Producer: Thayod Ausar
Album: At the Speed of Life
Label: Loud, RCA
French composer Gabriel Urbain Fauré's processional Pavane (debuted itself in 1887) provides the haunting base for Xzibit's breakthrough single, "Paparazzi." The beat was so well received that it was later used for a closing montage in an episode of The Sopranos.
Produced by Thayod Ausar, the track introduces the Detroit-born, L.A.-based rapper as an MC's MC. X to the Z calls out fakes—zeitgeisty in 1996—and pushes himself from Likwit Crew member cameo glory to solo stardom. The song, which was featured on At the Speed of Light, wouldn't be Xzibit's last hit, but it's certainly had greater staying power than most of his subsequent recordings. Still, the irony of the line "Either you're a soldier from the start/Or an actor with a record deal tryin' to play the part," shouldn't be lost on Xzibit fans who've seen him in more movies than albums in recent years. —Nick Schonberger