39. Total f/ Da Brat "No One Else" (1995)
Producer: Puff Daddy, Poke
The best flips of hip-hop beats were by R&B artists who weren't afraid of hip-hop, but rather, embraced it. There was no sense of softening the sonic abrasiveness of the production, or acting frightened of hip-hop's all-rough-edges exterior. This was never more evident than on Total and Da Brat's "No One Else," a song built around one of hip-hop's most confrontational sonic statements. KRS-One's "South Bronx" wasn't a response, it was a retaliation. Queens was on the rise; Run-DMC had changed the game, relegating many of the older Bronx MCs to the "old school." MC Shan was bold enough to suggest hip-hop even started in Queensbridge.
"South Bronx" was a hard record. It was an outwardly audacious and caustic, thoroughly modern rap record, that was both pop-unfriendly and unapologetically street. It wasn't intended for singing, it called for an aggressive MC. It seemed counterintuitive, but the harder the rap song, the more friction between its two sides, the more creative sparks seemed to fly. "No One Else" transformed percussive horn stabs and a slamming drum track into swaggering song of devotion. â€”David Drake
Inspiration: Boogie Down Productions "South Bronx" (1987)
Producer: Ced Gee, DJ Scott La Rock, KRS-One, Partner Lee Smith