The ten best hip-hop lyrics of 2012
8. "O Hail No" - El-P featuring Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire
"Jesus turned water to wine. I turn liquor to u-rine."
Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, if you couldn't tell from his name, is all about turning pretty things ugly. That's why this line works so well. He's taking the miracle that Jesus performed, undoing it, and indeed going even beyond that, by totally mundane, human means. So if you think about it, everybody is the antichrist just as sure as everybody poops. Thanks for that, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire.
7. "Righteous Minds" - Joey Bada$$
"I never knew the world could be this cold;
only time a nigga die, he was playin' the role."
Punchline rap is often shallow and contrived, even when it's done fairly well. Here, Joey Bada$$ manages to construct a pun whose two meanings each have significance and which both tie into into a single powerful theme: innocence. This theme is set up by the opening line, which reveals Joey's ignorance of the evil in the world. On the one hand, the second line refers to fantasy as in movies or stories; the only death he had experienced had been in role-play. On the other hand, the second line refers to games and playing with dice -- again referring to childhood and immaturity -- making the pun that a "die" is "rolled."