The eternal question rages on…
about the best hip hop beats of all time. I’m trying to figure it out here so read along and see if you agree. This is part 3 of the best rap beats: all time.
Scope part 1 here.
Scope part 2 here.
Outkast – GhettoMusick
Outkast probably deserves a lot of spots on here, particularly some older ones, but I’m only giving them one spot. Ghettomusick gets it cause it’s fucking nuts. The electro gets you at first, then the soul slowdown pulls you in. Big Boi is the king for these kinds of quick beats, cause he’s agile enough to just kill it like no one else can. This beat is one that only Outkast would dare fuck with, but they pull it off by never letting the quick shit or the slow shit go on too long. Bonus: the video’s mad dope.
MF Doom – Rap Snitch Knishes
MF Doom is another dude who could have a lot of spots on this list, but I’m only giving him one, and it’s a tough decision. I’m giving it to Rap Snitch Knishes for the fast-paced beat which somehow doesn’t require a fast flow over it. The track is just a classic too, making fun of rappers that constantly incriminate themselves just to try to prove their street cred. The beat sets this up too, sounding at once playful and monumental in a balance only MF Doom can pull off.
Public Enemy – Fight the Power
This track is so damn good that it was an important part of one of the most important (and best) movies of all time, Do the Right Thing (shouts to Spike Lee, who asked Public Enemy to make a theme for the film.) Anyone who’s ever heard it would recognize the intro instantly, and then it just drops into a great beat with just a little funk, when Public Enemy starts spitting some of the most political rap out there. If I had to pick out a beat that exemplified late ’80s rap, I’d for sure go with Fight the Power. I’ll never get tired of bumping this track, and the beat’s a big part of that.
The Roots – The OtherSide
Coming off a newer Roots album, The OtherSide still shows they’re the best rap band out there and that they can still bring it like no one else can. Again, the intro sets it up so well (sound familiar?) that whether or not you’ve heard it before you just gotta anticipate that beat to come in. The drums hit so damn hard in a way that only live drums can (shouts to Questlove, the best drummer alive, hip hop or not. Speaking of anticipation, I like this track so damn much that sometimes I put the track before it (Kool On) on just to build that anticipation even more. Scope this shit.
Nas – The World is Yours
Any track on Illmatic could go on this list. Any track. I don’t want the list to only be Illmatic tracks though, so I’m picking this one. Pete Rock produced this one, and he expertly works the hook into the beat, making this track stick in your head in a way that most can’t. Like that good early ’90s shit, it’s a real simple beat that just loops, cause there’s no reason to fuck with perfection. Pete Rock, DJ Premier and a few others are as big a reason as Nas is for Illmatic’s incredible success, and I think a lot of it starts with this track. Listen to it and just try not to get it stuck in your head.
This concludes the best rap beats of all time, or at least part 3.
As usual, let me know if I’m completely wrong or just partially wrong in the comments.
But first, scope part 1 here.
Scope part 2 here.