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The 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Beats of All Time

68. Digable Planets "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)" (1993)

Producer: Butterfly, Shane Faber, Mike Mangini
Album: Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space)
Label: Pendulum, Elektra

The music press got carried-away in the early 90's when they attempted to pigeonhole groups like Gang Starr as "Jazz Rap." One group who embraced this label was Digable Planets, who landed themselves a Grammy for this breakthrough single. As sampling techniques became more sophisticated, hip-hop beats began to combine multiple drum sounds into one, as evidenced here by the combination of "Impeach The President" with 24-Caret Black's "Foodstamps." Driven by the upright bass loop from Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers' "Stretching" and a sprinkling of "Blow Your Head," this song is song is, in the words of the late, great Big L, "smoother than velvet."

Related: 25 Hip-Hop Artists People Think Are One-Hit Wonders (But Totally Aren't)

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