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Beats Per Millennium - VH1's 100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs: 100-81

VH1's 100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs: 100-81

Today BPM begins its coverage of VH1’s Hip Hop Honors week. Starting tomorrow we will be running features on each of this year’s five nominees: De La Soul, Cypress Hill, Slick Rick, Naughty by Nature, and Too $hort. It will all culminate on Tuesday morning with a full review of Monday night’s program.

Last night VH1 began counting down their top 100 hip hop songs of all time. Here are the first twenty:

“Just a Friend”
Biz Markie
I love this show already. Where else can you start but the Clown Prince of Hip Hop? A few years back I went on a road trip out west with a friend from college. We began every day of the trip by playing this song at ridiculous volumes and singing along like idiots. This assured that every day would be a wonderful day.

“Get Low”
Lil Jon (feat. Ying Yang Twins)
I suppose there is room in the world for club anthems. And this song is certainly memorable, thanks in no small part to Dave Chappelle. But I have a really hard time accepting that this is one of the top 100 songs ever.

Warren G (feat. Nate Dogg)
This is just such a groovy song. The West Coast certainly gets its props for the whole laid-back gangsta funk scene. I’m starting to think one of the pre-requisites to make this list is to have appeared on VH1’s Celebrity Fitness or some similar program.

“Who’s That Girl”
Eve, that’s who.

“Parents Just Don’t Understand
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
Will Smith makes me long for the days when there was NOTHING WRONG with being soft…Fresh Prince hung with all kinds of respectable rappers and they never dissed him for not being hardcore. At least not until Eminem came along. And Jazzy Jeff is a seriously underrated DJ.

“Cars With The Boom”
WTF? Well, I just learned that Lady Tigra does frozen yogurt commercials now.

“Make ‘Em Say Uhh!”
Master P (feat. Mystikal, Silkk the Shocker, Mia X and Fiend)
NAH NAH NAH NAH! When exactly was it that No Limit reached its limit? Apparently Master P wrote a self-help book and started a cussing-free record label since No Limit’s demise. This makes him infinitely more interesting.

N.E.R.D. (feat. Lee Harvey and Vita)
I’m not a huge fan of N.E.R.D. I sort of think they are hip hop for people who don’t like hip hop. Which is okay, it’s just that I like hip hop. Much respect for the Neptunes.

“You Can’t Play With My Yo-Yo”
Yo-Yo (feat. Ice Cube)
Some of the people who comment on these songs bring absolutely nothing to the conversation. Ice Cube brings something to EVERY conversation.

Chamillionaire (feat. Krayzie Bone)
Props to VH1 for mentioning the Weird Al parody, “White and Nerdy.”

“They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)”
Pete Rock & CL Smooth
It makes me sad that Pete Rock doesn’t even know what C.L. Smooth is doing today. That’s really sad. All the guy had to do was look him up on Wikipedia.

“Oh Boy”
Cam is so gangsta that he wouldn’t snitch on a serial killer, but not too gangsta to wear pink.

“What U Waitin’ 4?”
Jungle Brothers
Remember when stuff like this was popular? Well I don’t. But it must have been awesome.

“We Trying to Stay Alive”
Wyclef Jean (feat. John Forte and The Bee Gees)
Great tune but sort of a strange choice. ‘Clef says he made this song at the height of gangsta rap because he wanted people to “get on the floor and act goofy.” I love him for that. And for everything else he does. But come on Wyclef…where Fugees at?

“Now That We Found Love”
Heavy D and the Boyz
The fun continues. Party music just used to be so much more enjoyable than it is now. Did anyone catch Heavy D as the guidance counselor on Boston Public?

Black Star
YES! Mos and Kweli have had many highlights in their solo careers but neither have quite reached the heights of their collaboration album.

“Roxanne, Roxanne”
My favorite part of U.T.F.O. is that there is a dude named The Educated Rapper in the group. And on the “where-are-they-now” portion they just mentioned that he is back in school!

“Me So Horny”
2 Live Crew
Luke Campbell waxes poetic about what an honor it was to be a champion of the First Amendment. I think I might have gotten goose bumps…oh wait, no.

“Treat Em Right”
Chubb Rock
Man, this dude slimmed down too. Apparently weight loss is the new gang banging. I swear that at least half of the artists on this list lost significant amounts of weight.

“Set Adrift on Memory Bliss”
PM Dawn
Best part of this is Fat Joe saying that, “This is just a beautiful song that I listen to on my iPod when I want to relax.”

Posted by Mike Denslow at Sep 30, 2008 01:21 PM