A South Side Exclusive: Joy's Top 11 (NOT 10) All Time Hip Hop Favorites

Music has a way of moving the soul. It becomes the soundtrack of life and most of us can always remember where we were when the hottest album dropped. As true music heads, we lived for the beats and the rhymes. Life had a different meaning because music was an important part of all that was good in the world.

Growing up, Hip-Hop shaped and tuned my taste in music. The desire for flow pulsed through my veins because the passion was engrained in me from birth. My parents, doubly lovers of music, owned and operated a record shop. The records sold there graced the turntables of many accomplished disc jockeys and music enthusiasts alike. The shop uniquely carried AC/DC to ZZ Top and all the lovely sounds in between.

As musical pioneers, my parents granted me the liberty`to listen to whatever I wanted. They placed no parameters or restrictions on my knowledge of music: I was given access to every record ever made.

A wet dream, I know.

This freedom spoiled me. I became a music adulterer: My love affair with music was a salacious one: I often romped sweatily with Metal and Rock. I had a hot, musky go-round with R&B and I made out with House.

However, I always had the deepest relationship with Hip Hop and Rap.

My Soul Mates.

This is MY Top 11 (not 10) All Time Hip Hop Favorites

11. "Going Back To Cali." LL Cool J
Seedy video, beefy LL..nuff said.

10. "Hay." Crucial Conflict
Crucial Conflict hailed from Chicago and "Hay" was the hottest thing at every backyard barbecue. The lyrics related to many and lets face it, they were certified thugs. How do I know? I was at a Crucial Conflict concert in 1998. Wildstyle and Never jumped off of the stage and kicked the asses of two rival gang members in the audience without ruining the song. It verified the street cred and made for an epic night.

09. "Who Shot Ya." Notorious BIG
Anyone who knows me, knows this is my ringtone on my cellphone. Yeah, maybe it isn't ladylike but I don't care, I am a slave to the music. This song amps me up whenever I hear it (whenever my phone rings).

08. "It Was A Good Day." Ice Cube
The Isley Brothers sample in this joint puts me in mellow mode. It reminds me of summer days playing dominoes and grill smells.

07. "CREAM" Wu-Tang Clan
EVERYONE hates me when this song comes on because I HAVE to rap along. Yes, Cash does Rule Everything Around Me..around you too. It is truth!
All I have to hear is the first beat and I get chills of excitement in my stomach. This is music.

06. "Hip Hop" Dead Prez
The distorted bass line in this track has made it great, the message in the lyrics make it revolutionary. As it has been said, "It's bigger than Hip Hop.."

05. "Mind Playing Tricks On Me." Geto Boys
If you have never heard this song before, you had to be living under a rock in the 90's. Not only did the explicit version fly off of the shelves, local radio stations heavily rotated cleaner versions. This was a breakthrough for gangsta rap.

04. "Ain't No Future In Yo' Frontin." MC Breed
The funk sample from the Ohio Players' "Funky Worm" was the favorite at the skating rinks: "For Pros Only." The OG's with their fresh curls and shiny gold rope chains would lean against their I-Rocs and bump this through big speakers. Funk officially crossed over.

03. "Passin' Me By." The Pharcyde
I will never forget peeling the plastic off of this cassette and getting excited. I played this song over and over in my Walkman for days. My joy ended abruptly when I fell asleep at a house party and someone stole the goddamned Walkman, headphones and the tape inside. If I were to ever find out who the culprit was, I believe I would still be upset enough to fight them to the death. Seriously.

I always bring this up in case the person who did it (20+ years later) feels racked with guilt and confesses. This method will save me from whipping up on innocent people.

02. "Me & My Girlfriend." Tupac Shakur
I don't know of any straight females who were fans of Tupac that did not imagine that he dedicated this song to them.

Oh, that was just me??

C'mon, you know you'd pull a bank heist if Tupac wanted you to. This song took loyalty to a whole other level.

01. "They Reminisce Over You (TROY)." Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth
This song reminds me of a time of double dutch, Now&Laters and ghetto blasters. This track is timeless and will be in my playlist..FOREVER!

Thank you for reading my ramblings as always.

Please leave your faves in the comments below and while you are at it, follow me on Twitter @TheRealJoyRene.

Yep, you're welcome!

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