The 50 Best Debut Rap Singles

2. Boogie Down Productions "South Bronx" (1986)

Producer: Ced Gee, Scott La Rock, KRS-One
Album: Criminal Minded
Label: B-Boy

RIP Mr. Magic. If it wasn't for him who knows where KRS-One would be right now. Back in the mid-80s Mr. Magic was one of the biggest radio DJs. Up-and-coming rap act Boogie Down Productions ran up on him to get him to hear their demo but for whatever reason, Mr. Magic dismissed BDP. KRS-One and Scott La Rock decided to take their frustrations out on Magic's Juice Crew and MC Shan, whose Queens-repping record "The Bridge" ruled the airwaves. Riled up, KRS misinterpreted the lyrics of "The Bridge"—assuming it was saying that hip-hop started in Queensbridge as opposed to the Bronx—and unleashed "South Bronx," an all out diss record that spawned the infamous Bridge Wars. The importance of "South Bronx" cannot be overstated. From the opening cowbells through the bleating horns and KRS-One's menacing rhymes to Kris's send-off ("Fresh for '86, you suckas") it's a hip-hop classic from head to toe. It's not just a classic diss song (or song period); it set the gold standard for what a hip-hop diss record could be. Even if the scope of the beef has (unfortunately) been surpassed in rap history, the debut record has not. - Insanul Ahmed

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