We had a pretty good time making fun of the worst rap lyrics of 2012 yesterday, but now it’s time to pay this genre the respect it deserves. Admittedly, it’s a lot more difficult compiling a list of the “best” lyrics of the year than it is culling together an archive of the stinkers. We can probably all agree that calling yourself the “butt police” is universally uncool, but trying to nail down what exactly makes a rap lyric “the best” feels a bit more subjective. You could argue that the 2 Chainz lyrics from our list of the worst rap lyrics of 2012 are actually the BEST lyrics to scream along to with your friends at a bar or a party, because they’re super fun.

Whether it’s poignant, clever, a vicious takedown, or it’s dealing with subject matter that’s seldom been tackled before, each of these twenty lines stick out as memorable moments from hip-hop in 2012. For our purposes, we’ll call them “THE BEST,” but it’s probably more accurate to call them our favourites. What are yours? Leave ‘em in the comments section below.

*We first heard “Tapas” in late 2011, but the Action Bronson x Party Supplies mixtape Blue Chips came out in March 2012, and this list felt incomplete without including one of Bronsolini’s signature gourmand lines.

BONUS ROUND! What was your favourite verse from 2012? Here’s one of ours. Get your squint on. Welcome back, Earl.

You can read AUX’s list of the 20 worst rap lyrics of 2012 here.

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