Steve: Did you blog today?
Me: No. I don't have anything to blog about.
Steve: Sure you do! I can think of lots of things for you to blog about.
Me: Really? That's great, let's hear it!
Steve: Well, you could blog about how people in Dallas are douche bags, and you could make a list of your top ten hip hop songs.
Me: Wow. Well, I agree that a lot of douche bags live in Dallas, but I don't really have enough material to expand on that topic for an entire post. And my top ten hip hop songs?
Steve: Yeah, you could be like 'Steve and I were watching the 100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs on VH1, and this is my top ten list.'
Me: Why would anybody care what my ten favorite hip hop songs are? Plus, my list would shock people. I used to listen to stuff like Kilo's "Love in Ya Mouth" and Eazy-E's "Gimme That Nut".
Steve: [incredulously] Umm, you are the least promiscuous girl I know. You say those are your favorite hip hop songs, and it's just not gonna hold water with people who actually know you [popping a Pringle in his mouth].
Me: Also, I'm extremely white.
Steve: That too.
Confession time: As a teen, I was a complete goody-goody priss who happened to enjoy listening to explicit rap music in the privacy of my own car. I'm a paradox dipped in an enigma. And I know nothing about old school hip hop. Steve is seven years older than me, so when we were watching the VH1 countdown and a NWA or Public Enemy song would be featured, Steve would ask, "Do you remember that song?" And I'd be like "No. Didn't you just hear the man say that song came out in 1991? I was not listening to NWA in 1991. I was nine. I was rollerskating in my cul-de-sac listening to Amy Grant." Steve laughed and said, "Don't tell anybody what you just told me!" Whatever. Heart in Motion was a great album.
So...although I lack all credibility and qualification to craft such a list, here is my completely personal, not at all comprehensive list of the top ten hip hop songs of all time, in no particular order. I had trouble narrowing it down to ten, but as I was compiling the list, I discovered that some of my favorite hip hop songs are actually classified as dance or R&B, further proving that I don't know what I'm talking about.
10. Tootsie Roll: 69 Boyz
What this jam lacks in sophistication it makes up for in universal recognition. You can walk up to any American born between 1974 and 1984 and utter the words "cotton candy, sweet and low, let me see that tootsie roll" and your command will be obeyed. For that reason, I think this song deserves acknowledging.
9. Gangsta's Paradise: Coolio
I did own the Dangerous Minds soundtrack, and this song is a classic. Also worth noting: Weird Al Yankovic's fantastic parody, "Amish Paradise". Even better? Seeing how much "Amish Paradise" pissed off Coolio.
All the cool kids on the playground knew the words to this song.
7. Roses: OutKast
I feel my list would be incomplete without something from the boys of OutKast. I could have easily chosen from about a half dozen favorites, but there's only one OutKast song that inspired the name for my car, and that is "Roses". My 2004 silver Jeep Grand Cherokee is named "Caroline", because all the boys would say she's mighty fine, but you need a golden calculator to divide...the monthly payments. Note: Jarred named my car. It's bad luck to name your own car. Write that down. Incidentally, it's the summer of 2010, and I'm just three payments away from owning Caroline outright. Whoop whoop!
Owning this CD garnered lots of street cred for me because Eazy-E is a legend and an icon. I didn't know who Eazy-E was, or who NWA was, but I knew this was a great album.
5. Love in Ya Mouth: Kilo
This song is horribly raunchy, and I owned the CD. I don't know what to say. My friend Tyler and I liked to listen to it when driving around in her car. The lyrics would make a stripper blush, and we had absolutely no business singing along.
4. Tha Crossroads: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
This ode to fallen homeboys from the streets struck a chord with this teenage white girl from the suburbs. The Thugs rapid flow lyrics were more than I could keep up with, so I didn't understand most of what they were saying, but we could all join in on "I miss my Uncle Charles y'all". Again, the references to Eazy-E in the song and video were completely lost on me. Steve finds my hip hop ignorance disgraceful. Did I mention that Steve grew up in the projects? This apparently makes him a hip hop aficionado. He thinks I really missed out by being raised in a predominately white, upper middle class community because I lack street cred and I never dined on government cheese. Nor was I aware that something called "government cheese" exists. How do I respond to that? I don't know.
3. Back That Azz Up: Juvenile
I owned this CD too, and I played this song constantly. What, what, what, what drop it like it's hot!
2. Shoop: Salt-N-Pepa
They don't make songs like this anymore (I'm looking at you, Ke$ha) "You're packed and you're stacked 'specially in the back/Brother, wanna thank your mother for a butt like that" Lyrical geniuses, yes?
1. My Name Is: Eminem
This guy changed hip hop, y'all. But I don't have to tell you that.