First Impressions: The 50 Best Album-Opening Songs in Rap History

11. 2Pac "Ambitionz Az a Ridah" (1996)

Producer: Dat Nigga Daz
Album: All Eyez On Me
Label: Death Row, Interscope


At once hushed and enraged, "Ambitionz Az A Ridah" opens the dark odyssey of All Eyes On Me with the ultimate gangsta limp. Dat Nigga Daz produced the track and if that beat had legs one would be six inches shorter than the other. Tupac had a lion's heart and a prizefighter's mouth, so it was all the more effective that he began his ominous opus with an under-the-breath murmur: "I won't deny it, I'm a straight ridah, you don't wanna fuck with me." It is the kind of inner incantation one undertakes just before or just after completing a task of pure and utter malice. "Ridah" is a murder ballad that any paranoid schizophrenic could understand, which might be the reason Mike Tyson once used it as his ring entrance. â€”Sam Sweet

Tags: 2_pac
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