The Roots "Thought @ Work" (2002)
Label: MCA, Geffen
Black Thought's sprint through a combo of the "Apache" break and the central riff from the Beatles' "Hey Bulldog" is "old-school" in a different way than Kool Moe Dee or even Nas meant it. If anything, his garrulous word pile-up ("Rapper of the year/Year of the rap/Come from South Philly where the hammers are clapped/Violate and you will answer to Black/You a thug?/Not really, there's the answer to that") has more in common with "Know How," only with both more and less to prove. Of course, ?uestlove could have replayed the drums and percussion himself-but why mess with perfection?