Writer: The Notorious B.I.G.
Producers: Sean "Puffy" Combs, Poke
Released: Aug '94, Bad Boy
20 weeks; No. 27
Biggie's debut single chronicled the rapper's rise from "a common thief to up close and personal with Robin Leach." He rhymes about his childhood poverty growing up in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn (although he claimed to be from Bed-Stuy) — despite protests from his mom. "I told him, 'No landlord dissed us!'" said Voletta Wallace. "He said, 'Mom, I was just writing a rags-to-riches kinda story.'"
Appears on: Ready to Die (Bad Boy)