Wednesday, 05 February 2014 03:51

15 Greatest Hooks of Hip Hop

Written by 

Marty A. Johnson – talk show host – and I have known each other for a long time, and music is a shared passion. While we agree on most things musically, we don't agree on everything. So when we decided to compile a list of the greatest hip hop hooks, it only took a matter of minutes to realize that we were going to have to complete two list – if our friendship was to remain intact!

Check out the lists below. Let us know what you think. Who did we miss? Who would you add? What are your thoughts? Have we selected the GREATEST HOOKS of HIP HOP?

What Marty said:

1. Biggie and Faith, "One More Chance." Biggie Smalls was and still is one of the greatest rappers of our time. His music speaks for itself.

2. Method Man f/ Mary J, "All I Need." Mary J and Method Man won a Grammy for this one.

3. 2 Pac f/ KC and Jo Jo, "How You Want it." This joint is timeless and always get the club jumping.

4. Snoop and Dre, "Aint Nothing But a G Thing." It doesn't matter where you are, as soon as you hear Snoop, you are going to throw your hands up.

5. Jay Z and Mary, "Can't Knock The Hustle." This is one of my personal favorites joints of ALL TIMES. It's Mary and Jay – Z enough said.

6. LL and Boyz II Men, "Hey Love." LL COOL J is the self-proclaimed G.O.A.T and Boy II Men is the biggest selling male R&B group of all time. Both had HUGE crossover appeal. They were an unlikely pair to collab. But "Hey Love" reached all audiences.

7. NAS and Lauryn Hill, "If I Rule The World." When Lauryn was at the top of her game she ruled the charts. Too bad she will NEVER reclaim her glory. At least she will go down in the history books as one of first female artists to win multiple Grammys in one night.

8. Ja Rule and Lil Mo, "Put it On Me." In the late 90's and early 2000's Lil Mo and Ja Rule were the go-to people if you needed a dope hook or a featured rapper on your record. Why not put the two together and create magic?

9. 50 and The Game, "Hate it or Love it." A perfect combination of East Coast meeting West Coast, these two proved unity does exists between both coasts

10. Fat Joe and Terror Squad, "Lean Back." At the time when people thought Fat Joe's career was done, he came back strong with "Lean Back" - a street anthem with a catchy hook that we all loved.

11. The Roots and Eryka, "You Got Me." The Roots are one of the most talented and unrated groups around. "You Got Me" earned them a Grammy and the recognition they deserve.

12. Biggie and R Kelly, "Fucking You Tonight." Though never released as an official signal, "Fucking You Tonight" always get the clubs jumping and the girls in bed! Lol. This is one of those records that is timeless!!!

13. Lil Kim and Puff, "No Time." From Lil Kim's debut album "Hard Core," she reigned high as the "Queen Bee." In the 90's Puffy and Kim were the Bonnie and Clyde of Hip Hop.

14. Kanye f/ Jamie Fox, "Gold Digger." This 2005 release from Kanye made a huge impact and proved Kanye has pure talent.

15. Big Pun f/ Joe, "Don't Want To Be A Player." Big Pun was the first Spanish artist to go platinum on the R&B charts, and he had a MAJOR cross over hit. The smooth R&B sound from Joe gave it that extra flavor.

I said:

1. Biggie and Faith, "One More Chance." Few would argue that Biggie is one of the greatest hip hop artists that we've seen. This song is one of his many classics. But as much as it's about Biggie and his ability to "mac," it's about Faith and her willingness to give him "one more chance."

2. Kurtis Blow and Alyson Williams, "Basketball." Many don't even know who sung the hook on this ol skool classic. But it was Alyson Williams – the first lady of Def Jam – who's sultry contralto makes playing basketball sound sexy.

3. Method Man and Mary J Blige, "All I Need." Mary won a Grammy for this performance; and she should have.

4. Ja Rule and Ashanti, "Always On Time." Love 'em or hate 'em, it's hard to ignore a hook that helped make Ashanti a force to be reckoned with on the R&B charts.

5. Lil Kim and Biggie Smalls, "Crush On You." Uncredited on the album cover but as clear as a bell was Biggie Smalls rapping, "I know you heard me on the radio ..."

6. Lauryn Hill, "Lost One." Before Lauryn Hill divorced music (and some might say her senses as well) she was a profound singer and lyricist. Here she proves both.

7. Kanye and Jamie Fox and Ray Charles, "Gold Digger." - Jamie proved his was worthy to sing AND play Ray Charles.

8. The Roots and Erykah Badu, "You Got Me." - Long distance love affairs are hard and Erykah emoted the difficulty, the pain, and the love every time she took the mic here.

9. Rick Ross and Chrisette Michelle, "Aston Martin Music." Chrisette is a delicious blend of R&B and neo-soul,her voice made you wanna rent your own two-seater and call ya girl ...

10. Busta Rhymes and Mariah Carey, "I Know What You Want." It was an understated performance in which Mariah didn't break glass until the song faded. Even Busta noticed, it was an amazing touch that heightened the song while never taking it away from Busta.

11. B.O.B and Bruno Mars,  "Nothin' On You." Too obvious? Perhaps. But the hook is so strong that you think this is a song featuring a rapper, not a rap featuring a singer. And that says a lot.

12. Ghostface Killah and Madame Majestic, "Cherchez La Ghostface." One word: Memorable.

13. Wale and Tiara Thomas, "Bad." There's a reason this song went platinum: Tiara Thomas. She's not bragging about being bad. She's pained by it. The vocals are raw and real.

14. Biggie Smalls and Kelly Price, "Mo Money Mo Problems." Kelly Price channeled Diana Ross and she was on point.

15. Talib Kwel, "I Try." I'm not sure if there's a more underplayed or more talented rapper than Talib Kweli. He blends socially conscious rhymes with beats designed to make you move. And in the middle of this is Mary J, she's trying. But it's effortless. 

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