BLOG: The Top 10 Rap Songs Of 2008

I’ll preface this list by pointing out that it’s not my m.o. to keep a running list of songs I like. What am I supposed to be, Chinese? Dustin Hoffman in Rainman?

I was already gonna put together a list of my favorite albums of the year, and my favorite rap albums of the year, for features on my own site and this site respectively, as I’ve done the past couple of years. But the other day, I got an email from a guy inviting me to participate in a poll of rap critics, and part of it involved putting together a list of my 10 favorite rap songs of the year. Which I hadn’t planned on coming up with. It could be the case that this was part of the poll last year as well, and I just didn’t bother. I know I haven’t bothered submitting a list of songs with my Pazz and Jop (an exclusive critics poll, limited to only the top 1500 music writers in the country) ballot the past couple of years. But then I figured what the fuck. This way, I can fill up two days worth of posts with asinine lists.

Without further ado.

1) Eli Porter “Iron Mic Freestyle” – Something that just occurred to me rewatching the controversial Iron Mic freestyle battle for the purposes of creating this list: Of course Eli Porter is retarded. But the rest of those guys are probably retarded as well. If they went to my high school, they definitely would have been in “resource,” if not downstairs resource, aka “the Lost World.” But I went to a high school where you had to be able to read in order to be in a regular class. I’m not sure how it works in the South. Feel free to chime in in the comments section, if you have any insight with regards to this matter.

2) Busta Rhymes “Arab Money” – A strong contender for the number one spot. If only the video, by Rik Cordero aka the Cancer of Filmmaking, didn’t suck balls; and if only Busta Rhymes hadn’t been pressured by the TIs to change the pronounciation of the chorus to Ah-rab money, which is as pointless as it is weak. It’s been redeemed to a certain degree by the remix, which includes guest verses by everybody and their grandmother, and which, in an attempt to make it a bit less offensive, has somehow been made even more offensive.

3) Mic Terror “Detention” – The final, triumphant volley in my favorite hip-hop beef of the year, Mic Terror vs. Mazzi. Mazzi, you’ll recall, had put out that song “Lesson A,” going at hipster rappers for wearing those Rachel Ray terrorist scarves, and questioning how Jay Electronica has somehow gotten the LCD community to pretend as if they like what sounds like a buncha long lost Killah Priest records. But the song was just gay, and he tried to turn it into some sort of race issue, rather than just a music issue. He pretty much set himself up to be chopped down by Mic Terror. Fortunately, Mic Terror didn’t pull a Charles Hamilton and let the Tis talk him into eating a few shrooms and calling it an evening.

4) East Coast Avengers “Kill Bill O’Reilly” – Similarly, this is the song Ludacris would have made after Billo the Clown cost him his coveted endorsement deal with Pepsi, if Ludacris… wasn’t the kind of rapper who goes around seeking opportunities to shill for soda companies. Ha! No but really, it’s unfortunate that this didn’t lead to an actual on air confrontation between Billo and the East Coast Avengers. I know Billo’s had Cam’ron and Damon Dash, and Diddy, and Blood Diamond Rush on there. What gives?

5) John Brown “Sarah Palin (I Wanna Lay Pipe)” – Speaking of politics, here’s another failed opportunity. The song itself was fantastic. Probably the best thing John Brown will do. And probably the only John Brown song I’m gonna listen to anyway. But how did he not cast bespectacled, gorgeous (albeit a bit short) pr0n star Eva Anglina as the Sarah Palin stand-in in the video? If it’s because he didn’t have her number, I’m sure he could have gotten it from ?uestlove from the Roots. I could have arranged that. I’m friends with ?uestlove on Twitter. And I’ve got reason to believe there’s some secret folder he carries around with information about pr0n stars in it.

6) Japcity “The Facts” aka “Operation Purse Snatcher” – A spiritual hymn for what became known this year as the No Tights Pants Movement. Of course I was gonna support such a movement, if only because tight pants are just not an option for a man of my stature. But also, I do find it unfortunate that hip-hop has gotten as teh ghey as it has. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. It’s just that I consider hip-hop to be a straight genre of music, and therefore I don’t find that sort of thing conducive to quality hip-hop. I know, I’m such a homophobe.

7) Elzhi feat Royce the 5’9 “Motown 25″ – If I was in charge of picking out the rappers for this year’s 10 Freshmen cover, which obviously I wasn’t, a good half of it would have consisted of rappers from the D. And the only reason I say half is because I’m not even sure if I’m familiar with 10 rappers from the D, let alone 10 that put out songs this year. The ones that did though fucking killed it. Black Milk in particular pretty much pwned 2008. It’s a good thing he’s apparently constitutionally incapable of producing a song suitable to be played on the radio. He could fuck around and be on Fat Beats forever. We can only hope.

8) The Knux “Cappuccino” – The only hipster rap group that put out a song, and then an album, people actually liked, and they didn’t even turn up on the cover of XXL’s all-hipster 10 Freshmen issue. Or was that by design? I did a couple of posts about the Knux here around the time their album dropped, and the response from the comments section was a resounding, “Who in the fuck are the Knux? We’ve never heard of them, and hence we can’t be bothered to read any posts about them. And it’s not like we’re sitting in front of machines with which we could find information about them, if we were so inclined.”

9) Snoop Dogg “Sexual Eruption” – This seems like it’s been around so long it shouldn’t be considered a song from 2008. But I figured I’d go ahead and include it on the grounds that I’m seeing that damn MGMT album showing up on a lot of best of list this year. Shit, I wouldn’t be surprised if that shit was still showing up on best of lists next year. True story: As recently as yesterday, I was informed by some unfortunate southerner on Twitter that I need to check out a song called “Electric Feel” by a group called MGMT. Has that shit even been in a TV show yet? ’09 could be a long year.

10) Ron Browz “Pop Champagne” – Speaking of Jim Jones, this is easily the best (and as far as I know, the only) thing he’s done since “We Fly High.” I’m gonna have to second ?uestlove (who’s only saying the same shit I’ve been saying for years) on this one: If Jim Jones can continue to churn out crap like this, which can’t be that difficult, Damon Dash might be able to avoid getting kicked out of his apartment. If I were him, I’d talk to the bank about signing an agreement similar to one of those agreements you have to sign in order to avoid having your heat turned off during the winter. Or as I like to call it, an “I work for for Harris Publications” agreement.

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  • Re-yo

    “Black Milk in particular pretty much pwned 2008″

    Realest shit you ever wrote.


      I don’t know about top 10 but I got 5

      1. Blutiful World Remix Spider Loc Feat. Grape St Crips, P.Smurf (Denver Lane Blood)
      2. Blutiful World Spider Loc
      3. Toe Tagz Spider Loc
      4. Money Manuver Spider Loc
      5. Game Over Spider Loc

      • BlowItInTheAir

        do you succ the niggas dicc or somethin? that nigga wacc. The Game would kill his wacc ass


    wow. 7 out of 10 of deez joints i never even heard of

    • sthxdnn

      yea i kno right…but seriously this is the worst list ever..”sexual eruption”?..ARAB MONEY..that was not even close to even good let alone the best


    Damn, this blog got a nigga sleepy. I’m a take a nap on this bitch. Somebody wake me up after he gets to 80. G’Nigh


    tattoos on her ass -max b

  • og bobby g

    im going to go ahead a provide you all a true list of the 10 best rap songs of this past year….fuck if you disagree

    1 – slaughterhouse – joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Nino Bless, Crooked I and Royce. How can you fuck with that line up?

    2 – We run this – Jada- “my new hawk need blood on it, my back is killing me, i got new york on it”…tell em kiss

    3 – Put On remix – Jeezy feat. Hov – better than the original due to the absence of Kanye and vocoder gayness

    4 – Lose your Life – Jada, Pusha & Snoop – beat is serious, spitters.

    5 – pretty much anything Crooked I spit on – I go with his commercial “big dream” shit…for argument sake.

    6 – Lollipop renix – I hate the new lil wayne (post dedication 2)and really wish kanye stayed behing the boards and out the booth, but I will have to give him props for this…solely in a strip club environment or with a bitch in a smoked out whip. Plus the Nacho (Not yo) cheese line had me rollin.

    7 – To The Top – Casidy, Saigon, Termanology – pure fire…..

    8 – Boss – ricky ross with t-pain – this shit was catchy and came out right before the autotune became unbearable

    9 – superstar remix – Lupe, TI, Jeezy – shit was fire

    10 -Swagger like Us – Kanye, Jay, Wayne, TI – imo, take Kanye off and wayne, replace with say luda and snoop, and shit woulda been a powerful track.

    I may have missed some…but i aint mad at that list.

    • amar

      #1: nas ft. bustah rhymes-fried chicken

    • Bol

      c/s “To the Top” and “Fried Chicken”

      • $ykotic

        “Fried Chicken” not in the original ten is blasphemous.

        The list is hot.

        I just hope Crooked realizes he’s not a commercial artist and sign on a good label to get show money. He can eat well.

  • amar

    i guess it’s like the oscars, where if it’s boring and i’ve never heard of it, it gets a high rating?

    • Sweet

      word up my nigga

  • thoreauly77

    it’s eva evangelina dude. and yes that is exactly what he should have done.

  • SoutKackKilla

    This was a weak list.Period

  • fredMS

    are u retarded? its eva angelina. dumbass

    • thoreauly77

      you right.

  • fredMS

    also this list needs t-pain. t-pain is the reelest nigga alive

  • henry


    havent been on in a while, what happened to jay smooth?

  • avon

    what about nas the slave and the master
    papoose fat joe diss

  • lordlux

    garbage list….

  • Simple like ABC, 123

    Who can beat Eli Porter?

    “I’m a let you know who the best, by the hour, he’s like Rosie O’Donnell at a bisexual bridal shower”

    “Look at this dude, he need to stay in the shade, ain’t no wonder why he came out, he already in the gay parade”

    “I’m the best mayne., I did it…”

  • Simple like ABC, 123

    11. T-Baby “It’s So Cold in The D”?



  • Tiiz

    SMH @ Bol being a Ron Browz fan

  • dan99

    Looks like a wack top ten to me, most of which probably 10% of rap’s listeners actually heard of.

  • Geranimo

    Bol, u r such a fag, half this shit nobody heard bout. This list is weak as fuck. If anything, “lollipop, “whatever you like” and “put on” should be on this list, not no stupid ass “pop champagne”.


    T-Baby “It’s So Cold in The D”?

    - LMAO!!!!!!!!!

  • ThE AnsweR

    fuck that list…

    *Ludacris ft. Nas & Jay-Z – I do it for hip hop
    *Ludacris ft. Lil Wayne – Last of a dying breed
    *Nas – Hero
    *The Game – Pain
    *TI ft. Ludacris – On top of the world
    *Dj Felli Fel ft. Kanye West, Ne-Yo, JD & Fabolous – The Finer Things
    *LL Cool J – Old school new school
    *Kanye West – Paranoid
    *Ice Cube ft. Music Soulchild – Why Me
    *Eric Benet – you’re the only one
    *Common – Universal mind control

    My personal pick… If you haven’t heard some of these songs you need to, all were GREAT songs in 2008!

    • Stuey

      you only put big names on that list
      kind of hurtin, seeing how only one of those songs are decent

  • 615banga

    The Real Top 10

    10. Dey Know–Shawty Lo
    9. Hero- Nas
    8. The Boss- Rick Ross
    7. Whatever You Like- T.I.
    6. One More Drink- Ludacris
    5. That’s Gangsta- Bun B
    4. Independent- Webbie
    3. Get Like Me- David Banner
    2. Dope Boys- The Game
    1. Lollipop- Lil Wayne

  • 615banga

    The Real Top 10

    10. Dey Know–Shawty Lo
    9. Hero- Nas
    8. The Boss- Rick Ross
    7. Whatever You Like- T.I.
    6. Why Me?- Ice Cube
    5. That’s Gangsta- Bun B
    4. Independent- Webbie
    3. Get Like Me- David Banner
    2. Dope Boys- The Game
    1. Lollipop- Lil Wayne

    • Chris S

      your list sucks ass

  • 615banga

    Top 10 Albums

    10. Definition Of Real- Plies
    9. T.O.S.- G Unit
    8. 2 Trill- Bun B
    7. The Recession- Young Jeezy
    6. Trilla- Rick Ross
    5. Paper Trail- T.I.
    4. Theatre Of The Mind- Ludacris
    3. LAX- The Game
    2. Tha Carter 3- Lil Wayne
    1. Untitled- Nas

    • Stuey

      uhm….. are you 12 or do you just not have any taste?

  • Eric

    man, did you purposely list shit nobody ever heard of or cared about?

    Two songs that should be on everybody list:
    1.)Swagger Like Us
    2.)Put On

    EASILY the best two songs of the year.

  • balaramesh

    “man, did you purposely list shit nobody ever heard of or cared about?

    Two songs that should be on everybody list:
    1.)Swagger Like Us
    2.)Put On

    EASILY the best two songs of the year.”

    eric, you must live in atlanta or something. those songs are just popular. there about 6200 better songs than those this year. i’d put shawty lo’s singles over those. imo

    • Eric

      nah, i don’t live in atlanta. but you must be shawty lo’s cousin or something because i don’t know two words to none of his wack shit.

  • UARK

    Wow…not only does your list suck but the lists that people are posting under the comments suck…

    2008 was shitty. Royal Flush (Outkast & company), 75 Bars (The Roots) was tight, The Knux album was by far the best this year next to Q-Tip’s, but overall it sucked BALLS! I suggest yall go download some late 80′s early 90′s hip-hop from zshare to fill the void form this shitty year.


  • nellz

    uhh…no thanx

    10. Busta Rhymes/Linkin Park – We Made It
    9. Shawty Lo – Dey Know (Remix)
    8. Kidz in the Hall/Phonte – Paper Trail
    7. Young Jeezy/Kanye – Put On
    6. Ludacris/Lil Wayne – Last of a Dying Breed
    5. Joe Budden/Joell Ortiz – Warfare
    4. Lupe Fiasco – Hip Hop Saved My Life
    3. Flobots _ Handlebars
    2. NERD/kanye/lupe/pusha T – Everyone Nose Remix
    1. Lil Wayne – A Milli

    I probably forgot about other songs…but top 4 is for sure.

  • GO-Getta’

    Okay here we go again….(Top Ten).

    #10 Correctional Officers
    #10 Going in & out of jail
    #9 Auto – tune (Vodocer)
    #8 Sagging skinnny jeans (hipster)
    #7 Decline of female voices
    #6 Video vixen tryna kick a verse
    #5 Chain – snatching
    #4 Ring-tones hit wannabes
    #3 album sales
    #2 Recycle verses & beats
    #1 Online beefs


    My list:

    10. I Know — Jay-Z
    9. The Suicide Note — Scarface
    8. I’m A Star — Gucci Mane
    7. I’m Having A Relapse — Eminem
    6. A Fair One — Papoose
    5. Whut Up, What’s Happenin’ — T.I.
    4. Angel — Game w/ Common
    3. I’m Leaving — G-Unit
    2. A Milli — Lil Wayne
    1. Sexual Eruption — Snoop


    BTW: Paper Planes >>>>>>>> Swagga Like Us

  • Shim Dolla

    pick 10 songs off of scarface’s emeritus and that’s your top 10 period

  • 619

    Top 10 in no perticular order:
    It Takes A Nation- Ice Cube
    Grow Up- Bishop Lamont
    Sly Fox- Nas
    Blood On The Wall- Joe Budden
    The Life- Prodigy
    High Powered- Scarface
    For The City- Jadakiss feat. MOP
    Can’t Let Go- Strong Arm Steady
    Sana Sana- Suga Free
    Undisputed- Ludacris

  • Julio

    My List

    1.Nas-Be A Nigger Too
    2.Charles Hamilton-November 10th (first version)
    3.Kanye West-Street Lights
    4.East Coast Avengers-Kill Bill O Reiley
    5.Ice Cube-Gangsta Rap Made Me Do it
    6.The Game-Dope Boyz
    7.G-Unit-Rider Pt. 2
    9.Bun B-You’re Everything


    dis list fuckin bullshit




    ANYONE with a Shawty-LO song on there list should be stricken from ever posting an opinion on here again.


    And fried chicken doesnt make the cut….maybe top 25…maybe

  • Doobie42

    My personal Favorites
    10. Sheek Louch – Good Love
    9. Scarface – Emeritus
    8. Statik Selektah – To the top
    7. Buckshot – Hold it down
    6. M.I.A. – Paper Planes (Bun B, Rich Boi Remix)
    5. Charles Hamilton, Asher Roth, B.O.B. – Change Gon Come – No joke i loved that track
    4. Crooked I – My life 2.0
    3. Z-Ro – You
    2. Statik Selektah – For the city
    1. Nas – Slave and the Master

    • Doobie42

      i know paper planes came out last year but it’s good enough to be on this year’s list

  • Big Family

    C/S on Motown 25, gotta add Fried Chicken to that list along with Hurt U by Pharoh Monch and Kardinal off Jake ones album.

  • brand-new

    my favorite joint was on the nas nigger tape green lantern mixtape, the track legendary was smokin’


    Bonus track:

    Pressure — Killer Mike w/ Ice Cube (Almost forgot….)

  • PeRs_1


    I agree with all those talkin hype bout Put On ft Jay-Z and Swagger Like us, they killed it this year. Also A mili ft Cory Gunz was a good track. Too true cant think of the greats off the top but those 3 stood out.

    Shit these days im makin play lists still bumpin tracks like Survival Of The Fittest, Size’Em Up, NaS is like, Dead Presidents etc etc. Present times just aint doin.

  • Chris S

    not one person on the mentioned ANYTHING off atmosphere’s album…

    my personal choice is Yesterday

  • latino heat

    c/s julio. bun b’s Your Everything has to be on here. that’s the only song this year that i’ve played faithfully since it dropped.

  • latino heat

    and one more thing, what’s eva angelina have to do with anything?

  • Nico

    In random order:

    Hero – Nas ft. Keri Hilson
    Mr. Carter – Lil Wayne
    A Millie – Lil Wayne
    My Life – The Game ft. Lil Wayne
    Last of a dying breed – Ludacris ft. Lil Wayne
    Haters – Glasses Malone ft. Lil Wayne & Birdman
    Live Your Life – T.I. ft. Rihanna
    On top of the world – T.I. ft. Ludacris
    Heartless – Kanye West
    History – Jay-Z ft. Tony Williams

    How can you not mention Lil Wayne in the top 10 songs of 2008? Don’t tell me you don’t like his autotune shit, cause 4/5 songs I mentioned here he don’t even use it. Artist of the year: Lil Wayne

  • 615banga

    The Top 10 Songs Of 2008

    10. Dey Know–Shawty Lo
    9. Hero- Nas
    8. The Boss- Rick Ross
    7. Whatever You Like- T.I.
    6. Why Me?- Ice Cube
    5. That’s Gangsta- Bun B
    4. Independent- Webbie
    3. Get Like Me- David Banner
    2. Dope Boys- The Game
    1. Lollipop- Lil Wayne

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