8. A Tribe Called Quest "Bonita Applebum" (1990)
Producer: A Tribe Called Quest
Album: People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm
Label: Jive Records
"Bonita Applebum" is one of Tribe's most daring and recognizable songs. It is something of an oddity in that it is a song devoted primarily to the vulnerability and idealism that runs rampant in young love (or inspired lust, really), but the drums are some of the hardest ever recorded. Where nearly every other rapper before him might have attacked the track with a macho Big Daddy Kane style, Q-Tip speaks calmly and freely, sounding just awkward enough to project a tinge of adolescent insecurity, but just smooth enough to seal the deal.