10. Fancy – Drake Feat. T.I. & Swizz Beatz
Of all the tracks on his debut album, ‘Thank Me Later,’ Drake’s ‘Fancy’ took the cake. With a gushy, soulful beat care of Swizzy, the feel-good tune touts relaxed rhymes about a girl who steady pampers herself, with Tip taking over to laud a woman who distinguishes herself from all the “superficial gold-digging bitches.” “Fancy” stood out not just because of its breezy feel but also because its chorus became a cultural catchphrase. Oh, you fancy, huh?
9. Trillonaire – Bun B Feat. T-Pain
Bun B’s ‘Trill OG’ was a much-needed shot of Southern comfort for 2010, and his track ‘Trillionaire’ with T-Pain stood at the heart of it. ‘Trillionaire’ glistens with high-saditty references laced with gangsta-isms that only Bun B could supply. The UGK veteran waxes philosophical on everything from climbing to the top to having women climb on him. T-Pain glazes the track as usual, and while Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars wanted to be billionaires, Bun B gave it the financial upgrade.
8. Tangerine- Big Boi Feat. T.I.
This song was designed for the stripper poles – both at the club and at home. Big Boi and T.I. trade bars and rep the A thoroughly on this slickly erotic track about a girl named Tangerine, aka the “American Dream.” Months after the song dropped, a remix circulated featuring the likes of Bun B and Mr. Rick Ross on top of the original roster. Now there’s a Player’s Ball everyone would want to attend. The only person missing was Andre 3000.
7. Black and Yellow- Wiz Khalifa
After bubbling under for a few years, Wiz Khalifa finally scored a mainstream hit with his catchy ‘Black and Yellow.’ The Taylor Gang chief goes in over tinkering Stargate production, boasting about riding around in glorious whips, putting his mack on the ladies and – his favorite topic – rolling up that green stuff. With a singsong chorus that burrows itself under your skin, the Pittsburgh native’s tune not only helped put his city on the hip-hop map but launched him into another stratosphere.
6. Airplanes- B.o.B Feat. Hayley Williams
Though B.o.B found a breakout smash with ‘Nothin’ on You,’ he soared even higher with ‘Airplanes.’ The track, off the ATLien’s debut, ‘B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray,’ paired the rapper’s eccentric pop-friendly style with Hayley Williams’ emo-tinged vocals, adding a complex layer to the song’s nostalgic sentiment. Bobby’s lyrics long for simpler days when life wasn’t as complicated, a feeling to which both a pop star and a 9-to-5er can relate.
5. Beamer, Benz or Bentley – Lloyd Banks Feat. Juelz Santana
Beamer, Benz or Bentley’ is a contemporary monster. It not only resurrected the careers of both Lloyd Banks and Juelz Santana, it also provided New York City with a much-needed gargantuan beat to flood the streets. A viral smash that was adapted for fashionistas (“Gucci, Prada or Fendi”), the working man (“Nissan, Honda or Chevy”) and received countless freestyles from artists like Eminem, “Beamer, Benz or Bentley” became a canvas for emcees to demonstrate unique styles throughout the year.
4. Speaking in Tungs – Cam’ron and Vado
Fans almost turned their backs on Harlemite Cam’ron for failing to deliver a record in tune with his previous hits, but when Killa Cam unleashed this spastic, clap-tinged beat alongside his rap protégé Vado, the hood saluted him once more. The newbie rapper and Dipset head honcho trade verses over a track laced with seemingly Middle Eastern gibberish. However, the pièce de résistance was when Justin Bieber, aka Shawty Mane, spit a freestyle over the beat, drawing teenyboppers’ attention toward the U.N. collective.
3. Hello, Good Morning (Remix) – Dirty Money Feat. Rick Ross & Nicki Minaj
While ‘Last Train to Paris’ still hasn’t choo-chooed its way into the music industry’s station, the lead car that is ‘Hello, Good Morning (Remix)’ has kept the Dirty Money project from ultimately derailing. The Danja-production rings off with stellar bass, yet verses from Minaj (“Man, last time I checked I was bubbling now / Got to turn down shows out in Dublin now”) and Ross (“Unpack the MAC-11 and Air Maxes / Stuff six figures in my damn air mattress”) keep the tune on track.
2. Monster – Kanye West Feat. Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj & Bon Iver
Monster’ was a track that, despite featuring many of hip-hop’s heavy hitters, had Nicki Minaj taking home the crown with her 16 bars. The female emcee’s clean-up verse on the track featured five of Nicki’s different voices, including our favorite, Roman Zolanski. ‘Monster’ included elements of punchy wordplay coupled with horror, delivered by every emcee on the track. Besides, where else can you hear the word “sarcophagus” used in a rhyme … graphically, at that? Only Kanye West can do it.
1. B.M.F. (Blowing Money Fast) – Rick Ross
“I think I’m Big Meech.” The first line says it all for Rick Ross as he teamed with producer du jour Lex Luger to make the year’s biggest banger. It made people go crazy in clubs, shook our windows as it poured out of car stereos and clearly established that Ross could be who or whatever he wanted despite his oft-maligned history. Originally a mixtape track that went major on ‘Teflon Don,’ ‘B.M.F.’ inspired countless imitations, quotables and freestyles, but none were bigger than The Bawse himself.