The 50 Best Debut Rap Singles

7. Cypress Hill "How I Could Just Kill a Man" (1991)

Producer: DJ Muggs
Album: Cypress Hill
Label: Ruffhouse, Columbia, SME

Released as a b-side to "The Phuncky Feel One," "How I Could Just Kill A Man" introduced one of the most distinctive and beloved groups in rap history. The song features what would become Cypress's signature sound: Muggs' funky, stumbling sample-based beats, and the yin and yang duo of Sen Dog and B-Real.

Before they hit the national scene, the running joke in the group was that B-Real's lyrics were great, but his voice wasn't. He found a workaround and started rapping with a zany, cartoonish voice. It was the perfect vocal foil for Sen Dog's baritone (which he referred to as "psycho-beta") and Chuck D styled delivery. More importantly, B-Real's voice helped sell the idea that he was actually insane in the membrane and might really catch a homicide case. "Kill a Man" had a slow burn, but when it hit, rap had one of its great cult groups. - Insanul Ahmed

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