2. Nas on Main Source's "Live at the BBQ" (1991)
Album: Breaking Atoms
Producer: Main Source
Label: Wild Pitch, EMI
It's a testament to the lyrical fortitude of Nasty Nas that he managed to stand-out on this track, considering that all four participants came off something lovely on this incredible posse cut (even non-rapper Joe Fatal kills it with his "written-by-committee" verse.) Opening up the track, Nas' debut appearance might just be the most hard-hitting debut in the history of rap.
He begins: "Verbal assassin, my architect pleases/When I was twelve, I went to hell for snuffing Jesus," and then proceeds to reference cop killing, kidnapping the first lady, AIDS patients, and the KKK, before comparing his verbal cinematics to Steven Spielberg. For those of us paying attention, it was clear that this young upstart was about to usher in a new standard of excellence.