If you’re the kind of person who likes to sit at home, put on headphones, and dissect rap verses, there was a silver lining to being stuck inside throughout 2020: There was plenty of time to pore over every metaphor and punchline in the year’s best rap verses.
Thankfully, artists dropped music that was worthy of our close attention all year long. From Royce Da 5’9”s show-stopping verse on Eminem’s “You Gon’ Learn” in January to G Herbo addressing his recent fraud charges on “Statement” in December, 2020 was full of moments that had us running standout verses back over and over.
Because there were so many excellent rap verses in 2020, we decided to limit this list to just one verse per artist, in an effort to spotlight as many MCs as possible. Go ahead and argue in the comments about which specific verses deserved mentions, but one thing is certain: Every rapper on here earned their place on this list. All of these artists delivered verses that stopped us in our tracks and had us poring over each line until we’d caught every little nuance. These are Complex’s picks for the 30 best rap verses of 2020.