“Cannon,” the near-legendary cut from Lil Wayne’s Dedication 2 mixtape, is stunning through and through — possibly the best use of guest verses this decade. Every rapper — Wayne, Freeway, Detroit Red, Willie the Kid, and Juice — puts in a couple knockout punches. It’s like watching the Harlem Globetrotters as they toy with the “cannon” sample, shooting behind their backs, dribbling between their legs. But the most quietly impressive trick comes from Juice, tucked away until you think the last verse is over:
I’m hot, they fannin’
That’s it; four words. Can anyone beat that? “Fuck you, pay me” gets thrown around a lot, but that’s from Goodfellas. Surprisingly, the best that comes to mind is from Kanye West, who in the song “Two Words” spits:
I am limelight
Blueprint, five mics
In three words he points to his biggest success (at the time) and the pretty irrefutable cred that comes with The Blueprint getting The Source‘s perfect five-mic rating. The list of albums sharing that honor includes the saints of the hip-hop canon: Run-D.M.C., Straight Outta Compton, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), The Chronic, Illmatic, and Aquemeni, just to name a few.
So: Who else has achieved such perfection in four words or less? Readers, I need your help on this one.