Who is King of the Hook?
We’ve seen battles of the emcees, albums, and songs. As hip hop fans we all love the bars, lyricism, punch lines, and creativity of our favorite rappers on their songs. But, then there’s that certain element to the song that usually catches the attention of the listener first. The hook. A hook can sometimes make or break a song depending on if the verses need a hearse or not. With that being said, I’ve decided to breakdown the battle “King of the Hook.” Let’s take a look at our candidates.
Who doesn’t love to hear Akon say “Konvict” followed by a jail cell door being slammed shut? You at least know that the hook is going to be fire. He seems to body every single hook that he’s ever been on. Even that ridiculous Gwen Stefani song he was on sounded cool for a little while. Uh, well, yeah we’ll just leave it a little while. His versatility is also what makes him great. He can hit you with “Nobody wanna see us together…” then next song be like “I keep the 40 cal on my side…” He can do hip hop, R&B, and Reggae. Kon’s been the hook man for numerous smash hits and street bangers. Akon most definitely sits with the hierarchy of “hook legends.”
Memorable Tracks: Soul Survivor, I Wanna F**k You, Snitch, Day Dreaming, We Taking Over, Get Buck in Here, Cross That Line
Sing it with me! “I’m in love with a stripper…” Yeah, that was our introduction to the Nappy Boy. I remember when that song came out I thought he was just going to be a one hit wonder. Hm…WRONG! Dude blew up and started a fad that branded a whole new style of hip hop. Well, at least made it extremely popular. Auto-tuning the FUCK out of your tracks. Come on, don’t deny the fact that you were singing “Pop Champagne” just cause Ron Browz sounded like C3PO’s cousin. T-Pain made rappers wanna sing. Even made one particular rapper put out a whole auto-tuned out album! (See 808’s and Heartbreaks.) He kills every hook he’s on and you can even go as far as to say made them “anthems.” Yo, if your the only survivor of Jigga man’s “DOA” then you know you’re a boss.
Memorable Tracks: I’m so Hood, Good Life, Low, The Boss, Go Hard, All I Do Is Win, Get Money, I’m Sprung, Bartender
Somehow Kells can make the most vulgar and suggestive lyrics sound like every day vocabulary. “…and all that sweet wining and dining, well I’m f**king you tonight.” See what I mean? All scandals aside, this dude is a legend though. An OG to the game but still killing it today. Made one of the most unforgettable hooks of all time in “I Believe I Can Fly.” I know I wasn’t the only one at the time idolizing Michael Jordan and had R. Kelly making me believe I could dunk from the free throw line. R. Kelly was the king of R&B for quite some time and even Shawn Carter himself agreed. I mean, doing 2 albums with the guy had to mean something. Regardless, Kells can get you to cry, make babies, party, or hide in a closet. That’s talent.
Memorable Songs: Hotel, We Thuggin, F**king You Tonight, Go Getta, Burn it Up, Ignition, World’s Greatest, That’s That Shit
The most recent addition to the hook elite is none other than Drizzy Drake. Weezy says it best, “..and we gon be alright if we got Drake on every hook.” I mean, have you heard a bad hook by the dude? His always seem to have two parts to it too. He’ll come in slow and then he’ll speed it up and vice versa. A two-tool rapper makes for a perfect hook. I think you can say three of the biggest songs in each other last three years he’s been on the hook. “Forever” in ’09. “Over” in ’10. “I’m on One” in ’11. He was a go to man for a hook on Jigga’s “Blueprint 3″ on the song “Off That” before he even dropped his own album. Wrote the hook for one of Alicia Keys biggest songs of 2010, “Unthinkable.” Countlessly being called upon by some of the biggest names in the music industry for a hook has GOT to put Drake on this short list.
Memorable Songs: I’m on One, Money to Blow, Forever, Best I Ever Had, Say Something, Marvin’s Room, She Will, Killers, 4 My Town
I had this discussion with my boys the other day about this topic. We went through the candidates and obviously Nate Dogg was a give in. Once we started compiling the songs he’s been on, we actually realized that this dude has GOT to be the “Hook King.” It pissed me off when his unfortunate passing brought headlines saying “Rapper, Nate Dogg dead,” and such. Rapper? This dude had the voice of an angel. Almost all of my Top 10 albums had a hook from Nate Dogg. He had the mentality of the west coast, the respect and words from hip hop, and the voice and sound that could contest any singer of all time. He gets my vote as the “Hook King.” And to use the words of Nate D-O Double G himself, “Nobody Does it Better.” Rest in Peace.
Memorable Tracks: Nobody Does It Better, Warrior Part 2, Till I Collapse, Xxplosive, 21 questions, Shake That, Area Codes, The Next Episode, Can’t Deny It
I realize I left out A LOT of tracks on the memorable tracks section, but I just listed some of the ones that came to me right away.
Would love to hear all of your opinions on who you think is the “Hook King” and if you agree with my choice of Nate Dogg.
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