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1
The 100 Best L.A. Rap Songs

1. Dr. Dre f/ Snoop Dogg "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" (1992)

Album: The Chronic
Label: Death Row Records
Producer: Dr. Dre


Because this is one of the only rap songs with flawless orchestration. Because the beat winds around the rappers and the rappers wind around the beat and nothing ever bumps into anything else. Because there is so much tension embedded in this song and yet it couldn't be more relaxed.

Because it's a picture of rap in 1992 and yet it plays like a page from the Cold Crush Brothers. More pimped out, definitely, but in its essence it is two improvisers trading the microphone, swapping tongue twisters and blue jokes and barbs about sex, all of it revolving around a call-and-response routine so old that it would have worked in 1960, 1940, 1920: "It's like this and like that and like this and-uh…"

Because Calvin Broadus has made 100 embarrassing career moves and he might make 1000 more, but none of it matters because in this song he is 20 forever-the thin phenom from Long Beach who couldn't even look straight at the camera when they filmed the video. Because no matter where you are in the world-and this is one of those songs that's always playing somewhere, Barcelona, Zimbabwe, Sao Paulo, Shanghai-when that old Moog whistle starts to whine, you are in L.A.

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