As seen on RepPGHHipHop.com
After a week of nonstop hatred in hip hop, from everyone’s Thank Me Later reviews, most of which are from part of the machine selling the hype while the accurate ones called it the trash it is, to a Detox track that is most accurately described here, and then the great white hope completely trashing our entire culture, how about some love?
You know what I fucking LOVE about hip hop? The posse cut. You get 4, maybe 5 top notch MCs on a track, whether it be a crew or just a bunch of heavyweights, you add a dope ass beat, and let them all tear the fucking thing apart. Does it get any better than this?
The standard for this originated on “The Symphony” which still remains to this day the greatest posse cut of all time. From the simplicity of the Marley Marl beat (unless he jacked that one too) to the lyrical ferocity of the best MC ever and the Mafioso king, plus the underappreciated Masta Ace and milk carton status Craig G, this track laid the foundation that would spawn such classics as “Scenario”, “Head Banger”, “Reservoir Dogs”, and the remixes to “I Shot Ya”, “Flava In Ya Ear”, and “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem”. These songs are like time capsules in hip hop because part of what makes them so classic is the fact that every MC was not only big at the time, but because they were all so big, you can tell that they all brought their best material. I ain’t gonna act like Noreaga is a good rapper, but even he came with heat on “Fantastic Four”. You even got Joe Budden putting together an entire group off the strength of a posse cut and them all openly admitting that working together only increased their strive to write the best shit they could. And with the typical structure of these tracks being hookless and with unlimited bars per MC, it’s just 5-6 straight minutes of a non-stop lyrical exercise (breathe easy).
Posse cuts have sometimes showcased new talent which either stands out from the pack of beasts and can jumpstart a career, or are at least accepted as part of the greater good (what up Nino Bless). Nas debuted on the Main Source joint, “Head Banger” is arguably the true breakout track for Redman, and while we won’t discuss “4, 3, 2, 1” I will say that anyone who has heard “Beast From The East” can’t possibly deny that Canibus is one of the most brilliant lyricists in hip hop. Most recently we have Reflection Eternal’s “Just Begun”, which gives us both Jay Electronica and J. Cole on the same track, both highly anticipated rookies in this game who have the potential to make huge careers for themselves (except maybe the one who is basically more of an urban legend than potential for a studio album). We never have to wait long for a new posse cut as with the internet it’s even easier for MCs to combine to form an epic name-checking track (see Slaughterhouse), and that leads to healthy fun debates among us fans like “who had the best verse?”, because at the end of the day, they ALL have sick verses and the fact that we can even have that debate, shows how dope it is. The only mistake that ever seems to be made with posse cuts is the transition to album as both “The Firm” and “Slaughterhouse” haven’t aged well and we never even really got a “Four Horsemen” project but presumably with Ras Kass’s pay-me-to-make-an-album ass it would have sucked anyway.
So whether it’s like the last good N.W.A. track “Grand Finale” (fitting huh?) or the Native Tongues gem “Buddy”, posse cuts have given us great moments throughout hip hop’s history, something I don’t think any other genre of music can boast. So go dig through your CDs (external drive) and find your favorite posse cut and bump that shit, there are some classics out there and you all got your favorite, so roll up and let that shit ride out.