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"It's Gotta' Be The Beats" Vol.V….Dart Adams (Poisonous Paragraphs) Edition

by Eric on August 18, 2007

Man O Man, as I was tellinTrav (Wake Your Daughter Up) earlier today “Shit, I’ve had it Maaad easy this week with all the contributions for the “Top 25 Beats” and whatnot…..all I’ve really had to do is “copy and paste”. As our “Top 25 Beats” series is slowly coming to an end, it wouldn’t be right if today’s guest Dart Adams of Poisonous Paragraphs didn’t pay “W.T.R.” a visit and bless us with his collection of “True School” masterpieces. I was a late bloomer to some of Dart’s work, not coming across his ill site until shortly after I starting “blogging”. Dart’s “Poisonous Paragraphs” is in my opinion, one of the dopest sites out there that isn’t necessarily about Hip Hop all day everyday. With a penchant for surprise, Dart has been known to break away from the norm…just a glance at his picks for his “Top 25″ errr…”Top 40″ only solidifies that. Evidence of this can also be found in Dart’s “The Originators” series which detailed a list of some of Hip Hop’s most important emcees. On that list was a vast array of microphone masters ranging from Greg Nice to Mellow Man Ace which in fact made me really dig Dart’s work….simply because of his individuality and comprehension of every aspect in Hip Hop. Plus, dude puts in some serious work which pays off….he’s an extremely talented writer who’s interest span from Movies, to Comics, to Hip Hop!!! Once again folks, another installment in our “Top 25 Beats” series….Enjoy!

The 25 Greatest Beats According To Dart:

“I was doing the rounds and visiting my favorite blogs to see/read what they’re doing when I see that Eric on “When They Reminisce” is featuring Top 25 Greatest Beats lists from some of the most respected bloggers in the bloggerverse. I thought to myself, “I guess I better get my list together, then.”I read the other lists and realized that there have been thousands of great cutting edge and creative beats made throughout the entire history of Hip Hop music and that all of the previously selected beats deserved praise. In an effort to not post almost identical lists to my predecessors I decided to throw out my encyclopedic knowledge of what beat machine was used on what beat, who produced it using what technique, who engineered it, how’d they get the record and retell random legends about how 50 segments of a 2 inch reel were spliced together to make a beat 30 minutes before it had to be shipped to Frankford/Wayne for mastering. I decided to throw it all out and just pick 25 beats throughout Hip Hop history that truly define what a “ rap beat” is.Of course, I had to put some limits on my list. Why? Because if I didn’t it would consist of mostly DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor, 45 King, Marley Marl, RZA , Jay Dee and Dr. Dre beats (not one RZA beat made this list). I decided to in part cut off productions made past 1991 as the sampling technology and equipment that existed would’ve made this task damn near impossible for me to choose just 25 beats.

Think about all of the classic albums made between 1986 and now. Now think of all of the 12’ vinyl singles and obscure songs with ridiculous beats that have dropped between 1986 and now. Now, think of all of the great producers that have sprang up between 1991 and now. Given the amount of Hip Hop knowledge I have, how in the hell would I ever be able to narrow it down to just 25 joints? I’m gonna have to lay down some ground rules so I can actually do this.What was my criteria for choosing beats? Simple. I just closed my eyes and thought of the 25 beats that made B Boys, B Girls, emcees, DJ’s, party people and wall flowers alike all lose their muthafuckin’ minds when it first came on. I also wanted beats that made cats black out and rock a party all night long, too. Simple enough? It really wasn’t for me. This is more like a Top 40 list due to the sheer amount of ties and songs I couldn’t leave off the list. I also didn’t write who produced each track because it would’ve raised some type of personal bias in me or I’d say “I already have enough beats from producer X, I need to add some beats from producer Y to balance the list out”. Fuck all that. Just the beat and just for the reasons I listed above. Besides, most of the people that are going to care enough to read this list are like me and already know who produced all of these tracks anyways (If not you can take this opportunity to discover the wonder that is the Google bar) Y’all kids tucked in? Yeah! Heeeeeere we go!”

1. “The Message”- Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
“What else would I have picked besides this beat as the one that defined what a great Hip Hop beat is?”

2. “Sucker M.C.’s/Rock Box (tie)”-Run DMC
“I couldn’t pick one over the other and I couldn’t put either of them at one because the greatest Hip Hop beat per my criteria deserves the top spot by itself. Either way, I couldn’t go wrong.”

3. “Planet Rock”-Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force
“Planet Rock, it’s the sure shot! This beat, inspired by Kraftwerk’s “Trans Europe Express” brought Hip Hop music to people all across the world. I also loved “Lookin For The Perfect Beat” but it fell out of the list around #30.”

4. “P.S.K. (What Does It Mean?)”-Schooly D
“When I think of mind blowing beats, this joint jumps into my head damn near immeadiately. The only other beats that jump in my head first occupying the top 3 spots of this list (Why do I assume that people are reading this backwards because I’m writing it backwards? They’re gonna read it from 1 to 25, in which case everything I just wrote in parenthesis makes me look like a moron…fuck it, I’ll leave it in).”

5. “You Gots Ta Chill”-EPMD
“If you seriously thought that this
beat wasn’t going to be on the list then you clearly didn’t own a radio in 1987 or 1988. Relax your mind and let your conscience be free.”

6. “Rebel Without A Pause”-Public Enemy/”The Bridge Is Over”-BDP (tie)
“I spent about an hour trying to reorganize this list from 1 to 5. After a lot of deliberation I determined that these two joints would be tied at number 6. I’m apparently the wrong person to make a Top 25 list because this always ends up happening when I make ‘em.”

7. “Beat Bop”-Rammellzee Vs. K-Rob/”I Ain’t No Joke”-Eric B. & Rakim (tie)
“I couldn’t kick either of these off the list based on my criteria as both of these beats are among the Top 10 defining Hip Hop beats of all time. Yes Yes Y’all.”

“8. Needle To The Groove”-Mantronix/”Play That Beat”-Pumpkin f/The Profile All Stars (tie)
“I could’ve also gone with “Fresh Is The Word”, as for “Play That Beat” this joint was bananas back in the early days. Not too many cats remember it now. This tie knocked off “The Manipulator” by Rockmaster Scott & The Tuntable Orchestra, another monster beat from the old days that heads forgot about.”

9. “Girls/Girls Pt.2″- The B Boys/”South Bronx”-BDP (tie)
“The beat to “Girls” is one of those joints that just stands the test of time. I could play that instrument right now and it can stand alone. As for “South Bronx” I don’t know how you can hear that joint and not lose it like I did when I first heard it on the radio as a 6th grader. Memories.”

10. “Bring The Noise”-Public Enemy/”Top Billin’”-Audio Two (tie)
“Now we come to the payoff. These two beats are legendary, one for being a sonic masterpiece and the other for being a rather simple drumbeat that hit like a meteor when it was amplified through speakers. What more can I say? “Top Billin’””

11. “Rockin’ It”-Fearless 4/”It’s Yours”-T La Rock (tie)
“I was really gravitating toward beats that I heard over my lifetime that seemed to just scream out “RAP BEAT!” These two monster jams ended up tied at 11. That’s how deep this list is.12. Paul Revere-Beastie BoysI pretty much flipped a coin betweem this, “Brass Monkey” and “Slow And Low”. Either way, I couldn’t go wrong.”

12. “Paul Revere”-Beastie Boys
“I pretty much flipped a coin betweem this, “Brass Monkey” and “Slow And Low”. Either way, I couldn’t go wrong.”

13. “Ego Trippin’”-Ultramagnetic MC’s/”I Know You Got Soul”-Eric B. & Rakim (tie)
“Classic material wall to wall.”

14. “Wrath Of My Madness”- Queen Latifah/”My Posse’s On Broadway”-Sir Mix A Lot
“This was the beat that ushered in the reign of Queen Latifah. On the other side “My Posse’s On Broadway” is one of the most ridiculous bass heavy tracks I ever heard. DJ’s used to play this track to showcase the bass levels on their systems…the cops usually showed up not too long afterwards.”

15. “The Symphony”- Marley Marl f/The Juice Crew
“A posse jam has to have an ill beat to work…especially if that posse contains some of the greatest lyricists and emcees in the history of Hip Hop. ‘Nuff said.”

16. “Roxanne, Roxanne”-UTFO
“This beat HAD to make the list somehow, someway. When I think of great rap beats, this is one of the first ones that springs to mind.”

17. “Raw”- Big Daddy Kane
“If I need to explain to you why this beat is on this list then you shouldn’t be reading it in the first place.”

18. “Down By Law”-Fab 5 Freddy/”Subway Theme”-Wild Style OST (tie)
“These two beats helped to define what a dope beat was. Whether it was the club scene at the Dixie where the Cold Crush Brothers and the Fantastic Five battled each other over “Down By Law” or when Nas just played the “Subway Theme” to open his first album. Nod your head to this”

19. “Words I Manifest”-GangStarr/”It Takes Two”-Rob Base & DJ Eazy Rock (tie)
“This GangStarr track alerted the Rap world that they were here to stay. “It Takes Two” used to get played every time the party seemed to die down back in the days…as soon as the needle dropped and people heard that intro folks lost their damn minds. Still do to this day.”

20. “Straight Outta’ Compton”- N.W.A.
“This beat was such a monster that it was impossible to front on. I used to stare at the speaker while it was playing sometimes because it was so damn powerful and aggressive.”

21. “6 N’ Tha Mornin’”-Ice T
“This was an undeniable beat. As soon as it dropped you knew that it was going to change the way people viewed West Coast Rap.”

22. “Funky Beat”-WhodiniThis joint was the bomb. Oooh Weee!

23. “Plug Tunin’”-De La Soul/”Teacher, Teacher”-Slick Rick (tie)
“Plug Tunin’” and “Potholes In My Lawn” pumped out of many a speaker back in the days. This Slick Rick joint along with “Lick The Balls” was the jam to blast from your car in the summer during the late 80’s. Ill beat.”

24. “So What Cha Sayin’”-EPMD/”The Rhythm”-Kwame (tie)
“Another landmark EPMD beat. Why people sleep on the genius of this Kwame track is beyond me.”

25. “Sally”-Stetsasonic/”Gittin’ Funky”-Kid N’ Play
“Sally” was one of the many songs off the “In Full Gear” album that people used to spazz out to when it came on. Kid N’ Play had heads open with “Last Night”, but when folks heard “Do This My Way” they thought “Ok, that’s two joints”. With “Gittin’ Funky” there wasn’t a dry shirt left in the party.”

That’s it…you got it? I’m gone. One

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Jaz August 19, 2007 at 1:21 am

YES…I would not have expected anything less from King Dart Adams…I am getting teary eyed from just reading about these classics again, dope list Dart.

Dart Adams August 19, 2007 at 1:24 am

Beats that just missed the cut:

The Bridge-Marley Marl f/MC Shan
The Manipulator-Mixmaster Gee & The Turntable Orchestra
Looking For The Perfect Beat-Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force
Kanday- LL Cool J
Nobody Beats The Biz-Biz Markie
Sir Jock Box-The Skinny Boys
Yo! Bum Rush The Show-Public Enemy
Strong Island-JVC Force
Call Me D Nice-D Nice
Steppin’ To The A.M.- 3rd Bass

This blog took me a damn full day to make the list and write it up. Good looks to Eric for asking me my opinion. I appreciate it greatly.


turtle August 19, 2007 at 3:14 am

Wow. It is like I am back in junior high and high school. All though, I can’t front, there are a few on here I was not really familiar with.

Anonymous August 19, 2007 at 4:02 am

hey its sandy, here is the website i was talking about where i made the extra summer cash………. the website is here

Ragz August 24, 2007 at 8:53 pm

A true 80′s fan. I can dig it!

Anonymous August 27, 2007 at 10:17 am

so im readinhg down, and finally i find a list that has Top Billin’ in it! good job, and some great choices.



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