Published Dec 16, 2013Last year, Kendrick Lamar restored our faith in the hip-hop long-player with instant classic good kid, m.A.A.d. city. He managed to make an equally significant mark on 2013 without even releasing an album. Touring helped, sure, but it was the Compton writer's captivating, calling-out-names guest drop on Big Sean's "Control" that had the rap world buzzing and responding.
Find the best handful of the 20-plus scene-stealers Lamar dropped in the last 365 below, then find more of our Year-End coverage in our 2013 in Lists section.
Kendrick Lamar's Top 5 Guest Verses of 2013:
5. "Collard Greens"
Schoolboy Q feat. Kendrick Lamar
An early tease off Q's Oxymoron sees Top Dawg Entertainment's "next to blow" get outshone by his boy. Kendrick flips trilingual bars in English, Spanish and French, switching cadences and languages no less than three times in verse two: "More than a man, I'm a god/ Bitch, touché, en garde." Next, he'll speak in tongues.
4. "U.O.E.N.O (Black Hippy Remix)"
Batting leadoff as rap's hottest collective hijacks Rocko's syrupy Castlevania beat, Kendrick puts on a 77-second verbal clinic, jumping from unprotected sex to his place in rap's hierarchy: "I got a fetish for fine fabrics, Franklins and sayin' 'Fuck you'." Even Tarzan can get swung on.
Pusha T feat. Kendrick Lamar
Pusha T sets the lovely coke-rap tale over Nottz's austere bongos and diced-up classic BDP vocal bite, then our hero strides in with a rhetorical: "You wanna see a dead body?" Kendrick breaks down his father's cocaine habit with purpose, concluding with "Every verse is a brick/ Your son dope, nigga." Wow.
Tech N9ne feat. Kendrick Lamar, Mayday! & Kendall Morgan
A soothing head-nodder with a delicate hook gets stripped to the core by the Uzi flows of Tech and Lamar, who crave positive reviews. "Tell me you're willing to diss on this craft," K-Dot spits. "I'm hoping I'm your favourite." He cares about his reception as much as his work ethic — and we're the beneficiaries.
1. "Love Game"
Eminem feat. Kendrick Lamar
Super-producer Rick Rubin flips Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders' 1965 jam "Game of Love," and K-Dot is blessed with the lone rap feature on The Marshall Mathers 2 LP. A comically lovesick Lamar drops a jewel after his girl drops him: "I want you bad as the head shattered on George Zimmerman."