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Top 10 Kendrick Lamar Guest Verses

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Owen Maxwell
With so many great features throughout his career already, it's a wonder Kendrick Lamar has enough time to make his own music. For this list we're looking at the cream of Lamar's vast crops of guest appearances, that kept fans satiated between records. Our countdown includes "Deep Water", "Collard Greens", "Really Doe", and more!
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Top 10 Kendrick Lamar Guest Verses


With so many great features throughout his career already, it's a wonder Kendrick Lamar has enough time to make his own music. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Kendrick Lamar Guest Verses.

For this list we're looking at the cream of Lamar's vast crops of guest appearances, that kept fans satiated between records. We're basing our picks on a mix of unique delivery, powerful lyricism and the personality Kendrick brought to each song.



#10: "Deep Water" (2015)

Dr. Dre

For his third album, Dr. Dre wanted to highlight Compton's amazing talent, and Kendrick Lamar was an obvious choice. Lamar's brings a visceral and aggressive verse to 'Deep Water', while his vocals play around the stereo mix. Kendrick also subverts several lyrical tropes in hip hop before singing about his own life from a different character's perspective.In a song full of stories about drowning in the rap lifestyle, Lamar's story reflects on his dangerous past with violence and alcohol. The visual nature of his lyrics and the ferocious delivery on the track however allow Kendrick to stand tall among his peers.

#9: "Never Catch Me" (2014)

Flying Lotus

For Flying Lotus's album about death, Kendrick Lamar decided to rap about how death inspires his music. Despite jazzy writing and production so wild that it's been compared to Frank Zappa, Lamar manages to keep up with the music. Kendrick builds up speed seamlessly in the song, and never loses his tenacity. As Lamar dissects the complexity of a person, his voice changes to match his message. Along with his colorful perspective on the artistic power of death, he even brings a catchy chorus to track. Though Flying Lotus and Kendrick had never collaborated before, they hit a magical synergy on 'Never Catch Me.'



#8: "It's On Again" (2014)

Alicia Keys

While Alicia Keys had an epic song for 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2', she was understandably ecstatic to work with Kendrick. Lamar starts 'It's On Again' with a savage rap about fighting against the odds. Kendrick talks about how his career has been like a war, while staying vague enough to mirror to Spider-Man's fight. Though brief, Lamar brings some of his most grimy vocals to the verse. . Even with production by heavyweights like Hanz Zimmer and Pharrell Williams, Kendrick keeps the focus on his lyrics. His intro to the song is so jarring that the rest of the song feels laid-back by comparison.



#7: "Love Game" (2013)

Eminem

Eminem and Kendrick Lamar are a dream rap pairing, although their comedic route on 'Love Game' was definitely a surprise. In one of the many verses about the trappings of love, Lamar becomes a lowly heartbroken loser. Throughout the song Kendrick plays a handful of characters, and even has conversations with himself. Though several of Lamar's roles deliver truly vile lines, he also offers some of his best wordplay. Kendrick even manages to tie a lover's spat to his hate for George Zimmerman. While fans weren't expecting this direction for Lamar, it shows just how much range he truly has.



#6: "Collard Greens" (2013)

Schoolboy Q

The Black Hippy supergroup has produced a few fun rap crossovers, but 'Collard Greens' showed just how potent their work could be. After a couple verses from Schoolboy Q and his psychedelic production, Kendrick stops the whole track just to start rapping. Lamar raps in Spanish flawlessly across several lines, before dropping a couple French lyrics as well. Even Q was surprised by Lamar's Spanish, having no idea he spoke the language. While the two rappers had worked together previously on 'Blessed,' both of them deliver more variety on 'Collard Greens.' Kendrick's changing flow and voices even come close to outshining Q.



#5: "Nosetalgia" (2013)

Pusha T

When Kendrick opens a verse on 'You wanna see a dead body?' it sets the tone for his intensely dark story. Coming off of Pusha T's verse about dealing cocaine, Lamar shows how the drug tore his family apart. Kendrick's family was so dependent on coke, he suggests that his aunt even stole his Sega Genesis to buy more. Through lines about his father's crimes, Lamar also brilliantly re-purposes numbers in his lyrics while also transforming drug slang. Though his lyricism goes as far to suggest that his music has become his new dope, it's Kendrick's brutal honesty that floors us on 'Nosetalgia.'



#4: "goosebumps" (2016)

Travis Scott

In a twisted love song that follows Travis Scott's darkest days, Kendrick Lamar actually portrays a woman. Lamar's girl wants everything in life, and begs for attention through social media. Kendrick explains his wealth is growing so fast that he could afford to buy a building, burn it, and rebuild it just for the hell of it. Lamar even toys with the 'Peter Piper' nursery rhyme just to explain how well he'll satisfy your woman. He really steps it up when he uses 'part' in three different words in a single sentence. Kendrick's storytelling and lyrical finesse still have us picking apart this verse.




#3: "No More Parties In LA" (2016)

Kanye West

Despite overlapping social circles for some time, it took Kanye revisiting an old beat for Kendrick Lamar to collaborate with him. After finishing Kanye's rhyme, Kendrick's lyrics start to take in all the joys of fame. Though he goes as far as asking a woman to Erykah Badu-him, Lamar's clever wordplay starts to criticize the worship of rich lifestyles. Unlike many Kendrick songs, his straightforward delivery makes you focus on every detail of his lyrics. Along with a powerful high note that stops the whole track, Lamar subtly references his breadth of work to tell a story of fame's ugly side.



#2: "Really Doe" (2016)

Danny Brown

Danny Brown was sitting on an unfinished song before Kendrick Lamar came in and forced him to finish it. Though Lamar questions his own fame in the memorable chorus, he gets particularly vicious in his verse. He issues a challenge to the listener to redeem themselves like he has, while lacing his words with religious undertones. As Kendrick boasts about his wealth, he subverts expectations by giving his money to charity. His comical advice on the benefits of a good woman, and even a 'Star Trek' line helped Lamar hold his own next to big-shots like Earl Sweatshirt and Ab-Soul.


Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:


"F**kin' Problems" (2013)

A$AP Rocky


"Freedom" (2016)

Beyoncé


"1 Train" (2013)

A$AP Rocky




#1: "Control" (2013)

Big Sean

Though Kendrick Lamar was only a featured artist on 'Control,' his verse quickly dominated all conversations about it. Lamar questions gangster rappers' motives and soon claims his rap is more intoxicating than actual drugs. As he compares himself to music legends like Elvis and Bob Marley, Kendrick boasts he's original like Sean Connery's James Bond. Lamar goes into a wild roast of collaborators like J. Cole, Wale and even Big Sean himself. The call to action was so inspiring, it's spawned over a dozen response tracks. While most rappers would sound cocky rapping like this, Kendrick has the confidence to sell his verse on 'Control.'
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