The Playlist Special: Top Artists Pick Their Personal Top 10

Bon Iver: Hip-Hop Lyrics

"I've always been into hip-hop," says Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, who has added vocals to Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and West and Jay-Z's Watch the Throne. "A lot of people give the more commercial stuff shit, but I love that, too."





Listen: Bon Iver's Top Hip-Hop Lyrics

  • 1.
    "Family Business" | The Fugees, 1996

    I can't think of a rap verse I've listened to more than Lauryn Hill's on this song. Rap is a game dominated by dudes, but she's such a fucking badass.

  • 2.
    "Iz They Wildin Wit Us & Gettin Rowdy Wit Us? " | Busta Rhymes feat. Mystical, 1998

    The way Busta puts some of his words in a rhythmic scheme, I can't get my mind around. It's, like, the fastest rapping of all time.

  • 3.
    "Agent Orange" | Pharoahe Monch, 2003

    This is my favorite hip-hop song, hands down. It's got the gnarliest beat, and Monch is talking about the Iraq War: "I threw a rock, then I ran." Every word in the entire song should be tattooed on someone's body.

  • 4.
    "A Star Is Born " | Jay-Z, 2009

    In this song, Jay-Z explains what the rap game is in his eyes, and exactly why he is the kingpin of it. He gives props to all these other rappers, but absolutely declares himself on top. You have to hand it to him. He's the only person that could say that shit.

  • 5.
    "Monster" | Kanye West feat. Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Bon Iver, 2010

    I don't even like listening to my part on this song – but Nicki Minaj's verse is just unbelievable. I actually watched her record it out in Hawaii. Everybody in the room was looking at each other and shaking their heads.