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1
The 100 Best L.A. Rap Songs

84. Sam Sneed f/ Dr. Dre "U Betta Recognize" (1994)

Album: Street Scholars
Label: Death Row/Interscope
Producer: Sam Sneed, Dr. Dre

The Murder Was The Case soundtrack had a feel all its own. It was more stressful and paranoid than The Chronic (with good reason, remember) but had not yet morphed into the new sonic templates that Dre would devise after leaving Death Row. The piano chords are suspended in air like clouds of smoke, and the rhythm is chillingly resolute, as though a death sentence had been decided and could be revoked. The beat is the star here, but Sam Sneezy gets the job done, because this was the moment when L.A. rap was handed off from big stars to soldiers. It didn’t matter who was rapping because by that time, the slinky whine of Dre’s Mini-Moog was single-handedly running the West Coast.

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