9 top verses of 2019

If a verse is dropped and never reaches earshot of where most people can hear it, does it make an MC worthy?

  /  12.30.2019

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.

Boxing in a rap fan is futile. Some love deep cuts with even deeper messaging. Others revel in the massive rhymes most capable of reaching mass appeal. Half is what you say, half is the style. If a verse is dropped and never reaches earshot of where most people can hear it, does it make an MC worthy? If skills sold, truth be told, there would be a gaggle more entries on the list of greatest to ever do its. But regardless of reasoning, rap fans are rap fans first, and few things are more powerful than how a poet connects with your personal circumstances—whether that’s forever or right now is the only distinction of value in this Terrible Terra Belle. The year 2019’s best verses embrace both, with an edge given to the idea that music is only as valuable as how many different places you can use it. 

Check out REVOLT TV’s 9 top rap verses of 2019 below.

9. Mozzy: “Carmen Electra” 

Maybe it’s the ease that Mozzy floats over Game’s re-appropriation of the D’Angelo classic. Maybe it’s the way the EMPIRE artist’s voice cuts through the track like a fiend in need of a Popeyes chicken sandwich. Maybe it’s hearing a born storyteller at the moment when he feels so confident in his craft, he’s crossing out all oncomers. “Can’t nobody save us, stay dangerous, it’s on the gang… Pissing on they grave and wackin’ out what they bang.” This Mozzy verse simultaneously represents for gangland and MCs world wide web wide.

8. YBN Cordae: “Thousand Words”

Instagram often feels like the cool table in the lunchroom. Everyone is clamoring for likes, this era’s most immediate currency, which makes YBN Cordae’s second verse on “Thousand Words” resonate so deeply. “Living in this false reality that’s in this picture gallery. Based on a nigga’s profile we guessing salary,” he delivers. “The lifestyle you advertised was quite strategized… these niggas cappin’ with lies how they strategize.” But before he gets too finger-pointy, the 22-year-old sage turns the camera back on himself. “Now I’m a new man, even got a new ‘Gram. So let me take a picture with this money by my new ‘Lam.” Whether awesome or awful, in this Industry of cool, few advance without posting about every step.

7. Fabolous: “BOMBS”

Fabolous deserves more credit for keeping his punchlines heavy-handed over his near two-decade career. Over the 1990s Chicago Bulls’ classic intro soundtrack, the Brooklyn lyricist spends this song’s second verse flipping six-time championship extended metaphors. “I’m that bull in the hood. New ‘Lamb truck got the bull in the hood. Black and red looking like the Bulls in the hood. 23s on it, got the bulls sitting good. This game six. This can’t miss. Shootin’ my shot. Wrist hang. Swish.” Punchline rap often feels lost in an era of emo leaning InstaStory rhymes. Who better than Fab to toss back to when MCs simply flip styles for the fun of it?

6. Pusha T: “Palmolive”

Pusha T narrates a beautiful timelapse in his verse on “Palmolive” off Freddie Gibbs & Madlib’s Bandana. Halfway through his stanza he kicks: “Way more chemical than political. PTSD from what I weighed on the digital. It was snowfall, Reagan gave me the visual. Obama opened his doors knowing I was a criminal.” It’s doubtful the Clipse member ever imagined he’d transcend coke sales and land White House invitations. This verse is a resolute example of going global while staying true to the local.

5. Rapsody: “Nina” 

You’ll be hard pressed to find a more nuanced, more disarming opening bar than on Rapsody’s “Nina” off her latest album, EVE. “Emit light, rap or Emmett Till,” she delivers eloquently, capturing the responsibility of representing a better tomorrow or falling victim to a tragic demise.” She continues the allusion with “I drew a line without showing my body, that’s a skill. Bad to the bone and the grill. You’d be dead wrong if looks killed,” harkening back to the 1955 lynching of the teenager. Few ensnared the trappings of artistic duality in 2019 better than Rapsody does on EVE’s opening verse.

4. Nipsey Hussle: “Racks In The Middle” (third verse)

In a sense, Nipsey Hussle’s third verse on “Racks In The Middle” encapsulates the lasting example of the slain legend’s most unwavering advice. “Bleed music, invest, take lucrative steps… Learn the game. You a student at best.” Put on for your family (“Seen my granny on the jet. Some shit I’ll never forget”). All things at the core of who Nip was as a man, and as a business, man.

3. Westside Gunn: “Dr. Birds”

Westside Gunn isn’t Griselda’s most gifted wordsmith by any means, but his ability to craft vividly entertaining stanzas remains exceptional. Littered with gun shot sounds and seemingly omnipresent “DOOO DOOO DOOOs,” his verse on “Dr. Birds” off WWCD colorfully captures the cultures fascination with crime, drugs, and high fashion. He’s in the fashion district fictionally shooting up Bergdorf’s. He’s rocking Fear of God joggers and he doesn’t even jog. Then, he delivers perhaps the most appropo bar of 2019: “Tell Virgil write ‘Brick’ on my brick,’ shouting out both the era’s addiction to cocaine and Virgil Abloh’s Off-White brand. And when Abloh hit The Gram and did exactly that, Griselda’s rugged brand of vintage of coke rap went luxury.

2. Black Thought: “Crown For Kings”

Black Thought’s verse on “Crown For Kings” is a powerful example of rousing storytelling and lyrical exercise. “Real niggas made an industry out of intuition, facing the darkest outcomes, sprinting to outrun the reaper,” he kicks with the wisdom of a Jedi Master. “Trying not to be food in the mouth of the beast. For whom the bell tolls. Crown Kings in adidas suits and shell toes.” The most ubiquitous examples of tragedy turned triumph flow like a fountain full of words connecting backpacks and traps across generations, bridging gaps while never tiptoeing towards preachy. It’s a reminder that fly rhymes grow finer despite time.

1. J. Cole: “A Lot”

J. Cole’s verse on “A Lot” has the makeup of all the reasons people love Andre 3000 verses. Open with a critique of the culture (“How many faking their streams? Getting plays from machines? I can see behind the smoke and mirrors. Niggas ain’t big as they seem… some niggas make millions. Other niggas make memes.”) — Check. Remind people of your humility (“I’ve been playing it back from a lack of promotion. I was never one for the bragging and boasting.”) — Check. Switch flows and extol your own greatness (“I’m batting a thousand. It’s gotten to the point that these rappers don’t even like rapping with me.”) — Check. Toss in a few positive words for the latest targets of mob justice (“Tekashi 6ix 9ine, Markell Fultz, respectively) — Check. The result is a masterful commentary on this era, effortlessly weaving through the macro and the micro, the public and the personal in a way reminiscent of the all-time greats. Ain’t nothing wrong with that. 



View More



View More


Walmart has the home essentials for everyone on your holiday shopping list

Below, our gift guide highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds for anyone in need of a home refresh.

  /  11.24.2023

Walmart's HBCU Black and Unlimited Tour kicks off at Central State University

On Oct. 10, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University.

  /  11.14.2023

The Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour visited Mississippi Valley State University

The Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour made its final stop at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) and left a lasting impact on students and alumni alike.

  /  11.22.2023

Walmart continues HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour during lively Virginia State University stop

After unveiling their state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University, Walmart brought the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to Virginia State University (VSU) on Oct. 13.

  /  11.14.2023

Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour brings attention and wisdom to North Carolina Central University

On Oct. 17, Walmart brought the third stop of the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to North Carolina Central University (NCCU).

  /  11.15.2023

5 things you need to know about the 2023 Billboard Music Awards

“REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy Rue counts down the top five moments from the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, including surprising wins, historic firsts, and dope performances. Sponsored by Amazon.

  /  11.20.2023

Walmart's HBCU Black and Unlimited Tour kicked off at Central State University

In October, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University. The HBCU located in Wilberforce, OH was the first stop on Walmart’s Black and Unlimited HBCU Tour.

  /  11.28.2023

Groovey Lew on hip hop style, Johnell Young's industry secrets, BGS salon's wig mastery and more | 'Black Girl Stuff'

Fashion King Groovey Lew on masterminding hip-hop’s most iconic looks. Actor Johnell Young reveals the secret to breaking into the entertainment industry. Celebrity hairstylist Dontay Savoy and got2B ambassador Tokyo Stylez are in the BGS Salon with the perfect wig install. Plus, comedian Lauren Knight performs.

  /  11.15.2023

Pheelz talks expressing himself through music & his biggest inspirations | 'On In 5'

On this all-new episode of “On In 5,” multitalented Nigerian artist Pheelz opens up about waiting for his opportunity to fully express himself through music, his inspirations and emotions, and the musical icons he grew up admiring. Watch!

  /  07.11.2023

Kareem Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke & networking | 'The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels'

On this all-new episode of “The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels,” the host and REVOLT CEO sits down with Kareem Cook. Throughout the introspective episode, Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke and being nervous to be in the South at the time, network vs. education, taking advantage of your opportunities, and connecting with Debbie Allen. Watch!

  /  07.10.2023

Tiffany Haddish on therapy, wild fan interactions & the upcoming 'Haunted Mansion' movie | 'The Jason Lee Show'

On this all-new episode of “The Jason Lee Show,” the one and only Tiffany Haddish sits for a must-watch conversation about wild interactions with fans, her new movie ‘Haunted Mansion,’ bringing her therapist on dates, and being present. Watch the hilarious interview here.

  /  07.12.2023

BNXN talks leaving IT for music, linking with Wizkid, going viral & new album | 'On In 5'

For this all-new episode of “On In 5,” singer-songwriter BNXN discusses his journey from IT to music, finding his voice and originality, linking up with Wizkid for their hits “Mood” and “Many Ways,” and what fans can expect from him this year — including a new album. Watch the full episode here!

  /  08.08.2023

From city lots to lush gardens: The power of urban farming with Karen Washington

This is the inspiring story of Karen Washington, a pioneering urban farmer who has been revolutionizing urban spaces by transforming them into vibrant community gardens and educational hubs. Sponsored by State Farm.

  /  11.17.2023

Investing in stocks in a recession | 'Maconomics'

Host Ross Mac provides useful advice for preparing your personal finances in the event of a recession. He emphasizes the importance of budgeting properly, building an emergency fund, and maintaining discipline when investing.

  /  11.21.2023

Best chef's kiss | 'Bet on Black'

“Bet on Black” is back with an all-new season! Watch as judges Pinky Cole, Bun B, Van Lathan, and Target’s Melanie Gatewood-Hall meet new contestants and hear pitches from entrepreneurs Saucy D and Chef Diva Dawg.

  /  10.24.2023

Lauren London sparks conversation on how Black parents unintentionally give kids negative outlook on money

At the live taping of “Assets Over Liabilities” at REVOLT WORLD, Lauren London opened up about how witnessing the financial decisions adults made during her childhood fueled her outlook on money. 

  /  10.26.2023

Good taste test | 'Bet on Black'

With the help of host Dustin Ross and correspondent Danielle Young, entrepreneurs Diva Dawg, Brooklyn Tea, and The Sable Collective pitch their ideas to the judges. Watch the all-new episode of “Bet on Black” now!

  /  10.31.2023

Madam DA Fani Willis proclaims, “A lie has been told on African American men”

“Every time I’m in trouble, it’s been Black men that have come to my aid,” Madam DA Fani Willis said at REVOLT WORLD while speaking on the stereotype that they are not dependable or worth dating.

  /  10.11.2023

Black media leaders stress the space's importance because we're always antagonists in mainstream's storytelling

“I definitely feel those ‘heavier is the crown’ moments. But I also believe that Black entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to be successful in the future,” Detavio Samuels said at AfroTech.

  /  11.03.2023

Machel Montano opens up about life as a child star, new music, and exciting business moves

In an exclusive interview with REVOLT, Machel Montano dove into his musical journey, childhood stardom, and an exciting new chapter in business.

  /  11.03.2023
View More
Revolt - New Episodes