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

40. Master P "Ghetto D" (1997)

Producer: KLC
Album: Ghetto D
Label: No Limit Records

Master P had stones. Not a pack—though he had that too—but guts. At a time when New Yorkers still booed Southerners as amiable as Outkast, the growly CEO from inner New Orleans had the audacity to hijack the beat from "Eric B. Is President" for the leadoff song on his breakthrough album. It was the hip-hop equivalent of stealing the recipe for Nathan's Famous only to resell it at Domilise's in Uptown with extra Tabasco. In the end "Ghetto D" isn't so much a theft as it is a customization: the don of No Limit Army turning loose the greasy humidity of Louisiana on the cold and exclusive territory of Brooklyn. Officially, "Ghetto D" is about pushing drugs but its opening salvo—"Imagine substituting crack for music / I mean dope tapes, this is how we would make it"—was prophetic. Within a few years P's album went triple platinum and turned No Limit into a Fortune 500 contender. Sam Sweet

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