The 50 Best Debut Rap Singles

28. Rick Ross "Hustlin'" (2005)

Producer: The Runners
Album: Port of Miami
Label: Slip-n-Slide, Def Jam, Poe Boy

Miami went major in 2006 when William Leonard Roberts II stepped into the spotlight and assumed his bombastic rap persona, Rick Ross. Produced by an almost equally unknown duo, Orlando's The Runners, the track functioned as an anthem for ambition, vaulting the Floridian rapper into the national conversation and giving coke rap new legs. The mix of South Beach glamour and Carol City grit took root over a beat deservedly characterized as "cinematic," enough to inspire one of Wayne's best efforts on the much celebrated Dedication 2. Ross, no doubt, owned the moment—his motivational mantra applicable to whipping work or simply driving to a regular 9-5—and when Jigga and Jeezy hopped on their Def Jam brethren's remix, Rozay's seemingly instant rise was solidified. - Nick Schonberger

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