Rick Ross and Drake are two of hip-hop’s biggest stars in 2012 due in a large part to their knack for being able to write and deliver extremely captivating hooks. Drake burst onto the scene with his trademarked sing-song approach, while over time Ross developed his own signature style of rapping on the chorus. The question is, which artist is better at it?

XXL will provide the arguments for each MC, but in the end, it is up to you, the reader, to make the final decision.

To most, Drizzy made his introduction to the rap world with his breakthrough 2009 mixtape, So Far Gone. Besides showcasing the Toronto-native’s skills as both a rapper and singer, the project highlighted Drake’s penchant for penning radio-friendly hooks. The most successful (no pun intended) being, “Best I Ever Had,” a chorus so brilliantly sweet and repetitive, it easily implanted itself in listeners' heads to reach No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

I say you the fuckin’ best/You the fuckin’ best/ You the fuckin’ best/You the fuckin’ best/ You the best I ever had/ The best I ever had/ The best I ever had/The best I ever had.

As expected, a label bidding war ensued, a star was born and the hits just kept on coming. One of the most notable was “Forever,” the superstar collaboration that paired him with Lil Wayne, Eminem and Kanye West. The hook found Heartbrake Drake creating a dark, addictive sound that was also inspiring. And this time, he didn’t even have to cheat by using repetition.

It may not mean nothin’ to y’all/But understand nothin’ was done for me/So I don’t plan on stopping at all/I want this shit forever mine/I’m shuttin’ shit down in the mall/And tellin' every girl she’s the one for me/And I ain’t even plannin’ to call/I want this shit forever mine.

Drake’s most impactful hook of last year was undoubtedly on DJ Khaled’s “I’m on One.” By this time, Drizzy’s style had matured into more cold, melancholic music. Compare this with the innocent “Best I Ever Had” of two years prior.

All I care about is money and the city that I’m from/ I’m a sip it ’til I feel it, I’ma smoke it ’til it’s done/I don’t really give a fuck and my excuse is that I’m young/And I’m only gettin’ older/ Somebody shoulda told ya/I’m on one


Meanwhile Rick Ross already had three albums under his belt before he found his own distinctive voice with 2010’s excellent, Albert Anastasia EP. More specifically it was the explosive track, “B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)” that catapulted Rozay into the hook hall of fame, and led him into his streak of crazy catchy choruses.

Ross’ recipe: it’s all about one simple phrase rapped slowly in his omnipotent baritone. As you can see, a lil’ name-dropping here and there doesn’t hurt either.

I think I’m Big Meech/Larry Hoover/Whippin’ Work/Halleluyah/One nation under God/Real niggas gettin money from the fuckin’ start.

Tupac Back/Tupac Back/That’s all these bitches screamin’ that Tupac Back.

Nine piece/Straight 8 balls/MJG/Bitch I got 8 balls.

Pork on the fork/White in the pot/By any means/If you like it or not/Malcolm X/by any means/Mini 14 stuck in my denim jeans.”

Fuck ‘em/Fuck ‘em/I’m screaming Fuck ‘em

The hooks are so easy to remember that any fan can rap along after one listen, therefore they become the tracks' focal point and the most anticipated part of all of Ross’s cuts. It’s not the beat (as it’s been in the past super-producer era), it’s not the lyrics (as it was in the golden era), or even Ross’ undeniable swag. It’s all about the hook.—Jesse Gissen (@JesseXXL)

Now it’s time for you choose though.

Turn to page three for  the poll and a deeper look at each artist's selected hook discography.


Selected hook discography

*listed in no particular order


"Best I Ever Had"
"Up All Night"
"Miss Me"
"Find Your Love"
"Shot For Me"
"Underground Kings"
"The Motto"
"I’m On One"
"She Will"
"Money to Blow"
"I Get Lonely Too"
"Fall for Your Type"
"Make Me Proud"
"Free Spirit"
"Say Somethin'"

Rick Ross
"Made Men"
"I Love My Bitches"
"B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)"
"Tupac Back"
"MC Hammer"
"Fuck 'Em"
"9 Piece"
"Triple Beam Dream"
"Yella Diamonds"
"Holy Ghost"
"John Doe"
"Fire Hazard"
"By Any Means"
"600 Benz"