Funk Five: The Top Five Funkmaster Flex Freestyles

For over 15 years, Funkmaster Flex’s Hot 97 freestyle segment has and continues to be a hip hop tradition. Sometimes used as a proving ground for new artists or as a platform to air grievance, but usually to just showcase lyrical ability. There have been hours upon hours of freestyles of everyone from a pubescent Juelz Santana to the most successful rapper ever, Eminem.

Here is the shortlist of the five best freestyles on the Funkmaster Flex radio show.

#5 – The Lox  (2001)

“Jada come through controlling the Porsche/
Haters shaking like Ali holding the torch.
Walk with me, D-Block, you heard Sheek/
Still sold more than P. Diddy my 1st week.” – Jadakiss

The Lox were the new generation of New York hip hop back in 2001 with Jadakiss’ Kiss The Game Goodbye album climbing the charts. While all three delivered murderous quips, it was Jadakiss’ patent gravelly-voiced thick flow that hit the hardest.

#4 – Canibus, DMX & Noreaga (1998)

“Verbally murdering you thoroughly without effort/
I get drug tested before I can rhyme on a record/
Remarkable specimen with an audible weapon/
Processing lyrics in less than 1/100th of a second.” – Canibus

1998 was a year of rap supremacy purgatory. Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac had recently passed and Hip Hop was being ushered into the Shiny Suit era. But it is hard to deny that in 1998, that Noreaga, Canibus and DMX were on the short list of rawest lyricist in hip hop at the time. Here they blend their three styles for one epic freestyle session on Funk Flex’s radio show. Not enough space to fit all the quotables.

#3 – Slaughterhosue  (2012)

“You add Eminem our hits are the hardest/
Turn DJs to MMA fighters when they Mix Marshall Artists” – Crooked I

Slaughterhouse is a Voltron-like supergroup formed under a shared appreciation for high level lyricism and they had no shortage of that on Funkmaster Flex’s show in 2012. While promoting Welcome To Our House, their major label debut album on Shady Records, the venomous lyricists exhibited their best promotional tool: BARS!

#2 – G-Unit (2003)

“I heard Irv tried to sign Shyne so I aint got no love for him/
Tell him 50 said he’s soft, he won’t shoot up the club again.” – 50 Cent

No one, in the history of hip hop has ever thrived off of blatantly dissing rappers than 50 Cent and 2003 was his apex. Coming off the meteoric success of Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, Mr. Jackson with Lloyd Banks and Young Buck(Tony Yayo was incarcerated at the time) used Funkmaster Flex’s radio show to flex their muscles(no pun intended) and send warning shots to the industry. 50 was so ferocious that even Funkmaster Flex had to stop the freestyle to play Farrakahn and plead with him to play nice. With Shyne’s recent conversion to Judaism it’s almost safe to say 50’s “he wont shoot up the club again” line has turned from mockery to prophecy.

#1 – Jay-Z  (2006)

“Hmm, media meddles, niggas sue you you settle
Every step you take they remind you, you ghetto
So it’s tough being Bobby Brown
To be Bobby then, you gotta be Bobby now”

It’s 2006. Jay-Z is weeks away from releasing his comeback album Kingdom Come and decides to stop by Funkmaster Flex’s show to, essentially, shut down New York City for an hour. Most of these lyrics ended up on subsequent releases (“Corporate Takeover” and “Most Kingz”) but that does not take away from how Young Hova demolishes his Watch The Throne little brother Kanye’s Grammy Family beat. When Hov’s in the zone there are a handful of rappers that can ever match him.

  • I had to make an account just so I could leave a comment…. How the hell is the ROC freestyles not on this list? Them niggas had like 4 mixtapes worth of bars. They had the whole entire city gettin their tape decks ready. This was the beginning of the dynasty. The beginning of the one of the best east coast rap teams ever!!! State prop! Da ROC. Jay Z wouldn’t be the executive he is today without that freestyle session and without state prop. ” Biggie had the mafia, me i got the property” – jay z

    Give respect where respect is due.

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  • Epic fail Allhiphop… I agree!! How can you not
    Have the ROC up here?! I has that session on tape and CD. I’m sure Flex will agree as the ROC being one of his most memorable. Just like vanwilder. I too made an account just to say this.

  • Sean Taylor


    • cte thugz

      50 was on top his game

  • Caliwaver

    Banks is such a beasts!


  • Funkmaster Flex has the illest freestyles on his show.

    But these listed here by far are some of the weakest.

    1996 Redman And Method man before they put out an Album (40minutes)

    1997 Big L Probably the last Freestyle before he passed.

    They made an entire song of that Freestyle.

    Check: Big L Keep Holdin it down

    1997 Redman and Keith Murray

    Any notorious BIG freestyle around 1995-96

    It’s all been recycled for the biggie duets and other albums
    after his death.

    • Celz

      I wouldn’t say weakest.. Maybe the G-Unit one should be dropped but Canibus and DMX is legendary, same with Lox and Jay.. The Slaughterhouse one is just current

    • I thumbs down you big time. “The weakest?” Exageration to the highest degree. Canibus lyricism and Slaughterhouse makes B L’s freestyles look like nothing and I am an Big L fan. Biggie freestyle was dope but not better than slaughterhouse and Canibus.

      • Celz

        You exaggeratin yaself Big L can hang wit Slaughterhouse or Canibus.. But I agree wit you more than him

      • Big L’s bars if he was alive probably would have improved but that is like you saying man you don’t know wtf you talking about. A Lambo today won’t be a porche in the 80’s. No the lambo is faster today because of the technology. The bars they spit were more intricate than l’s metaphors. If L was alive he could hang but the bars he spit compared to today no comparison. Sorry I am into lyrics and you must not have heard Slaughter house freestyles look up the verse above compare than to any of L’s lines that eclipses L’s that is all I am saying. L is dope never said he wasn’t a great mc or could not hang. He is dead no longer alive and time has passed mcs have gotten better that is all I am saying.

      • Celz

        Spittin isn’t just about lyrics.. Big L’s finesse, style, and just overall swag was lightyears ahead of anyone from Slaughterhouse..

        So could Big L shyt on Crooked… HELL NO.. but could he hang wit him in a cypher.. Yea any day of the week..

        Big L couldn’t shyt on any member of Slaughterhouse but he would be like DMX rappin with Canibus instead of Nore..

      • Celz

        And I mess wit Slaughter heavy I been rockin wit Crooked since his verse on Kurupt’s Street iz a Mutha.. We used to tape the Wake Up Show and literally “mix” our own tapes.. That freestyle will be legendary soon them dudes is robots

  • disqus_ckvsmA7Vd3

    Biggie with the Lox was great over the CREAM beat
    . “went from eatn no frills cereals and food stamps, to armani material coppin Rembrandts” – BIG

  • churchboy2

    Am I the only one who does not see all the fuss is over NORE? (And Bis for that matter?) Everyone else in this list spit serious flames though. As soon as I saw the thread title I knew that the Jigga session would be No. 1.

  • Rex Baron

    I already knew Grammy family freestyle was gonna be 1. I remember hearing Jay spit this right after Kingdom come dropped. The best “freestyle” i ever heard.

  • Vic Sage

    Big L’s sht was classic lest not forget…

  • Vic Sage

    Real Hip-Hop at its finest…not like these weirdos and iggy this and tec 9 that cornballs in BET Cypher’s of today where none of the sht their spittin’makes any kind of sense…” True Tlk. Brooklyn Lives. Born and Raised. Early.

    • Celz

      Tec is a beast don’t sleep.. He just switched his style up is it really cornball if he isn’t your get down.. I remember when Tec was a regular emcee he could have sold out if he wanted but he didn’t.. So I’m not a fan anymore but he’s still raw and makin bread which not too many rappers can say both..

  • How the FORK did G Unit get on the list?

  • disqus_Zot2TaOeSs

    What about the State Property session where they’re riding on Nas And D-Block for an hour??? Beanie Sigel, Freeway, Oschino, Omillio Sparks, Chris & Neef… one of the rawest sessions ever!!!

  • BukkyRoGeRs

    NO BEANIE SIGEL!? Are yall crazy

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