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

42. Ice T "Power" (1988)

Producer: Afrika Islam
Album: Power
Label: Sire

Deeply informed by East Coast styles and yet designed with the top-down culture of the West Coast in mind, "Power" put Ice-T in a league of his own. T was one of the first guys to tap into the cinematic feeling of Blaxploitation cinema without simply rehashing the classics. Check out the way the conga rolls and wah-guitar seep out of the spaces in this forward-thrusting beat: it's a gangsta rap song reimagined as the opening to one of those 1970s cop shows like "Kojak" or "The Streets of San Francisco." "Gainin' velocity / Explain momentum and energy / ICE Capital T / I got the power!" For years rap was obsessed exclusively with riches and bitches. T was the first rapper to recognize that every rapper's material dreams are determined by one thing and one thing only: power. â€”Sam Sweet

Tags: ice_t
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