Album: Jewelz
Label: PayDay/FFRR/Polygram

The default response to a Premo beat is to nod your head. But the head-noddingest maestro in hip-hop history also also made soundscapes that call for somber reflection. And "My World" broods with the best of them. A masterful blend of melancholy samples—Love Unlimited Orchestra's "Killer's Lullaby" and Ennio Morricone's "Theme d'Amour"—the track simmers quietly behind O.C.'s stone-faced rhymes. Keeping with the mood, "My World" is the only song on this list without any record scratching on it. Premo knew when to let his beat breathe. Donnie Kwak