7. Hip-Hop's Circa-2010 Class Started Rapping Again
On Drake's mixtape If You're Reading This It's Too Late, he's growling through tautly constructed ciphers like "Energy." Ditto for Big Sean's Dark Sky Paradise. J. Cole may spend much of 2014 Forest Hills Drive musing on love and fame in a ruddy, heartfelt voice, but he also offers "GOMD (Get Off My Dick)," where he raps, "Rest in peace to any nigga that want beef." Even Kid Ink made sure to add at least one cut on his recent Full Speed, "What It Feels Like," where he asserts his lyrical bona fides. Did Lamar's "Control" verse inspire everything that came after? Probably not, but it was certainly a wake-up call.