100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time

What makes a great hip-hop song?

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48. Marley Marl feat. Master Ace, Craig G., Kool G. Rap, Big Daddy Kane, "The Symphony"

Marley Marl was hip-hop's first superproducer, a master of the chopped-and-looped soul sample and a huge influence on sound painters from RZA to Dr. Dre. On "The Symphony," he dialed up a beat for the ages – a ferocious drum break and a snatch of Otis Redding piano – and summoned the cream of his Juice Crew affiliates. The result: a truly great late-Eighties posse cut. Smoothest flow: Big Daddy Kane. Sharpest couplet: Kool G Rap ("Making veterans run for medicine/'Cause I put out more lights in a fight than Con Edison.") MVP: Marley Marl.

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