15 Greatest 12″ singles in Hip Hop

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Diamond and Golden Era was the focus here (1983 – 1993), the only other criteria was the single had to have another/different song on the other side (We’re talking vinyl here)
There are tons of dope singles in Hip Hop history so I tried to go with two sided releases where both songs were dope enough to stay in your radio … feel free to add your favorites in the comments and on twitter, for we never agree LOL
Anyway, here’s the list

15. I need a Beat B/W You’ll Rock Remix

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Though the single was 1985’s “I Need a Beat” the B Side had a remix of “You’ll Rock” which is by far better than the original version … this was the last single released from LL Cool J’s debut album Radio

14. Vapors B/W Goin Off

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Vapors was the final single from Biz Markie’s 1988 Debut “Goin Off” the classic success story and ‘F U’ to people who dissed you while you were trying to make it, the flip side featured the title track from the album … both were made into videos, either can rock on their own.

13. My Mike Sounds Nice B/W It’s Alright

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Just about everyone’s favorite Salt N Pepa song from the intro to the use of “Mister Magic” by Grover Washington you cannot help but to rock when “My Mic Sounds Nice” comes up, perfect mix of Hip Hop and Go Go, the 1986 album (NOT the 1987 version) also included the lesser known reggae themed “It’s Alright” which was a favorite on the block around my way.

12. Express Yourself B/W Straight Outta Compton

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Express yourself was no one’s favorite song from “Straight Outta Compton” and it was a stark difference from all the other songs they made at the time (Not having any curses and actually positive lol) what set off the last single from NWA’s second album (Besides being a Dre solo) was the beat that Dr. Dre used, it gave the song a face-lift had everyone banging the beat on desks in schools. The other side featured an extended version of the title track “Straight Outta Compton”

11. A Children’s Story B/W Teacher Teacher

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One of the most referenced and sampled songs in Hip Hop, and arguably top 10 – 5 Hip Hop songs ever Children’s story will always rock the block, club, party, bedroom of any Hip Hop fan young and old … the story and the video is legend (I still want to meet the girl on the left side of the bed). The other side had Teacher Teacher a great song by Slick Rick where he’s able to flex more of his lyrical muscle; very underrated song.
My unbiased puts this single here where I’d personally prefer the “Teenage Love/Treat her like a prostitute” single.

10. Goin back to Cali B/W Jack The Ripper

The Less than Zero soundtrack brought us “Goin Back to Cali” an unlikely smash hit by LL Cool J for it was sonically different from any song he made prior it was also included on his Walking with a Panther album … but the main attraction of this single was the B Side “Jack the Ripper” the legendary diss/answer record to Kool Moe Dee furthering their feud.

9. It’s my Thing B/W You’re a Customer

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Mentioned on the EPMD Podcast, the first single from Erick and Parrish “It’s My thing” dropped in 1987 (with the longest helicopter intro ever) was an immediate hit, the funk samples didn’t stop there the B-Side You’re a customer with the Steve Miller Band and Kool & the Gang samples Customer is in the Top 5 of just about everyone’s favorite EPMD songs

8. Listen to my 9mm go Bang B/W Criminal Minded

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7. It’s the new Style B/W Paul Revere

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The New Style was the second song released from The Beastie Boys “Licensed to ill” and is most notable for the ending and the “Let all the fly skimmaz, feel the beat; Mmmm DROP!” the beat and the B Boy back and forth makes the song classic, not to be undone the Flip side has arguably the greatest Beastie Boys song ever, and a Rick Rubin beat masterpiece “Paul Revere” Classic story rhyme, classic beat … a must listen for everyone.

6. Move the crowd B/W Paid in full

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Move the crowd came as the last single from Eric B & Rakim’s debut Paid in full … the song itself is a Hip Hop Classic and well loved by all Hip Hop fans … the Main Event however was the Paid in Full Remix … The Seven Minutes of Madness Remix
Most people don’t know that Eric B did NOT do the famous remix (He actually doesn’t even like it) but a group in England called Coldcut did it, the samples from other paid in full songs, James Brown, Humphrey Bogart and the song no one cans sing the words to “I’m Nin’alu” LOL made this a classic and on kept the song on the radio for months

5. It’s Like that B/W Sucker MC’s

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The first single from the legendary and greatest Hip Hop group of all time, really came from lyrics Run originally wrote for Kurtis Blow …the song is quintessential Hip Hop … street beats and lyrics all while ironically being positive and encouraging (imagine that) the B Side is Sucker MC’s (Krush Groove 1) totally different from the lead single where the duo attacks the mic and the fraud MCs while giving props to where they are from and What school they go to (Imagine that).

4. Eric B is President B/W My Melody

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If you listen to Over like a Fat Rat by Fonda Rae you would never think “I’m going to make a classic Hip Hop song” … genius by Eric B, it gave us Eric B is President (not FOR) the song introduced up to the duo and the rhyme style that has been revered since it was first laid on wax. The flip side features My Melody with its trademark whistle, incredible bass, and some of the best scratching Eric B has done IMO it’s my favorite Eric B & Rakim song of all time; it also introduces us to Rakim’s “7 emcee theory” … Hip Hop match and science!

3. Friends B/W Five minutes of funk


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Friends was the lead single from Whodini’s second album Escape, the chorus and the beat of this song his Hip Hop legend, and if you grew up during this era, you know all the words. Five minutes of funk is a certified Hip Hop classic and a guaranteed Club banger (as well as skating rink), the only gripe I have is that the song is Five minutes and twenty-five seconds!

2. My Adidas B/W Peter Piper

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Coming in at Number 2 Run DMC’s first single from 1986’s Raising Hell “My Adidas” hit the streets and didn’t look back, made everyone on the block go cop all stars and rock the song for months on end then the second song was Peter Piper with the Bob James sample and Jam master J scratching, this song blew out a ton of speakers in the 80s

1. La Di Da Di B/W The Show

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Arguably two of the 5 greatest Hip Hop songs ever … this legendary single gave us an introduction to Doug E Fresh and Slick Rick and features the party hit The Show and one of the greatest stories ever in La Di Da Di
I cannot do the single justice in text … just listen

That’s my list, if you have a different opinion, leave it in the comments or tweet to @TweetRhymesLife

Honorable Mention
Hey love/Mythological Rappers
Wrath of my madness/Princess of the Posse
Fat boys/Human Beat Box
Can you rock it like this /Together Forever
Jazz (We’ve Got)/Buggin out
Don’t curse/You cant see what I can see

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  • http://gravatar.com/rayylive RayyLive

    Without a doubt these were and still are bangers that rock the party!