TOP 9: RAP INTRO’S, PART I
Before you even say it, “What Up Gangsta” is not an Intro. The audio of the “50 Cent” piece dropping and flattening to a surface is the Intro. Also, Intro’s that aren’t actual songs weren’t included in the list. Otherwise, we’d have Ready To Die & Doggystyle‘s Intro’s appear on it. Meek is not number one, for one reason. He doesn’t have the greatest introduction to an album in Rap history. Mill does, though, have the most commercially successful one to not have a chorus.
Intro’s are the proper setoff, or setup to whatever is to come next. Intro’s, themselves, don’t have to be great songs or tracks outside of the context of the album. Their purpose is to kickoff the narrative of what is to come in later tracks. “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” rings more true with these cuts than anywhere else you can place the phrase. There are tons of albums with great Intro’s that fizzle out, and we usually say they’re at least decent LP’s. On the other hand, there are barely any albums with horrible Intro’s that we say are great because we didn’t hear them through.
We’ve all popped a CD in our car and threw it out the window by mid-track two. We’ve all went to our Apple Music, played one track from an album, and blocked that person on Instagram. We’ve all heard the first track of an album and bought it so that we can leave a 1-star review. No? Just me? Aight.
Here is the TOP 9 Best Rap Intro (Songs) Part 1:
Jay Z – All
Let’s be real. Jay Z is Intro-God! If we had to add him to the list with individual tracks, he may take every single spot. Even the one Intro Hov didn’t do, “Hand It Down” from Vol 2 … Hard Knock Life, he penned. Whether you hear “The theme song to the Soprano’s“, “The game’s fucked up“, or “I’m makin’ short term goals“, you instantly shift moods. Hov = Intro.
Kanye West – Ultralight Beam featuring Chance The Rapper (The Life Of Pablo)
Ye’ doesn’t have many song Intro’s. Of the few he does, one in particular is amongst the greatest in history. The elements in “Ultralight Beam” come together like The Avengers. There’s gospel-esque production, a full chorus by choir, activist style Yeezy, and Chance The Rapper. Chance is the CLEAR star here, but to be fair, he walked up on loaded bases.
Drake – Tuscan Leather (Nothing Was The Same)
Noah “40” Shebib lost his mind here. There is no better way to describe it. This 3-part Intro would have served as 3 seperate tracks on an edition of Westside Gunn‘s HWH series. Each beat is placed perfectly, in respect to the other two. The transitions are almost seemless. Drake just does Drake things. How much time did he spend on the Intro? The 6-God spent 6:06 exactly.
Rick Ross – I’m Not A Star (Teflon Don)
Let’s think about this… This song was so good, when Lil’ Wayne came home and heard it, he immediately said let’s make the remix for my album. “John” would serve as the second single for Weezy’s Carter IV. The most impressive part about Rozay’s Teflon Don album, is by the time it ends you forget how good this track is. Repeat.
A Tribe Called Quest – Excursions (Low End Theory)
“Back in the days when I was a teenager/ Before I had status and before I had a pager/ You can find The Abstract listening to Hip-Hop…“. Q-Tip ran this track DOWN. The instrumental is so tribal, no pun. Perfect track to take you into the ATCQ Universe. Long Live Phife.
DMX – Intro (It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot)
What appears to be a skit, turns into a full-fledged anthem. The Irv Gotti and Lil Rob production sound like an underworld marching band. DMX sounds demented. This is like the coolest trip through hell. It’s like those safari trips where you stay in a the caged buggy the whole time… but in hell. The Dog acts as your tour guide, and you exit safely on the other side, only to go right back.
Common – Be (Intro) (Be)
This instrumental starts and builds in the most epic of ways. Common proceeds to take to it the next level. It’s the perfect soundtrack for Com Sense to come lay out what he sees, and why he just wants to to “Be”.
Jeezy – Thug Motivation 101 (Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101)
“I used to hit the kitchen lights…“. Jizzle tells the story of a hustler who made it, at least for the time being. Simultaneously laying out why he’s needed in the game, and who he does it for. The drug-game hadn’t sounded so gritty and commercial at the same time, since The Clipse “Grindin‘”. “Hard white’ll a get ya straight cash“, says Jeezy on 101. So will rapping about it.
Meek Mill – Dreams and Nightmares (Dreams & Nightmares)
This song is here because it changed the game, simply. The tone and format of this track became the proper way to introduce yourself to the public for years to come. Check Cardi B‘s debut Intro “Get Up 10“, Tee Grizzley‘s start on “First Day Out” *cough, Gucci*, or Kash Doll‘s Intro, “KD Diary“.
CHECK OUT ALL SONG ABOVE ON OUR OFFICIAL “TOP INTRO’S” PLAYLIST ON #SPOTIFY BELOW: