Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Audio Two

Audio Two's “Top Billin'” exemplifies much of what makes hip-hop great. It has that great minimalist production with a danceable beat 80's hip-hop was so good at, with simple lyrics but clever wordplay (“I stole your girl while you was in prison” is one of my favorite lines in all of rap). It has all of the ambitious braggadocio, but it's relatively modest; the most impressive thing they have is a great big bodyguard.

Though it's actually the b-side to “Make it Funky,” this is possibly the most influential song in the history of hip-hop. I count more than 50 instances on wikipedia where “Top Billin'” has been referenced or sampled; this song is so popular, so classic, so ubiquitous in hip-hop culture, you've heard this song a million times even if you think you haven't.

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