The BIG List: 66 Most Important Hip-Hop Songs of 2011 (Pg. 3)
"Dreams Money Can Buy" - Drake
On a Take Care leftover, Drake claps back at haters and—in his opinion—has-been greats (“My favorite rappers either lost it or they ain’t alive”) over a sample of UK producer Jai Paul's “BTSTU.”
"F.A.M.E." - Young Jeezy Feat. T.I.
Jeezy lets a little emotion show on this J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League-produced track, inviting T.I. to bark back at naysaysers.
"Ghetto Dreams" - Common Feat. Nas
The first single from The Dreamer/The Believer—and perhaps the creation leading to a rumored Common and Nas joint LP, nas.com—finds the Com describing his ideal chick while Nasir boasts his macking prowess.
"Gucci Gucci" - Kreayshawn
Bay Area rookie Kreayshawn caused a frenzy with her addicted-to-retail breakout single. Yet after a $1 million signing coup with Columbia, the world is waiting for more from V-Nasty’s BFF.
"H.A.M." - The Throne (Kanye West and Jay-Z)
Watch The Throne’s first false start ignited a hate-it-or-love-it response from bloggers and hip-hop heads when it was released via Facebook in January. Yet, aside from the over-the-top opera section—killed by Lex Luger’s thunderous drum machine—Jay-Z’s potshot at Birdman stands out most.
"Hard White (Up In The Club)" - Yelawolf Feat. Lil Jon
Shady Records’ second white power links with the King of Crunk for a high-energy club anthem.
"Headlines" - Drake
An acquired taste for many, Drake uses Boi-1da’s reverberating synths to kick an intricate string of self-aware couplets (“I might be too strung out on compliments/Overdosed on confidence/Started not to give a fuck, and stopped fearing the consequence”). Take Care’s first official single topped the Billboard Rap Songs list, tying Drizzy with Ludacris and Diddy, who each have 10 all-time.
"HiiiPoWeR" - Kendrick Lamar
Section.80’s lead single finds Kendrick Lamar referencing Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey and Fred Hampton over an eerie J. Cole melody, giving fans a brief taste of how a their much-anticipated collabo LP could sound.