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Re-Ups & Trav's Top 100 Hip Hop Songs Of All-Time

by Travis on February 6, 2007

I’ve been told more than a few times that I’m living in the past when it comes to Hip-Hop. Perhaps I am, but it’s hard not to think about going to the store and picking up an album like “It Takes A Nations Of Millions…” then bringing it home and being totally blowin away on so many levels. I haven’t had that feeling in ages, at least not really. Four or Five years ago, I would have been one of those old grumpy heads that would have told you that Hip Hop sucks now and will never be the same, but I’ve learned to adapt and adjust in my older age. I’ve accecpted that things will never be the same. I still kind of hold out that one day, Hip Hop will drop out of the mainstream focus and return to people who truly love instead of copying the hottest new trend.

Anyway, I don’t want to turn this into a “woes me, the old days were so much better” post, I probably bitch enough as it is. The reason for bringing this up, Brian posted up his all-time favorite songs during our year end series and asked me to do so as well.

I made up this list last summer when I had way too much time on my hands. I actually did it to make an MP3 disk, which is my ghetto I-pod, so I could have my favorite songs by me at all-times. These are, of course, MY PERSONAL favorites. I’m not saying these are the best of all-time, these are just the songs that I like. For the most part though, they are pretty straight up. I grew up on Golden Age hip hop, so much of the stuff comes from that era. I realize every self described “blogger critic” has one of these list, and like opinions, everyone has one….but fuck it, it’s my blog, I’ll post whatever I feel…haha….I would post links, but honestly, you should already have these, but if anyone needs something, let me know

1. Audio Two- Top Billin’
This might not be viewed as the greatest hip hop song ever by most people, but for me, being a big Audio Two fan, this embelishes all the aspects I love about Hip Hop. GIZ IS CHILLIN’, MILK IS CHILLIN’ WHAT MORE CAN I SAY?!?! TOP BILLIN’!!

2. Big Daddy Kane- Raw
I actually heard this first on the “Colors” OST. The lyrics, the beat, I still say Kane was overall the best PACKAGE (rhymes, beats, lyrics, flow ect) in all of hip hop during his prime.

3. Jeru The Damaja- Come Clean
The first of many Primo beats. The “Chinese Water Torcher” beat, it was just ill. I had it on cassette single before the album dropped. It was amazing to me. Then the lyrics hit home since i was kind of sick of the gangsta shit dropping all over the place about this time.

4. Royce Da 5’9- Boom
Those strings, what else do you want. It helps also that Royce kills this track

5. Mobb Deep- Shook Ones Pt.2
The darkness that this song portrays is just eerie. I remember sitting in my Jimmy with my two 12′s in the back, just pumping this non stop

6. Ras Kass- Soul On Ice (Remix)
I first heard this on a mix tape I bought in Salt Lake City. I wasn’t a huge fan of original, but the Diamond beat is dope as fuck. Then Ras’ first verse is probably my all-time favorite verse.

7. Ultramagnetic MC’s- Poppa Large (East Coast Remix)
Some beatminers shit. This video is what got me hooked on this song. I would play it over and over in the morning before heading off to school

8. Black Sheep- The Choice Is Yours (Revised)
One of the classic party jams “pick it up, PICK IT UP, PICK IT UP!” This was actually the second single after “Flava of The Month”, it wasn’t until “The Choice Is Yours” was I interested in the Black Sheep

9. Eazy- E- Boyz N The Hood
This and Ice T’s 6′ In The Morning were really my first introduction to West Coast hip hop in it’s traditional sense. We played the shit out of this every morning on our way to school

10. A Tribe Called Quest- Check The Rhime
I wasn’t a big fan of Tribe’s first few tracks when they dropped. Then YO! debuted their new single “Check The Rhime” and I was hooked. Shit rattles n the trunk too!

11. Boogie Down Productions- My Philosophy
If I remember right, this video was on the debut episode of “Yo! MTV Raps” which I had recorded and bought every artist that appeared. I also played this video non stop every morning before school. I had the words DOWN!

12. Doug E. Fresh & MC Ricky D- The Show
This actually came before I got into Hip Hop. My first introduction to it was on “New Jack City”. I would rewind the part of the movie that this was on. It took me a little while to track it down, but when I did, I played the shit out of it.

13. Eric B & Rakim- Follow The Leader
First Eric B & Rakim song I ever heard. Again, the video hooked me. It was also on that debut show, and another song I had down word for word

14. Slick Rick- Children’s Story
Another original Yo! video. Slick Rick was my idol back then….CRUMBS!

15. Public Enemy- Rebal Without A Pause
Ahhh, the noise, the nooooise! “I’ll throw it down your throat like barkley”. This song makes you want to get up and punch something

16. Eric B & Rakim- Microphone Fiend
Another great song, you can tell though, I was introduced to “Follow The Leader” before “Paid In Full”.

17. Das EFX- They Want EFX
A second golden age banger, this took everyone by storm when it came out, and the beat is pretty dope as well.

18. Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth- T.R.O.Y.
I’m sure if there was a poll, this would probably in most peoples top 3, and if I was doing this without my personal imput involved, I’d put there as well. I love it, but it’s just a further bit back for me

19. Boogie Down Productions- The Bridge Is Over
Those piano keys drive me nuts. The ultimate dis song. I can’t remember when I first heard it, but I was lucky enough to have an original B-Boy recordings CD (with the “Bride is Over” song title on it in error), and unlucky enough to have lost it

20. Run DMC- Run’s House
Another track that embodies everything good in hip hop. Run DMC should really have more songs, but honestly, I got burned out on them my first 5 years listening to hip hop. I have heard them all soooooo many times

21. Public Enemy- Bring The Noise
The first song on “Takes A Nation..”, I couldn’t even get past this song when I first got tape. It blew me away

22. Masta Ace INC- Jeep Ass Nigguh
I started getting a buzz on Ace after his verse on the Symphony 2. Then the Source had this on their “Sure Shot Singles” before I heard it, but just lyrics got me amped. Then when it dropped, CLASSIC!

23. N.W.A.- Straight Outta Compton
The drums, NWA storming through a set…

24. 3rd Bass- Steppin’ To The A.M.

Another Yo! favorite. This came out quite a bit before the album dropped. I remember in the video, they didn’t even have an album title listed for it yet. The original video I had, the last verse got cut off of it, so for the longest time, I only knew the first couple verses for it.

25. Cypress Hill- How I Can Just Kill A Man
Some production I loved. The first time you heard B Real though, it was kind of a shocker, but you got over that quickly

26. EPMD- You Gots To Chill
Another original Yo! video. I liked the slow Zapp sample on it.

27. L.L. Cool J- I’m Bad
I’ll never forget the words to this song till the day I die. I constantly played this, over and over and over…

28. Wu-Tang Clan- Method Man
I bought the cassette single based on the vibe they were recieving in “The Source”, before a video or anything. “Protect Your Neck” was supposed to be the Jam, but the b-side on that would become a favorite of mine. Meth was just ill

29. Pharcyde- Runnin’
The piano keys, and the heart felt lyrics grabbed my attention

30. Craig Mack- Flava In Your Ear
I’m a fan of funk production. This video dropped before the album and I was caught

31. Gangstarr- Dwyck
This was a b-side to “Take It Personal” originally if I remember right, which I bought, just because of then unknown b-side, and the rest is history

32. Nas- NY State Of Mind
An excellent lead off track to a classic album. The first time I heard it was the day I bought the LP. I can still remember having goose bumps the size of quarters on my arms when it started

33. Black Moon- Who Got Da Props
Another cassette single I bought before the album dropped. Hip Hop in all it’s glory

34. Stetsasonic- Talkin’ All That Jazz
If I remember right, this also was on that original Yo episode. I had the words down to this in a couple of weeks. Picked up the tape, but this song was always on rewind

35. Run DMC- Walk This Way
Gotta have the song that got me into hip hop

36. Redman- Time 4 Sum Aksion
Redman has so many good songs on his first two albums, but the fact this was a single and an excellent opening verse, it is the one that I always went to

37. 3rd Bass- Gas Face
This was an event in hip hop, with everyone giving each other the “gas face”. The video helped this song with it’s humor

38. Busta Rhymes- Woo Haa
Yeah, it might have gotten irritating, but I played the shit out of this song. I had the single (the one with the remix w/ ODB) before the album dropped. I can still remember getting faded at a party and all I would say all night was “WOOOOO HAAAAA!”

39. Craig Mack- Flava In Your Ear (Remix)
There are so many classic verses in this song, it’s just sick

40. Beastie Boys- Paul Revere
The reversed bass line, the story, this was for those of us that didn’t like “Fight For Your Right”

41. Talib Kweli & DJ Hi-Tek- Move Somethin’
The horns, the drums, ahhhhhh, this song made me go crazy

42. L.L. Cool J- Mama Said Knock You Out
Being the HUGE LL fan I was, this was my catch phrase for the next year

43. Nas- Nas Is Like
The best song on a dismal album. Primo in his prime

44. Black Moon- How Many MC’s?
Another MTV banger. Black Moon just embodied hip hop on that first album

45. Geto Boys- Mind Playing Tricks On Me
The imagery this track displays is amazing. I had the tape before the video dropped, but it was favorite before then.

46. House Of Pain- Jump Around
This was another track I heard about in “The Source”. I was (blushing) a fan of Everlasts first album, but then he dropped of the face of the earth. All of sudden he reappeared in a totally new image. I got the maxi single with b/w “House Of Pain Anthem” and played it constantly until the album dropped

47. A Tribe Called Quest- Scenerio
One of the all-time great posse cuts. This was like the third single or so, but I had the album for a good amount of time before the released it as a single

48. Crooklyn Dodgers- Crooklyn
Being the Ace fan I was, I had to snatch it up. I didn’t want the OST, so I picked it up on cassette single

49. D.O.C.- Funky Enough
This dropped before the album as well, I remember loving it on “YO!”

50. De La Soul- Stakes Is High
Such a great song that still remains relevant today, if not more so. I played this album over and over the day I bought it.

51. Boogie Down Productions- Love’s Gonna Getcha
The simple, yet effective beat, coupled with the storyline, made pump this in my little Jetta back in the day often

52. Common- I Used To Love H.E.R.
I remember seeing this video for the first being amazed

53. Souls Of Mischief- 93′ Til Infinity
I was a big Hiero fan at the time and the four of them together just made a great song along with a laxed beat

54. Boogie Down Productions- Criminal Minded
Again, I heard this after it’s run through hip hop history, but it just get’s you rhyming along with it

55. A Tribe Called Quest- Electric Relexation
I thought hip hop love songs were for suckas when this was dropped, but I realized the error of my ways

56. Eazy E- Dopeman
I actually bought “NWA & The Posse” (the Macola original release) a good year before “Straight Outta Compton” dropped and this track was on that. For us suburban white kids, this was the next best thing after “We Want Some Pussy”

57. KRS-One- MC’s Act Like They Don’t Know
PRIMO!!! Yes, I’m a fan of KRS, and tracks like this is the reason why

58. Casual- That’s How It Is
Maybe it was the Audio Two sample, but I’ve always loved this track. I bought anything Hiero at the time, and I think I bought this blindly before the video dropped

59. Talib Kweli & DJ Hi-Tek- The Blast
the first time I heard Kweli was on the lyrcists lounge CD. I wasn’t a big fan of the Black Star LP, so this was suprising when I heard it

60. Nine – Whatcha Want
The strings, the beat, Nine’s gruffed voice. This shit was crazy. I remember rewinding this video over and over the first time I heard it

61. Del Tha Funkee Homosapian- Catch A Bad One
I loooooved Del’s first LP. So when the video dropped for this, with it’s stand up bass line, I was hooked

62. Redman- Blow Your Mind
My introduction to Redman, and
it got me hooked

63. Beastie Boys- So Whatcha Want
Pass the Mic dropped before this, so I had the album before they released it as a single. It was my favorite then and still is

64. Biz Markie- Vapors
I think this too was also on the debut Yo epsidoe and was my first introduction to the Biz. I got this tape for Christmas one year

65. Public Enemy- Terrordome
With PE in turmoil, Chuck dropped this in between albums and holy shit! I picked it up just from hearing about it on cassette single. An amazing track

66. Beastie Boys- Pass The Mic
This was the return of the Beastie Boys after Paul’s Boutiqe. I always thought I was real dope, kind of an old school flavor. Had this on the cassette single as well. In typical Beastie 12 inch fashion it had other goodies on it as well

67. Boogie Down Productions- Duck Down
BDP had gotten some crap for the “Blueprint” album. Kris was a little pissed off by the time he released this one. Some good ole’ boom bap. Had this on Cassette single and it also “Like A Throttle”

68. Redman- Rockafella
the lead single from “Dare…”, great in typical Redman fashion

69. KRS-One- Outta Here
Krs on the solo tip, his lead single would keep the legacy alive

70. Notorious B.I.G.- Kick In The Door
Never was a single, but if it was released now it would be street single. Primo comin’ atcha

71. King Tee- Bass (Remix)
My introduction to King Tipsy, classic video

72. Notorious B.I.G.- Unbeliveable
Primo and Biggie. Primo always brought out the best in Biggie, Nas, & Jay.

73. Mos Def- Ms. Fat Booty
Mos at his best, Rawkus was running shit. The Source was propping this before it came out

74. Cunninlynguists ft Masta Ace- Seasons
I’ve never been the biggest RJD2 fan, but the beat, the message, everything about this song is great

75. Public Enemy- Can’t Truss It
More noise, PE at it’s best. Another one I picked up before video, just because it was PE’s new single

76. EPMD- So Watcha Sayin’
The scratching on this is craaaaazy. The video adds to the song

77. Beastie Boys- Hey Ladies
The first single for the Beasties after “Liscensed To Ill”, I thought it was dope then, even if no one did

78. Eazy E- 8 Ball
Early Eazy/NWA well always hold a special place in my heart. I believe this was also on the original NWA & The Posse LP

79. Tha Alkaholiks- Daaaam!
Being the large Liks fan that I am, I played the shit out of this song

80. Run DMC- Sucker MC’s
“Two years ago, a friend of mine….”, I picked up “King of Rock” & “Run DMC” not long after I got “Raising Hell”

81. Sir Mix-a-lot- Posse On Broadway
I actually first heard this while visiting my cousins in Portland before it hit Yo!, it got a lot of play in my home town as well

82. Masta Ace INC- INC Ride
I’m a huge Ace fan. This is a great song to blast in the summer.

83. Dr. Dre- Nothin’ But A G Thang
His album actually kind of snuck up on me and a lot of others when it dropped. But this was the first single, that appeared pretty soon before I think

84. De La Soul- I Am I Be
Just the somberness of this song has always struck a chord in me. Some great lines in it

85. Pharcyde- Otha Fish
This is on here for personal reasons. I played the shit out of it after being dumped by my first love

86. Nas- The Message
I know others like some of his other songs more, but the beat and the lyrics has always made this a personal favorite of mine

87. EPMD- Headbanger
How can you not like this? Redman had a classic verse on this

88. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince- Summertime
Summer after I graduated high school, ahhhh, what a time

89. Binary Star- Honest Expression
This is the best song there is on “Hip Hop” I think, it’s so revelant it’s not even funny

90. Slick Rick- I Shouldn’t Have Done It
I can’t even remember when I first heard this, but I had the cassette single

91. Pharcyde- Passin’ Me By
the Jimi sample, fatlips verse, tre’s verse….wow

92. Method Man & Redman- How High
On “The Show” soundtrack, these two were made to rhyme together, too bad the LP sucked

93. Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock- It Takes Two
You can tell how old a person is by where they rank this. It’s still an all-time party great

94. Special Ed- Neva Go Back
I remember I used to kick this song while working on an assembly line back in the day

95. Three Times Dope- Greatest Man Alive
I actually heard this first from some kids I played basketball with, dubbed the tape, then bought it myself

96. Digital Underground- Humpty Dance
The bassline…plain and simple enough

97. Pharoahe Monch- Simon Says
“Get The Fuck Up!” This and Mos’ joint dropped very close to each other, that was a special month

98. Eric B& Rakim- Know The Ledge (Juice)
Big fan of this from the movie Juice, the beat was crazy and finally seemed to fit Ra’s lyrics

99. King Tee- Act A Fool
The ultimate track to play before you get ready to go out

100.DJ Quik- Tonite
Played this alot in high school just because, well, it sounded like high school

there you have it. Every once in awhile, I think of other songs, but I haven’t really touched it much since then.

Re-Ups

Since it’s not sweeps month, we are going to run some re-runs for our loyal readers. It’s stuff you might have missed the first time around. Yeah, kind of lazy and un-original. I’m still toying with the direction of the blog in the future, some other writing projects, and some other stuff. So while I work out the future of this blog, we’ll grant people they’re re-up requests.

Ras Kas – Soul On Ice Demo
http://sharebee.com/bd6ff8f0

edit- For my good danish friend, tba…happy now?!?! hahaha
First ran on August 4th, 2006

I actually got a little heat for not liking the beats on this, but I still stand by it. I’m not a huge fan of the original retail version of “Soul On Ice”, and I consider myself a Rassy fan for sure. There is also some confusion on whether or n
ot this is an actual demo. After looking around and thinking about, I’m not so sure it is, but it’s still a nice addition to any collection if you are into “unreleased” joints on the such

Ras Kass- Soul On Ice (Demo Version 1995)

(Warning: sound quality is lacking)

  • Track Listing:
    1. Everything I Love
  • 2. Core Audience
  • 3. High IQ
  • 4. Won’t Catch me Running
  • 5. Capital R-A-S
  • 6. Blood Is Thicker Than Water
  • 7. Interlude
  • 8. Take A Deep Breath
  • 9. Remain Anonymous
  • 10. Take A Deep Breath (remix)
  • 11. Walk The Walk

When you talk about the offical release of “Soul On Ice“, the lack of quality of production is usually brought up somewhere in the conversation. Likewise, the quality of lyrics and the scathing social commentary is almost always brought up as well. When taking a listen to this demo version of “Soul On Ice”, in it’s orginal carnation, one must wonder what could have been.

The demo version (if that what it truly is) features a less polished MC in Ras, but a unpolished Ras is still better than 90% of the MC’s out there. It also features beats that are better than what is heard on the final version. Information on who exactly are the producers is sketchy at less, but it seems to be the same two producers who are featured on the majority of the production on the final version, fellow Western Hemisphere memebers, Bird and Voodoo. This version is dark in nature much like it’s final version, but the beats are more layred but with a fuller, harder sound.

Lyrically, Rassy still can bring it on the mic, which he does on this version. Yet, he just doesn’t seem as sharp as what was heard on the later product. “Remain Anonymous” and “Won’t Catch Me Runnin’” eventually did leak their way out in the public, so if you have heard those, it’s a glimpse of what to expect on this.

As far as I can tell, most of these songs were scrapped for a variety of reasons. Sample clearance issues, label drama (damn, even back then) and inner beefs with his Western Hemisphere crew lead to most of these cuts getting scrapped. While it’s not the potential “breakout” album Ras has been missing, it’s still fun to hear some of the stuff that didn’t make the final cut and some of that is unfortunate.

Barsha – Barsha’s Explicit Lyrics http://sharebee.com/bfd11d2d

first ran on August 29, 2006 as part of our First Priority Music Family tribute series, which I’m a big fan of. I was in a hurry when I originally wrote this up, so I probably should redo it, but suprise!, I’m in another hurry

Barsha’s Explicit Lyrics (First Priority Music, Virgin 1990)


Our next and final First Priority Music member is Barsha, who dropped his album, Barsha’s Explicit Lyrics, in 1990. Get past the fact that the cover is possibly the worse album cover ever to grace a hip hop album and you have another FPM gem.

The album, as most of the other FPM albums, was produced by King Of Chill and Audio Two. As far as mucis goes, it is very similar to the King of Swing sound. Hard drums and classic breaks dot the album for begining to end and takes the listener back to a time were simpler was just better.

Barsha himself sounds a lot like Kool G Rap as far as his vocal tone and delivery. He may not have the Kool Geniuses lyrical prowness, but he can handle his own on the mic, something that was kind of suprising to me the first time I listened to him, judging by his album cover.

MC ADE – How Much Can You Take http://sharebee.com/95cbe57f

Next up, an email request for a personal favorite of mine. This was originally the lead off post for our Miami Bass series and appeared back on September 5th, of 2006. I have to thank Tommy B over at Miscreant Production for this one. This is an example of why I do love the internet so much. At one time, I never thought I’d heard this again, Tommy hooked me up with it on Cocaine Blunts over a year ago. I still wish I had my original copy of it. The original post on my thoughts on Bass music can be found here: http://wakeyourdaughterup.blogspot.com/2006/09/things-that-go-boom-miami-bass-part.html

MC A.D.E.How Much Can You Take (4-Sight Records, 1989)

01 Go A.D.E 02 How Much Can You Take 03 To The Fan’s 04 Sex, Crime, Drugs 05 Hit Harder 06 Da ‘Train 07 A.D.E. Got It Going On 08 Lyric Licking 09 Money Hounding Ho’s 10 Physician 11 It’s Crazy 12 Control

This album is my favorite of the genre. Hard hitting bass, possibly the hardest I’ve ever ran across (I never listened to those car audio joints, so those might have more) that would just roll so hard, but would be so clear. Maybe it was the way I had my system set up or something, but this was the CD I’d use to test out any car stereo. “Hit Harder” was my shit, but “Control”, “How Much Can You Take”, and “Da’ Train” all had crazy crazy bass. Some of ther other tracks were traditional hip hop tracks, but still had that kick behind them.

I remember my best friends cousin was visting from Vegas and he played this for us. I fell in love with it. It was something that we couldn’t find in my little ho-dunk town at the time, so I think I ended up trading him a 12 pack of beer (as seniors in high school, getting beer was a bit of a chore) for the CD itself. Somehow over the years I lost it, but it was pretty beat up anyway. I finally got the hook up from my man Tommy B over at Miscreant Productions. This is an ebay and amazon treasure with people paying around hundred bucks and more for the CD and wax versions.

Finally, a different link for WYDU Classics Vol 12….And only because our Site designer asked for it. I don’t like throwing up a bunch of different links for people, because it’s a pain in the ass. It’s hard, because these are over the 100mb limit that a lot of the sites I like using have. So we’ll try this one in sendspace. I should have the new ones for Jan and Feb of this year up in the next couple days.

WYDU Classics Vol 12, Dec ’07 http://www.sendspace.com/file/7iswcs

1. Yoke The Joker – Naughty By Nature
2. Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz And Benz -
Lost Boyz
3. Pyscho – Lords Of The Underground
4. How To Flow (Abstract Remix) – Nice & Smooth
5. Cell Therapy – Goodie Mob
6. Sugarhill – AZ
7. A to the K – Cypress Hill
8. The Funkiest – Funkdoobiest
9. You Don’t Hear Me Tho’ – Rodney O & Joe Cooley
10. Hustlers – Above The Law
11. Jiggable Pie – AMG
12. At Your Own Risk (Marley Marl Remix) – King Tee
13. I-ight (Video Version) – Doug E Fresh
14. Record Jock – Dana Dane
15. Peachfuzz – KMD
16. Yes – Blacksheep
17. Fades Them All – Jamal
18. Can I Bus – Common & Y-Not
19. Motivate – MC ADE

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