Questlove's Top 50 Hip-Hop Songs of All Time


DJ Mark the 45 King, "The 900 Number" (1988)

dj mark 45 king
BCM Records

The 45 King gained his greatest fame as the architect of Eminem's finest hour: "Stan." But those in the know can tell you Mark created the national anthem of hip-hop, a James Brown-related horn loop that will never die. So simple and completely made of magic. Most don't even know this is an instrumental to an actual rap. But it's so potent it needs nothing but humans with a pulse. I swear I've never, ever, ever seen this record fail. Twenty-five years old, and still sounds fresher than fresh.

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