Almost as long as the “mix show” has been around, so to has the “radio freestyle”. In the days when listeners weren’t so sold, or familiar with most guests, an impromptu bar session could make a lasting impression. Even if we loved you, we just “wanna hear somethin‘”. These days, it’s more of a scheduled piece as part of a rollout, where artists pick their own beats but… we’ll take it! This is our mid-year list for “Top Radio Freestyles”…
J Cole – LA Leakers
Hardest Sh*t Out The South Since Slavery
Cole is like a streaky shooter; Sometimes he puts a bunch up and it’s just not his night. Other times, he’s on fire and nobody can stop him. This was one of those nights. There is not a single verse from The Off Season comparable to what he did here, on LA Leakers. Maybe it’s the mental constraints of making a “song” on a major label, versus writing some “free style” raps to share with the homies. Whatever the case, Cole went Ultra-Cole in this game.
G Herbo – DJ Self
Backseat of the Roll’s, I could roll over
While on promo for his 25 album, Herb stopped by Gwinin Radio to bless the masses. Though, not as popular as his Funk Flex Freestyle this year, it’s just a potent. G Herbo continues to show and prove with every chance given.
Reason – Bars on I-95
Gemini Man, The Way I Doubled The Will
Reason has been holding TDE down dolo with projects and bars for the past few years. He can stand with any member of his crew, lyrically or otherwise. Beyond the camp, Reas is an issue for any rapper and proudly sits in the smoking section. I predict a wordplay war in Reason’s near-future.
If You Kill A Killer, Do You Go To Heaven?
This may be Fivio’s best showing. Lyrically, he hit another gear. Stylistically, he’s mastered the off-kilter drill flow. The entire freestyle is about his gun case, and time in jail. His celly was his goon, the male C.O’s wanted autographs and the females wanted even more. When you add in the performance, this is top tier. A day in the life of Fivio.
Benny The Butcher – Bars On I-95
Skin Grafts After Surgery Gon’ Look Like Burberry Plaid
Fans have come to expect so much from certain artists that when they get a real treat, the people may not recognize it. No, Benny didn’t “blackout”. No, Benny didn’t have 260 bars but the quality was still Butcher-level. He addressed everything, popped his sh*t and spit some of the best one-liners this year. Don’t front on The Butch.