Rap’s Greatest Intro’s

It is what it says on the tin but you know those records that are just as famous for their intro as the song itself? It could be a couple of words, a break, whatever but we asked the Fat Lace team for their top intro’s. We’re sure you’ll trump us in the comments section but we picked these not only for the intro but because they’re preludes to all time classics.

#1: LL Cool J ‘I’m Bad’

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The first time you heard “Calling all cars, calling all cars” coming in over ‘The Theme From S.W.A.T.’ you have to admit it gave you goosebumps. If it didn’t you’re either not in your late 30′s or flatlining right now. That intro to ‘I’m Bad’ enabled LL to bypass the notion of the sophomore jinx and on his merry way to rap superstardom.

#2: N.W.A. ‘Straight Outta Compton’

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In just 11 words Dr Dre changed the direction of hip-hop forever. “You are now about to witness the strength of street knowldege” was a defining moment in rap music, the first track off another sophomore album in a year when the streets reclaimed rap. Originally the B side to a more paliative ‘Express Yourself’ (just in case the group alientated pretty much every radio network), ‘Straight Outta…’ set the scene for not only a phenomenal career in entertainment for all concerned but for an anger and rebellion in rap which had waited almost a decade to boil over.

#3 Gangstarr ‘Full Clip’

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In less than 5 words DJ Premier used the hugely powerful platform that was the intro to Gangstarr’s biggest comeback record to make an indelible dedication to one of hip-hop’s greatest rappers. As soon as you hear those words in a club, on radio, on a mixtape or whatever, people unite. It was a statement against violence as much as it was the biggest accolade a rapper could get at the time, a few spoken words from DJ Premier. We also had to post the flyer that Premier uses in the video as the Fat Lace crew attended that party after Big Lamont’s passing.

#4: Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth ‘They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)’

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Another R.I.P. record dedicated to dancer Trouble T Roy (Troy Dixon)  but this time it was the sample used on the intro, namely ‘When She Made Me Promise’ by The Beginning Of The End, also famous for their record ‘Funky Nassau’. This was one of the first records in rap to let an unlooped, unsampled break play as the intro to a track. They were maybe only pipped at the post by Large Professor who used that technique a couple of times on the classic ‘Breaking Atoms’ album released earlier the same year. Rarely do you hear ‘T.R.O.Y.’ mixed in a club, it’s a record that needs to be heard in it’s entirety.

Btw, does anyone know if Troy Dixon and fellow Mt. Vernon artist Maxwell Dixon were related?

#5: Public Enemy ‘Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos’

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“Get in that cell n**a”. Not a sample you’d expect to be taken from a Stevie Wonder record (‘Living For The City’) but the context in which it was used was massively controversial at the time, as were the rest of the song’s lyrics. Where N.W.A. set out to reclaim the streets, Public Enemy sought to expose the deeper injustices of the system through politicised raps, imagery and the media. An uncoventional choice for the greatest rap intro’s of all time but if you copped this back in ’88 you realised this track and in fact the whole album was light years ahead of the pack in terms of subject matter and the direction they were dragging rap music, albeit kicking and screaming.

Get those comments popping off, what did we miss?

24 Responses to "Rap’s Greatest Intro’s"
  1. Reply Jack July 19, 2010 20:20 pm

    I just love Regulate.

  2. Reply andré July 20, 2010 00:43 am

    rappers delight

  3. Reply billy brown July 20, 2010 04:38 am

    Now I Gotta Wet ‘Cha by Ice Cube and Super Hoe by B.D.P are my 2 G.O.A.T’s in this category.

    Worst intro ever is pretty much any Pain In Da Ass intro on a Jay-Z record.

    A personal favourite is the intro to Ain’t No Thang by OutKast with the guitar fuzz and cuttin’ up before the sound of someone loading a gun comes in over a synth and Andre says “N*ggas in the point ain’t changed…N*ggas in the point ain’t changed” and I was almost as pissed off about it not being on the 12″ as I was at there being no dirty version of the song on the 12″.

    Best intro of 2010 so far is definately Lil B’s ad libbing at the start of Look Like Jesus.

  4. Reply vallejo July 20, 2010 04:48 am

    shook ones pt.II

  5. Reply billy brown July 20, 2010 04:59 am

    Another great one on that mid 90s NY tip, would be Puffy homaging The Warriors with the clinking champagne flutes and the “Bad Boy – come out and plaaaaaay” on the Flava In Ya Ear remix.

  6. Reply Johnny Depth July 20, 2010 06:30 am

    Terminator X To The Edge Of Panic
    Life Goes On by House Of Pain
    Supa Supreme by The Beatnuts
    Phantom Of The Opera by Hijack

  7. Reply Jack July 20, 2010 08:09 am

    Nas – New York State of Mind
    Capone & Noreaga – Stick you (two mins…….?)
    Devin – Go Fight Some Other Crime (the scene is set for some classic story-telling)

  8. Reply Ass Hat July 20, 2010 12:41 pm

    surprised there’s been no mention of ‘bring da ruckus’–also one of the greatest album intros. still does the business.
    also, not as big a tune but another premier classic: m.o.p. – ‘stick to ya gunz’

  9. Reply 107 names July 20, 2010 17:04 pm

    one of my faves was nice & smooth paranoia (LP version)

  10. Reply billy brown July 21, 2010 06:06 am

    Okay, party people in the house…
    You’re about to witness something you’ve never witnessed before
    Yes, it’s the incredible human beatbox – Doug E. Fresh
    and his partner, the grand wizard MC – Ricky D
    D-D, and that’s me in the place to be..


  11. Reply i the t July 21, 2010 08:43 am

    P.E – “freedom is a road, seldom travelled by the multitudes…” and the one that says summat like “they robbed us of our religion, lord knows they even robbed our minds…”

    intro to B.I.G album where it flips from 71 to 86 to 93

    intro to snoop 1st album when he’s in the bath

    “hey yo chuck, i was walking to the studio the other day etc – from “what goes on” i think it was called. bomb squad were the dons of intro’s.

    wrath of kane / set it off intros

    EGO TRIPPIN and FUNKY intros are my 2 personal favourites though. (I abso-loathe the tupac version)

    Sucker Mc’s – Run DMC

  12. Reply 107 names July 21, 2010 12:44 pm

    Planet Rock

    Time To Get Ill

    Live At The BBQ

    Run’s House

    defo phantom of the opera

    Rebel Without A Pause

    Peter Piper & Rock The Bells (obvious, but crazy classuic intros!!!)

    Protect Ya Neck & Shame On A Nuh

    Itchiban Scratch

    Shante ‘freestyle live’ and ‘def fresh crew’

    too many great intros that have to be played from the top in the set.

  13. Reply 107 names July 21, 2010 13:54 pm

    forgot ‘fastest man alive’

    just-ice ‘original gangster of hip hop’ (version off Kool & Deadly)

    2 live crew ‘what I like’.

    list is endless

  14. Reply moyinka July 21, 2010 14:01 pm

    freestyle professors – the hardcore villain
    boogie boys – breakdancer
    mantronix – harcore hip hop

  15. Reply Rich July 21, 2010 14:36 pm

    Ice Cube’s ‘No Vaseline’
    “Damn, forgot to do something…let me see…uh, oh yeah…It ain’t over motherfuckers.” Then, a slow-burning shitload of “Here’s what they about you”s before Cube announces, “Fuck all y’all” and lets rip.

    P.E.’s ‘Power To The People’
    Misleadlingly playful keys followed by Chuck’s familiar baritone declaring, “And you thought the beat slowed down. Come on!”

  16. Reply billy brown July 21, 2010 16:04 pm

    Some west coast favourites :

    The booming COMPTON! echo at the start of Real Muthaphukkin’ G’s by Eazy-E.

    The piano at the beginning of Feelin’ Myself by Mac Dre.

    The cuts at the start of Murder Rap by Above The Law.

    The conversation before the Deep Cover (187) beat drops.

    The Snoop phonecall at the beginning of Deeez Nuuuts.

    Snoop’s freestyle on the extended Afro Puffs remix.

    The “A message to the oreo cookie..” speech + the Do The Right Thing sample + the Straight R&B radio show on Turn Off The Radio

    The bird crowing + sound of the helicopter in Ghetto Bird

    The “WITH RICK ROCK BEATS YEAH, FELLA, I’LL ROCK YA” x 5 at the start of Hyphy by The Federation ft. E-40.

    The scratching at the beginning of Bring The Base Back by Turf Talk.

  17. Reply Rich July 21, 2010 17:37 pm

    Anything with a radio being fiddled about with, even if TalkSport never seems to be on the dial.

  18. Reply Rich July 21, 2010 17:52 pm

    Between the Scarface sample and the shout out to Julio Iglesias, I always liked the opening bars of ‘Criminology’.

    The school bell at the start of ‘Case of the PTA’ by LONS

    “The year is 1971…” -’Funky Child’ by LOTUG

    “O-Shea! O-SHEA!” -the intro to ‘Doing Dumb Shit’. Sod it, any intro by the top-of-his-game Cube.

    “Aah, yeah… Feel the funk, babyyyyyyy….” – Pete Rock on ‘The Basement’

  19. Reply mizurk July 23, 2010 07:49 am

    “Now clap your hands for what he’s doin’…” – Eric B is President

    Marley Marl’s loud-as-fuck dusty-assed drum intro for “The Bridge” MC Shan

    “What the f**k is this?” – E-Vette Money’s £$%&* intro to “Evetee’s Revenge”

    “Yo, change the Beat!” – Mantronix replaces one set of ill drumprogramming with another, even more crushing set in “Cold Gettin’ Dumb” Just Ice

  20. Reply vallejo July 23, 2010 10:44 am

    Wu-Tang Clan – Method Man

    Yeah, torture muthafucker, what?

  21. Reply filthy lopez July 23, 2010 14:32 pm

    killah hills 10304

    ‘(…the skill of Shaolin)
    RZA: Yes the good life, you know *clinks glass*
    GZA: What the fuck is that, hell’s angels?
    *Ol Dirty singing in the background*
    [Ahh Mr. Bobby Steels, Tony Starks on line one for Mr. Bobby Steels]
    RZA: Steels over here, Steels over here
    Peace, Starks what’s going on baby?
    Yeah everything is lovely over here….’

  22. Reply repo136 July 23, 2010 19:15 pm

    World Class by The World Class Wreckin Kru

    “We call him Yella, he is the best.
    He rocks the house on the DMX.
    When he’s on the beatbox he cannot miss.
    So listen to the beat as he rocks like this.”

  23. Reply vollsticks July 25, 2010 09:22 am

    Emcee’s Act Like They Don’t Know; “clap your hands everybody, if you got what it takes etc..”–KRS-ONE
    7th Chamber–”What the fuck you mean is he fuckin’ dead?!? Nuh got all types o’ fuckin’ blood comin’ out etc…”–Wu-Tang Clan

  24. Reply Downstroke July 27, 2010 12:31 pm

    No mention of the helicopter into on EPMD’s ‘It’s My Thing’?

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