Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip – Butch & Sundance

Let’s put aside the fact that mostly anything that references the George Roy Hill classic Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (one of my favorite movies) is OK with me. Even if this wasn’t already in my good books because of the title, it would be after hearing the track. Busta and Q-Tip trade bars over a nice jazzy beat for 3 minutes. It’s smooth, lyrical, and it’s a pleasure to listen to two veterans still give us reliable bars after so long in the game (Something not everybody can do. Looking at you, Jay-Z. Shots fired.). This is from their new collaborative mixtape, The Abstract & the Dragon, which you can get here.

A Tribe Called Quest – Scenario f. Leaders of the New School

This is the best posse cut of all time, and will be for the forseeable future. It’s rivalled only by its own remix, and maybe the remix of “Flava in Ya Ear” by Craig Mack. For those of you not “hip” to the “jive,” as the kids put it, a posse cut is a song with four or more rappers, each getting a verse. This track has a more energetic beat than most of Tribe’s stuff, but that doesn’t make it any less jazzy, and top-notch verses from Q-Tip, Phife, and all the LONS. The real standout, though, is Busta Rhymes. He has the last verse, and it’s not hard to see why this verse has become legendary in the hip-hop world, and put him on the map as a solo MC. The video is also the most ’90s thing I’ve ever seen, and features cameos from Spike Lee, Redman, De La Soul, and Brand Nubian. Who’s that? Broooooooooown!