-Slave, sadomasochist/
That gave the massa of my ass to kiss/
A dyin’ breed, I’m the last of this/
Black is as miraculous as Jesus of Nazareth/
When I vocalize the crowd rise like Lazarus/
It’s the Rhode Scholar
My coat collar piss off PETA/
Your hoes holla, he’s on top of the bars, meet a Mr. Globe Trotter in my Adidas/
Pure cheetah/
Hoppin’ out of this exotic European 4 seater/
Hollerin’ cheeba cheeba like I’m Parkside/
Killin’ is the dark side/
Villain, I’m God, I’m Godzilla/
Sometimes I’m Bob Dylan/
Put blood on these tracks, for real, so, God-willin’/
You’ll feel what I’m spillin’/
Yeah, I never quit, I’m still syndicatin’ up/
Me and Pharoahe Monch, did it for the benefit of us/
This is straight razor behavior, I never get enough/
Get the picture, my militia gettin’ ignorant as fuck/"

*Pharoahe Monch 




-This Queens MC is one of the absolute best to do it, but he seems to be slept on by many in the hip hop world. His career isn't as prolific as some of his contemporaries, but from Organzied Konfusion to his solo work, Monch has never slacked lyrically. He is in that class next to Black Thought as a lyricist, and his ability to put words together and use multis and internal rhyme schemes is out of this world. You can look at his both guest verses and his own songs for the best examples of his elite lyricism, but I feel he's only gotten better with age. On his most recent albums, he compounds words atop of each other in every bar, stacking his lyrics in mind blowing patterns. It's almost impossible to pinpoint one legendary Monch verse because just about every verse he's ever committed to wax could be considered that. He's one of the best MCs from the borough of Queens, and right under Nas and next to Kool G Rap, I would place Monch in the top 3 lyricists from there. He's that good.

(Verse From Assassins)
"They ask me why I'm highly regarded, this god body probably/
Monch is a mixture of Marcus Garvey/
Miles Davis, and Bob Marley/
Never skateboard slang like gnarly/
More like, we in our whip on our way to the top like Charles Barkley/
You are hardly prepared to spar with a marksman...spark me/
I'm gambit with the ace of spades, I'm mastering archery/
Vehicular, particularly the vernacular/
Specifically the fit so when I spit it's spectacular and accurate/
When I attack I'm more like Acura/
Flip Bloomberg the bird, bitch, more blood than Blacula/
More Crip than Cryptic scriptures encrypted with backwards vernacular/
But sicker than most like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction/
I am, that nigga for real, per capita/
Smacking the next rapper that uses the term swag or thereafter/
These three assassins/
Get to ass whipping, prepare to for a professional ass that can shape shifts, spit, hollow tip clips mainly/
Sick, ain't he/
Make you shoot your best friend in the face, Dick Cheney/
My life is like a documentary film, depicted in black and white, flicks grainy/
I'm on Guantanamo Bay taking pics in a Captain Morgan pose
With my left foot on a pile of detainees/
Screaming...we are renegades"

*Phonte 




-The North Carolina native is one of the most underrated rappers of the 2000s and he could very well be the most underrated ever due to his influence on the game that doesn't get credited like it should. Starting with his arrival in the game as a member of the trio Little Brother to his current status as a solo artist and member of Grammy nominated duo Foreign Exchange, Phonte has never lost what got him here in the first place: his lyrical ability. The way he layers his entendres, his wordplay, and his multis, along with his ability to write verses that you instantly relate to make him such a dangerous MC. He is the total package as an artist, but his strongest suit will always be his lyrics. Whether it's his classic verse on "Speed", or his poignant and honest verse on "All For You", or his all time legendary verse from "Slow It Down", Phonte is another MC that doesn't have a wack verse in his catalog. He remains a top 10 rapper to me personally, but he deserves much more credit for his lyrical ability, as he's one of the best to ever do it with the pen.

(Verse From Boondock Saints)
"Right back to business off a six-week tour/
And I ain't never seen drama like this before/
Got a lot of shit to get off my chest, some wild shit to address, so I told Khrysis press record/
I'mma put it on wax and give you the raw facts, and truth about life and the things I'm dealing with/
Black folks saying that I'm too intelligent, and white folks saying I'm a little too niggerish/
It got me in a strange predicament/
I wish black embarrassment TV was judged more wisely/
But I don't know what's worse
The fact that they ain't playing our shit, or that it don't even surprise me/
Because I shucking and cause I ain't jiving, some of these crackers won't stand beside me/
And cause I ain't killing and don't support pimping, some of these niggas wanna call me a Cosby/
Well, I'll be that dude, I'll scratch that itch/
I'll play that role, call me Heathcliff bitch/
If this ain't what you want then fine/
But somehow, someway we got to draw that line/
And it goes without mentioning, I thought about censoring, this verse so my label and manager stay cool/
But as of this recording we ain't even outsold The Listening, so really what the fuck I got to lose/
Bitch it's Phontigga, lo the show ripper, Ho cause my hoes would change week to week/
But now my flows be changing from beat to beat/
Tell my nigga Jim Bowes we gotta beat the streets/
Cause I know that they need us/ There's got to be more to this generation than dranking and smoking all they weed up/
This is my confession with the Embassy, you fuckin imbeciles can put your Rosary Beads up.../"

*Jean Grae 




-We spend a lot of time discussing female rappers today and for the most part, it's for the wrong reason. That's not to say female rappers of today don't have talent necessarily, but in terms of lyrical ability, they all fall a bit short. One of the best women at their craft in rap is Jean Grae and it's a shame I don't hear her name come up more when discussing the best female rappers. Sure, Lil Kim, Foxy, Eve, and others get mentioned, but they've all faced accusations of ghostwriting and needing assistance for their lyrics. Jean Grae has never been in that boat. She is in a class of her own, a place where other female lyrical giants like Lauryn Hill and Rapsody reside. Her knack for internal rhyme schemes, multis, and layered lyrics is second to none, and I don't think there's any woman in hip hop as lyrically sound as she is. While Lauryn Hill is my personal favorite female rapper ever, I can crown Jean Grae as the greatest female lyricist to come through the genre (in my opinion, of course).

(Verse From Assassins)
"Fasten your seatbelts/
For the last of the three assassins on Earth, the first flashing her purse with a heat stealth/
They call me Jean McCoy/
The beast in me employed/
Deploy deplorable through audible destructive actions attractive decoy/
Then pass it to Troy/
After I'm passing your life over hell, deliver it through river styx, Hades/
I'm cold, deliberate ladies/
My foes is limited, pray me some praise, whispering/
Stay on ya toes villains, it's Grae and your day's whittling/
Blistering lines/
Packed in six stick to spine/
Wracked with a sick mind/
Trapped in thick bitch frame/
Drug you with strychnine in nine drinks, you drunk and it's my kidney, you dick brain/
I'm just itching to slit veins/
Stitch lines! Rick James/
Fuck yo lives, sip brains/
Bitches, Niggas, kick rocks or kick rhymes, it's to the pain/
Liquor riddled liver, sieve in it, sippin' it like Capri Sun/
Ignorant as ever, she clever, equivalent be none/
A ball breaker, call fakers out with passion/
You got the gall bastard/
To brawl with the broad brashest/
The ball's in your court, pass it/
But warning, fall faster/
Than asses with age slapped on the back of a Kardashian/
The walls crash in/
You're all on the floor grasping/
The gas pour/
In the corridors racking your doors/
Blacking out, catch Grae backing out the back door/
Cackling, still make it back to the bar for last call/"

*Mos Def 




-The Brooklyn bred hip hop artist is a top 5 lyricist from his borough and he has a claim for being the most intricate lyricist from BK. Mos in his prime crafted verses in a way that I really haven't heard too many do before. Starting with his official debut on the Blackstar album, Mos came out the game swinging with some of the greatest verses of the 90's on tracks like "Respiration", "Hater Players", and of course, "Thieves In The Night". He would keep that energy and lyrical strength rising on his solo album Black on Both Sides, which went gold due to the storytelling classic "Ms. Fat Booty". Mos was one of those rappers who could paint a clear picture and add intricacies to every line within it. Though in recent years, Mos hasn't dropped many verses and his lyricism doesn't hit as hard as it used to, in his prime, there might be a better lyricist than Mos, and for that alone, he needs much more credit. Mos Def in 1998-2000 is one of the greatest lyricists I've ever heard in hip hop. Hands down.

(Verse From Thieves In The Night)
"Yo, I'm sure that everybody out listenin' agree/
That everything you see ain't really how it be/
A lot of jokers out runnin' in place, chasin the style/
Be a lot goin' on beneath the empty smile/
Most cats in my area be lovin' the hysteria/
Synthesized surface conceals the interior/
America, land of opportunity/ Mirages and camouflages
More than usually/
Speakin' loudly, sayin' nothin', you confusin' me/
You losin' me/
Your game is twisted, want me enlisted, in your usary/
Foolishly/
Most men join the ranks cluelessly/
Buffoonishly accept the deception/
Believe the perception/
Reflection rarely seen across the surface of the lookin' glass/
Walkin' the street, wonderin' who they be lookin' past/
Lookin' gassed with them imported designer shades on/
Stars shine bright, but the light -- rarely stays on/
Same song, just remixed, different arrangement/
Put you on a yacht but they won't call it a slave ship/
Strangeness, you don't control this, you barely hold this/
Screamin' brand new, when they just sanitized the old shit/
Suppose it's, just another clever Jedi mind trick/
That they been runnin' across stars through all the time with/
I find it's distressin', there's never no in-between/
We either niggas or Kings/
We either bitches or Queens/
The deadly ritual seems/ Immersed, in the perverse/
Full of short attention spans, short tempers, and short skirts/
Long barrel automatics released in short bursts/
The length of black life is treated with short worth/
Get yours first, them other niggas secondary/
That type of illin' that be fillin' up the cemetery/
This life is temporary but the soul is eternal/
Separate the real from the lie, let me learn you/
Not strong, only aggressive/ Cause the power ain't directed/
That's why, we are subjected to the will of the oppressive/
Not free, we only licensed/
Not live, we just exciting/
Cause the captors.. own the masters.. to what we writing/
Not compassionate, only polite, we well trained/
Our sincerity's rehearsed in stage, it's just a game/
Not good, but well behaved cause the ca-me-ra survey/
Most of the things that we think, do, or say/
We chasin' after death just to call ourselves brave/
But everyday, next man meet with the grave/
I give a damn if any fan recall my legacy/
I'm tryin' to live life in the sight of God's memory/"

*Loaded Lux 




-So, let's get this straight. Battle rap is an integral part of hip hop. It's one of the most pure forms of lyricism today when it's done right. There is no one who does it quite like Loaded Lux. Since his inception in the battle culture, Lux has become one of the most gifted writers in the entire genre and his style has transcended the battle rap world in a big way. Perhaps the most influential battle rapper of all time and easily the most quoted, Lux blends style, delivery, and bars upon bars, and that was evident in his classic battles against Calicoe and Hollow Da Don, but he also displayed his ability in his music, which dispels the myth that battle rappers can't make good music. Whether it was his Beloved project or his new Talk Dirty album, Lux delivers with solid music throughout, and he's able to coast over beats with ease. He has a number of classic random verses in his arsenal from Sway In The Morning, Kay Slay, and more radio appearances, but what really gained him the spot on this list is  his recent appearance on Hot 97 with Funk Flex, as he put together a 6 minute dazzling verse that blew my mind and impressed those who weren't as familiar with him. Lux is personally in my top 10 lyricists of all time list off the strength of his battles, music, and those random verses and freestyles.

(Verse From Hot 97 Funk Flex Freestyle)
"I was in the areas/
Just thought I'd swing by (bi) like a girl that's curious/
Them boys in the hood pops up on you, that's furious/
Fierce as when you find your inferiors isn't fearin' ya/
What's scary is, you're bettin' against the odds/
And you lettin' these niggas tell ya you better than what you are/
I'm the bar measurin' rod/
This where we draw the line on your screen turnin' it out like some Etch A Sketch'n knobs/.....
Search your inner circle/
Realer verse you, vice or virtue/
Man, this shit is personal/
I saw fights turn into curfews/ You commercial/
You fucked up the meeting, but leave vegan, 'cause for green, brothers shall (shell) be back, you ninjas turtles/
But Stefan used to be Urkel/
Fuck it, make hip hop when they give you hurdles/
Heard you/
You bet not even slacks with your church shoes/
This earth school/
Taught my kin more (Kenmore) 'bout this whirlpool/......
Pay the bookies/
We chasin' bullies/
'Cause if a bad act ain't goodie
Just baked goodies/
You play hookie/
They still want that Lux with the gray hoodie/
I'm like, that's water under a high bridge, ay I can boogie/
Lookie, most emcees are blind/
These moments where I shine/
I gotta show you what they hide, just throw it in rewind/
The poetry's refined, go in and find/
Every time you get a Loaded line/ A Corona gets a lime/
Look, it's only in your mind/
This isn't clear? This isn't fair?/
King end, why? (N.Y.), Need Diddy shares? Biggie chair?/
This nigga scared, I circle him in a square/
Have your balls up or get balled up, 'cause it's fear (sphere)/
It appears that they was never my peers/
It's a pear, fruits of my labor that disappeared/
I'm a bear/
On this grizzly, your city won't drip a tear/
If you here (hair), well I'm near (Nair), cut with your engineer/
Fuck it, buckin' near (buccaneer)/
Fortune keeper/
Get stored in freezers/
Born achiever who wore Adidas/ And Jordan sneakers/
Since he sported the Caesar/
It's nothin' new clear (nuclear) to war heads who guide 'em like North Korea/
Let's keep it tall like Madea/
Son, you're short as a breather/
Daddy sugar trick Trinas/
The world and these dick beaters/
You ain't got to be meaner/
At least walk with demeanor/
Gang ties how blood money can have you seized up (C's up)/
This kid nappin', I'm big action
They lookin' for me, you're plastic/
He ain't the real thing but he gettin' fried: Catfish/
You know you can't keep this short, right?: Snap flick/
Wanna blow up now but can't cut it, you should call in (Colin), Kaep'nick!/
I'm jacked in, pendin', I break a beat up and bend it/
Take a weak nigga, bend him/
It take a week if he mended
Baby, you got the image/
Patriotic, offended/
Player, she was takin' a knee before it was trending/
Caskets!/
Flex, you never had this/
The jabs Zab quick for this bag hit, embarassin'/
Bash him, he went for the mattress, Taxes!/
Tryna go for Helen of Troy a kill these (Achilles) niggas, I'm Brad Pitt/
D's lookin' with the skully (Scully) like he Mulder/
The loaner/
Who bandin' with his brothers like a Jonas/
I'm on yours, I tear a nigga like ammonia/
Got funky and shooters ain't sent (scent) nothin' but a roamer (aroma)/
On these corners, shorty only do it 'cause it's cool/
Fuck 'em, all he wanna listen to now is music that moves/
We don't wanna hear that unity, fool/
Guess them niggas that sold Harlem, was tryna change the community too/
I'm like ooh, hard to ask him how he doin' in school/
He just rude, but I can dig it, you know, life is a jewel/
But it's true, learn from it
Don't fall in the same mistakes again in Satan's grip/
Trip, catch you off guard (God) like a atheist/
I'll break your—I knock Calvin right out his glasses, they gassed him, find out the hard truth/
In your war boots/
Stormtroop, fightin' a strong case, why the long face?/
Main broad up in the short stay on your court date/
Damn! You listenin' to a musician
Tryna tell this beautician the track ain't for horseplay/
I'm a standout/
I told her I'm a good catch
She got her hands out/
I mean what you niggas expect?!
You took the stand out/
Fumbling/
Hit with the book crumbling/
Just beat, can't take the wrap (rap) now, you mumbling/
You weak, small, frail/
I wore a shell/
War is hell/
No relief, pain runs deep, don't think our auras gel (Orajel)/
Can't jack what youngin jockin', how?/
Tweetin' like a thug, a hunnit rounds/
We meet you at the club, you in a gown/
Fuck who you was, We got it now!/
I'm still clickin' (steal clickin'), difference I never traded on one member/
Niggas better off catchin' Farrakhan at a Trump dinner/
Where the thugs killas collide, you guys non-operative/
You not for this/
In a populace, the total opposite/
Stop the shits/
2Pacalypse, keep it positive/
You 'bout to watch me raise up on you just like a Cosby kid/
Problem is, you thinkin' too much, I put my heart in this, hard denims/
Waist to the cuff, and I'ma walk in 'em/
Come over to your door, I do home visits/
Dog, bury you in your own backyard, pick a bone wit' him/
Hold the wheel, give you that holy feel/
Hittin' like Holyfield/
Mixed with some Golden Seal/
Off a pint of Henny finna overdose on pills/
Ridin' dirty, unlicensed firearm with the open s—...I'm still that dangerous/
I'm from outta that hangar/ Different rap chamber/
You know where you at stranger/
That Talk Dirty in stores/
And yeah, I make a movie and do the score/
I know with J to Z they had reasons to doubt, sure/
But I just saw twenty-two 2's, when it's times to (times two) it's gon' get you 4:44/
Lord! Now do the math on that/
Don't imagine it, the fact is that/
I'm somethin' different out the the same habitat/
I battle rap/
And I drop records, do the cabbage patch or get your cabbage patched/
Cut me in however you dissect it...This ain't that put your faith in favors later/
Thank the neighbors/
I came to bring 'em that thing that cracks the creator's data/
The great debater/
You're slow, at least a turtle (Lisa Turtle) know exactly (Zack) why Morris never lifted weights with Slater/
May have saviors, I missed the bell then (I'm Mr. Belding), but know your principles/
'Cause branchin' out, they don't teach you that in judicial school/
The chi is deep, Swave Sevah, ninja jiu-jitsu moves/
Official views/
Stripes with your wife, gettin' this whistle tuned/
By the wisdom tooth, pull up on ya, dig at you/"

*AZ 




-We are pretty familiar with AZ and what he brings to the table as an artist. He's right there in the discussion with Black Thought and others in terms of being an underrated lyricist, and he once was considered to be the most underrated rapper of all time. While I have another name listed as the most underrated ever, he's certainly within the top 5 and his lyricism is the biggest reason for it. He's a king of using internal rhyme schemes and multis, and since we first heard the Brooklyn lyricist on Nas' Illmatic track "Life's A Bitch", he has delivered time and time again. Through his albums like Aziatic, Doe or Die, and The Format, alongside his guest verses, AZ has continued to shine and as a lyricist, he is in a class of his own.

(Verse From Life's A Bitch)
"Visualizin' the realism of life in actuality/
Fuck who's the baddest, a person's status depends on salary/
And my mentality is money-orientated/
I'm destined to live the dream for all my peeps who never made it/
‘Cause yeah, we were beginners/ In the hood as Five Percenters/
But somethin' must've got in us/ Cause all of us turned to sinners/
Now some restin' in peace and some are sittin' in San Quentin/
Others, such as myself, are tryin' to carry on tradition/
Keepin' this Schweppervescent, street ghetto essence inside us/
'Cause it provides us with the proper insight to guide us/
Even though we know/
Somehow we all gotta go/
But as long as we leavin' thievin'
We'll be leavin' with some kind of dough/
So, until that day we expire and turn to vapors/
Me and my capers/
Will be somewhere stackin' plenty papers/
Keepin' it real, packin' steel, gettin' high/
‘Cause life's a bitch and then you die/

*Blu 




-I have said this numerous times, but I'll repeat it again. Blu is my favorite West Coast MC and it honestly isn't close. While I love Kendrick and he makes great albums, there is a more relatable element to his music that resonates with me. Blu is one of those rare artists who can hit you with some of the most poignant verses that hit you personally. His lyrical style can be all over the place on certain songs, but for the most part he is concise in his lyricism and there's so many examples of that, from his verses on "Blu Colla Worker" to his verses on "Vanity", "4U", "He-Man", and many other tracks, like my personal favorite "Dancing In The Rain". Blu has been putting in work since 2007 and his music never really disappoints, but his lyricism will always be the driving force. If you ask me, he's the premier West Coast lyricist. Simply put.

(Verse From Dancing In The Rain)
"Sometimes I hate taking trips to the lab/
Got my pen and pad/
Booking instrumentals in smash/
Catch the bus regardless/
Trying hard to be an artist/
But my A&R be calling me out my zone into his office/
Being cautious/
Cause he don't want my record to brick/
Asking me how he think my projects progressing and shit/
I said cool, but the truth is that I'm stressing to grip/
Cause it's hard to make music when this depression exists/
They say use it as inspiration & the best of 'em did/
Well that's them, see I can't handle this pressure for shit/
And if you ask me stress is a bitich/
My girl needs more attention and my record label's desperate for hits/
Now I'm pissed cause I'm getting out the zone again/
Makes me start to dread when I see a microphone and shit/
It ain't supposed to be like that/
I said ill be right back/
I left the office got a phone and called my partner Jac/
And I asked him/
Remind me why I'm rapping/
And right before he answered/
I remembered my passion
In the past/
When I was scribbling in my tablet, to box out my mom and dad scrapping, to help me when my granmother passed/
Plus the many times when I was homeless/
And the times when I was broke, and the music made a way when I was hopeless/
He told me to remember the rain/ It'll diminish the pain/
And he told me not to ask him again/....cause I know"

*Jay Electronica 




-I debated heavily about including Jay Elec. He's one of the most lazy hip hop artists ever, perhaps the most lazy to ever be a part of the culture. While many have cited Lauryn Hill for her inability to create new work, there are 4 pieces of official music you can cop from Lauryn. For Jay Elec, there are no official albums. There are random songs, an official mixtape, and a collection of randomly put together mixtapes that are based on the random songs and verses he's dropped. Because of his lack of output, Jay tends to go ignored when we have the conversation about the greatest lyricists, and it's understandable. Inactivity can sometimes eliminate you from the conversation of being the greatest at anything, but make no mistake about it, I've heard very few artists with the wordplay and lyrical composite of Jay Elec. Whether it was his straightforward verses via "Exhibit A" or the moderate hit "Exhibit C", his honest and open verse on "Better In Tune With The Infinite", or even his show stealing guest spot on "Just Begun" with Reflection Eternal, I've yet to hear a Jay Elec verse that disappoints me. He's a top tier lyricist despite his lack of work over the last few years.

(Verse From Better In Tune With The Infinite)
"It's frustratin' when you just can't express yourself/
And it's hard to trust enough to undress yourself/
To stand exposed and naked/
In a world full of hatred/
Where the sick thoughts of mankind control all the sacred/
I pause, take a step back/
Record all the setbacks/
Fast forward towards the stars and the jetpack/
My feet might fail me/
My heart might ail me/
The synagogues of Satan might accuse or jail me/
Strip, crown, nail me/
Brimstone hail me/
They might defeat the flesh but they could never ever kill me/
They might can feel the music but could never ever feel me/
To the lawyers, to the sheriffs, to the judges to the debt holders and the law makers, fuck you, sue me, bill me/
That name on that birth certificate, that ain't the real me/
The lies can't conceal me/
The sun rise and the moon tides and the sky's gon' reveal me/
My brain pours water out my tear ducts to heal me/
My Lord's too beneficent/
The message grab a hold to every ear it get whispered in/
The waters in the bayous of New Orleans still glistenin'/
The universe is listenin'/
Be careful what you say in it/
My grandma told me every bed a nigga make, he lay in it/
The church you go to pray in it/ The work is on the outside/
Staring out the windows is for love songs and house flies/"

*Big Boi 




-Outkast is the greatest hip hop duo. That's first. Together, Andre and Big Boi were two separate entities that meshed perfectly to give us some of the best music we've heard in the genre. So, why is it that Big Boi doesn't get his just due as a MC? Sure, you could argue that Andre 3000 is a better technical MC, and I would agree there, but that takes nothing away from Big Boi, who is probably one of the top 15 greatest lyricists in the genre (at least I would rank him there). His work on the Outkast albums is classic, and I think his best lyrical work comes on Stankonia and Aquemini in terms of the group, but watching his lyrical growth since Kast has sort of separated is something amazing. Big Boi has become a stronger lyricist it seems over the years, and he deserves much more credit than he gets for his top tier MC abilities.

(Verse From Reset)
"Ain't it funny how you're born and then your life begins/
Just like a baby all alone, that's if you wasn't a twin/
You must begin to fend for self when the umbilical's cut/
The doctor put you under the heating lamp, your spirit is touched/
You know what, I take that back, why? You was alive/
Date of conception, interception cause the sperm did collide/
From T 'n A to DNA, feelings turn to children/
The morning after pill didn't put a halt to our very existance/
We livin, breathin/
Soon we'll be teethin/
Our granny got a gold and now we want one for that reason/
An adolescent mind is so impressionable in those stages/
But parents got to parent their kids to keep them out of cages/
Cell therapists, beware of this, lugie that I spit/
Incarceration without rehabilitation really don't mean shit/
Little Ricky's home, he gotta serve probation for six months/
But Uncle Darnell and Ol' Dirty Bastard still in the joint/... Reset"

There are many lyricists who don't get the credit they deserve in our genre, but these 10 are at the very top in my honest opinion. Hip hop may evolve and change, but one thing that never will is the love for lyricism and the importance of it to music. Keep the art pure and appreciate the lyricists that put their heart and soul into every word they scribe.


-True 

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