Young MC Beats Public Enemy with "Bust a Move"
First thing's first, we're not messing with the worst; Young MC's "Bust a Move" is a classic pop-rap single, and certainly deserves a place in the pantheon of classic cuts from hip-hop's golden era. But still: this was hip-hop's golden era! OK, sure, nominees like DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince's "I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson" and Tone Loc's "Funky Cold Medina" would have a tough time topping "Bust a Move," but "Fight the Power" is in rarefied air, one of the truly titanic hip-hop singles in history. De La Soul's "Me Myself and I" (never mind "Eye Know," which did not receive a nomination) are similarly celebrated records. Sure, "trivial" pop rap can often receive short shrift from critics looking back on the moment today. But at the time, it definitely felt as if the Grammy Awards were giving short shrift to the genre, coming from the opposite direction, by refusing to acknowledge it unless it reached a critical mass of popularity.