If you're complaining that there hasn't been any good music released this year, go look again. Almost all of the game's biggest stars like Drake, Future, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, J. Cole, Big Sean, Rick Ross and more dropped a new project or new single this year.

Young artists like Vince Staples, Earl Sweatshirt, Young Thug, GoldLink, Mick Jenkins, Action Bronson and Chance the Rapper also delivered bangers in 2015. But like every year, they are a handful of verses that stand out. For example, who can forget Nicki Minaj's verse on Kanye West's "Monster" or her onslaught on "Itty Bitty Piggy" years ago. There's also Kendrick Lamar's infamous verse on Big Sean's "Control" that turned hip-hop upside down and fans are still clamoring for a Jay Electronica album after they heard his second verse on "Exhibit C." A great verse can send chills down any rap fan's spine.

But what makes a great verse? If you ask that question to a 100 hip-hop fans, you'll probably get a different answer from each one. There's rappers that pen dense verses. Some MCs paint the pictures of their reality through vivid lyrics. Others use punchlines or an imaginative personality; some just have a distinct voice or flow. There's a wide variety of qualities that make a rap verse standout. However, the foundation of a great verse is the ability to appeal to a diverse amount of hip-hop fans.

So XXL compiled a list of the best verses of 2015. Check that out below. And peep our Best Mixtapes and EPs, Most Slept on Songs, Best Videos and the rest of our year-end lists.

  • "Mural"

    Lupe Fiasco

    Verse 1: "We're all chemicals, vitamins and minerals/Vicodin with inner tubes, wrapped around the arm/To see the vein like a chicken on the barn/Top Cat chat, let's begin another yarn/That's flying saucer cheese, or is it chicken parm'?/But roosters don't fly like boosters don't buy/So what powers cowards to get them to the top/Just to fall asleep listening to Bach?/The ribbon in the sky is the riddim that I drop/Dribbling the eye across the prism of a clock/That lacks meaning, but racks up stacks of fat reading/They catch Chief and wrapped up plants from trap dealings/Now what's a coffin with a scratched ceiling?/And what's the talking without the match feeling/That's buried living? And cherry picking/Every lemon from your berry system/Then proceed with the pack feeding/When I was young I had visions of another world/Sneaking looks at the porn stash of my brother Hurl/Incense smoke made vortices and other curls/Casting calls from porn films and ad space for rubber girls/I like my pancakes cut in swirls/Moroccan moles and undercover squirrels/I like cartoons, southern cities with large moons/Faith healers, ex-female drug dealers and art booms/Apologize for my weird mix/What taste like hot dogs and tear drips/And looks like pantomime and clear bricks/And smells like shotguns and deer piss/They on their hunt, kind of salty that I'm going hard/First part of a party, that I throw in parts/One minute you're playing pool, next minute you're throwing darts/But that's how you do with a party that you throw in bars/I run the Gambit like I'm throwing cards/From popular mechanics to overdosing hearts/Paint cold pictures like Nova Scotia landscapes/Nerd gang, make Mandelbrot sets when we handshake/A word game back up plan that can dam lakes/Backup the wordplay playing at the man's states/Means I can still be the man if the dam breaks/And when demand brakes I'm reflectious, what they can't face/My peers will still treat the mirror like it's a fan base/The unfettered veteran, the eagle feathered man of medicine/That hovers above cities like weather men/And maybe weather woman/Whatever better to tell ya weather comin'/I prefer girls to reign all over the world/And not rain like, rain man or rain like rain dance/Or rain like a slight chance of rain when it's raining/Or rein like deer slaves to Santa Claus sleigh man/But reign like Queens that reign over made man/And not Queen like Queen killer, rhapsody bohemian Queen/But Queen, like white glove wave hand, and not wave hand, like it's a heat wave/So you make a fan by waving your hand, I'm talking wave, like you saying, "Hey man!"/And not hay for horses,and hoarse like you almost voiceless/You gotta treat your vocal chords, like it's a fortress/And treat every single one of your words, like reinforcements/And especially when you're recording/Cause that's the portion that's important/When I was reporting, that I was poor,but now I'm more than (poor)/It's still hooker heels, on my sugar hills, and sweet spots/Crying shames, make margarita rims, from cheap tops/Deep plots, in floor to ceiling windows, for my peep pots/A little scene, with the sickle swings, to make the wheat drop/And a hundred words, for them hummingbirds, that like to eavesdrop/And fan out, like peacocks, with a parakeet that beat box/So the sun rise, when the beat drops, and the sun dies. when the beat stops.../Then it unties, then it relocks, then it relapsed, then it detox/Then heat back, like a heat pack, on his knee caps of the weak spot/Cause he want what we got, like yeah"

  • "Baby Blue"

    Action Bronson Feat. Chance The Rapper

    Chance's Verse: "I hope you get a paper cut on your tongue/From a razor in a paper cup/I hope every soda you drink already shaken up/I hope your dreams dry like raisins in the baking sun/I hope your titties all saggy in your early 20's/I hope there's always snow in your driveway/I hope you never get off Fridays/And you work at a Friday's that's always busy on Fridays/I hope you win the lottery and lose your ticket/I hope it's Ben and Socrates poop all up in your kitchen/I hope the zipper on your jacket get stuck/And your headphones short, and your charger don't work/And you spill shit on your shirt/I hope your tears don't hurt, and I can smile in your face/Cut my losses, how Delilah changed my locks to a fade/I hope you happy, I hope you happy/I hope you ruined this shit for a reason, I hope you happy, igh!"

  • "B Boy"

    Meek Mill Feat. Big Sean & A$AP Ferg

    Big Sean's Verse: "Okay, I walk with a limp and I talk with a slur/I might wear every single chain and mix it up with my fur/I might get every single drink and mix it up til I blur/I tell the bitch get on my lap, but don't you get on my nerves/I need that bag full of green like I lawnmow it/John Doe and all Sean Doe it/And I keep it G, yeah, I ground floor it/And I'm pound blowin'/If her pussy good then I might one, two, three, round four it/Got her down for it/Yeah, nigga overthink, never under stress/Yeah, I understand, your girl over, I'm so unimpressed/Yeah, and she tryna fuck me raw, unprotect/But if I don't have that rubber on it I feel under dressed/Yeah, and I got money bags under my eyes, ho, cause I ain't sleep/They all Goyard too cause I ain't cheap/And I put everything in motion like I-N-G/And when we flyin' private you could bring the gun on with us/I got this freak to 3rd base, she tryna run home with us/And I got comma on comma on comma on comma... on comma/And I ain't talking about no run on sentence/Yeah, nigga hot headed so I need that Chings Chili/Put my P up on her head like that bitch is reppin' Philly/And I wheelie in that pussy like my nigga Meek Milly/On my way to meet millis/Lawyer drafting up the deep deep dealies/I got rich decided that ain't rich enough/When I did it big, bitch, I decided that ain't big enough/Dead Pres, who you diggin up?/Who that nigga that you hating on, but just can't get enough?/Fuck, the jig is up, little bitch"

  • "The Blacker The Berry"

    Kendrick Lamar

    Verse 3: "I'm the biggest hypocrite of 2015/When I finish this if you listenin' then sure you will agree/This plot is bigger than me, it's generational hatred/It's genocism, it's grimy, little justification/I'm African-American, I'm African/I'm black as the heart of a fuckin' Aryan/I'm black as the name of Tyrone and Darius/Excuse my French but fuck you — no, fuck y'all/That's as blunt as it gets, I know you hate me, don't you?/You hate my people, I can tell cause it's threats when I see you/I can tell cause your ways deceitful/Know I can tell because you're in love with that Desert Eagle/Thinkin' maliciously, he get a chain then you gone bleed him/It's funny how Zulu and Xhosa might go to war/Two tribal armies that want to build and destroy/Remind me of these Compton Crip gangs that live next door/Beefin' with Pirus, only death settle the score/So don't matter how much I say I like to preach with the Panthers/Or tell Georgia State "Marcus Garvey got all the answers"/Or try to celebrate February like it's my B-Day/Or eat watermelon, chicken, and Kool-Aid on weekdays/Or jump high enough to get Michael Jordan endorsements/Or watch BET cause urban support is important/So why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street when gang banging make me kill a nigga blacker than me?/Hypocrite!"

  • "Wishin 2"

    PRhyme Feat. Black Thought

    Black Thought's Second Verse: "Yo, post traumatic stress, I wear it as a family crest/I murder at its best, words that'll manifest causing cardiac arrest/Budapest to Marrakesh, my slang Bangladesh/My gang’s Clarence X, I'm life after death, the last Levine X/Lettin' every other rapper know they better wear a vest/I'm pulling in two hundred thousand for appearances/I wrote a song about it, here it is, yo/The creature feature search a preacher teacher torch/Capture, rupture, rapture, reach her, the preacher/He defeat ya, speak the ether, sneak then creep ya/Say no peace to meet ya, can't nobody get with me/Strong suits from Italy, chill, humility what I'm all about, ability, yo/I wish a nigga would bring the hostility though/You know how them boys from Philly be/I'm like cyanide, creeping through the air ducts/And I got a foul mouth, tell 'em kids earmuffs/When I was at school, I was who to steer clear of/Smoking a reefer in the bathroom, sipping Smirnoff/When it came time for the pictures in the yearbook/I was up in Paris like an American werewolf/Years later, yo I'm an American hero verse evil like/Deerhoof, if I let the bear woof/They don't recognize me when I'm shopping up in Berdgdorf/They just know I'm flier than the motherfucking airport/Therefore they say I'm a sartorial gear whore, yeah"

  • "Quiet Storm Freestyle"


    Verse: "I put my lifetime in between the papers line/Just a hustler out here trying to make a dime
    Feel like when crackheads was beggin' me to take the nine/Man these bum ass rappers need to make a sign/That say will rap for food, for real scrap you're screwed/I put the paws on you and lil' scrap you dudes/My goons in the audience still clap when cued/Put the Hawk in your chest and Millsap you dudes/I'm still snapping dude, still run my city and still lapping' dudes/In the studio in a still trappin' mood/On a beat from '99 that's still slappin' dude"

  • "Lift Me Up"

    Vince Staples

    Verse One: "Hey, I'm just a nigga until I fill my pockets/And then I'm Mr. Nigga, they follow me while shoppin'/I feel like Mick and Richards, they feel like Muddy Waters/So tell me what's the difference, so tell me what's the difference?/My momma was a Christian, Crip walkin' on blue-waters
    Was fadin' up in Davis, then walkin' back to Palmer/A fro like Huey partner, Auntie Angie had them choppers/So tell me what's the difference, so tell me what's the difference?/I feel like "Fuck Versace", they rapin' nigga's pockets/And we don't get acknowledged, just thank me for the profit
    A prophet just like Moses, if Moses look like Shaka/Zulu, my .44 loaded, I'm aimin' at Nirvana
    My bitch look like Madonna, they starin' at katana
    Waiter still ain't brought the chopsticks, should have brought the chopper/Uber driver in the cockpit look like Jeffrey Dahmer/But he lookin' at me crazy when we pull up to the projects"

  • "Back to Back"


    "This for y'all that think that I don't write enough/They just mad cause I got the midas touch/You love her, then you gotta give the world to her/Is that a world tour or your girl's tour?/I know that you gotta be a thug for her/This ain't what she meant when she told you to open up more/Yeah, trigger fingers turn to twitter fingers/Yeah, you gettin' bodied by a singin' nigga/I'm not the type of nigga that'll type to niggas/And shout-out to all my boss bitches wifin' niggas/Make sure you hit him with the prenup/Then tell that man to ease up/I did another one, I did another on"

  • "Paper Trail$"

    Joey Bada$$

    Verse One: "Yo, sitting back plotting, jotting information on my nation/Really started from the bottom, boy cotton/But they still planting plantations, we keep buying in/Closed-minded men/Pride is higher than the prices on your Pradas and Balenciagas Balance my saga with the Henny agua/Me and my niggas tryna eat, you pussies empanada/The flow like plenty lava/With just a penny I could multiply my worth/And make you work for me for twenty hours/I swear these niggas love to copy, thanks for listening/The kid ain't been the same/Since Biggie smacked me at my christening/Watch what you dishing and please play it safe/Cause your position on the top is switching right in front your face/Rock you outta space with rhymes, I'm bustin' out/Keep ducking down, got some missiles now, headed for your house/So put the pistols down, got that red dot on your nose/Who booked the clown? I lock jaws like a blue nose/Foes keep your mouth closed or you can see the solar/I got connections that guaranteed to see closed doors/You hear that underground sonar/The way I flows then switch them/The Pros been on a mission/Listen, enter the chamber, get hyperbolic/They raisin' Macs, I raise steaks to keep them brolic/My visions is macrocosmic, pass the chronic/The mastered sonics is light years above your conscious/You're novice, but I got notes that strike nerves/I promise your minds ain't sharp like my swords/So cut the BS, and don't worry where my jeans is/And PS: Your bitch a genius, learned from my penis/I got dreams selling arenas and breaking brackets/Tenants racket, while I'm cracking a Serena/God damn, God bless the heaven that sent you/But now I'm breezing out, baby, cause my rent's due"

  • "January 28th"

    J. Cole

    J. Cole's Verse 2: "What's the price for a black man life?/I check the toe tag, not one zero in sight/I turn the TV on, not one hero in sight/Unless he dribble or he fiddle with mics/Look out the window cause tonight the city lit up with lights, cameras and action/May no man alive come through and damage my faction/I brought you niggas with me cause I love you like my brothers/And your mothers' like my mother/Think we need a plan of action/The bigger we get the more likely egos collide/It's just physics, please let's put our egos aside/You my niggas, and should our worst tendencies turn us into enemies/I hope that we remember these/Nights fulla Hennessey/When Hov around we switch up to that D'usse/Gotta show respect, one day we tryna stay where you stay/Cause we from where you from/Not talkin' bout the slums/I'm talkin' 'bout that mind state that keep a black nigga dumb/Keep a black nigga dyin' by a black nigga gun/And keep on listening to the frontin' ass rap niggas sun/Yeah I said 'sun'/This is New York's finest/For 11 winters straight I took on New York's climate/Like show me New York's ladder/I climb it and set the bar so high that you gotta get Obama to force the air force to find it/Never mind it, you'll never reach that/Cole is the hypnotist, control the game whenever he snap/That's every track, nigga"

  • "Grief"

    Earl Sweatshirt

    Verse One:  "I don't act hard, I'm a hard act to follow, nigga/Like it or not, when it drop, bet he gotta listen/Chasing dragons, tryna make it happen, on a mission/Step into the shadows, we could talk addiction/When it's harmful where you going and the part of you that know it/Don't give a fuck, pardon me for going into details/3-7-6 was a brothel/We had females come in every hour on the dot/And the shit sound like a gavel when it knock/Focused on my chatter, ain't as frantic as my thoughts/Lately I've been panicking a lot/Feeling like I'm stranded in a mob, scrambling for Xanax out the canister to pop/Never getting out of hand/Steady handling my job, time damaging my ties/Who turn to get up? Get dude turned to dinner quick/You circus niggas, you turning into tricks/I was making waves, you was surfing in 'em/Dealing with the stomach pains just from birthing niggas' shit/Cut the grass off the surface/Pray the lawnmower blade catch the back of a serpent, niggas' shit/Bitch"

  • "One Of Us"

    Rick Ross Feat. Nas

    Nas Verse: "You could die young out here/Mess around and die before 21 out here/Mamas stressing, seen them ratchets in the dresser/She not asking questions/She seen the vests and seen other kids in the casket resting/Weed so loud they got surround sound/Smoking good shit cause they tryna take me back to some hood shit/Any club, any fly affair/If they start shooting all they remember is Nas was there/Some homies of yours bangin’ affiliation on their personal time/Conflict with business can hurt down the line/It’s something that you ain’t have nothing to do with/Your man confrontation end up getting you hit/Learn how to draw the line from when we hang with the shooters/Strippers, dealers and killers, leeches and opportunists/Where I come from it’s ruthless, air you out from the Ubers/Tutored by coke movers, put holes through ya'/You wouldn’t get that from me though, you’d overlook me/Looking like I just get to that money and stay in some pussy/Got a pretty real dope life/Fly nigga from the other side, hecklers, PKs, 9’s and .45’s/7.62’s, deer-hunting rifle shells, life is hell/Pussy sweeter than wine tasting/But we won’t self-indict ourselves/Be our own prosecutor, won’t 25-to-life ourselves/We bout that moolah, rich shooters"

  • "Six Degrees"

    Ghostface Killah Feat. Danny Brown

    Danny Brown's Verse:  "Both hands crusty, need a little lotion/That shit don't matter when I mix the color ocean/Smoking on potent, goons bagging up in the living room/Blocking the flat screen while I'm watching Juice/Move your big ass head, my favorite part's on/Q and the DJ battle, move or I scratch you/95's from 95's on the coffee table/Got them selling dimes still shiny as a nickel/Pistol in designer boxers, shoeboxes in bedrooms/Some got stacks but most discontinued/What's on the menu? Eat a rapper like butternut squash/Bark on a nigga with the blade out/Run up in your safehouse, how ironic/Knock a ring on a nigga like somebody hit Sonic/Smoking on chronic feeling like Nostradamic/See dying in your future, nigga I promise/Vomit colors seven series, TiVo the World Series/About to miss the game hitting sevens on the slot machine/Dice game, vice daughter, drunk driving in the Charger/With a big titty bitch looking like Toccara/I don't know what you know/But if you know what I know, you better get ghost 'fore I get Ghost/I don't know what you know/But if you know how I know, you better get ghost 'fore I get..."

  • "Smuckers"

    Tyler, The Creator Feat. Kanye West and Lil Wayne

    Kanye West's Verse:  Richer than white people with black kids/Scarier than black people with ideas/Nobody can tell me where I'm headin/But I feel like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen at my weddin/They say I'm crazy, but that's the best thing goin for me/You can't Lynch Marshawn if Tom Brady throwin to me/I made a million mistakes, but I'm successful in spite of 'em/I believe you like a fat trainer takin a bite or somethin/I wanna turn the tanks to playgrounds/I dreamt of 2Pac; he asked me "Are you still down?"/Yeah my nigga, it's on, it's on, it's on, it's on/I know they tell they white daughters "Don't bring home Jerome"/I am the free nigga archetype,I am the light and the beacon/You can ask the deacon/It's funny, when you get extra money/Every joke you tell just be extra funny/I mean, you can even dress extra bummy/Cocaine bathroom break, nose extra runny/And I gave you all I got, you still want extra from me/Oxford want a full-blown lecture from me/And the Lexus pull up, errr, like hop, I hopped out, like wassup?/Err-err-err, step back, hold up, my nigga, you suck, hold up/I studied the proportions/Emotions runnin at a Autobahn speed-level/Had a drink with fear, and I was textin God
    He said "I gave you a big dick, so go extra hard"

  • "Complexion (A Zulu Love)"

    Kendrick Lamar Feat. Rapsody

    Rapsody's Verse: "Let me talk my Stu Scott, ‘scuse me on my 2Pac/Keep your head up, when did you stop loving thy/Color of your skin, color of your eyes/That’s the real blues, baby, like you met Jay’s baby/You blew me away, you think more beauty in blue, green and grey/All my solemn men up north, 12 years a slave/12 years of age, thinkin’ my shade too dark/I love myself, I no longer need Cupid/Enforcin’ my dark side like a young George Lucas/Light don’t mean you smart, bein’ dark don’t make you stupid/And frame of mind for them bustas, ain’t talkin’ “Woohah!”/Need a paradox for the pair of doc's they tutored/Like two Todd's, L-L, you lose two times/If you don’t see you beautiful in your complexion/It ain’t complex to put it in context/Find the air beneath the kite, that’s the context/Yeah, baby, I’m conscious, ain’t no contest/If you like it, I love it, all your earth tones been blessed/Ain’t no stress, jigga boos wanna be/I ain’t talkin’ Jay, I ain’t talkin’ Bey/I’m talkin’ days we got school watchin’ movie screens/And spike your self esteem/The new James Bond gon’ be black as me/Black as brown, hazelnut, cinnamon, black tea/And it’s all beautiful to me/Call your brothers magnificent, call all the sisters queens/We all on the same team, blues and pirus, no colors ain’t a thing"

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