The 50 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time

11

Wu-Tang Clan, 'C.R.E.A.M.'

Wu-Tang Clan, Ghostface Killah, Masta Killa, Raekwon, RZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard, GZA, U-God, Method Man
Bob Berg/Getty Images

Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), 1993

Part of Wu-Tang's greatness was their messy, multitudinous sprawl, but the best song on their debut is ruthlessly efficient: just two breathless verses, plus the catchiest acronym in history, laying out the ground rules of street capitalism. RZA's sampled pianos rattle like the wind down a project alleyway as Raekwon and Inspectah Deck trade harrowing war stories: "No question I would speed/For cracks and weed/The combination made my eyes bleed."

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