Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five’s 1982 smash single The Message has topped Rolling Stone‘s recent list of the 50 Greatest Hip Hop Songs Of All Time.
The list was compiled by the iconic music magazine after they consulted 33 different artists and experts involved in the genre – ranging from esteemed producer Rick Rubin to rap veteran Busta Rhymes.
Of the track, Rolling Stone wrote:
“Over seven minutes, atop a creeping rhythm closer to a Seventies P-Funk jam, rapper Melle Mel and co-writer Duke Bootee, a member of the Sugar Hill Records house band, traded lines and scenes of struggle and decay: drugs, prostitution, prison and the grim promise of an early death.
“There was a warning at the end of each verse: ‘Don’t push me, ’cause I’m close to the edge/I’m trying not to lose my head,’ each word enunciated like a gunshot.”
The Message beat out Sugarhill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight for the top spot, with tracks from Afrika Bambaataa & the Soul Sonic Force, Run-DMC and Geto Boys filling the remaining spots in the top five.
The top 10 tracks are listed below. For the full top 50 list, click here.
Rolling Stone – The 50 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs Of All Time:
1. Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five – The Message
2. Sugarhill Gang – Rapper’s Delight
3. Afrika Bambaataa & the Soul Sonic Force – Planet Rock
4. Run-DMC – Sucker M.C’s
5. Geto Boys – Mind Playing Tricks On Me
6. Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg – Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang
7. Public Enemy – Fight the Power
8. Notorious B.I.G. – Juicy
9. N.W.A – Straight Outta Compton
10. Eric B. and Rakim – Paid in Full