Late in November on his Instagram account, Sway Calloway, the host of Shade 45’s Sway in the Morning, asked his followers who they thought delivered the freestyle of the year. Fans of the program know that’s no easy question to answer – everyone from Ice Cube to Lupe Fiasco to Kevin Hart dropped bars on the program in 2014.

Far be it from us to try to answer that question without a little bit of research. So we took a look at some of the YouTube numbers and tried to use math (yes, math) to rank the year’s best freestyles.

The list we came up with follows. Have a look, and scroll to the bottom for a quick explanation of the formula we used.

DJ Wonder on the ones and twos:

13. Fat Joe

  • 127,182 views
  • 1,153 likes

12. Kevin Gates

  • 285,436 views
  • 1,793 likes

11. Big K.R.I.T.

  • 106,935 views
  • 1,371 likes

10. Lil Bibby

  • 389,171 views
  • 2,911 likes

9. Friday Fire: Blind Fury freestyles

  • 218,302 views
  • 1,266 likes

8. Louie V, Jin and Saigon on Freestyle Friday.

  • 124,475 views
  • 1,895 likes

Jin arguably stole the show in this freestyle – he said, “I’ve been waiting 12 years for this!” – which features a half-hour of him, Louis V and Saigon trading off verses.

7. Tyler James Williams freestyles over Drake’s 6 God

  • 115,768 views
  • 3,348 likes

Williams has made as much a name for itself in the rap game as he has as an actor. Williams starred in Everybody Hates Chris in the late 2000s, and now has a recurring role as Noah in The Walking Dead. His Nov. 21 appearance wasn’t the first time he freestyled on Sway in the Morning, either; he also did in June 2012.

6. Friday Fire: Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko, MURS

  • 167,303 views
  • 1,889 likes

The top-ranked Friday Fire on the list, a trio of MCs trade off verses for nearly four minutes in this video.

5. Andy Mineo

  • 429,364 views
  • 6,602 likes

Sway asks in the title of this view, “Is Andy Mineo the future of rap?” Watch and decide for yourself:

4. Ice Cube

  • 379,127 views
  • 3,060 likes

An Ice Cube freestyle really needs no introduction.

3. Vince Staples

  • 137,152 views
  • 2,608 likes

Commenters’ favorite part of Staples’ freestyle? It was truly off the top. Sway has said before; he doesn’t care if you come on the show and rap something written, but there’s always something special when a guy like Staples has something raw for us.

2. Kevin Hart

  • 442,309 views
  • 3,872 likes

Hart started off his appearance with Sway by impersonating Kanye, and finished it with a very, very entertaining freestyle as his MC alter ego, Droppa. “You gave me a nasty beat, I might give you 130 bars right now,” Droppa said.

1. Lupe Fiasco

  • 949,484 views
  • 11,232 likes

Is it any surprise Lupe finished atop the list? His freestyle was the most viewed Sway in the Morning freestyle of 2014, not counting the Five Fingers of Death series.

All metrics as of Dec. 4 at 11 am ET. Freestyle videos with at least 100,000 views were ranked in several categories, including total views, likes, dislikes, likes-to-dislikes ratio, views-per-like and views-per-dislike. Some metrics (views) were rated more heavily than others (dislikes – screw the haters!) Lupe was ranked No. 1 with a rating of 13.21 out of a possible 17. Hart had a rating of 12.79, Staples had a rating of 12.53 and Ice Cube had a rating of 12.21. Freestyles from the Five Fingers of Death franchise weren’t included – SwaysUniverse.com ranked those top 10.

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