Top 10 Hip-Hop Album Intro Tracks
Before iTunes and Amazon gave us the luxury of picking and choosing which tracks we want off an album, we had to buy the entire CD or cassette tape to listen to everything we paid for. The intro tracks are usually what help us decide if the album is something we were going to love start to finish or skip through. Some intros are hilarious skits that show the artists' sense of humor while others others are just songs that make you want crank the volume up.
10. "Busta's Intro," Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot, Supa Dupa Fly (1997)
Busta Rhymes was fresh in his prime, and introducing Missy's debut album Supa Dupa Fly was a great co-sign for the female producer/rapper/singer. It's very rare and humbling to let another great artist's, instead of your own, rap be the first thing people hear on your first album. Although Busta's verse was short and sweet, his delivery was just as effective.
Timbaland co-produced the track to this intro, helping trademark the unique style of his and Missy's beats. Busta returns, with the same instrumental backing, on Supa Dupa Fly's outro track.
9. "Hova Song," Jay-Z, Vol. 3: Life and Times of S. Carter (1999)
This was Jigga's fourth album, so he was sticking to the theme of having great intro songs. He opens by speaking to his listeners, like he's right there looking over your shoulder: "Yeah, I know you just ripped the packaging off your CD/ If you like me you readin the credits right now/ If you in your car, I don't care if it's winter/ I want you to put all your windows down/ Zone out, buckle up, let's go."
Of course it was late December when the album dropped, so lots of people froze their ears off just to blast that new Jay-Z.
8. "Intro," Lil Wayne, Tha Block is Hot (1999)
Back in the good old Cash Money "Bling Bling" days, Big Tymers Mannie Fresh and Baby vouch for Weezy on his first solo album in a stuntastic way. The duo hilariously brags about how hot Wayne is, because back then we're sure no one believed he'd be the multi-platinum selling superstar he is today.
7. "Intro," Snoop Dogg, Tha Last Meal (2000)
Snoop really shows his
age OG player status with this sample of the Ohio Players' "I Want To Be Free." We can't help but imagine Snoop snapping his fingers and swaying, with his curls bouncing to the beat. Dr. Dre produced the track, and these two have always been a great match in a studio.
6. "Intro," Nas, I Am (1999)
Nas reminds us of why we fell in love with him by playing snippets of his previous hits before going into his third album's actual introduction. It almost makes you want to look for the old albums before taking a listen to the rest.
5. "Dark Fantasy," Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)
Besides Nicki Minaj's weird British accent in the beginning, this intro was quite relieving. After the emotional 808's and Heartbreak album, Kanye finally got rid of the Auto-tune and got back to rapping and talking shit.
4. "Intro," Clipse, Lord Willin' (2002)
Nine times out of 10, any Neptunes track wins. This made a great introduction to Clipse's first album, but at a length of 2 minutes and 15 seconds, another verse and chorus could have made it an awesome song.
3. "Tell Me Something Good," UGK, Too Hard to Swallow (1992)
This is a classic opening to a classic album. UGK samples Rufus & Chaka Khan's "Tell Me Something Good" and turns it into another legendary song that almost everyone knows the lyrics to.
2. "Kennel Skit," DMX, ...And Then There Was X (1999)
This was the intro to one of DMX's best albums. "Kennel Skit" is set in a dog kennel with dozens of pooches barking in the background. Of course X is going to show his fellow dogs some love with some growling and his trademark yelling. If you ever needed practice doing your best DMX imitation, this is the place to go.
1. "Intro," Notorious B.I.G., Ready To Die (1994)
This intro is more like an audio movie with its own soundtrack co-starring Diddy. The intro features snippets of songs like Curtis Mayfield's "Superfly", Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" and Snoop Dogg's "The Shiznit." This was Biggie's first album and a defining moment in the late artist's career. From a child's birth to a subway train robbery, this storyline leaves you begging to see what happens next.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.