The Greatest Hip-Hop Beats of All-Time

February 24, 2011


And so begins the great debate. The question of the greatest hip-hop beats of all time plagued each one us at some point. It’s a question that hip-hop producers, beat makers, MC’s, and fans have asked and argued since the beginning of time (or at least hip-hop history). Unfortunately, most people when confronted with the question have not had at their disposal the deep knowledge and passion of Crate Kings readers.

Now it’s your job to settle the argument once and for all. Leave a comment with what you think were the greatest hip-hop beats of all time. Was there a sleeper that was truly underrated?

Depending on the nature of the comments, we may have a poll to determine what in fact is the single greatest hip-hop beat of all-time.


Sm^th June 7, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Some of my faves.

Verbal Intercourse-Raekwon, produced by the RZA
Little Brother-Blackstar, Produced by J Dilla
Figaro-Madvillain, Produced by Madlib
Liquid Swords-GZA, produced by the RZA
10 Bricks-Raekwon, produced by J Dilla
TROY-Pete Rock and CL Smooth
Full Clip-Gang Starr, produced by DJ Premier
The Champ, Ghostface, produced by Just Blaze
Share This-Soul Position, produced by RJD2
Pigeon-Cannibal Ox, produced by EL-P
Public Service Announcement-Jay-Z, produced by Just Blaze
Award Tour-Tribe Called Quest, produced by Q-Tip

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Bonafide Soul June 15, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Not in any particular order…

1. Shook Ones / Mobb Deep
2. Bucktown / Smiff & Wesson
3. Masta IC / Mic Geronimo
4. Phone Tap / The Firm
5. C.R.E.A.M. / Wu Tang Clan
6. Mecca and the Soul Brother / Pete Rock and CL Smooth
7. Above the clouds / Gangstar feat. Inspecta Deck
8. Still Dre / Dre 2001
9. Slum Village / Untitled-Fantastic
10. Nas / Half-Time

aiden duffy June 19, 2012 at 10:55 am

1. Nas / Represent 2. CNN / Invincible 3. Notorious B.I.G / Ten crack commandments 4. Dilated Peoples / You cant hide you cant run 5. Mobb Deep / Shook Ones pt. 2 6. Dr. Dre / Explosive 7. Pharoahe Monch / Simon Says 8. Missy Elliot / Work It 9. Wretch 32 / Traktor (uk rapper) 10. Dr. Dre / Still Dre I really should’nt of numbered these cause this is just a list of good beats, in my opinion.

sports news June 22, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Highly descriptive post, I loved that bit.
Will there be a part 2?

Sick Rap Beats For Lyrics June 25, 2012 at 12:05 pm

1. Nas – Ether
2. Ike Ellis – Lovin You
3. Massive Talent – Ignorance II
4. Hustleman – Hustlin’
5. 2 Pac – Ride On Our Enemies

Man I could make a list for days and days of my favorite beats. For real though, these are some of my top picks.

Louis khoza June 25, 2012 at 7:26 pm

1 shook ones p2/mobb deep ,2 letter to my unborn/tupac,3 outta control remix/50cent,4 astn martin/ross ,5 studio lovin /wiz khalifa. Thts my top 5 of all tym

Fivestar Beats June 26, 2012 at 3:43 pm

I honestly can’t say. There was so much good music put out there!

Sick Rap Beats June 29, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Your are right 5 star beats… there are alot of beats out there and alot of good music out there. I just love listening and being apart of the process of making it as well.

DefJux July 23, 2012 at 7:09 am

Cannibal Ox – Pidgeon
Sage Francis – Escape Artist
Company Flow – The Fire in Which You Burn
El-P – Tasmanian Pain Coaster
Cage – Too Heavy for Cherubs
Ill Bill – Society is Brainwashed
Immortal Technique – The 3rd World
Das Racist – Sit Down, Man

Tony July 29, 2012 at 11:39 am

1.X-ecutioners ft Dj Premier- premier’s execution,2. CNN- invincible,3. Pitch Black- its all real,4. KRS One- 5 boroughs,5.Tonytouch ft Gangstarr- the piecemaker,6. Mob Deep- hell on earth,7. Gangstarr ft M.O.P- bi vs friendship,8. Nas- nas is like, 9. Onyx- the worst,10. Gangstarr ft Rakim & WC- the militia 2… I can go on and on the list is long but these form part of my favorites of all time in the hiphop world…

Daron August 2, 2012 at 12:36 am

I agree, there is a lot of music out there and a lot of Competition.

jaytee September 10, 2012 at 8:22 am

dj quick n dr dre-put it on me.

Wax_On_Deck September 14, 2012 at 3:24 am

I think the majority of us would agree T.R.O.Y. is the #1, but after that it gets tricky and preferential.

Possible Candidates:

For Da Brothaz – Kool G Rap (produced T Ray utilizing Art Farmer’s Soulsides)

Midnight in a Perfect World – Dj Shadow (Pekka Pohjola sample)

I Used to Love H.E.R. – Common (produced by No I.D. using a George Benson sample)

Classic – Dj Premier remix (uses Carl Douglas)

All Caps – Madvillain

Insane in the Brain – Cypress Hill (Dj Muggs)

Brint September 21, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Aint Hip to be Labeled a Hippie – De La Soul
Dead Presidents – Jay Z
Guess Who’s Back – Scarface ft Jay-Z, Beanie Sigel, and Kanye West

Yumø October 21, 2012 at 7:00 am

No particular order

SV – 2u4u (Dilla)

Busta Rhymes – What Up! (Dilla)

Erykah Badu – Didn’t cha know (Dilla)

Bonita Applebum – Tribe

Common – The Light (Dilla/Poyser)

Doin It – LL Cool J (Rashad Smith)

Party After 2 – Sheek Louch feat. Jeremih (Phonix)

Pachabel – Jonwayne (Flying Lotus)

Chino XL – Don’t Say A Word (Dilla)

B.R Gunna feat. J Dilla – Do Ya Thang (Dilla)

SV – Forth & Back (Dilla)

Ev-Monster November 26, 2012 at 12:57 am

not in order

Jay Z – Show me what you got (Just Blaze)
Pete Rock and CL Smooth- TROY (Pete Rock)
Edan- Making Plane (Edan)
Slum Village- Players (J Dilla)
J Rawls- Tribute to J Dilla (J Rawls)
Madvillain- Great Day (Madlib)

kevin December 24, 2012 at 12:18 pm

gang starr- mass appeal

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Sovich January 7, 2013 at 1:16 am

I would like to sell beats, is that offer still open?

Jeff January 17, 2013 at 7:23 pm

“Nuthin But A G-Thang” Snoop and Dre period!!

BudleighSalterton January 21, 2013 at 10:06 pm

I dont think i saw one person say Eric B. and Rakim dont sweat the technique, or KRS-one step into a world.. Gangstarr- full clip, grandmaster flash-the message..Biggie Smalls- Gimmie the loot. I mean damn i know its all a matter of opinion and impossible to narrow so many tracks down to a hand full but, come on peoples.

@mountainnatee February 26, 2013 at 9:25 am

There no way I could pick. I can’t even pick 10 from one artist alone, let along my 10 favorite beats ever. It’s a good and bad thing I guess

Tamara February 27, 2013 at 10:25 pm

A Tribe Called Quest- Check the Rhyme
MC Eiht- Str8 Up Menace

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hip hop instrumentals March 18, 2013 at 4:23 am

Still Dre would have to be in my Top Ten honestly. Shook Ones Top Five.

hip hop instrumentals March 18, 2013 at 4:25 am

Elevators, T.R.O.Y, Still Dre, Shook Ones, I Used to Love Her just to name a few. Man, this is harder than I thought.

Hotthedd March 20, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Spread love – Mobb Deep
Dwyck – Gangstarr feat Nice and Smooth
Straight up menace – Mc Eiht
Mary Jane – Scarface
Take it easy – Mad Lion
Addictive – Truth Hurts
Bring the pain – Method man
Still Dre – Dr. Dre
Girls Girls Girls – Jay Z
A milli – Lil Wayne

Rob April 13, 2013 at 4:30 pm

AZ and Nas – mo money mo murder!

Get off me!!!

Rob April 13, 2013 at 4:33 pm

2pac – no more pain (above the rim beat)

Get the fuck off me again!!!

Shaun Lass Andile April 26, 2013 at 10:07 am

ATCQ – 1nce Again (the ummah)
ATCQ – The Love (the ummah)
ATCQ – Electric Relaxation (Q Tip)
ATCQ – Bonita Applebum (ATCQ)
Common – I Used To Love H.E.R (No.ID)
The Pharcyde – She Said (J Dilla)
The Pharcyde – 4 Better Or 4 Worse (J Swift)
ATCQ – Midnight (Q Tip)
ATCQ – Sucker Nigga
(Q Tip)
Jigmastas – Beyond Real (DJ Scratch)
ATCQ – Push It Along (Q Tip, Jerobi White)
ATCQ – Same Ol Thing (Q Tip)

pk song May 14, 2013 at 7:10 am

hip hop

Nick C May 29, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Drop It Like Its Hot-Snoop Dogg
Still Dre-Dr. Dre
Xxplosive-Dr. Dre
Regulate-Warren G

coolC May 30, 2013 at 1:20 am

its between atcq- lyrics to go, shut em down-pete rock remix, pe-rebel without a pause, or DWYK

Bunga May 30, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Terror Squad Ft. Fat Joe – Lean Back (Scott Storch)
2Pac – Letter 2 my unborn child (Trackmasters & Jonny “J”)
NAS – Affirmative Action (Dave Atkinson)
Jim Jones Feat Cobe – Love Me No More (DJ Khalil)
Eminem – My Mum (Dr. Dre)
DJ Khaled – I’m so Hood (The Runners)
Lil Wayne – 3 peat (Cool & Dre)

Hip-Hop Instrumentals June 20, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Im a little more new school, but ‘Bounce’ Timbaland, ‘Put you on the Game’ The Game and ‘Keep it one 100’ Kid Ink. those beats are crazy!

Uzo the Producer July 19, 2013 at 7:01 pm

I definitely like the different inputs here.
Personally I’d have to say my opinion of the Greatest Hip Hop Beats have to be:

1. California – 2Pac
2. Big Poppa – Notorious
3. Show Me What You Got – Jay Z

Instrumentals For Sale August 2, 2013 at 7:16 pm

I gotta say the Maybach Music Series (II – IV) hold the title.
Some of the best sampling and interpolation in mainstream hip hop music to date!

Indie Music Artists August 23, 2013 at 12:03 am

Scarface-Homies and Thuggs
Bones Thug n Harmony-Thuggish & Ruggish

Airworks August 23, 2013 at 9:12 am

won’t do – j dilla
workinonit – j dilla
the world is yours by nas – pete rock
i used to love her by common – no i.d.
players by slum village – j dilla
the come up by az – dj premier
troy – pete rock
auditorium by mos def – madlib
gin & juice by snoop dogg – dr dre
ijustwannachill – large pro

Baby August 23, 2013 at 9:13 am

j dilla – fall in love

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