Break dance on cardboard Rocket Launcher by U-God

Broken down cardboard boxes were the most common surface for breaking back in the day — dirt cheap and easy to carry around. If you had a bit of money you could move up to linoleum: less friction, longer backspins.

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When the East is in the house you should come equipped Come Clean by Jeru the Damaja

Refers to Jeru’s Brooklyn neighbourhood of East New York and the East Coast in general (New York was enjoying a resurgence in Hip Hop at the time).

The line was later used by fellow East New Yorkers Blahzay Blahzay for their hit “Danger”.

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January 21st, 2014

Also a reference to his album in which this song is found, breakthrough debut album [The Sun Rises in the East]

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sun_Rises_in_the_East)

Get familiar.

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No picket fence, no job, no 8-Cylinder car Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers by The Crooklyn Dodgers (Ft. Chubb Rock, Jeru the Damaja & O.C.)

The stereotypical American family lifestyle of a house with a white picket fence, a secure job and a big car was out of reach for many veterans.

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[Intro]
"We did it like that and now we do it like this"
"We did it like that and now we do it like this"
Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers by The Crooklyn Dodgers (Ft. Chubb Rock, Jeru the Damaja & O.C.)

Masta Ace’s vocal sample, taken from the first Crooklyn Dodgers song, “Crooklyn”. Samples from this song appear throughout.

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[Scratched Hook] Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers by The Crooklyn Dodgers (Ft. Chubb Rock, Jeru the Damaja & O.C.)

The scratched hook features lines from Special Ed, Buckshot and Masta Ace from “Crooklyn”.

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Uh-huh, what's happening to ReRun and Roger
I think I seen 'em wearing Timberlands and running down the block
From Dwayne and Dwayne had a Glock
Crooklyn by The Crooklyn Dodgers (Ft. Buckshot, Masta Ace & Special Ed)

Buckshot established the theme of going back to the 70s earlier on in the track. Ace continues by imagining characters from 70s TV shows acting in the manner of 90s Crooklynites.

He begins with Freddy “Rerun” Stubbs, Roger “Raj” Thomas and Dwayne Nelson, the main characters from the sitcom What’s Happening!!.

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Peace to Pelan discovering rap In Tha Park by Ghostface Killah (Ft. Black Thought) 2

Pelan is Five Percent slang for The Bronx (the acknowledged birthplace of Hip Hop). Brooklyn is Medina, Manhattan is Mecca, and Queens is The Desert.

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For a second it ain't look good
Little tension buzzing from Wyandanch to Brentwood
U.B.R. (Unauthorized Biography of Rakim) by Nas

Wyandanch and Brentwood are neighbourhoods in Long Island, just minutes away from each other.

Rakim is from Wyandanch. EPMD are famously from Brentwood. As is often the case, the faux-beef between the groups was hyped up by the fans in those neighbourhoods rather than the groups themselves.

Erick Sermon tells the story of the feud in this video. Apparently he also told this story to Nas which is how it ended up in the song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRh_Njm4pS0

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It ain't the everyday style or the same old rhyme Eric B is President by Rakim 1

A huge understatement. The rhyme styles that Rakim pioneered on this tune and “My Melody” changed rapping forever. Just ask Nas.

In fact, Rakim’s calm yet forceful, monotone flow was so different at the time that producer Marley Marl and mixer MC Shan laughed at him during the session.

Me and Marley laughed at Rakim. We had never heard a sound like his before. We would go on the other side of the wall laughing while he was rapping and come back out like we never laughed.

As for lyrical content, the God Rakim Allah was one of the first to represent the Five Percent Nation on wax.

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And then you ask what have I done lately Eric B is President by Rakim 1

According to folklore this song was originally conceived as an answer record to the Janet Jackson hit “What Have You Done For Me Lately”, released earlier that year.

Once Rakim came on board the track took a different direction but this verse remains as a concession to the original idea.

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