“You’ll see the drama unfold.” ~ Dick Stockton
For the first installment of Throwback Thursday, we thought talking Michael Jordan was the perfect send off. That fist pump, after he hung in the air for damn near a whole minute, has been forever etched into millions of minds around the world (he had 44, 9 and 6 on the road, and he had on the black and red 4′s. I’ve watched the last 19 seconds of that game as many times as Yao Ming and T-Mac have gotten injured and missed the playoffs: infinity.
Each week we’re going to unearth some shit for you; alotta shiny platinum and a little overlooked gold. This week’s first track was released in 1996 on the soundtrack of Space Jam and is full off last-second-buzzer-beating-basketball-related metaphors. Oh, and Monstars too.
Space Jam Soundtrack – November 12th, 1996
Busta Rhymes, Method Man, Coolio, LL Cool J, and B. Real (of Cypress Hill) – Hit ‘Em High
Also called the “Monstar’s Anthem,” this track boasts Busta when he was still on that next level shit, LL when he put his lyrical prowess on display, and B. Real as a de facto hype man to get shit poppin in the first verse.
Life After Death – March 25th, 1997
Notorious B.I.G. – I Got A Story To Tell
This is storytelling at its finest.
The Stretch and Bobbito Show on WKCR 89.9 – August 1998
Big L – ’98 Freestyle
Bobbito: “For somebody tired, that wasn’t, that wasn’t too bad!”
Creepin On Ah ComeUp – December 1998
Bone Thugs N Harmony – Foe Tha Love of $
Classic Thugs with the signature fast-paced yet relaxed flow of Layzie, Krayzie, Bizzy and Flesh-n-bone with a guest verse from Eazy-E and familiar harmonizing vocals.
Internal Affairs – October 19th, 1999
Pharoahe Monch – Simon Says
Easily the most well-known song off Internal Affairs, this song didn’t even crack the Billboard Top 40. What?
Still I Rise – December 14th, 1999
Tupac ft. Kadafi, Napoleon, and Young Noble – Still I Rise
An unreleased song put out post-mortem on an album with the Outlawz, Pac’s intimately personal verses always spill over with emotion.
Supreme Clientele – January 25th, 2000
Ghostface Killah ft. U-God – Cherchez LaGhost
Having just seen him live for the first time (right before Meth and Red tore the shit down), the only thing that can be said about Ghostdini is: ‘Tony’s his name/the undefeated champion.’
Yeeeah Baby – April 4th 2000
Big Pun – It’s So Hard
Unlike Cam’s Killa Cam, It’s So Hard has one of the illest intros AND it sustains itself throughout the entire song.
Back For The First Time – October 17th, 2000
Ludacris – U Got A Problem?
For an opening track to an album, it doesn’t get much better than this; the beat makes me cringe and rock at the same time, and it’s the perfect example of Luda’s superior delivery.
Welcome 2 Detroit – February 27th, 2001
Jay Dee (a.k.a J Dilla) – The Clapper
The production on this is more musical (and less mainstream) than most any other hip hop (then and now). His flow is unlike anyone else’s. Dilla flow + Dilla beat = Yuuup.
The full version:
The shortened version (with no sound):