As 2015 comes to a close, every fan and journalist alike is almost in 100% agreement about how dope this year was musically. We got a laundry list of quality projects that will get heavy plays deep into 2016 as we await the “next big moment in hip hop”.
But in between those BIG moments the real work comes day in and day out, as true artists hit the gym stretching margins on notebook pages until bars become second nature as a Steph Curry jumper. Once they reach that point, there is NO better platform on the planet than Sway in the Morning to showcase the skill.
Here a few of our favorites:
If you caught the recent #DoomsdayCypher then you’re very familiar with this emcee and should be no surprise as to how he landed on our year end list as Nick Grant (@nickgrantmusic) starts things off perfectly:
“Whatever happened to the talent, man this sh*t is akward / Nobody taught us so we end up in the corporate office….dream BIG like Notorious footage.”
“Lauryn was ill, Ms. Hill used to hang up pictures of Nas / legends ain’t died they simply live inside of my mind / We live in a time where A&Rs wanna be stars / bought a chain with your advance but did you go far..with your one hit..wonder if you gonna make it to next year with dumb sh*t / rhyming like I found Pun sh*t”
“I’m a late bloomer / if ex-nerds wasn’t these records execs my presence would’ve been felt sooner”
This was definitely one of the best freestyles in 2015, guaranteed you’ll feel the same as Sway and Heather B afterwards. Bars!
This next emcee is one that deserves to be on the list not only for the bars but the citizens have spoken loud and clear on his behalf….Oun-P (@).
Behind the sounds of Chuck Inglish in-studio, the BX product carries that East Coast born and bread confident street flow that gives you that Fight Klub battle, who is bar for bar/pound for pound the best rapper around feeling. The nature of his flow lets the world know “if you can’t out rap me, I’m taking your spot tomorrow”, add a small taste of flash mixed with substance and you get one of the hungriest hyenas to touch the SITM mic in 2015. Oun-P
“Need work, they ain’t hiring? chill out / the block is open ain’t no application to fill out. This old head told me something I believe in n*gga / stop trying to look rich and try to be it n*gga”
“Put some money on ya head have em bidding..when the wolves run down they coming to push ya wig in (Wiggins)“.
“They hate me and I don’t know why. Is it the way you look in my eyes, and it make her fantasize. But, at my shows you will cheer…I can’t stand you guys.”
“Had me some children, not really in a position to be serving time. Gotta make sure that’s it food on the table whenever it’s serving time. Always keep these words in mind: help yourself then help out others / I don’t care if it’s your last, you better help your mother.”
“Counting my blessings, remembering the time I was thinking about giving it up…” Dear Oun P, we’re glad you didn’t. Keep giving the world BARS, it’s needed. – sincerely rap fans. Check out his SITM freestyle below:
Next up is Ezzy (@), another young emcee that came well equipped into the land of hyenas. Lebron James isn’t the only Cleveland native putting in that work to lead the city to greatness. Being true to yourself as an artist and rapping about your real life seems like a basic well understood concept but not many: a) do it or b) do it this well as such a young age.
The numerous “greatness since birth” references to his back and forth classroom influenced lines like:
“I apologize it’s kinda hard to compete, mixed with a scholar and a GOD of the streets / my mama proud of me running towards my college degree rather than running from the police who love the sound of the heat…” coming full circle after kicking things off with “grew up hungry trying to go from EBT to BET, mama just want my GED and I’m just trying to get signed to TDE” – the young spitter has a bright future.
“Check out my mans Sway gritting his teeth, guess that’s just what happens when you listen to me”
“If rap is a sport, then Sway in the Morning is unmatched on the court. Clutch is nothing insert Lillard Game 6 jumper ending the series, advantage to Portland.” The special point guard Damian Lillard put the world on notice earlier this year, putting an official end to the thought of ball players can’t rap.
“Me being the chosen one was like a blessing in inception, city known for homicide majority depression. Grinding in the gym so I could live through the recession, goons show me love cus they can feel how I’m connected.”
2016 is going to be tough when a NBA All Star is bringing more heat than some rappers.
When it comes to making the most of an opportunity and setting yourself apart from the crowd look no further than this next hyena. It may look easy watching this freestyle as you digest bars but please believe the Baltimore native is a wordplay perfectionist. There shouldn’t be one “Best Bars” list made this year and not include King Los, if there is we may have to question credibility and taste. That boy good.
You know the freestyle is dope when you feel obligated to quote his response to our Sway x DJ Wonder 5 to 6 beat selection with “It ain’t enough.” Regardless, we had to mix things up for Los throwing words at him left and right as he attacks classic beats with reckless abandon.
Of course starting with something simple and familiar like “Sway in the Morning” was just a Word Game warm-up before testing his multis off top with things like “Gentrification” and “Pomegranate”. Not many could turn the latter into quick witted ‘out of this world’ bars like:
“I’ma planet, you should fly to me like I’m the moon cus the whole solar system is what I consume. I’m a galaxy, how could you challenge me? Challengers come, balance is good but you couldn’t balance me.”
Think it’s easy? Look around the crib and pick out a few items/words to rhyme with…come back and watch the video again. Skill.
We end this list with an unprecedented combination of lyrical genius, word play, metaphors, calculated delivery, multis, originality and pure savage punchlines when it comes to BARS…Eminem and Lupe Fiasco. At the top of the food chain when it comes to lyrical skill and the innate ability to wow, shock, impress (and in Lupe’s case – educate) you all in a matter of seconds behind the mic. Both made rare appearances to Sway in the Morning leaving a special memory for us all in the 2015 calendar year.
It’s one thing to grab quotables but it’s an entirely different experience to hear the inflection or pauses in an artist’s voice as they tie each bar masterfully to ones before. With that being said, no written words will do these exclusive freestyles justice. There is NOT a better platform to witness BARS than Sway in the Morning (especially the Friday Fire Cyphers) and there is NOT a better artist when it comes to delivering them.
If you’re a fan of bars, be sure to check out Genius on the regular to catch gems from your favorite artists!