Album: Legal Drug Money

"Renee" is an all-time great rap love song; it's an all-time great narrative rap song; it's an all-time great tragic rap song. In short, it's a classic, showcasing a skilled wordsmith at the top of his game. One part young romance (dropped rolling papers is a pretty great meet cute), one part summation of youthful ambition (yes, law students smoke weed), and one part indictment of random gun violence, "Renee" is dense with description, a rappity-rap fan's rap song. It's both evocative of its time (raise your hand if you know what tokens and cds are) and timeless. If you want to show someone what made rap music feel so alive in 1996—or any other year—play this song. —Jack Erwin