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Posts Tagged ‘best beats


Gooch over at Scratch/XXLmag.com recently posted the top ten best beats of all time, and like pretty much everyone in the comments section, I had to disagree. Don’t get me wrong – Gooch’s list is on point, but the beauty of hip-hop is that you can always build upon what’s been laid down.

But that’s a whole other post…

So here are my picks for the top 10 best beats in hip-hop.

10. “A Milli” by Lil Wayne, produced by Bangladesh. I know what you’re thinking. There’s no way that this beat is even top 100, but think about it like this; what beat in the last 10 years has had rappers AND R&B singers dropping freestyles like they did with “A Milli”?

9. “The P Is Free” by Boogie Down Productions, produced by Scott La Rock. “The P Is Free” remains one of the most organic crossovers in the history of hip-hop/reggae. The booming drums and bass knock even until this day.

8. “New York State of Mind” by Nas, produced by DJ Premier. This is, hands down, one of the grittiest, hardest beats ever to be rhymed upon. The baseline is infectious and Primo’s signature drop in drum patterns and scratches make this a must rhyme for any emcee coming out of NY.

7. “Eight Steps to Perfection” by Company Flow, produced by El-P. This is the cipher track. Thugs and backpackers can agree that no college hip-hop showcase is complete without a session over this stripped-down beat.

6. “Eye for an Eye” by Mobb Deep, produced by Havoc. Probably because this came out of Queens like “New York State of Mind,” M-O-B-B’s rough and rugged track is one of the best rap records to trade rhymes to.

5. “The Symphony” by Juice Crew, produced by Marley Marl. If the piano riff doesn’t get you, then the booming drums definitely will. Someone needs to do a Symphony 2008 with rappers who just want to flex their lyrical skills.

4. “Microphone Fiend” by Rakim, produced by Eric B. It’s one half funky, the other half hard hitting. Ra’s definitely one of the greatest to ever grab a mic and this beat brought out the beast in him. M.O.P. catches extra points for flipping the end drums for the mixtape cut, “Put it in the Air.”

3. Straight Outta Compton by N.W.A., produced by Dr. Dre & DJ Yella. The first time I heard this track I thought the walls wear coming down. I played the tape so many times that it snapped.

2. “I Gotcha Opin” by Black Moon, produced by Da Beatminerz. A lot of producers talk about neck snapping beats. This one doesn’t even need to do the talking-it gets the job done.

1. “Triumph” by Wu-Tang Clan, produced by The RZA. Any beat that nine of the best emcees (of their time) can rock over has to claim the number one spot. If you listen closely, you can hear the subtle echoes, off kilter drum patterns, and insane amount of layers that RZA created.

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