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Drake's 50 Best Verses

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There are plenty of reasons why Drake has propelled from a relative unknown to one of hip-hop's biggest stars in the last two-and-a-half years. His association with Lil Wayne and Young Money was a nice jump off point. His combination of singing and rapping ushered in a new style. The ladies love him. Still, beyond all that, at his very core, Drake is a lyricist. His flows are crazy. His bars balance braggadocio and honesty, confidence and vulnerability. Rarely does the 25-year-old drop a verse that's anything less than stellar. His features have been consistently fierce, and album and mixtape cuts rarely let up from verse to verse.
With Take Care due out next week—and having leaked online late last night (November 6)— Drake is sure to add more than a handful of memorable verses to his résumé. Until then, XXL counts down Drake's 50 Best Verses. —XXL Staff

50. “Every Girl,” on Young Money's We Are Young Money (2009)


Best Line: “And what are all your names, again? We drunk, remind us/Are any of y'all into girls like I am? Lesbionest”
Sticking with the theme of this Young Money crew cut, Drake isn't bashful about his prospective lady conquests in this short verse. Without employing punchlines, he was able to win over female and male fans alike with relatable and creative lines, most notably the one above.

49. “It’s Good,” on Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV (2011)


Best Line: “Please pardon my brother/He’s just angry at you niggas who don’t have your heart in your rap shit/And got too fuckin comfy/Cause we still fuckin hungry/Young Money got the munchies.”
This song become known for Lil Wayne’s subliminal shot at Jay-Z, but Drake may actually have the best verse on the collab that also included Jadakiss. The appearance is a short one, but Drake’s voice is filled with aggression, as he takes on competitors and even seems to step in Weezy’s shoes for a few bars (“Rikers Island on this flow, 8 months for that pistol/But at least they had some bad bitches workin’ in that shit hole”).

48. “Unusual,” on Trey Songz's Passion, Pain & Pleasure (2011)


Best Line: “Why you laughing out loud, I’m serious/Bring your girl if you a little bi-curious.”
  It’s hard for the ladies to hear what you’re saying, while being featured on a song by R&B crooner Trey Songz. Yet, Drake managed to accomplish that with some slick talk directed at the women.

47. “Fall For Your Type,” on Jamie Foxx's Best Night of My Life (2010)


Best Line: “Oh, wait, no I get it girl, I’m with it/I’ve been down this road before and yeah I skidded, but forget it.”
  Drake falters and finds his footing, admitting to his mistakes on this smooth Jamie Foxx record.

46. “Closer” [First Verse], Comeback Season (2008)


Best Line: “Watch blue and green diamonds I call it the Earth face/I'm gettin' ya cake I tell you how ya dessert taste/I get a dessert plate/Y'all eat pedigree as ya meal/I've been Urkel for some years it's better bein' Jaleel.”
Clocking in at just over two minutes, this opening verse from Drake touches on an array of topics that would later become mainstays in his music as his popularity continued to grow: his love for his mother and his city, the lack of violence in his content, spending time with fine women, and dismissing haters.

45. “Man of the Year” [Second Verse], Comeback Season (2008)


Best Line: “Holla at me when you see me, make yourself known/'Stead of hatin’ on my music in the comfort of your home/Nigga, be a man, you actin’ like a bitch/I ain’t actin’ like I’m hood/I’m just actin’ like I’m rich, rich.”
This verse closed out Drake's pre-breakout mixtape, Comeback Season, on a song that featured a hook from Weezy for the soon-to-be dominant duo's first collaboration. The former Degrassi star makes his case for his title as Man of the Year, boasting about the fame he's achieved and money he's made even before music.

44. “Best I Ever Had” [Second Verse], So Far Gone (2009)


Best Line: “When my album drop, bitches'll buy it for the picture/And niggas will buy it too and claim they got it for they sister.”
Drake's breakout smash was made special by all of its elements, from the beat to the hook to the two verses. But the second verse of the song helped solidify it as more than just a pop hit, exhibiting the rapper's wittiness, confidence, and way with words when it comes to women.

43. On Chris Brown's “Deuces (Remix)” (2010)


Best Line: “I might just put up with the arguing and stay for real/You looking bad, girl for goodness sakes/You with all those curves and me without no breaks.”
  Drake has become synonymous now for witty lines like, “You with all those curves and me without no breaks.” Deuces!

42. “Pass The Dutch,” on Young Money's We Are Young Money (2009)


Best Line: “Life is such a beach, it’s sandy all around me/I came here with young money man, that’s family all around me/I’m in my living room and I got Grammys all around me/And famous bitches doing nose candy all around me.”   This joint off the Young Money compilation, We Are Young Money, had Drake putting something in the air alongside Lil Wayne and Gudda Gudda with sharp, entertaining lines.

41. “What Up,” on Pimp C's The Naked Soul of Sweet Jones (2010)


Best Line: “To all my Houston Texas country muffins/Baby let me hit that liquor and that blunt you puffin’/And after that I'm a throw that fucking young money up/And we can both watch and fall like it's bungee jumping.”
Drake helps honorary Houston sons Bun B and the late great Pimp C rep for their city.

40. “The Winner” (2009)


Best Line: "A lot of people sayin fuck me/Problem is they be telling everybody but me/But I/Always got a Starbucks verse being brewed/Too hot, please, please double cup me.”
This was initially reported to be slated on Drake’s debut, Thank Me Later, but didn’t make the final cut, after leaking in the summer of 2009. Over triumphant horns from Tha Bizness, Drizzy basques in his newfound success, and uses the final verse to dismiss Nick Cannon and Will Smith actor/rapper comparisons, as well as to thank those close to him, including his mother, father, and uncle.

39. “Lose My Mind Remix” (2010)


Best Line: “Do I love these hoes, mmm, kinda sorta/I got em drinking Sangria like it's fucking water/Some Miami women, tan lines showing/And they really bout' whatever shit is mind blowing.”
  Time and time again in his young career, Drake has shown that he talks to and about women like few MCs can. That passion is plastered in the aforementioned and very detailed lines above on this Young Jeezy smash.

38. “Over” [Second Verse] Thank Me Later (2010)


Best Line: “I really can’t complain, everything is kosher/Two thumbs up, Ebert and Roeper.”
  With this record serving as the first single off his debut smash Thank Me Later, Drake scores a hit over this victorious-sounding track, which he fills with his quips and witticism.

37. “Uptown,” So Far Gone (2009)


Best Line: “Yeah, wrong way down the one way/Women don't get saved round me even on a Sunday/Damn where I get it from, these niggas always wonder who/Then they meet my pop and tell 'I'm Drake is just a younger you.’”
  Drake smashes the first two verses, playing setup man for Bun B and Lil Wayne on this methodical, Southern hospitality beat.

36. “Gonorrhea,” I Am Not A Human Being (2010)

Drake Hangs Out in Miami

Best Line: “I am, spending much more than I'm making on these cars and these vacations/Is that too much information?/I just bought a Lamborghini, I'm not even into racing/With a windshield full of tickets 'cause I live right by the station.”
  Drakes follows his boss Weezy aptly on this track, riding the synthetic beat in a mad frenzy, showing range with his flow in the process.

35. “Unforgettable,” Thank Me Later (2010)


Best Line: “Always gone but never hard to find/And since you can’t escape me, do I ever cross your mind?/Because all this shit is new to me, I’m learning to behave/And still spending every dollar they encourage me to save.”
  Drake made sure that this Jeezy-assisted record off his Thank Me Later debut was just that – unforgettable thanks to rhymes of inner struggles like these.

34. “Swagger Like Us” [Second Verse], on T.I.'s The Paper Trail (2008)

Drake dines at Sur

Best Line: “Gets depressing when you see your favorite rappers goin' through it/Tryna re-invent themselves, showin' no improvement/Gettin' crushed by this light skinned young'n on some new shit.”
Though most people had grown sick of “Swagger Like Us” freestyles by the time this one dropped, Drake was still able to make his worthwhile, particularly with his second verse. Brimming with confidence, Drizzy calls out veteran rappers, tries to fuck Megan Fox, brags about owning an Eames couch, and shouts out Smif-N-Wessun and Duck Down.

33. “Moment 4 Life,” on Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday (2010)


Best Line: “These niggas be droppin’ songs, they ain’t even cold/Weezy on top and that nigga ain't even home—yet/Yeah, be very afraid.”
For his only feature on Nicki Minaj’s debut album, Drake makes the most of the moment. Again mentioning that he’d love to marry his Young Money counterpart and collaborator, Aubrey spends the majority of his time on wax enjoying the life he’s living, at one point promising, “I swear this shit is as fun as it looks.”

32. “Show Me a Good Time” [First Verse] Thank Me Later (2010)


Best Line: “I live for the nights that I can’t remember with the people I won’t forget/Spending all the money, I just work my ass off for doing things I won’t regret.”
  Insightful and methodical, Drake rolled up his sleeves and dissected this beat like a surgeon.

31. “Fireworks” [Second Verse], Thank Me Later (2010)


Best Line: “What an experience/You coulda been the one, but it wasn’t that serious/There was smoke in the air before that was me clearing it/That felt good, all and all I learned a lesson from it though/You never see it coming, you just get to see it go.”
  With Alicia Keys laying down the hook, Drake had a chance to focus and concentrate fully on his verses and boy did he take advantage. In fact, Drizzy penned and directed a chunk of this song toward Rihanna.

30. “Put It Down,” Trill OG (2010)


Best Line: “I gotta hundred girls on each phone/Drizzy Drake man, young sweet Jones/I never cheat unless you count the girls I cheat on/I know you can't bring every single one you meet home.”
  Drizzy definitely rose to the occasion, appearing on this cut off Bun B’s Trill OG album and certainly making Uncle Bun proud.

29. “What’s My Name,” on Rihanna's Loud (2010)


Best Line: “I heard you good with them soft lips/Yeah you know word of mouth/The square root of 69 is eight something/Cuz I’ve been tryna work it out, oooow!”
  The second single from Rihanna’s Loud album had Drizzy flirting with the Bajan beauty hard – both on the track and in the video. The chemistry in the latter sparked further rumors of a relationship. Overall, the verse had Drake offering that smooth talk the ladies love.

28. On Fabolous's “Throw It In The Bag (Remix)” (2009)


Best Line: “Her son is 26 but he just went away to school/She always show me pictures of him, tell me that’s her baby/I hope that I never meet him, that nigga look crazy.”
This remix of Fabolous’s first Loso’s Way single featured an entirely new beat and verse from Drake. Drizzy directs his verse at an older MILF whom he’s been courting, and is ready to let her throw it all in the bag.

27. “Made,” Finally Famous Vol. 3: BIG (2010)


Best Line: “The game ain’t always fair and that’s the thing though/You can play your heart out everybody don’t get a ring though/You are in the presence of a champion/Bout to get a condo that I can fit your mansion in.”
Before either of their debut albums hit stores, Big Sean and Drake already felt like they made it, and they spit about the topic on this low-riding collab. The Young Money prince’s verse is brief, but packs a brash punch throughout.

26. “Poppin Bottles,” on T.I.'s No Mercy (2010)


Best Line: “We be working all night, telethon shit/Roll a super skinny one, Chanel Iman shit/Oooh, that’s that fire, that’s that have you calm shit/You with a lot of dudes, that’s that Elton John shit.”
  No Mercy was far from being T.I.’s best album, but this track proved to be a gem and Drake’s swag-soaked appearance helped cement that.

25. “Money To Blow,” on Birdman's Priceless (2009)


Best Line: “I'm on my Disney shit, Goofy flow/On records I'm Captain Hook and my new car is Rufio/Damn where my roof just go?/I’m somebody that you should know.”
  Drake didn’t hesitate getting extravagant and lavish on this Birdman single. Just like many of these tracks, the young Toronto rhyme spitter also laid down the hook on this indulgent, champagne-soaked record.

24. “Headlines” [First Verse], Take Care (2011)


Best Line: “And they sayin' I'm back, I agree with that/I just take my time with all this shit, I still believe in that/I had someone tell me I fell off, ooh I needed that/And they want to see me pick back up, well where'd I leave it at?”
For the first verse from the first official single from Drake’s second official album, the Young Money rapper comes out with flair. Though he’s unquestionably rapping the verse, Drizzy dances melodically throughout. He proves able to tiptoe between getting drunk off his own Kool-Aid and accepting the reality of his spot.

23. “Miss Me,” Thank Me Later (2010)


Best Line: “Gon for surgery but now I’m back again/I’m bout my paper like a muthafuckin’ scratch and win/World Series attitude, champagne bottle life/Nothing ever changes so tonight is like tomorrow night.”
  Lil Wayne and Drake certainly flexed YMCMB’s muscle on this record, the latter MC nifty mentions of “scratch and win” and “World Series attitude” remaining memorable to this big song.

22. “Successful,” [Third Verse] So Far Gone (2009)

2011 BET Awards - Arrivals

Best Line: “Wise words from a decent man/Back when I was trying to put a ring on Alicia hand/This lost boy got fly without Peter Pan/And my delivery just got me buzzing like the pizza man.”
  Lesson learned: Introspective Drake is arguably the best Drake. With the heart beat of this instrumental just barely thumping, Drizzy goes to work dropping wisdom-filled gems.

21. “Up All Night,” Thank Me Later (2010)


Best Line: “I tried to told you, Drizzy still ain't nothing nice/Bracelet saying you should quit, cars saying fuck ya life.”
  Cocky and full of braggadocio, Drake delivered well on “Up All Night” with an equally boastful labelmate Nicki Minaj. Reppin for their team, they make it clear that they’re about whatever, man.

20. “Light Up,” Thank Me Later (2010)


Best Line: “Cuz while all of my closest friends out partying/I'm just here making all the music that they party to/But party on, party on, all night nigga/I got these new rappers nervous prom night nigga.”
  Drake stood toe-to-toe with Jay-Z on this track, not an easy feat whatsoever. Although Drizzy might have been narrowly edged, he did turn in memorable bars on this one.

19. “I’m On One,” on DJ Khaled We The Best Forever (2011)


Best Line: “Hate the rumors, hate the bullshit, hate these fuckin’ allegations/I’m just feeling like the throne is for the taking, watch me take it.”
Drizzy started building up momentum for his sophomore album, Take Care, with this song of the summer; forcefully mounting his return. Though it’s officially a DJ Khaled cut, and features Rick Ross and Lil Wayne, there’s no denying that Drake owned this one. He kicks the verse off with some melodic singing and quickly flips the switch to rapid rapping, addressing haters and subliminally jabbing The Throne.

18. “Made Men,” on Rick Ross's Ashes to Ashes Mixtape (2010)


Best Line: “Off the rack just ain’t my style, I call it designer/One of my baddest women ever, I call her Rihanna/But that's cause her name is Rihanna!”
  Drake and collaborator Rick Ross both name-dropped Rihanna on this song, but it was Drizzy’s mention of RiRi that caused all the stir, triggering DJs all over the country to run the part back over and over. Not to mention, it made for quite the fuel for blogs.

17. On Alicia Keys's “Un-Thinkable (Remix)” (2010)


Best Line: “Ugh, Tez keeps telling me he just turned 30/Having dreams of being single forever he’s getting worried/And I’m scared too because I’m in the same boat/Good women are rare too, none of them have come close.”
  Drake voices his inner fears about partying too much and not finding the right woman over Alicia Keys’ “Un-Thinkable (Remix).”

16.On SBTRKT's “Wildfire (Remix)” (2011)


Best Line: “Live my life in hotels, bitch better have my room right/If they kill me, bury me a legend/Bitch better have my tomb right”
Drake genre hops for this funky remix that first hit the ‘net in May of this year. With a quickly delivered flow, the superstar impersonates haters (“That can't be what they believing is the best shit of the year.”), mentions his penchant for mixing that purple stuff in his Sprite, and still manages to kick a few lines for the females.

15. “Thank Me Now,” Thank Me Later (2010)


Best Line: “I can relate to kids going straight to the league/When they recognize that you got what it takes to succeed/And that's around the time that your idols become your rivals/You make friends with Mike but got to A.I. him for your survival.”
To open the last song on his debut album, Drake reminds everyone what the last year had been like—which was basically him climbing his way to the top of the game. Whereas the song’s second (and final) verse is more emotional and female-oriented, this one is an unrelenting acknowledgement of his good fortune.

14. “Right Above It,” I Am Not A Human Being (2010)


Best Line: “We walk the same path, but got on different shoes/Live in the same building, but we got different views.”
Drake kick things off with the first verse for the lead single from Lil Wayne’s I Am Not A Human Being album. As the title of the song suggests, Drizzy discusses life on the top of the game, a prominent thread in his music.

13. “I’m Goin In,” So Far Gone EP (2009)


Best Line: “I'm just doing me and you could never understand it/Chicks get hammered/Big dick bandit/Money flowing like a slit wrist no bandage.”
This gem got the official release treatment on So Far Gone EP, and features Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy. Even with the high profile assists, Drizzy manages to shine. Also, pause.

12. “Ignorant Shit,” So Far Gone (2009)


Best Line: “Yeah, but with a canvas I'm a group of seven/A migraine, take two Excedrin/I'm the one twice over I'm the new eleven.”
  The self-proclaimed one twice over, the new 11, Drake gets to work, declaring he thinks better when he’s not sober. If that’s the case and Drizzy is going to turn in bars like this, maybe he should keep drinking.

11. “Dreams Money Can Buy” [Second Verse], Take Care Deluxe Edition (2011)


Best Line: “And I feel like lately I went from top 5 to remaining 5/My favorite rappers either lost it or they ain't alive/And they tryna bring us down me, Weezy and Stunna/We stayed up, Christmas lights in the middle of summer.”
  Greatness. It’s clear that that’s one of the things Drake strives for in his music. This verse has him capturing that triumphant feel.

10. “Stuntin,” on Lil Wayne's Dedication 3 (2008)


Best Line: “Heavy metaphors, flow so overweight/I could rap around these other young’ns like a cobra snake/Frostbite Drizzy, nigga, nobody as cold as Drake/Keep yo ass in line, don’t be tryna roller skate.”
Lil Wayne’s Dedication 3 was as much a showcase of the YMCMB president’s roster as it was a solo offering. Though this was the only song that Drake was featured on, he still managed to stand out, bragging, boasting and dripping swag in a verse that clocked in at just a shade less than two minutes.

9. “Congratulations” [Second Verse] (2009)

Drake In Concert at James L. Knight Center

Best Line: “I'll die before I lose, cause I was born, to win/If he don't fuck wit y'all, then don't bother him/And yes, I fuck this game but I won't father them.”
This bonus cut from the retail version of Drake’s breakout mixtape has a fitting title, even if it was slightly premature well wish. Still, the congratulations that he offers himself would soon prove to be well deserved. And even with the auto-tune tinged on his voice, Drake still makes this one stand out.

8. “The Calm” [Second Verse], So Far Gone (2009)

Image: Drake

Best Line: “What they viewing as bragging is the way that I maintain/The shit I write while staring out the window of a plane/Is the single-handed reason I remain...me.”
One of the most revealing and introspective songs on STG, “The Calm” is dark and thumping, and Drake’s verse offers a window into his mind. Not asking permission and just asking forgiveness (like 40's mom says), Drizzy dishes about his strained relationship with his pops, grappling with fame, and maintaining through his music.

7. “Ransom” (2008)

Drake night

Best Line: “I'm the same little boy that used to play up on the Degrassi/Can pocket 20 thousand to be anywhere they ask me/Cash like Johnny, Banks like Ashley/Burnin' like a Camel Light, stupid ho, ash me.”
This Lil Wayne collaboration was one of the earliest opportunities for Drake to touch a larger audience, and he didn’t squander the platform. Drizzy dismantles Boi-1da’s layered production for two minutes straight, kicking witty punchlines and flows about his affiliation with Weezy and his past as an actor.

6. “Fear” [Third Verse], So Far Gone EP(2009)


Best Line: “I think I'm scared of what the future holds/I was wishing for some things and now am used to those.”
The success from SFG and Drake's ascendant summer of 2009 provide the roots for “Fear,” a somber song over wailing strings. With three verses that each shine in their own right, the third and final offers Drake at one of his most vulnerable moments as he grapples with loneliness, perception from the public, women, and his city, and the unfortunate reality that his dream may not be that dreamy after all. He adapted the final line from this song to be the first on the Take Care album opener, “Fireworks) (“It's funny how money can change everything,” he spits here, later starting his debut with “Money just changed everything”).

5. “Forever,” More Than A Game Soundtrack (2009)


Best Line: “Last name ever, first name greatest/Like a sprained ankle boy/I ain’t nothing to play with.”
  With that opener, Drake captured listeners’ ears and perhaps had the most repeated line on the entire song. That’s significant, considering the cut put Drake alongside the heavyweight likes of Eminem, Kanye West and YMCMB boss Lil Wayne and he didn't disappoint at all.

4. On Kanye West's “All of the Lights (Remix)” (2011)


Best Line: “I spend all my time in Houston, smoke that kush but I don't do Whitney/I don't do Britney, I don't do Lindsay/I made $2 million since last Wednesday.”
Standing alongside two of the hottest artists in the game in Lil Wayne and Big Sean, Drake easily bested his trackmates on this remix from earlier this year. With a hunger in his voice, bars and an impeccable flow, Drake returned for one of his first post Thank Me Later verses and showed no signs of letting up.

3. “Aston Martin Music (Extended Version),” on Rick Ross's Teflon Don (2010)

Drake 2

Best Line: “It take a certain type of man to teach/To be far from hood but the understand the streets/I never threw away that paper with my Grammy Speech/Because I haven’t hit the pinnacles I plan to reach.”
Though “Aston Martin Music” initially came out with bars from only Rick Ross with Drake teaming with Chrisette Michele for the hook, Toronto’s finest eventually liberated his extended verse, tacked on to the end of the song. In a minute and a half, Drizzy manages to love his bitches, miss his father, sit courtside at the Miami Heat game, travel the world, and go through a midlife crisis.

2. “9AM in Dallas (Freestyle),” (2010)

9am in dallas

Best Line: “Scared for the first time, everything just clicked/What if I don’t really do the numbers they predict?/Considering the fact that I’m the one that they just picked/To write a chapter in history, this shit has got me sick/But if I really do it, don’t expect to get a split.”
As he does in his strongest verses, Drake simultaneously brags about his accomplishments and opens the door to his insecurities on this three and a half minute cut of straight spittin’. Leaked less than a month before Thank Me Later hit stores, this was yet another momentum and anticipation building offering.

1. “Say What’s Real,” So Far Gone (2009)


Best Line: “And promoters try to get me out to they club/They say I’ll have fun but I can't imagine how/Cause I just seen my ex-girl, standing with my next girl, standing with the girl that I'm fuckin' right now.”
This So Far Gone standout found Drake taking a Kanye West 808s and Heartbreak instrumental and, fittingly, pouring out his heart. With no hook, Drizzy goes in for three minutes straight, touching on Toronto, Wayne, Jay-Z, 40, Sylvia Rhone, losing his Blackberry (with a side scroll), and speaking from the heart.