30 | Mos Def - "Mathematics" | Download |
Expectations for Mos Def's solo debut, Black on Both Sides, were sky high, following his success with Black Star. Potent tracks like "Umi Says" and the brain-melting "Mathematics" helped Mos smash those expectations.
29 | Brand Nubian - "Slow Down" | Download |
"Slow Down" is rife with wisecracks I'd love to put on a T-shirt someday. Sadat X spends his entire verse ridiculing crackheads: "On your crack card you're getting only As and Cs for come back."
28 | Big Daddy Kane - "Ain't No Half Steppin'" | Download |
Mr. Asiatic shows us the definition of microphone presence on arguably his biggest smash yet.
27 | Mobb Deep - "Shook Ones II" | Download |
Havoc's steely production drives Prodigy's salvo of verbal threats on "Shook Ones II."
26 | Kurtis Blow - "The Breaks" | Download |
Kurtis Blow's breakfest still rocks parties all across America. Suddenly, you find yourself bobbing and snapping your whole being to this.
25 | Talib Kweli - "Get By" | Buy |
Kweli's song about survival helped him make that important transition from "one half of a dynamic duo" to "strong solo artist."
24 | Beastie Boys - "Paul Revere" | Download |
Bad boys of rap tell a fictional story of the group's formation, while Rick Rubin works up a snake charmer.
23 | MC Lyte - "Paper Thin" | Download |
Lyte's tough talk on this song solidified her status as the new queen in town.
22 | The Pharcyde - "Passin' Me By" | Download |
A lazy summer song perfect for lounging on the loveseat while enjoying a cold beverage.
21 | dead prez - "Hip-Hop" | Download |
A bouncy anthem that showcased DP's versatility while underlining their commitment to activism.