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How We Made the Best Hip-Hop Songs of All Time List

The editors of 'Rolling Stone' polled the following blue-ribbon panel of artists, record producers, industry professionals and music journalists

Jermaine Dupri, Chuck D and Rick Rubin.
Michael Bezjian/WireImage; Mike Coppola/Getty Images; Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
December 5, 2012 3:20 PM ET

Artists/Producers
Busta Rhymes
Big Boi, Outkast
Luther Campbell
Mike Diamond, Beastie Boys
Jermaine Dupri
Adam Horovitz
Kurupt
Talib Kweli
MC Lyte
Tom Morello
Q-Tip
Questlove, The Roots
Nas
Vernon Reid
Boots Riley, The Coup
Pete Rock
Rick Rubin

Journalists/Music Executives
James Bernard, former editor, The Source
Nathan Brackett, Rolling Stone
Cortez Bryant, Bryant Management
Reginald Dennis, former editor, The Source
Jon Dolan, Rolling Stone
Will Hermes, Rolling Stone
Christian Hoard, Rolling Stone
Craig Kallman, Atlantic Records
Alan Light, journalist
Monica Herrera, Rolling Stone
Jonathan Ringen, Rolling Stone
Dante Ross, Warner Bros.
Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone
Simon Vozick-Levinson, Rolling Stone

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »
 
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