Anytime you think about making a top list of Hip Hop songs you’re putting yourself in the cross hairs of some of the most argumentative fans in the world. Sports are seasonal, as well as TV shows but Hip Hop is life. This is the air we inhaled ever since we could remember, for some of us it helped saved our lives on different occasions.
There have been many lists of Hip Hop subjects, the top MCs, producers, songs and so on, I wanted to stretch my mind some and think of the best Hip-Hop posse cuts in history. Keep in mind this is not a collab list, it’s a posse cut. A collab is like NAS and AZ on “Life’s A Bitch”, a posse cut is The Sympathy, where you have 4 or more MCs from either a solo or group on one track. Hip Hop has had many posse tracks and while we can sit here and run down 50 songs I will attempt to make it harder on myself and narrow the list down to 5.
This was no small task as I had to comb through hours of music and pick what I considered the best. But here’s the catch. There has been some great ones but what I wanted to do was give you a list of songs that stood out in a specific moment in history that changed the game. In your mind they may not equal out to one of the best tracks but for me they each added something different to Hip Hop.
Just to let you know, there will be no Wu-Tang or NWA on this list as there both were groups. But I can guarantee you, there will be at least one surprise you never saw coming.
Got My Mind Made Up (2Pac, Method Man, Daz, Redman, Kurupt)
When mentioning the best, this will never make the normal list, but this is not a normal list. I chose this song due to its relevance at the moment it came out. Pac was fresh out of prison, and in the middle of the biggest Hip Hop beef in history. It was bigger than Pac vs Biggie, this was a coastal war. What made this track so significant was that Method and Red were featured dead in the middle of this coastal war. It didn’t bridge the gap between the 2 coast but it did provide one hell of a lyrical recess. How can you disrespect a song that features the Dogg Pound, a member of the Wu, Def Squad and the great Pac?
Bling Bling (B.G., Lil Wayne, Turk, Juvenile, Mannie Fresh and Birdman)
Yes, this is a wild card here but it’s not here for the lyrics. Bling Bling set off a phase in Hip Hop that hasn’t quieted down yet. When the song dropped, everything was bling bling, Robin Leach even got into the act, they had TV specials using the phrase, it was everywhere. Jewelry to this day is no longer called a ring or chain, it’s titled Bling, that’s what this posse track did, it literally changed our culture. But to take it a little further, there may be Drake or Nicki Minaj without this song as it put Cash Money on the beginning of their historic run.
The Scenario (A Tribe Called Quest and Leaders of The New School)
One of the best, so many classic lines came from this that they had to do a part 2, to which I’m still debating which one was the best, But the original set the stage as far as group cuts go. LOTNS were just getting their foot in the door while Tribe already had their feet planted in the ground. 5 MCs giving you a lyrical a** whipping with punchlines galore and more charisma than any track in Hip Hop history. The Scenario was a masterpiece and showed what could happen if two sets of groups came together for one goal.
Self Destruction (MC Lyte, Krs One, Kool Moe Dee, D-Nice, Ms Melodie, Just-Ice and more)
Labeled as the best posse cut for its many features, it was a collab of East Coast rappers coming together to help stop the violence in the streets. While each artist couldn’t spit their usual 16 bars they each more than held their own as they came together for a greater good. KRS set the tone with his opening verse, Kool Moe Dee, never the one to smile, looked pissed the entire time but the only letdown I have with this song is the Kane cameo but no verse.
The Symphony (Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Mast Ace and Craig G)
While Self Destruction is known as the first real posse cut The Symphony is known as the leader. Decades later there are still debates in regards to who had the best verse, no disrespect to anyone else but Kane came the hardest. The Juice crew was a collection of New York MCs put together by the legend Marley Marl that no one wanted to touch. Many say that Kane and G Rap was battling each other in the song and while that may prove to be true all it did was enhance what was one of the greatest lyrical displays in Hip Hop history. It’s safe to say that The Symphony was WAY ahead of its time.
That’s my list ladies and gentleman and while many of you may be shaking your head please remember what I told you in the beginning. This was not a best of but more of what each song meant in Hip Hop history. I could have gone with many other tracks but these 5 had a different standing in history.