This was a tough decision, but yet kind of easy, because of the state of hip hop right now. I give you my top five most important hip hop songs of all time.
1. Fight the Power – By Public Enemy. Reason why? This song was powerful in lyrics because of its content in dealing with fighting against the power, meaning the government. It was a rallying cry for hip hop at that time. The songs most powerful moment to me was when Chuck D dissed Elvis and John Wayne. This song also was on the 1989 soundtrack for Spike Lee’s film Do the Right Thing. This by far propelled Public Enemy to god status in hip hop.
2. The Message – Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five. Reason why? This song took rap in a new direction in its early stages of hip hop existence. The Message talked about poverty, drugs and all the things that plagued the Ghetto. Melly Mel painted a picture like Picasso and the nation got The Message
3. F**k The Police – NWA. Reason why? At first glance you may think that this song is being disrespectful to the authorities, but as fate would have it, this song exposed some of the dirty tactics of the LAPD; like illegal search and racial profiling. Later on we would see it take place with the Rodney King beating. NWA gave us a bird’s eye view of what its’ like to live in Compton and South Central, and it reflected the anger of young black males living in the hood.
4. Talking all that Jazz – Stetsasonic. Reason why? This song was a window into how the Government and some R&B artists viewed hip hop and its use of sampling. The group expressed their feelings on the lack of respect for hip hop music. As time passed by the sampling landscaped changed tremendously.
5. Banned In The U.S.A – 2 Live Crew. Reason why? As nasty as they want to be, and they were, I had the guilty pleasure of liking this album. Just like Stetsasonic forecast, 2 Live Crew fought the AFA, the Governor, and the County to keep their freedom of expression intact and they blew the hell up after that. So a lot of you young rappers who think you’re starting something innovative, know that Uncle Luke was here first and he had to fight so you could continue spittin your ignorance, so you need to thank him.