Joell Ortiz- Outta Control (Kendrick Response)
Joell was the first to respond to Kendrick's verse, and his take still stands as one of the best. Technically thrilling, and aggressive without getting desperately personal (*cough* Papoose), Ortiz' skill stands tall enough that he doesn't need to resort to petty jabs to deliver a memorable response.
Los- Control (Freestyle)
Los slowly builds the complexity of his flows throughout his verse, climaxing with a skillfully organized coda which places each of the mentioned rappers names into his verse, acting like obstacles as he elegantly performs lyrical gymnastics through each. The response is more celebratory than antagonistic, but he certainly doesn't see him holding back in the process.
Meek Mill- Lil Nigga Snupe
Meek Mill may get clowned a lot, but when the only thing people can take you to task for is the volume of your voice, you're probably doing a lot else right. Meek reminds us of this with his newest track, an overdue, but still powerful tribute to his fallen protege Lil Snupe. Boi-1da's knack for combining introspective sounds with hard drums compliments Mill's emotional but unwavering delivery.
A$AP Ferg- Lord (Feat. Bone Thugs)
Ferg's new album is as great as it is strange, and "Lord" is a great example of such. The pairing of the melodic Bone Thugs with the bleak trap production doesn't work on paper, but somehow it's nothing less than thrilling in practice. Bone Thugs' double time has never felt so menacing, and each verse adds more to the tension of the song, before Krayzie hammers it home on the final 16.
It takes a lot for an Eminem song to get overshadowed, but hell of a lot happened this week. Not to mention this isn't exactly the return many fans were looking for, but Em's ability to rap with more assonance and internal rhyming than pretty much anyone remains consistent. Let's just hope that his next one steps it up on the hooks and production front.
Big Sean- Control (Feat. Kendrick Lamar & Jay Electronica)
There's not much else to say about this one. It's too bad that the name-dropping will overshadow the verse, which would be no less impressive without it. The fact that K.Dot is able upstage his peers to the point that the elusive Jay Electronica, who's verses are usually an event in themselves, serves as only an afterthought is evidence enough that this is something special-- and no one has come close to equalling it yet.
Staff picks for the week of August 5th to 11th.
This feature highlights a hand-picked selection of some of the bigger tracks of the week. We have chosen a few of the tracks that landed within our top 25 most played, focusing on those that stood out, and left room for discussion. This edition features Big Sean, King los, Meek Mill and more! Take a look at the list in the gallery above, and feel free to let us know your own favorite tracks in the comments.