23. Kool G Rap "It's a Demo" (1986)
Producer: Marley Marl
Label: Cold Chillin'
It's sort of heartwarming to hear old school rap records that really pay homage to the DJs. In the early days of hip-hop, the DJ was the most revered figure in the culture, not the rapper. Over time that dynamic changed, but in the early days of hip-hop you could still see how that factored into the way MCs rapped. Like "Eric B. Is President," "It's A Demo" highlights this relationship rather acutely. G Rap might have been a "psychopath on the phonograph" but he spent a good portion of the record paying homage to DJ Polo for his hand skills before going on to talk about himself. But in the end, it was G Rap's innovative rhymes that we all had memorized. - Insanul Ahmed