You know these songs. It only takes their first few notes to get a party hype, even if the party is only you in your car on the way to work. DJs wouldn’t dream of skipping these intros—they’re guaranteed to please everyone from true heads to radio surfers.
Shook Ones Pt. II – Mobb Deep
“Shook Ones” will probably go down as Mobb Deep’s biggest hit. As a DJ back in ’94 (daaamn, I know), if I even scratched in those first few distinctive notes, the dance floor would be packed by the time you heard “To all the killers and the five-dollar billers.” I don’t think any of their songs since have created that much excitement.
When they Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) – Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth
It’s almost a DJ commandment: “Thou shall always play the opening horns from T.R.O.Y.” I haven’t been at a party yet where they played “Reminisce” without them. Skipping the very beginning of this song would be like not playing Busta’s growl in “Scenario”—you just don’t do it.
Check the Rhyme – A Tribe Called Quest
The beginning of Tribe’s “Check the Rhyme” just kicks in. When you hear that “uh, uh.uh. uh…” all the heads in the place break they necks for that nod. Other than “Case of the PTA” by Leaders of the New School, it’s the best song to get your 2- step on to.
Choice Is Yours – Black Sheep
The bass line under “Choice is yours” can sometimes catch you off-guard. Maybe because they’re whispering or something. What usually happens is a DJ blends it in with another song and you see signs of recognition slowly start to register on people’s faces. By then, Dres is saying “This or that, this or that,” and everyone is just waiting for that first line to drop. BOOM “Who’s the black sheep? What’s the black sheep…”
TIE (we couldn’t figure out which one to drop)
Jam On It – Newcleus
Chief Rocka – Lords of the Underground
Taking ya way back. “Jam On It” always seemed to come on after a slow song, but it’s the bass line — it’s gotta be the bass line. It’s a slow build, but once they hit the wiki-wiki wiki-wiki it’s on and probably pop-lockin. It’s the bass line, it’s GOTTA be the bass line (again).
“Chief Rocka” starts with the bass line too, and coupled with the “Chief Rocka-Chief Rocka” scratch, gives partiers a few seconds of “Oh, shit!” time to rush the floor. Even if you don’t know the rest, the opening “Boom shac-a-laka” line is strong enough to shake a room.