In 2012, although the title for cameo king was once again up for grabs (thanks to numerous appearances by 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, Kendrick Lamar, etc.), there was one artist in particular who dominated on these features like no other and that just happened to be October's Very Own Drake. Despite not dropping an album this year, the YMCMB star remained a ball of fire by unleashing a string of potent 16s as guest collaborator for some of the year's biggest, and hottest, records. Sans any of his singy-songy appearances (Rick Ross' "Diced Pineapples," Justin Bieber's "Right Here"), XXL lines up and ranks the 10 Best Drake Guest Verses of 2012. Beast...
10. Nicki Minaj ft. Drake, Young Jeezy & Nas "Champion," Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012)
Drizzy showed his heart of a champion on Nicki's album cut which finds the TO native cooing enough confidence to hold his own amongst co-collaborators Jeezy and Nas. "Young T.O. nigga, either riding range/Or Ferrari top down, screaming, "Money ain't a thang!"
9. Lil Reese ft. Drake & Rick Ross "Us (Remix), The Black Bar Mitzvah (2012)
Drizzy went for some more street cred points when he hopped on to the curb-stomping remix to Lil Reese’s “US”. Complete with shout outs to his lawyer, the 305, and the entire GBE roster, Drizzy did his best tough guy impression and it’s pretty convincing. And at least he didn’t say he was going to “catch a body like that” again.
8. Aaliyah ft. Drake "Enough Said" (2012)
Drake first hinted at an Aaliyah project during an interview with Tim Westwood at the end of March. A few days later, the alleged first single “Enough Said” was released by Drizzy’s go-to producer Noah "40" Shebib. Billed as an Aaliyah song with a feature by Drizzy, it had unreleased vocals by the beloved singer.
While “Enough Said” receive rave reviews—even Drake’s verse was sonically his best—critics chastised the OVO pair for not including longtime collaborators Timbaland and Missy Elliott in her new song. As of now, talks of a posthumous album have been opposed by Aaliyah’s family. But at least fans got to hear Aaliyah’s warm vocals together with one of rap’s biggest stars.
7. DJ Drama ft. Drake & Future "We in This Bitch 1.5," Quality Street Music (2012)
Drama already had an all-star cast for Quality Street Music's first single, enlisting A-Town's finest in Young Jeezy, T.I., Young Jeezy and Future. However, to take take it up another notch, he added TO's native son who's performance gave Drama no choice but to slap the latter record with "We in this Bitch 1.5" title instead of 'remix.'
6. A$AP Rocky ft. Drake, Kendrick Lamar & 2 Chainz "Fuckin' Problem," Long.Live.A$AP (2012)
While A$AP's current Long.Live.A$AP single remains a Problem on the airwaves, his collaborator did some damage to the record as well. "Ain't heard my album? Who you sleepin' on?/You should print the lyrics out and have a fuckin' read-along..."
5. Kendrick Lamar ft. Drake "Poetic Justice,"good kid, m.A.A.d city (2012)
Although it's no scene-stealer, Drake did K. Dot 's Janet Jackson-sampled good kid, m.A.A.d city cut justice with his potent verse dedicated to the fun sex. Good God...!
4. Meek Mill ft. Drake & Jeremih "Amen," Dreams and Nightmares (2012)
While it was Meek's single, Drizzy didn't shy away from delivering yet another scene-stealing verse which finds him boasting about his luxuries ("I just bought me a crib so big it came with a moat"), keeping it real ("I ain't lyin' in my verses I'm just telling you the basics") and even finding the time to send out a little subliminal ("And good ain't good enough, and your hood ain't hood enough"). Preach...
3. French Montana ft. Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne "Pop That," Excuse My French (2012)
"I'm young Papi, Champagne/They know the face, and they know the name...," and that verse too. Say what you want about French Montana's "Pop That" but one things for certain is the fact that Drizzy stole the show with his verse—even going over a few heads along the way ("Gettin' cheddar packs like KD, OKC that's player shit...").
2. 2 Chainz ft. Drake "No Lie," Based On a T.R.U. Story (2012)
2 Chainz became the feature king over the last year and change, and Drizzy decided to return the favor for the lead single from the Atlanta rapper's debut album, Based on a T.R.U. Story. The Young Money rapper blessed Tit with a hit, as he set the tone for the song by crafting and singing its chorus, and also added a typically memorable verse. No lie.
1. Rick Ross ft. Drake & French Montana" "Stay Schemin'," Rich Forever (2012)
Ricky Rozay kicked off the year in top-notch form when he unleashed his monster mixtape, Rich Forever. However, when the project's single "Stay Schemin'" arrived, Drake managed to pull a jux on that spotlight. By far, one of his hardest rhymes to date, Drizzy tackled the Beat Bully produced record like a man on a mission. Trading in his singy songy melodies for a black