Album: Illmatic
Producer: L.E.S., Nas
Label: Columbia

Serving as the perfect foil for Nasir's often nihilistic worldview, AZ delivered that slick hustler talk in a melodic, multisyllabic cadence that immediately impressed. In the process, The Visualizer laid down the blueprint for his "Rather Unique" microphone techniques, which he has faithfully adhered to over his long career.

Packing an impressive amount of content into his 16 bars, Sosa both celebrates and condemns the American dream in equal measures, with nods to underworld operations, trees and the Fiver Percenters. This is how you take a golden opportunity (the sole guest MC on Illmatic and exploit it to the fullest (a record deal with a major label) like a true hustler.