100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time

What makes a great hip-hop song?

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23. Eric B. and Rakim, "I Know You Got Soul"

"When I'm writing I'm trapped between the lines/I escape when I finish the rhyme," explains Rakim, rocking the sort of jam that disappeared once copyright lawyers stepped up their game. Eric B. built this landmark 1987 track by looping a chunk of the James Brown-produced song of the same name (recorded in 1970 by Bobby Byrd and the J.B.'s). But turnabout is fair play: British mixmasters M/A/R/R/S built their hit "Pump Up the Volume" around a sample of Rakim saying that phrase on "I Know You Got Soul."

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