10 Rap Songs That Would Be As Big (Or Bigger) Today As When They Came Out » VSB

Featured, Music, Pop Culture

10 Rap Songs That Would Be As Big (Or Bigger) Today As When They Came Out

Master P (Tim Boyle/Getty Images)


Last weekend, I found myself in an actual (and serious) conversation about the merits of No Limit Records. I’m a southerner so I have a vast appreciation for the house that Master P built in terms of what it did for budding entreprenuers on a national scale (and by national I mean east coasters, southern and west coasters have been on that independent hustle game for years) and what it did for shining a very bright spotlight on the South.

We can all disagree on what No Limit-era forward hip-hop has done to the rap game, but it doesn’t matter. The game is where it is. IT’S MARRIED NAHW! In terms of this discussion about No Limit Records, I found myself in a discussion about the good, the bad, and the ugly of most of the catalog of the label. I’ll also spare you that conversation. But what did come out of it was a comment about how great “Make “Em Say Uhh!” was as a song. Love or hate No Limit, that song is hype as hell and when Mystikal comes at the end if you don’t want to start running into things and yelling at them loudly and inarticulately, you’re not doing this life thing right. My boy said, “look, if that song comes out today…it’s still as big as it was in 1998(!!!!)!”

I couldn’t disagree.

So it’s leading the charge of 10 songs that would be as big (or bigger) today as whan they were released.

1. Master P featuring Silkk The Shocker, Fiend, Mia X, Mystikal – “Make ‘Em Say Uhh!” (from Ghetto D released in 1997)

Fight me. Hype beat. Dope verses (except for Silkk The Shocker, but he sucked on literally everything he’s ever rapped on, ever). And you can’t deny the horns.

2. Juvenile – “Back Dat Azz Up” (from 400 Degreez released in 1998)

Easy pick here because of how it gets the people going with its provocation no matter where you are, but this song is 16 years old. That’s amazing. The reason Lil Wayne is around right now is because this song exists. I truly believe that. We just don’t get family-fun ass anthems like this anymore. And remember, back in the day, they actually made entirely different clean versions. Today? Not so much.

3. C-Murder featuring Snoop Dogg and Magic – “Down 4 My Niggaz” (from Trapped In Crime, released in 2000)

Do you know I used to think this was Fiend’s song? I have no clue why. Either way. SNOOP DOGG AND BOSSALINE. It’s got a hook that nwords today would love to yell out in this time where songs like “We Dem Boyz” – a very…never mind – are popular. Wiz Khalifa is starting to look like a girl, by the way. If he and Young Thug make music together, I’m gonna start asking questions. Purple hair? No.

4. T.I. “What You Know” (from King, released in 2006)

Maybe a little cheating here becauset his song isn’t even 10 years old, but it is almost 10 years old and it was such a force to be reckoned with in 2006, I feel like it would kill the game today.

5. Jay-Z “U Don’t Know” (from The Blueprint, released in 2001)

Very few songs where Jay is just spittin’ make it into the clubs. That’s usually reserved for the Neptunes and Timbaland produced songs and latter “Niggas In Paris” style songs. But this song always manages to make it into club mixes and despite the inability to really dance to it, niggas ALWAYS go NY in December hardbody when its playing. I’m calling it. If released today, it would still knock.

6. Cam’ron “Oh Boy” (from Come Home With Me, released in 2001)

I still remember the first time I heard this song. It was so brash. So ignorant, so Harlem. It was Cam’ron. I was a Cam’ron fan, but this song took me over the top into Dipset standom. I feel like if it were released today it would still kill because it feels like something that the ASAP folks would drop if they had better beat selection.

7. Outkast “Elevators (Me & U)” (from ATLiens, released in 1996)

Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe a stretch? Yo no se. All I know is that the way this song impacted in 1996, it changed the trajectory of Outkast’s career. It was so dope and so different that I also remember exactly where I was (down to the parking space) when I first heard this on the radio in 1996.

8. Puff Daddy featuring Jadakiss, Sheek Louch, Lil Kim, and Biggie – “It’s All About The Benjamins (Remix)” (from No Way Out, 1997)

Some shit is just undeniable. This record? Undeniable. Dope beats, dope rhymes, what more do y’all want?

9. DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince – “Summertime” (from Homebase, released in 1991)

Perfect feel good song. No urban summer is truly official until the first time you hear this song. The thing is, and why I think it would be as big today, is that this song is perfect because it sounds like summer through and through. Will Smith ain’t exactly the best rapper ever, and “Brand New Funk” this ain’t, but it catches the mood perfectly. I think it would still work today. I could be wrong. Alas.

10. 2Pac – “Dear Mama” (from Me Against The World, released in 1995)

Greatest mama song in hip-hop history, bar none. The song against which all mama songs are measured and ultimately fail against. 2Pac had better songs, but none that mattered as much for the sake of history. And it was so heartfelt I feel like it would sound as good today as it did back then. How do I know this? Because I hear it every year and it still sounds as good. Also, 90 percent of Black males relate to this song. That’s the win. And thugs need a way to tell their mama that they love her. Perfecto.

Agree? Disagree? What would you have on the list?

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • CrayolaGirl

    I’ve always held the wall up when “Back That Azz Up” was played at a party. All you would see was women squatting hand to knees and dudes standing behind them. Entertainment.


    • panamajackson

      Summertime is one of the great hiphop records of all time.

      • CrayolaGirl

        Down vote!

    • WHAT?? There’s two things i require at a summer cookout. Bomb potato salad and someone playing “Summertime”. PERIOD.

      • CrayolaGirl

        When I hear “Drums, please.” and record scratches, I’m out. I can’t.

  • Freebird

    Benjamins might be the best hip hop beat ever. and the best posse cut ever. and the best/hardest verse by a female mc ever. But im more than biased.


    • panamajackson

      Big was a better rapper than Pac. But Pac the person was far more interesting than Big the person.

      And best hiphop beat ever? I don’t know about that. “T.R.O.Y.” might like to have a word with you.

      • Paradigm

        Personality wise yeah Pac was more of a livewire while Big was chill.. Pac was young tho so I get it but damn he was OD’n w/ that thug life “persona” … He wasn’t about that life.. Great artist but he just wasn’t about that life

      • Big was a better rapper than Pac. But Pac the person was far more interesting than Big the person.

        If only the Cult of 2Pac understood that, we wouldn’t have to hear all of these “Pac is the greatest rapper of ALLL TIME!!!!!11111” declarations.

        • IcePrincess

          Pac is the GREATEST RAPPER OF ALL TIME!!!! ????

      • Dilon Wilson

        Big was a good rapper but he had the problem of not being able to write radio songs. Today this wouldn’t matter but back then it could’ve destroyed him if it wasn’t for certain Bad boy artist just my opinion

      • Neptunes presents The Clones

        Dude,do not start a war here. Tupac and biggie is a never ending battle. It would be easier to discuss if Nas beat Jay after Ether came out

      • Freebird

        And see, TROY for me is the greatest rap song ever. But that Benny’s beat would make folks wonder what is going if it was dropped today. In fact I think Young Money or someone should re do it.

        TROY sounds like a great rap song from that time. And no one should ever rap over it agin unless their name is C.L.

    • DB

      Benjamins might be the best hip hop beat ever. and the best posse cut ever. and the best/hardest verse by a female mc ever.

      Um, no. Not just no, but hell naw.
      The bias is strong in this one.

  • Shy Fran

    Ehhh…You could tell Lil Wayne was gonna be a star from the “Project Chick” verse. Cleanest verse, yet raunchiest and best verse at the same damn time. He had only been rapping for like 5 years but holding his own way back then.

    • panamajackson

      What I meant by that comment on “Back That Thang Up” was that, the popularity of this song (and subsequent selling of 4 million copies of 400 Degreez) made Cash Money a force to be reckoned with so much so that their national presence couldn’t be denied. Without this song, I’m not sure they get there. “Ha” put them on the map. “Back That Thang Up” made the map theirs.

    • If anything, I think Project Chik would do better now than it did then. It fits what’s hot now compared to whatever else they put out.

  • Jacqueline Brougher

    I like the way you think, except I gotta put “Back That Ass Up” at the #1 spot.

    • panamajackson

      This wasn’t a ranking per se. But you’re right, it might belong in the number 1 slot if it was a ranking.

  • Sigma_Since 93

    I would replace Jay’s U Don’t Know with the MOP remix version. I keep it in my workout rotation; it makes be believe I can leap tall buildings, beat Tyson (in his prime) Sho Nuff, Bruce Lee and Bruce Leroy all at the same dang time.

  • Perihelion

    Lil Kim’s verse on Benjamins easily top 3 Bad Boy verses not spit by BIG.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      The guitar lick on that song was sooo hot. It ranks second to the the beat dropping on Gin and Juice.

    • Am I the only person that also rocked with that rock remix? I still have that song on my workout playlist….*bows head in shame*

      • miss t-lee

        It was hot!

  • Asiyah

    “I still remember the first time I heard this song. It was so brash. So ignorant, so Harlem.”

    um EXCUSE YOU! #HarlemWorld

    • panamajackson

      I’m trying to figure out what was wrong. lol

      • Asiyah

        don’t be calling me ignant!

  • BreezyX2

    1. “Make’em Say Ugh” – I can see Pepto-bismol using this in commercial tuh day fo sho.

    2. “Oh Boy” – Dame Dash would still annoy my soul tuh day too. He is so ugghhhh.

    3. “It’s All About the Benjamins” – “Wanna rumble with the Bee huh?” Ain’t this the
    Beehive’s tag line tuh day?

    4. “Summertime” – *blank stare* Nope, nawl. PeeJ…NO!

    Personally, I always liked Lil Kim on Mobb Deep’s Quiet Storm but that’s just me…”coming in this game on some modeling shid…

    • panamajackson

      I see y’all aint feeling Summertime the way that I am. Y’all hate love.

      • AlwaysCC

        i looove summertime. i just heard it on the radio the other day and thought “this is a cool song. it’ll never go out of style” lol

      • Jetty

        Summertime is everything forever… I support you Panama!

    • God Shammgod

      I am with on that. I always preferred the Quiet Storm verse over the Benjamins verse.

      “Hot dayum heaux here we go again..” (shout out to MC Lyte)

      • BreezyX2

        *does a shimmey*

  • Guest

    Actually, Down for my Niggaz was on Snoop’s No LImit Topp Dogg released in 1999.


    MANY people do not know this so don’t feel bad.

  • Wanna bumble with the bee, huh?
    Throw a hex on your whole family
    Dressed in all black like the omen

    Also, I feel similarly about “Summertime.” The season isn’t official until 93.9 or 95.5 plays it.

More Like This