The Top 3.9 Hip-Hop Songs Of The Week

The philosopher Jiminy Cricket once famously said, "Just look at the morning paper. Turn to any page. You'll find the whole world worryin' about some future age. But why get so excited? What's gonna be is gonna be. The end of the world's been comin' since 1903. That's, uh, B.C., of course." Dr. Cricket, Esq.'s argument was simple: every generation thinks the next signals Armageddon. But hip-hop's gradual deterioration has been overstated; rappers who are barely able to drink, like Black Hippy and Joey Bada$$, are putting out incredible music. Which isn't to slight the elder statesmen who are holding it down—like Jay-Z, who lends some bars to a track from Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music compilation.

1. Kanye West feat. Big Sean and Jay-Z, "Clique"

Big Sean's less-than-stellar debut album caused too many fans to sour on him. But if you've written him off, then you've missed a run of show-stealing verses (the best verse coming on Meek Mill's "Burn"); here he tests his mettle against The Throne. While Sean and Jay both put together valiant verses, Kanye steals the show as he brings his most obnoxious personality to bat. That sounds like an insult, but Ye can be totally over-the-top while being absolutely engaging. He asks the audience to let him talk his shit, and he does just that over another undeniable banger of a beat from Hit-Boy.

2. Vado - "Burn" Freestyle

There was a time a few years ago when Vado was going to take the Diplomat movement to the next level and be New York's next big rapper. Then... nothing. Vado dropped a collaboration with Cam'ron, then disappeared. He has the tools for greatness: clever lyrics, immeasurable swag and a movement that was a strong as any in the country. But now his songs are accompanied by questions: Where he's been, what could have been. At least his hiatus hasn't resulted in him falling off; here he rips through Meek Mill and Big Sean's "Burn" instrumental for a couple of minutes. Get ready to have this tide you over until he drops another song in a year or so.

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