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Which 50 Hip Hop Songs Would You Protect?
Hip Hop at It's Finest
Picture this scenario: The World Powers that be have just taken a hold of the entertainment and music catalog. With the exception of 50 songs from each genre, all music will be completely erased from existence from earth.You and a group of people are tasked to come up with the Hip Hop songs that will make the final cut. What records will be lucky enough to survive and carry on this endangered species (that has been living since 1979)? What criteria would you use to decide who makes the cut? Are you going to pick your favorite jams? Remember..... when future generations listen to these songs, will they be able to get a pulse of what hip hop really was and how it affected its corresponding community? There are other issues to ponder such as do you have a representation of the various styles (ie. East Coast, ATL, West Coast, Mid West, International, etc).
Here is the collection I would pass along to future music listeners. I'm sure with millions and millions of songs to choose from, there are many jams that would equally deserve to be saved. I chose songs for a variety of reasons. Some songs were picked for the impact that that they had on our culture and society. Others were chosen due to their timelessness. A DJ could drop the beat, and it would feel as though you were in a time warp as the crowd recites the lyrics as if it were 20 years earlier. I looked at this whole picture of Hip Hop Music. I took certain songs and put these puzzle pieces together to present the image of what it has sounded and looked like over the past 36 years and this is what I got.
These songs are not ranked or placed in a particular order as it would be difficult to decipher objectively what the top songs of all time would be. At the end of the hub, take the poll and comment on which songs you would add or take away!
I Used to Love HER – Common. I was tempted to put my favorite jam from Common "Be" there in its place but it is undeniable the effect that this record had on the whole Hip Hop community. It was the shot in the arm that it needed to keep artists focused and staying the course.
La Di Da Di – (Doug E. Fresh ft. Slick Rick)
Dwick - (Gang Starr ft. Nice – n – Smooth) This unusual combination to produce a lyrical classic. All they needed was a simple baseline followed by timely scratches and cuts by DJ Premier. Guru was correct when he said "It's mostly the voice that gets you up."
So Whatcha Sayin – E.P.M.D.
Protect Ya Neck – (Wu Tang Clan) The Wu has had many classic songs over their 20+ years. A few of their members have had very successful solo careers, spawning hits like "Bring the Pain", Cherchez La Ghost, Incarcerated Scarfaces, and Liquid Swords. This song captures the true magic of Wu Tang, the unpolished, gritty dungeon sound that they are so famous for.
Nuttin But a G Thang – Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg
Top Billin – (Audio Two) The beautiful thing of early Hip Hop music is that you could make a bangin' song with just a dope drum beat and lyrics.
The Message - Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five
It Takes Two - Rob Base and D.J. EZ Rock
Straight Outta Compton – (NWA) West Coast rap made their presence known by kicking the door down announcing that they've got a message to share. NWA talked about the daily happenings in their neighborhood, and it wasn't all pretty. They gave you a bird's eye view of the violence that was going on along with the ongoing conflict with the LAPD.
One More Chance (Remix) – Notorious B.I.G.
It Ain’t Hard to Tell – Nas
Passing Me By – (Pharcyde) If you've ever been too shy to ask a girl out, then you know how the Pharcyde MC's felt.
Juicy – (Notorius B.I.G.) Going from ashy to classy never felt so good. In 1995, Biggie Smalls led the revival of East Coast Hip Hop.
Self Destruction – Stop the Violence Movement. Never in any point of Hip Hop did so many MC's come together and spread a positive message.
Fight the Power – Public Enemy
Just a Friend – Biz Markie
Scenario – A Tribe Called Quest ft. Leaders of the New School
The Choice is Yours – Black Sheep
All About the Benjamins – Puff Daddy ft. Notorious B.I.G., Lil Kim and The Lox
I Get Around - 2PAC ft. Digital Underground
Bad – L.L. Cool J
They Reminisce Over You – Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth
Rapper’s Delight – The Sugar Hill Gang. The first recorded and distributed rap song in Hip Hop history has to be on the list. MC's can see that using your charisma on a track can elevate an average to good song into a classic. This song has had such an impact that even the non-Hip Hop fans can quote the lyrics!
Push It – Salt n Peppa
Six in the Morning – Ice T
Gin and Juice – Snoop Dogg
Just to Get By – Talib Kweli. This song by its very nature lifted up many. There were many Hip Hop fans who have fallen on hard times and could relate message that today is a new day and an opportunity for me to make something positive in my life happen.
All About the Benjamins - Puff Daddy and the Family
Do We Agree?
What Percentage of Songs Do We Both Agree Upon?
Parent's Just Don't Understand - DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
Crooklyn – Crooklyn Dodgers
Jesus Walks With Me – Kanye West
Still Not a Player – Big Pun ft. Joe
Stan – Eminem. Slim Shady's vivid imagery of a stalker/fan goes unmatched. The Dido sample along with the background sound effects helped to give this tale its powerful pulse. It felt as though a full length movie was cleverly packed into a 4 minute roller coaster.
Ms. Jackson – Outkast
Humpty Dance – Digital Underground
Eric B for President – Eric B and Rakim
Dead Presidents – Jay Z
Lost Ones – Lauryn Hill
Ladies First – Queen Latifah. The queen presents the new image of the black woman, one that can be strong, intelligent, and independent. Latifah not only talked the talk but walked the walk, owning her own record label/entertainment/management company along with acting and having her own daytime talk show. This song forced us to recognize the impact that woman have in the Hip Hop community as well as society as a whole.
My Philosophy – Boogie Down Productions
Gas Face – Third Base
Planet Rock – Africaa Bambataa and the Soulsonic Force
How High – Method Man and Redman
Ruff Ryder’s Anthem – DMX
Down for My Niggaz – Bossalini ft. Snoop Dogg and C-Murder
Make Em Say Uhh – Master P ft. Mia X, Mystikal, and Sillk the Shocker
Rebirth of Slick – Digable Planets. Jazz music has always played a part in life of Hip Hop, but it never sounded more perfectly than when these Brooklyn-ites dropped the beat and verses to this record. The whole album in fact (Reachin....) was such a progressive sound for their time. This group also traveled and performed with a live band.
Paul Revere – Beastie Boys
Flavor in Ya Ear – Craig Mack
Sucker MC’s – Run DMC