The 25 Best Brooklyn Anthems

12. Divine Sounds "Do or Die Bed Stuy" (1984)


Label: Specific Records

Disco Richie, DJ Mike Music, and Shelton D might've seen their biggest hit in 1984's "What People Do For Money," but it was this anthem that reinforced the longevity of Bed-Stuy's de facto motto, "Do or Die." The fact is, none of them really describe what particularly they love about Brooklyn, and compared to the gangster rap that would show up a decade later, are downright welcoming to the 'hood by comparison. But the classic breakbeat—one of the greatest mid-80s rap instrumentals, bar none—replete with scratch solos and group-lines remains a classic track, and its legacy extended further than just borough pride. Paying tribute (or throwing shade at) some other tri-state rap legends, DJ Mike Music would rap: "Don't mean to brag, don't mean to boast, don't even mean to be conceited, but when Mike Music is on the job, baby doll, it gets completed," one-upping the original line (Beastie Boy Ad-Rock would later own the line further into Brooklyn ownership on 1998's Hello Nasty). —Foster Kamer

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