Album: Neighborhood Watch
Producer: Kanye West
In 2012, a collaboration between Dilated Peoples and Kanye would sound and seem out of place, but in 2004, it made perfect sense. Kanye was the best of both worlds at the time—he could bless Jigga with hits like “Encore,” then turn around and give a “Get By” to Talib Kweli. He was the happy medium between backpack and commercial—and his work offended neither side.
As the hottest new thing in music at the time, Kanye’s contribution overshadowed the verses of both Evidence and Rakaa. But it also gave the West Coast trio their first and only Billboard Hot 100 hit, and offered up some of the best advice ever featured on a rap song: “I don’t know what’s better, gettin’ laid or gettin’ paid/I just know when I’m gettin’ one the other’s gettin’ away.” Oh yeah, it also featured a little-known R&B singer by the name of John Stephens. Wonder whatever happened to that guy?