Album: Dimples & Spice

Years before he started making hits with MC Shan and the Juice Crew—and one year before his real breakthrough, with "Roxanne's Revenge" by Roxanne Shante—Marley Marl produced this answer to Run-D.M.C.'s monumental 12" single "Sucker MCs." He enlisted the vocal talents of Crystal Smith a.k.a. "Dimples D," who spent most of the record extolling the cutting and mixing skills of DJ Marley Marl before going on to celebrate her own skills: "My name is Crystal but they call me Dimples D/Ain't a female in the world could rap like me."

Subtitled "I Will Survive," the song did not rework Gloria Gaynor's disco classic. Instead, about three minutes in "Sucker DJs" morphs from a record about Marley Marl to a ghetto reality tune, breaking down how this five-foot-five rapper with big brown eyes would make her way through a world full of cocaine dealers, pocket-book grabbers, "the laughing the crying the living and the dying." What's her secret? "I will survive cause I'm always chilling/And ready and willing to rock for y'all." She also saves a verse to call out all the trifling fellas who try to play their girlfriends. The record was only a minor success when it was first released, but had a second life in 1990 when a remix incorporating the I Dream of Jeannie theme song made it a hit across Europe. Unfortunately by that time Dimples D had vanished into the mists of hip-hop history. —Rob Kenner