Joe Budden has a new project in the works entitled "Feature Presentation" where he will be having features from some of hip hop's best lyricists in the game, showcasing what it means to be an emcee. Same premise Wale had when he and 9th Wonder teamed up and put out "Back to the Feature" where "niggas be rappin." 9th Wonder's latest release "The Wonder Years" has features from elite rappers and....ok you see where I'm going with this right? Features have been a custom in Hip Hop since......well I can remember. But was once just a part of Hip Hop that kept things fresh, has now turned into pure competition. Blame it on Nas back when he told Hov "Em murdered you on your own shit." Now, its almost become every rapper's mission to have the best verse on any song they are featured on. Ludacris, Jadakiss, and a few other rappers have become "Kings of the Feature" too many people, and whenever there is a new release by a rap artist, all we wanna know is "who you got on it?"
While I do not completely agree with the idea that every rapper has to have a ton of features on an album/mixtape, I do acknowledge how refreshing it is to see artists who usually work alone somehow come together to make good music. Its not so much competition to me, rather its about how will this feature help the song, how will it take it to the next level. However, we still live in a time where the spotlight will always be on the featured artist and did he murder it or who got murdered? That being said, there has been many...MANY features this year in 2011, and its about that time....
Nigga! My favorite feature performances of 2011 cuh!
10. Lil Wayne on Hustle Hard Remix
Now I don't cosign a lot of what Wayne does. After his release from jail, I wanted to see Wayne and his subject matter get a bit more serious, maybe he would talk about being away from his kids, his place in rap and how will his story be told when he leaves. Instead, he gave us Carter 4 which was some cut. Some CUT. But however, he did give us some pretty decent features. The best being his verse on the Hustle Hard remix. Now I know I'm going to get a lot of hate for saying this, but I'm just keeping it 100. When I'm in the club, and the Hustle Hard remix comes on, I can't help but go absolutely ape shit. And even though I can't recite any of Weezy's verses on C4, I know his verse on the Hustle Hard remix by heart yo. His overall presence and just flow on that track is so contagious. He sounds fresh, his voice isn't annoying, the verse is catchy yet witty, just all around dope shit. That verse took that whole song to another level, and is one of the best features this year easily.
9. Rick Ross on Ima Boss
As soon as Hustle Hard goes off and Ima Boss comes on, by this time I'm probably on top of the table screaming at the top of my lungs spillin patron everywhere. Ima Boss was released in 2010, but it went EVERYWHERE in 2011. Selfmade, Dreamchaser, to radio, to the clubs, to TV. Meek Mill has had a dream year (with no album) and Ross has a lot to do with that success. Say what you want about Ross being fake or dumb or how he makes no sense.....but his verse on Ima Boss is one of the most clear cut coherent verses Ross has put out on radio. He was talking extremely reckless on that track. "No love, cry when only babies die/ and when I go, that casket better cost a 100 thou/ I pray to God I look my killer in his eyes/ snatch his soul up out his shirt, take him for that ride/." YO! That shit is real and shit gets too real when that verse drops. His verse on the remix was..eh, but this shit......yep, one of the best performances all year. Book it.
8. Juicy J on Errday
By this time you probably looking at me wondering "Where's Budden's verse on Bring Me Down?" or so and so's verse on any song you like. Nah cuh, number 8 goes to Juicy J. Never been a lyrical wordsmith, but is a legend in his own right, and when I turned on Wiz Khalifa's Cabin Fever and heard Juicy J's verse drop........son, I was done. Since then, his verse has been embedded in my brain. He took that song over. The signature line of the song is HIS. "My mansion's in the 40 acres, who the neighbors,/ Kobe Bryant from the Lakers, now thats paper/." That line is embedded in the brains of all that hear this song. He even made it into its own song. Lyrically, it may be not what you looking for, but just swag, delivery...nah yo, this deserves to be on this list. Get mad, but Juicy J had one of the best features of 2011. "YOU KNOW IT!"
7. Big KRIT on Make My
What more can we say about The Roots? Undun is an amazing album, amazing concept, fresh features, and Black Thought just took story telling and lyricism to another level. On their single Make My however, I didn't listen because I saw The Roots name pop up, I clicked that link because I saw the King Remembered In Time, Big KRIT. Man, Krit delivered here, holding his own on this track. So much so, that I can't picture this song without Big KRIT on it. He added a deeper element to the song. Took me into the song with him. I loved this feature, and The Roots used Krit well. Plus, he sounds really dope over their instrumentation.
6. Chamillionaire on Time Machine
Returnof4eva had many special moments. One of those moments came when I heard Chamillionaire come through and absolutely KILL this song. Yea he still isn't cussin, but fuck it (see what I did there), it doesn't even matter. He sped the song up, he pushed the pace, he took it another level. His one verse somehow held me MORE than Krit's two verses, and Krit is no slouch. Yes, I cosign this feature heavy.
5. Freddie Gibbs on Talk to Me
This song is still kind of new, so I might be a prisoner of the moment, but somehow Freddie Gibbs managed to make a Young Jeezy song featuring Eminem (on the hook) produced by Drummer Boy.....all about Gangsta Gibbs. Gibbs definitely outshined Jeezy on this song, and he felt way more at home with his flow and his presence on this beat. I'm not sold that if Eminem had a verse on this song, that he could have done a better job than Freddie Gibbs here. The verse along with how the song is constructed, just gels too well. I love it b.
4. Meek Mill..........on pretty much everything
Couldn't pick one b, couldn't do it. Almost every feature Meek Mill has been on has been absolutely fire. Look it up. Look up all the features Meek has been on in 2011 and tell me he didn't have the best verse on the whole damn song. His style just stands out on all these tracks, and he just pushes the pace so much, other rappers sound like they can't keep up. Meek might be coming for the crown of "King of the Feature."
3. Elzhi on Not Here Anymore
Whenever Phonte and Elzhi link up, you know its gonna be some shit. It is not my job to say who did better than who, but I will say that Elzhi went in his bag and came out with one of the top 3 features I heard this year. A favorite of mine, Elzhi and his pattern raps sound so fresh and crisp, especially here.
2. Kendrick Lamar on The City
Soooooo, do I really have to explain this to yall? No? Ok....
1. SchoolBoy Q on Brand New Guys
I know I know....its not what you expected? Well guess what, neither did I. But this song was already whurlin with just A$AP Rocky...but when SchoolBoy comes in.....he delivered the most disrepectful verse I've heard all year. He made me wanna hold my girl tighter. He made me want to find this nigga location and fuck him up for even suggesting he's going to watch Netflix with my ol lady yo. He made me highly upset. He made me insecure about the way I live my life to be honest yo. But thats how I'm supposed to feel. This goes beyond "is it dope, is it not dope." Nah yo, this verse is pure disrespect. This verse is pure swag. This verse takes what was already I good to song to being a GREAT song. Black Hippy as a group and individuals are dope as hell, and somehow...SchoolBoy Q has had the best feature this entire year in my opinion. You can't argue with me, cuz its my opinion.
Anyway, am I buggin? Did I miss anything? Who had the best feature this year to YOU? Let me know.
Til next time, whurlin.