Rap Genius Lines of the Year 2012: Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, NORE, Pharoahe Monch & More Honored

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 12-28-2012, 06:46 PM         #1
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s7venwords 
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Rap Genius Lines of the Year 2012: Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, NORE, Pharoahe Monch & More Honored
 

 

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Posted Dec 28th 2012 3:00PM by BoomBox Staf

Rap Genius is supplying The BoomBox with the top lyrics from the week and serving a meaning behind the raps in the process.

It's been a long time coming, but the end of 2012 -- barring the Mayan apocalypse that is, at the time of this writing, still several days away -- is upon us. What better way to celebrate here at Lines of the Week than by looking back at some of our favorite lines of the year? Below are ten of our favorite moments. Please note that we didn't say "the ten best" or "our ten favorites." What follows is a list of favorites from Rap Genius editors, curated and finalized (and unduly influenced) by your loyal author. But enough prevaricating. Let's get the countdown started!

10. "Guacamole, my pistol-e/ Kick n*ggas in they face -- soccer goalie" -- Noreaga, 'Talk 2 Em' lyrics

If you've been paying any attention over the past year, you know that Nore's mixtape Crack on Steroids was hands-down one of our favorite releases of the year. His bizarre comic sensibility is best expressed on this rhyme, an intentionally strange pseudo-hashtag rap punchline whose faux-Spanish and nonsensical simile render it truly a wonder to behold.

9. "They seen my pigment and thought that was the ig'nance/ Unfortunately, I am not that type of niglet" -- Joey Bada$$, '1 Train' lyrics

A lot has been said over this past year about Joey Bada$$. Next big thing, standard-bearer of real hip-hop, savior of rap fans everywhere. That's a lot of pressure for anyone, never mind a kid born in 1995. He's managed to rise above it all, and gives one of his best performances on this A$AP Rocky cut. The "niglet" here shows that the youngster has a sly sense of humor to go with the burgeoning political and racial consciousness that the rest of the line makes plain.

8. "Eighteen wheeler gorillas/ Black with gold chains, pitch bird like Steelers/ Hines Ward of the crime lords/ Running through this money screaming 'encore'" -- Pusha T, 'Pain' lyrics


Pusha T had a huge year, linking with Kanye West for a series of solo songs and cameo appearances that pushed his already-high visibility to the next level. Luckily, he managed all this while still talking solely about cocaine, which made us extremely relieved. Coke talk is the canvas on which Pusha paints, and there is no one making more creative art on that background than Push-a-ton. The "pitch bird like Steelers" pun was his best in a year full of them.

7. "Please sir, may we have another portion?/We're children of the beast that dodged the abortion/ Neck placed firm 'tween the floor and the Florsheim/ We'll shut your sh-t down, don't call it extortion" -- The Coup, 'The Guillotine' lyrics

The Coup's Sorry To Bother You showed that Boots Riley's radicalism and his rhyming were still both in top of the line form. The "'tween the floor and the Florsheim" bit here would randomly pop up in our head every few days, lending our otherwise humdrum doings a bit of excitement and awesomeness.


6. "And if we're saying how it really is, we know our lily skin still give us privilege/ Advantage is given to the few that are built into the roots of our biggest institutions" -- Brother Ali, 'Letter To My Countrymen' lyrics


White privilege is a huge and (for white people, at least) uncomfortable topic in America. But it is a necessary one to speak about in order to give everyone in the country the fullest chance of reclaiming their humanity. Brother Ali, especially this past year, has been a leading voice, both on record and on concert stages, towards getting the white majority to examine where they really stand, and to try to accept that, as the OG race traitor Noel Ignatiev says, discrimination against someone else is actually discrimination for you.

5. "They c*ck them hammers, wave them llamas/ But that's that in front of the camera drama/ So when the cameras are attached to dollys, I call 'em Dalai Lamas" -- Pharoahe Monch, 'Damage' lyrics

This song, the final one in a trilogy of tunes from the point of the view of a bullet, portrays the narrator as gleefully psychotic. In a year full of mass gun violence, this conceit had a bit more resonance than anyone could have wished. This rhyme shows the bullet's sardonic attitude and sense of irony while simultaneously providing the greatest pun on "Dalai Lama" that we've yet heard.

4. "Reflection infinite, Escher/ In the end, we are who we are uhhh ... Ke$ha" -- Jean Grae, 'Kill Screen' lyrics

"Kill Screen" is a particularly uncompromising song, even for someone who has never been known for subjugating her art to commercial considerations in the first place. The tune is nearly four and a half minutes of head-spinning puns, wordplay, and thematic playfulness. This line, while not the most sophisticated the song has to offer, itself works on several levels. The MC Escher pun, unusual in its own right, simply sidesteps the obvious, ignoring the "MC" in his name. As for the second half, Jean told us that when she first thought of this line, "I laughed for like five minutes. I was like, I can't quote Ke$ha. Then I was like, yeah I can. That's hilarious. Who else is gonna quote Ke$ha? Nobody -- not even Ke$ha."

3. "We are the Xany-gnashing/ Caddy-smashing, bratty-ass/ He mad, he snatched his daddy's Jag/ And used the sh-t for batting practice" -- Earl Sweatshirt, 'Super Rich Kids' lyrics

Earl's verse on this song is a marvel of internal rhymes. The fact that, on top of that, it continues the song's expert characterization of the idle young rich is a bonus. The fact that all of this happens on one of the year's most important and best r&b albums -- well, that's something for the ages.

2. "Football or volley-b, hock-el-y or socc-el-y/ You just get the rock to me/ Try and put me down like Gaddafi over Lockerbie/ I'll lock you in a locker, b/ Like Bruce Leroy locked Johnny in a locker, see" -- Lupe Fiasco, 'Put Em Up' lyrics

Lupe Fiasco gave us one of the year's trilogy of Occupy-influenced rap masterpieces (for more on the other two, albums by The Coup and Brother Ali, see above). But his finest moment occurred nearly apart from politics altogether. The "Lockerbie" and "locker, b" homophones literally stopped us in our tracks the first time we heard it. And the second. And the third. It wasn't until way later that we realized he continued the joke by alphabetically going from "locker, b" to "locker, see [c]." Moments like this showed that this record's The Great American Rap Album subtitle was not really an exaggeration.

1. "Me and my n*ggas four deep in a white Toyota/ A quarter tank of gas, one pistol, and orange soda" -- Kendrick Lamar, 'The Art of Peer Pressure' lyrics

No surprise here. 2012 was Kendrick's year, one in which his record sales and critical acclaim finally came to line up with his already-flawless reputation amongst hip-hop heads. His album was full of great lines, but this first lyric seemed to us a natural choice. Everything that happens on the record -- the crimes, betrayals, reconciliations, epiphanies, and all the rest -- spin out forwards and backwards in time from this one iconic image.

We'd also like to take a minute to thank you all for reading LOTW. It is an absolute pleasure to write, and we appreciate you taking time to look at it every week. We look forward to providing you with Lines of the Week for a long time to come.


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 Rap Genius Lines of the Year 2012: Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, NORE, Pharoahe Monch & More Honored - The Boombox

112 comments for "Rap Genius Lines of the Year 2012: Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, NORE, Pharoahe Monch & More Honored"

 5 years ago '11        #2
JetSetter22 9 heat pts
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$1,444 | Props total: 1466 1466
wow.....im a huge kendrick fan but that shouldnt b number.....hell fu*king no
 5 years ago '09        #3
Chalky 303 heat pts303
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$27,384 | Props total: 17529 17529
Overseas Back to Back Never Wore Chanel


should be number, i can't believe i didn't caught on to that 1st time
 5 years ago '08        #4
Andre3stacks 20 heat pts20
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was a decent list till i got to number one who isn't gonna suck on kendrick lamar on top 2012 lists.
 12-28-2012, 07:57 PM         #5
redacted  OP
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That Nore line is from Lehhhgooo, not talk 2 'em. I just subjected myself to watching a video featuring goofy a.ss Gunplay, because of an inaccurate citation.

fu*k theboombox.
 5 years ago '07        #6
240ka 49 heat pts49
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$22,343 | Props total: 2054 2054
that list is sh*t, n*gga d!ckriding Kendrick way too much
 5 years ago '11        #7
Retro 83 heat pts83
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$21,151 | Props total: 369 369
I'm officially done reading lists, sh*t's just a waste of time at this point...

 5 years ago '11        #8
Radio Raheem 14 heat pts14
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$5,181 | Props total: 467 467
n*ggaz then lost they mind with this corny a.ss list
 5 years ago '11        #9
beast1412 48 heat pts48
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$5,006 | Props total: 607 607
"It’s rare I listen to n*ggas who never been in my position
A caterpillar can’t relate to what an eagle envisions"

"Life, savage ain't it
Some need Xanax just to maintain it
We all need faith cause the world keep changing
Let go of the illusion, start some restraining"

 5 years ago '11        #10
Kobane 163 heat pts163
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$15,105 | Props total: 2320 2320
A verse from 'sing about me, im dying of thirst' or the last verse of 'm.a.a. city' should have been # 1
 5 years ago '07        #11
tacuna 320 12 heat pts12
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how they not give it to mc eiht on m.a.a.d. city!?

I'm still in the hood
Loc yeah that's cool
The hood took me under so I follow the rules
But yeah that's like me, I grew up in the hood where they bang
And n*ggas that rep colors is doing the same thing
Pass it to the left so I can smoke on me
A couple drive-bys in the hood lately
Couple of IV's with the fu*king spraycan
Shots in the crowd then everybody ran
Crew I'm finna slay, the street life I crave
Shots hit the enemy, hearts turn brave
Mount up regulators in the whip
Down the boulevard with the pistol grip
Trip, we in the hood still
So loc, grab a strap cause yeah, it's so real
Deal with the outcome, a strap in the hand
And a bird and 10 grand's where motherfu*kers stand

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that's that real
 5 years ago '07        #12
Jayceon 492 heat pts492
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$27,599 | Props total: 908 908
 JetSetter22 said:
wow.....im a huge kendrick fan but that shouldnt b number.....hell fu*king no
 5 years ago '04        #13
DSOM 37 heat pts37
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$18,325 | Props total: 414 414

[pic - click to view]

 5 years ago '11        #14
Norcal 78 heat pts78
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$11,808 | Props total: 1192 1192
I would have put that Nas line from trust and a couple 3000 lines.
I like that Kendrick line but its nothing amazing.
 5 years ago '04        #15
refuze 284 heat pts284
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$18,688 | Props total: 15456 15456
wack list
 5 years ago '08        #16
Nut-In-Honeys 10 heat pts10
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$6,027 | Props total: 5812 5812
Nore: "Make chicks eat other chicks on their period"
 5 years ago '11        #17
BuckedCrazy 46 heat pts46
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$5,048 | Props total: 1513 1513
"Go dig ya partna up n*gga bet he can't say sh*t" should be on there
 12-28-2012, 11:36 PM         #18
Kreemy  OP
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that wasn't even a quotable
 5 years ago '10        #19
kawgre12 14 heat pts14
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$13,113 | Props total: 7688 7688
Was this list a joke? Theres no way these n*ggas were serious with that list
 12-29-2012, 03:18 PM         #20
Tattered_Hoody  OP
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The Boombox is what, AOL Time Warner? That should help explain who gets "awarded".
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