The 50 Best Debut Rap Singles

13. Busta Rhymes f/ Rampage "Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check" (1996)

Producer: Rashad Smith
Album: The Coming
Label: Elektra

As a member of Leaders of the New School, Busta Rhymes had already established himself as an explosive, charismatic performer with an unusual energy. When it came time to introduce the rapper as a solo artist, "Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check" found him pushing in even more radically absurd directions. With a quirky melody (courtesy Galt MacDermot's "Space") and a surreal chorus (an interpolation of a moment from the Sugarhill Gang's "8th Wonder"), the song had an off-kilter, carnivalesque vibe. It was a perfect introduction to Busta, whose career for the next few years seemed to revolve around similar absurdist club-rocking; even the aesthetic of his videos was established at this point, as a newly-ascendent Hype Williams reinvented the hip-hop video with the fish-eye lens, a trick he and Busta would return to (to great creative results) in future years. - David Drake

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