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20 Great Hip-Hop One-Liners

Quick hits from Notorious B.I.G., Eminem, Drake and more

Hip-hop one-liners demonstrate how rappers can capture our imagination with just a few syllables and make catchphrases that are repeated long after they’re first spoken. Here are 20 of the best quick hits from some of the greatest voices in the game.

Big Daddy Kane

Big Daddy Kane is one of the original greats with a career in the late Eighties and early Nineties that influenced a generation of rappers. His seminal 1988 debut is an essential listen that spawned verbal highlights like this incredible track.


The Beastie Boys were not only three of hip-hop's greatest goofballs, but also some of the genre's most profound sonic explorers. Ad-Rock's words on the trio's Gold-certified 2004 single are a perfect example: a bit of rap braggadocio over a block-rocking, horn-blaring beat.

L.L. Cool J

True to his name, Ladies Love Cool James specializes in romancing the opposite sex. The Eighties rap superstar turned this song into the signature hit of his 1989 album.


2Pac is an icon because he spoke truth to power. This track, released a year after his death on September 13th, 1996, was a Top 30 breakout smash from his quadruple-platinum posthumous album.

Nicki Minaj

Even though she had yet to release an album in 2010, Nicki Minaj's career was on a sharp incline. Her brilliant cameo on Kanye West's "Monster," which many rap fans considered the verse of the year, certified her status as one of the most talented voices of her generation.

Rob Sonic

Since the late Nineties, Rob Sonic has flourished as an innovator in the hip-hop underground. His standout line is part of Aesop Rock's "Dark Heart News" from the latter's critically acclaimed 2006 album.

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