Rolling Stone's Top 50 Rap Songs of All Time: Six Alternative Number One Picks

Categories: Rolling Stone

Audio Two
"Top Billin'"
Get your damn hands up -- it's the anthem. Over a drum loop that rap lore has it was flicked into life after a technical mistake, Milk Dee recites rap-a-long brags where every single line is a quotable. Also includes one of the most smart-ass dis lines when the lithe Milk Dee warns a foe, "Stop scheming and looking hard/ I got a great big bodyguard." (Also in the national rap anthem stakes: Gang Starr and Nice & Smooth's "DWYCK.")

The Notorious B.I.G.
Joyous and uplifting, Biggie's autobiographical tale of self-belief was cannily fused to a radio-friendly loop. Without "Juicy," Big's reign might have stalled at the streets, but courtesy of some gentle pushing from Puff Daddy he found himself beloved by the masses. It's a formula faithfully followed by swarms of rappers since, though no one's yet pulled it off quite like Big did. Thanks, Puff.

Eric B & Rakim,
"Eric B Is President"
In the far-off future, rap music will sound like this.

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