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100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time

What makes a great hip-hop song?

100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time

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We asked 33 artists and experts – from Rick Rubin to Big Boi, Mike D to Chuck D – to vote for their favorite hip-hop songs.

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52

The Notorious B.I.G., “Big Poppa”

With its plush, slow-jam feel and ghetto-fabulous video, Biggie’s first Top 10 hit sold America on a burly Brooklyn corner kid. Said co-producer Chucky Thompson, “Ice Cube was big at that time as well, and if you look at [Cube’s] ‘It Was a Good Day,’ and then you look at ‘Big Poppa,’ it was on the same wavelength.”

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51

Public Enemy, “Bring the Noise”

“Bring the Noise” was truth in advertising – from Chuck D’s megaphone-blast delivery to Terminator X’s teeming turntable scratches to the Bomb Squad horn, siren, snare-and kick-drum samples to Flavor Flav’s cartoonish absurdism (“We can do this, like Brutus”). Chuck D noted the urgency of the song’s 1987 recording: “Eric B. and Rakim and Boogie Down Productions … fucking changed the world, man,” he said. That meant “Bring the Noise” had to be “faster, funkier and also saying something serious that the people could feel.”

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