Posted in Music chat

Best Hip Hop Track Ever …

So, what is the best Hip Hop track? Full stop (period) (etc).

I drive around a lot in work and ask myself such pointless but entertaining questions. Obviously we could debate this for every genre … but I thought we could start a debate on Hip Hop.

I am going to suggest 5 nominees. Perhaps we all could?

I thought about suggestion a debate on the criteria initially including the obvious question …. what is Hip Hop? But I thought ‘nah’ let’s just see what we come up with. My choices are dictated by my age to a degree ….

Here’s my 5;

(the short list included Outkast BOB, Lupe Fiasco – Push Kick, Salt N Pepa – Push it (oh yes), A Tribe Called Quest – Scenario, Notorious BIG – Hypnotize, Wu Tang Clan – Cream,

1) Eric B and Rakim – Paid in Full

2) Public Enemy – Fight The Power

Full 7 minute video that was never played on MTV

or alternatively the opening credits to ‘Do the Right Thing’ (the best opening credits in cinematic history?)

3) Luniz – 5 on it (is this choice controversial? one hit wonder … stone cold classic)

4) Dead Prez – Hip Hop.


5) Kanye West – Jesus Walks

12 thoughts on “Best Hip Hop Track Ever …

  1. That’s a punchy post. I know I’m not as much of a hip-hop head as you guys, but then I love my classics. Eric B and Rakim is seminal. Agree Fight The Power is right up there. Massively important record. I’m probably going to diverge after that. I’d put these three in, but really, I could put another 40 in there.

    Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five – The Message. Again, a seminal record, and social commentary to boot. It’s such a toss up between this and White Lines. But got to be in my list. Plus, THOSE OUTFITS.

    A Tribe Called Quest – Can I Kick It? I’m a sucker for Q-Tip, in pretty much anything he does. His flow is amazing, his voice so distinctive. His solos stuff is great, and when he pops up on stuff like Mark Ronson and Chemical Brothers he’s the best thing about them. I still play this out and it’s a lovely, laid-back slice of hip-hop beauty.

    Jay-Z – 99 Problems. Still stops everyone dead when I play it, and it’s just a huge huge record. A modern classic.

    I could do this all day though. I had to bin Nat Dogg & Warren G (Regulate), De La Soul (so many, but Me Myself and I is my favourite), Kanye (All Falls Down), Skee-Lo (I Wish, such a soft spot for this record), Mystikal – Shake Ya Ass, Tupac – California Love, Busta Rhymes – All In Check, M.O.P. – Ante Up, Salt ‘n’ Pepa – Push It, ODB & Kelis – Got Your Money, Young MC – Know How, Missy – Get Ur Freak On…

  2. All 3 of your pics were on my short-list too guy. Ante-Up (Busta Remix) was there too, Got Your Money, Breathe and Stop etc. In fact all of your shortlist are spot on.

    I chose Hip Hop as I thought it might be an interesting genre to do a best of for.

  3. Brother Nolan is freaking out about this one. He’s drawn a thought map.

    He also raises a good point … I’ve called this ‘best’ probably should have been ‘favourite’ but also could be read as ‘most important’. Tough as they may all reveal different answers? I’ve tried to go with my gut.

  4. OK, lets’s get stuck in…….

    1) Mad Skillz – The Nod Factor

    This song doesn’t have a bad line. Mad Skillz was and still is one of the best writers in Hip Hop.. he’s ghost written many of your best hip hop songs over the last 20 years.

    The beat is nice.. but everyline in this track is a classic.

    2) Nas – Represent

    On first listen to Illmatic this was the one that I liked the least.. over time it became my favourite. This song is everything that Nas is about and why I love Hip Hop.

    3) Gang Starr – Take It Personal

    My dad got me into Gang Starr. He had a copy of Step Into the Arena. From the first listen I was obsessed to that album. This was the follow up. I remember the first time I heard this in 1992, I was blown away. Guru’s lyrics and DJ Premier’s beat and his cuts….. the drums at the start and then the piano…..naw.. BIG!!!!!

    4) Dre Dre feat Eminem

    So Eminem has to be in this. I think there’s allot to be said about what Dre and Eminem have done for each other, and what they have done and acghieved for music. Eminem kills it in this song. Dre does as well. Both of them don’t have a bad line. On a side note this video is funny as well.

    5) Common Sense – Resurrection

    I have bought this album on tape, 12 inch and CD. This album has been in my life so much and I love everybit of it. The title song that was realeased as a single was WAY different. The album version was and is worlds better.

    5.5 (super sub) – Sould Of Mischief – ’93 til Infinity

    Sorry, always have to have a reserve…. Mine is 93 til infinity. This song is cool as fuck. It’s summer. It’s fun. Anyone that doesn’t like this song shouldn’t be trusted. FACT!

    Honerable mentions:
    Pete Rock & CL Smooth – TROY
    Tribe Called Quest – Award Tour
    Biggie – The What
    Mos Def – Ms Fatbooty
    Pharoah Monch – Simon Says
    Reakwon – Verbal Intercourse
    Del La Soul – Stakes Is High
    Method Man – Bring the Pain
    Jay Z – In My Lifetime
    Outkast – Babylon
    Ghostface Killah – Datona 500
    Talib Kweli – Get By
    ……. I could keep on going……..

  5. See this is the sort of thing we should be banging on about on this blog! Boom!

    Love the choices Nolan. I thought I would have picked a Nas track but to be honest i think he makes better albums (rare thing in Hip Hop?) than stand out tracks though One Mic, Made you Look and NY State of Mind were on very long short list.

    When David has responded I’ll pull all of these together into a Spotify play list … sorry Guy. I’ll do something to celebrate the list but avoid Spotify.

    1. Oh man. Soooooo hard.
      Personally, when I think of tracks I’ve come back to again and again, and that mean something to me, this would be my list. Plenty of crossover with the brothers:

      White Lines – Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five

      Paid in Full (Coldcut Remix) – Eric B & Rakim – yup, I’d have this one too.

      Feelin’ Alright – Jungle Brothers.

      B.O.B. – Outkast.

      212 – Azelia Banks. Don’t tell me this isn’t a rap song. It’s got a 4 to the floor beat, but it’s a rap song, dammit.

      Le Femme Fetal – Digable Planets (yup, just an album track from their debut, but how many hip hop songs manage to deal with something like abortion while being funny and witty and brilliant).

      Bring the Noise – Public Enemy. This might even be my no 1!

      How can we not have 99 Problems?

      All Good – De La and Chaka. Crossover tune, I know, but so good. I could have had 15 De La Soul tracks.

      Witness – Roots Manuva. Gotta be.

      Award Tour – Tribe Called Quest.

      Egg Man – Beasties. Yeah booyyyyyyy.

      Black Skinhead – Kanye. Love it. And love how much you all hated the album 😉

      There you go. That’s not a bad list, huh?

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