Because if you don’t you suck and need to be slapped with a rusty barnacle and two midgets holding Red Hots.
(As you can see, The Champ and I are really about this enlightenment thing. And lists. We like lists.) Two Friday’s ago, I introduced you all to 10 songs that all Black people should know. Since so many of you kept trying to throw hip-hop songs into the list – completely erroneously, by the way – I figured that the LEAST I could do was tell you all 10 hip-hop songs that you should know. And if you don’t know them, basically, you suck. You won’t lost black points, but you will lose cool points, and your opinion on hip-hop is from here forward, null-and-void. Know that.
By the way, notice IT DOES NOT SAY BEST HIP-HOP SONGS EVER (though there is definitely overlap between best hip-hop songs and songs THAT YOU SHOULD JUST DAMN KNOW).
10. Eric B. & Rakim – Paid In Full (Remix)
Dope beat, dope rhymes. What more do y’all want? There’s a reason this song is as popular today (amongst hiphop heads) as it was in the 80s. It’s just that good. Storytelling raps were never the same after this joint. “Stop smiling, be still, don’t nothing move but the money”. Motherf*cking poetry in motion.
Speaking of storytelling…
9. Slick Rick – Children’s Story
For one, because EVERYBODY has to do the rap about Dave the Dopefiend shooting dope. If everybody does it and you don’t, you should feel inadequate. Word though, I hear he doesn’t know the meaning of water nor soap. When was the last time you heard a rapper use the word “nor”. No, seriously.
8. Black Sheep – The Choice Is Yours (Remix)
I mean just be-damn-cause it’s one of the most well known and best loved rap songs in the history. Guaranteed party starter and energy anthem. Yo…WHO’S A BLACK SHEEP? WHAT’S A BLACK SHEEP?! If you don’t know. Go cut yourself with a kiwi.
7. Public Enemy – Fight The Power
I’ve never thought of Chuck D as a great rapper. Hell, I’ve never been a HUGE fan of P.E. But this song right here? Is one of the most important songs in rap history. Everything was so right about this song its amazing. Plus, it made everybody want to be militant and do the right thing. There’s something to be said about a pre-crackhead Flavor Flav actually making an impact on anything.
6. Naughty By Nature – O.P.P.
Feel good. Great beat. And the introduction of Treach’s angry flow and Vinnie’s short arms. Plus, it just might have the BEST call and response chorus ever in hip-hop.
5. Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg – Nuthin’ But A G Thang
Even white people know this song…verbatim. If you’re over the age of 21 and don’t know it, your parents failed you in life.
4. Notorious B.I.G. – One More Chance (Remix)
I had an argument with one of my boys a few years ago about the definitive Bad Boy song. This song is it. Biggie doing what he did best, be fat, black, and ugly as ever, yet still bag the chicks. I remember hearing this for the first time one summer and playing it the.f*ck.out.
3. N.W.A. – Straight Outta Compton
This song is the reason Ice Cube is Ice Cube in my opinion. His verse was so scary and sincere that when you found out he had two parents, wasn’t in a gang, and went to college, you refused to believe he wouldn’t kill you. Ice Cube scared white AND Black people…in 1989-93. 2008? Not so much. You just want hug him now. But “Straight Outta Compton” put N.W.A. on the map, for better or worse and changed hip-hop forever. So know it.
2. Rob Base and DJ EZ-Rock – It Takes Two
If you don’t know this song, life has failed you and you sleep alone at night with a teddy bear, a glass of water, and a paperclip. In fact, if you DON’T know at least the first four bars of the first verse AND ARE OVER 25 I actually don’t know if ever want to meet or speak to you. Ever.
1. Pete Rock and CL Smooth – T.R.O.Y.
Because it’s the best.hip-hop.song.ever. As in of all time. PERIOD.
So, um…top that. And why?
-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka TANGLE JIG P