Song: "Paid in Full" (1987)
Album: Paid in Full

The title cut of what's generally considered one of the most crucial rap records of all time starts with this line, an impossibly high bar for the rest of rap to follow, as there's not a single better summation of hip-hop's poverty-derived hustle than Rakim's opening bars on "Paid in Full." When you have nothing, it can take a genius to talk his way out of the situation, and Rakim was inarguably that.