81. Nas, "It Ain't Hard to Tell"
Backed by Large Professor's heart-in-your-throat collage of drums, horns and a coveted Michael Jackson sample, the lead single from Illmatic unveiled Nas' raspy project poetics. "We took 'Human Nature' and ... made it real scratchy and scruffy," said Large Professor. "Everything he's saying is uplifting ... but it's for the hood."