Monday, September 29, 2008

if ya don't know, now ya know

Hey guys, Anna here. I saw from my main source of news (ohnotheydidnt, obviously) that VH1 had done another of their countdown lists that I'm powerless to resist ― this time ranking the 100 Best Hip-Hop Songs Of All Time. The top 20:

 1. Public Enemy ― "Fight The Power"

2. Sugarhill Gang ― "Rapper's Delight"

3. Dr. Dre ― "Nuthin But A 'G' Thang"

4. Run-DMC ft. Aerosmith― "Walk This Way"

5. Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five ― "The Message"

6. N.W.A. ― "Straight Outta Compton"

7. Notorious B.I.G. ― "Juicy"

8. Snoop Doggy Dogg ― "Gin and Juice"

9. Salt-N-Pepa ― "Push It  "

10. Kurtis Blow ― "The Breaks"

11. Jay-Z ― "Hard Knock Life"

12. L.L. Cool J ― "I Can't Live Without My Radio"

13. Wu-Tang Clan ―   "C.R.E.A.M."

14. Tupac ― "I Get Around "

15. Eminem ― "Stan "

16. Missy Elliott ― "Get Ur Freak On"

17. Sir Mix-A-Lot ― "Baby Got Back"

18. 50 Cent ― "In Da Club"

19. Ice T ― "Colors"

20. Kanye West ft. Jamie Foxx "Gold Digger"

 Obviously, as with any VH1 list, I have some issues. The full 100 can be found here (, as I'll be referring to it throughout this post as well. Basically, one of the commenters summed up my general reaction with the remark "most popular ≠ best."

But for better or worse, I can't help but throw in my $.02. No fucking way do 50 Cent or Sir Mix-A-Lot belong in that Top 20. I get the general idea of limiting each artist to one song, but those spots could have easily been taken by another B.I.G. or Jay-Z track (no "99 Problems" anywhere on the list? Shameful.).

 Not to mention, you know, a lot of the best artists (and this is a gripe I have with numerous lists, not just this one) put out actually more than one great song. Imagine. So. We could have actually made room for, say, "California Love," and the other Tupac track and gotten rid of motherfucking "Make 'Em Say Ugh."

(Edit: I actually see that Run-DMC and L.L. Cool J managed to get two tracks each, by some miracle. As it should be. But how, then, is there still room for so much awfulness?!)

Or how about some LAURYN HILL?! Good God. She only has, according to Entertainment Weekly's issue that came out earlier this summer, the second most important record of the last 25 years. (Oh yeah, and didn't she win some Grammys? And isn't "Doo Wop (That Thing)" an incredible song? Huh.) I literally have looked for her name everytime I have scrolled down the list, because my brain cannot process her music not being on it.

The other thing: attempting to force contemporary music on here ― yeah, only do that if it's good. That means no "Hate It Or Love It," no "Oh Boy," and mother of God, no "Get Low." How about some more Outkast? Or, to stop harping on my "put more than one song" thing, how about some Lupe Fiasco?!

All right, I might have harped enough. I want to hear from you guys now. What do you think—about this list, or about lists in general? I love them, I hate them, I love/hate them, love to hate them, etc. etc. And yet, let me end with one:

 Tracks I’d Add (in no order):

1. “99 Problems” — Jay-Z

2. “One Mic” — Nas

3. “Intergalactic” — Beastie Boys

4. “My Name Is” —Eminem

5. “My Adidas” — Run-DMC

6. “Doo Wop (That Thing)” — Lauryn Hill

7. “All Falls Down” —Kanye West

8. “Lose Yourself”—Eminem

9. “White Lines”—Grandmaster Flash

10. “Summertime”—DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince (at the time)

11. “California Love”—Tupac

12. “Work It”— Missy Elliot

14. “Hypnotize”—Notorious B.I.G.

15. “Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)”—Jay-Z

Come discuss/argue with me in the comments!




The Daily Iowan Arts and Culture Blog said...

No way should "Get Your Freak On" be on there. I really like everything Missy Elliot does but still that song is hardly rapping, its just like exclamations and chanting. It's not like it's really a classic. You can tell VH1 is pulling out some classics for credibility, but they're obviously moronic if they exclude Eric B. & Rakim - "Paid in Full" "Eric President" ? They're stupid. Throw some tribe called quest on there too. "PUSH IT" ??? what the fuck thats not even a rap song its a dance song.

jarrett aka the renissance man aka masta programma

The Daily Iowan Arts and Culture Blog said...

Yeah, I wanted to have "Work It" as a possible substitution for "Get UR Freak On," because I've never been a fan, either. But I don't think either really crack the top 20.