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

48. Twista "Adrenaline Rush" (1997)

Producer: Legendary Traxster
Album: Adrenaline Rush
Label: Creator's Way/Big Beat/Atlantic Records


"Adrenaline Rush" is emblematic of Twista's defiantly unclassifiable style. It's Midwestern hip-hop-you know, Bone-style triple-time death-obsessed rap. No, wait; it actually sounds more like some Dirty South business, with that queasy "Bout It Bout It" synth. Then there's that part of Twista that seems so fundamentally aligned to rap's original essence: a man who can make ordinary words astounding just by the order in which he puts them and the way in which they come out of his mouth. You can bask in the simple pleasure of its steady-stepping chorus or you can unpack it line and line and make the case that Twista's light-speed wordplay provided the groundwork for the fantastical forced rhymes that Gucci Man would make ten years later ("...carsick/ ...ostrich/ ...garbage/ ...accomplished/ ...compass"). Either way, "Adrenaline Rush" is one of modern rap's lost linchpins. —Sam Sweet

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