Producer: Marley Marl
Album: In Control, Vol. 1
Label: Cold Chillin', Warner Bros.
This is the jam that every posse cut is judged against. It's a pretty simple formula: Take a loose, funky beat, throw in four young MCs passing the mic like a bottle. Add a Western-themed video (they're a posse, ya dig?), and bang-bang, a genre is born. Some of the lyrics are a little
dated wack ("I keep on goin' and flowin', just like a river" is not what old heads are talking about when they wax poetic about rap's golden era), but there's an undeniable swagger to everything about "The Symphony." Capitalism is the mother of invention. Marley Marl needed tracks for a solo album showcasing his production work so he had the Juice Crew gang up for "The Symphony." If innumerable DJ Khaled remixes is the price we have to pay for that stroke of genius, then so be it. —Jack Erwin
Best Verse: Big Daddy Kane