“CHECK YO SELF” ICE CUBE
One of my favorite lines of all-time, “You better check yo’ self, before you wreck yo’ self”…..O’Shea Jackson, aka, Ice Cube, has had one of the craziest careers in rap music history. You don’t get more hardcore street cred than fronting N.W.A. (we know what the letters stand for) and recording songs like “F$$K The Police” while living in Los Angeles during the L.A. riots. Nowadays, he’s the actor they go to when they want a Bill Cosby father-like figure in a Tyler Perry movie. But here’s a look back at one of those songs that reminds us why old-school gangsta rap was so much fun!
“PUT ON” YOUNG JEEZY with JAY – Z
One of the greatest raps of all-time is Jay Z’s verse at the 2:10 mark of Young Jeezy’s street anthem, “Put On”. Jay admonished the producer to throw on a little T-Pain Autotune then tells him, “I don’t need no T-Pain, I got this….” and proceeds to remind everyone why Jay is one of the greatest lyricists and MC’s of all-time. This is one of my most played songs on iTunes, my workout and motivation jam when I need a little extra push.
“STILL D.R.E.” DR DRE and SNOOP DOGG
Wasn’t sure if I should go with something from “The Chronic”, but this beat is SO HOT! Back in 2001, Snoop and Dre reunited for a follow-up to their 1994 rap masterpiece. After the long absence, Dre assures us that he’s been “Taking my time to perfect the beat and I’ve still got love for the street”. Add in Snoop’s attitude and you’re reminded of why West Coast rap brought the fun back to gangsta rap. Dre’s been promising the 3rd CD in the trilogy for over a decade. It’s long overdue but hope is still out for “Detox”, rumored to be the final CD for Dr Dre.
“WE RIGHT HERE” DMX
You can’t seriously still be sitting still after these three bangers, but here’s some hardcore DMX to push the party into overdrive. “Bring it! What? We right here We’re not goin anywhere We right here”. DMX’s biggest asset was his bravado and arrogance that he didn’t care what anyone thought. Those early Ruff Ryder and solo DMX songs bring so much attitude, that you have to feel like you can take on the world listening to these old school favorites.