* Hopsin - Hop is Back: I have to be honest, I almost completely ignored the entire 2012 XXL Freshman Class. Hopsin was just another one of those rappers who graced the cover that I overlooked as just another random young cat who probably wasn't all that nice. Man was I wrong. Hop's near-perfect bar for bar delivery and flow over anything is the one thing that true fans of the genre have been dying to see return on a larger scale.
* Jay Rock - U.O.E.N.O. Remix: It's a shame that many people sleep on this version. The one with Ross and Future doesn't even exist to me and it's sad how they don't do this beat any justice. Black Hippy getting on the remix was absolutely necessary, and great for exposure. EVeryone did their thing on this track, but Jay Rock killed it. Every now and then Jay Rock reminds us why he used to be the Top Dawg in the crew.
* Kendrick Lamar - Control: the verse that tucked the sensitive rappers back in their pajama clothes. The verse that made nearly every rapper in the game re-evaluate everything about their own careers. People pretty much forgot that it was a Big Sean record due to the massacre that occurred about halfway through Kendrick's verse.
* Eminem - Rap God: A good portion of the BITM staff have a love/hate relationship with Eminem's music (with the exception of The Niftian, who would probably clean that mans house top to bottom with a toothbrush for free just to be in his presence). He is undoubtedly one of the best lyricists of any generation, but accents, unrelatable gimmicky concepts to maintain appeal, and a slew of disappointing-to-average projects often get in the way of giving this man his just due. But shame on anyone who slept on the onslaught that is "Rap God." For the first time in awhile, Eminem managed to couple bar-raising lyricism with subject matter that actually made sense, especially the lines referring to how he has managed to achieve and maintain a level of success that is unmatched, while still being a beast on the mic.
I feel like all of these verses stood out in their own way, and many would crown the Rap God or Control verse as the hottest, but there was one more in 2013 that set itself apart from the rest...
* Kendrick Lamar - BDKMV Remix: Verse 3 in particular. Jay-Z showed his respect for the youngin by surprising him with his own verse, which caused K.Dot to rewrite two more, the 2nd of which not only slaughtered Jigga's contribution, but all verses in 2013. What made this song so special was the symbolism portrayed in the single's cover art; listening to each artist one-up each other after every verse was like watching Kobe and Jordan ballin on the court together in the mid-late 90s. It will be interesting to see where K.Dot's skills rank amongst the greats 15+ years from now.