100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time

What makes a great hip-hop song?

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4. Run-DMC, "Sucker M.C.'s"

In the beginning, hip-hop was club music, an offshoot of disco usually meant for dancing and partying. After "Sucker M.C.'s," it belonged to teenagers on the street. "There was never a B-boy record made until we made 'Sucker M.C.'s,' " declared the late Run-DMC DJ Jam Master Jay. Sure enough, the 1983 track – nothing but rhymes and scratches over hard Oberheim DMX beats and hand claps – seemed designed specifically with break dancers in mind. "Sucker" was conceived as a B-side throwaway to the group's debut, "It's Like That," but its whiplash groove and everydude rhymes were even more radical. Run charts his creation myth, disses competitors, brags about his Caddy and his girl appeal. Then his partner introduces himself with "I'm DMC in the place to be/I go to St. John's University!" Indeed: A new school had arrived. "I wasn't afraid to rap about school being cool," Darryl "DMC" McDaniels said years later. "That was empowering. That's the legacy when people look at Run-DMC."

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