The number of great posse cuts has seemed to dwindle over the years. In the past, the posse cut seemed to be a way to put on others in your crew, or posse, and make the public aware of their talents. Sometimes they were members of the same crew, and sometimes they were other label mates that were, at times, forced onto the same track. The nineties were a big time for such a posse cuts and featured many classic songs.
Some felt a bit forced as the overall talent level began to dwindle, and the posse cut lost it’s legitimacy in some ways. I started to dread some of these tracks, because I didn’t want to hear so-and-so’s third cousin fumble through some lame verse trying to score a deal (which is why some posse cuts existed, in my mind, just to get some dude a record deal).
Anyway, here are a few of my favorites from the nineties and beyond:
Scenario – A Tribe Called Quest feat. Leaders of the New School
This might be the mother of all posse cuts. It’s a testament to how good this song is when you can hear various other songs that sample verses from this song. Basically, every verse is top notch, starting with Phife:
Aiyyo Bo knows this (what?) and Bo knows that (what?)
But Bo don’t know jack, cause Bo can’t rap
Well whaddya know, the di-dawg, is first up to bat
No batteries included, and no strings attached
No holds barred, no time for move fakin
Gots to get the loot so I can bring home the bacon
Brothers front, they say the Tribe can’t flow
But we’ve been known to do the impossible like Broadway Joe so
Sleep if you want, like we’ll help you get your z’s troop
But here’s the real scoop
I’m all that and then some, short dark and handsome
Bust a nut inside your eye, to show you where I come from
I’m vexed, fumin’, i’ve had it up to here
My days of payin dues are over, acknowledge me as in there (yeah)
Head for the border, go get a taco
I’ll be wreckin from the jump street, meaning from the get-go
Sit back relax and let yourself go
Don’t sweat what you heard, but act like you know
This is also the song that threw Busta Rhymes into the hip-hop stratosphere. After hearing Busta’s verse, most hip-hop heads took notice and his energy was even more evident during live performances.
I also included the remix in the download. The remix is nice, but the original is so good that the remix seemed unnecessary.
Buddy – De La Soul feat. Jungle Brothers and Q-Tip
This is another Native Tongues flavored posse cut and the first time I heard Q-Tip. I think this is the first time I heard of male genitalia referred to as Jimmy, which became a very common term (see Jimmy hat) and they also used Jenny for the ladies. The basic theme of this song is about knockin’ boots.
Bring It On – The Geto Boys (w/ just about everyone on Rap-A-Lot from the mid-90’s)
Man, everyone is on this track. We used to play this song all the time in high school and we had most of the lyrics down. Rap-A-Lot had some damn good MC’s with differing styles. Unfortunately, their LP’s didn’t always live up to their talent, as in the case with Seagram and Gangsta Nip (in my opinion). At over 8 minutes, this is one of the longer posse cuts that I’ve heard, if not the longest.
Rap-A-Lot definitely wasn’t anti-disabled people, as they had a couple little people and a blind, handicapped motherfucker, as that dude (not Devin the Dude, but Rob Quest) from The Odd Squad says in Bring It On.
Save the Children – Nice and Smooth feat. Everlast
This isn’t really a posse cut, per se, but I always liked this song and wanted to add it here because it was always a mystery with me. The title has absolutely nothing to do with any of the lyrics in the song and I have no idea why they decided to call the song Save the Children. The only time they saw anything about the “children” is at the very beginning when, I think Smooth B, says save the children a few times before the song starts.
Everlast starts the track and is followed by Smooth B, which is a sharp contrast in styles, which always amused me as well. That being said, Nice & Smooth were just different than most artists, so they kind of clash in general, but they’ve always been favorites of mine.
Back to the Grill – MC Serch feat. Nasty Nas, Red Hot Lover Tone and Chubb Rock
This song features the first time I heard Nas, before dropping the Nasty, and he kills his verse (This is Nas kid you know how it runs, I’m waving automatic guns at nuns.) That’s just a funny ass line, although, given Nas’s style (especially when he was younger), it wasn’t really meant as humor.
Overall, this is kind of a weird mix of MC’s. Pretty much all of them are bringing some humor here, and are kind of known for a sense of humor and then you have Nas waiving automatic guns at nuns. But, overall it’s a nice track.
Flava in Ya Ear (remix) – Craig Mack feat. LL Cool J, Biggie, Rampage and Busta Rhymes
Craig Mack had a huge hit with the original version, but the remix featured that up-and-coming rapper named The Notorious B.I.G., who Puffy was trying to get on everything he could, which was definitely the correct strategy. Basically, this version has the same beat as the original, but featured a few guest MC’s.
Enjoy the video with LL at the height of his roll-up-one-pant-leg phase:
616 Rewind – CunninLynguists feat. Tonedef, Sankofa, Kashal-Tee and Celph Titled -
Obligatory Posse Cut – Extended Fam feat. CunninLynguists, Jean Grae and more
I wanted to get something a little newer on here. Basically, the next 2 songs here are QN5 related and solid posse cuts. CunninLynguists and a lot of the QN5 peeps like to add humor into their music, so you have a fun track with a nice beat. Celph Titled adds a bit of a contrast with his rougher, masochistic, homophobic verse.
Here are a couple highly quotable verses from 616 Rewind:
Tonedef: From parts of the south so dirty, you’ll want to be given a bath.
Kno: I’m so nice, Mr. Roger’s sued my ass for copy write infringement.
You have a bit of a sequel with Obligatory Posse Cut from Extended Fam’s only LP.