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’
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’
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’
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.)’
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’
“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?