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The 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Beats of All Time

16. MC Shan "The Bridge" (1986)

Producer: Marley Marl
Album: Down By Law
Label: Bridge

Originally appearing as the b-side to MC Shan's "Beat Biter" (which was aimed at LL Cool J), "The Bridge" went on to become the official anthem for Queens, and got caught in the crossfire of BDP's beef with Mr. Magic and set off the Bridge Wars. Sonically, it captured that gritty "project sound" that Marley Marl was developing at the time. "I had the drum sound of the week", he told ego trip in 1998. "It was funny because you could tell all of the records that I made in the same week back in the days. They all sounded the same: 'Eric B. Is President,' 'The Bridge,' 'Nobody Beats the Biz'...if I make three or four records with the same drum sounds, I thought one of them was gonna hit. I wasn’t expecting everything to hit!" That "Impeach The President" snare, when matched with the backwards horn hit from Magic Disco Machine's “Scratchin’,” is the sound of hardcore hip-hop incarnate.

Related: The 50 Greatest Queensbridge Rap Songs

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