Best 2010 New York City Rap Anthem (2010)

"Beamer, Benz, or Bentley"

It's pretty much necessary to preface any statement about New York hip-hop with the caveat that things aren't going so well for the city, rap-wise, and haven't been for some time. The svelte Canadian Drake, the bulbous Floridian Rick Ross, Detroit native Eminem—these are the rappers setting the trends at the moment, leaving New York to its traditionally hardheaded devices. But, boy, can we be hardheaded. Nothing sounded meaner blasting out of the passing windows of cars or emanating from the onstage scrums at various shows at B.B. King's, Webster Hall, and the Nokia Theater than Beamer, Benz, or Bentley, the sinister, slinky anthem from Juelz Santana and Lloyd Banks. Both are local journeymen, second-fiddle veterans of once-mighty New York rap crews; both had no right to a 2010 hit. But somehow they stumbled onto one, the shivering strains of the Prime-produced beat begetting scores of imitators: "Nissan, Honda, Chevy," "New York, Jersey, Philly," "Trina, Kim, or Nicki," into infinity. None touched the original.


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