“KRS One is the holder of a boulder. Money folder.”

We watched hip hop grow up in front of our own eyes, attending high school in the pioneering days of the genre (from 1982 to 1986). Here is our list of our favorite, most crucial hip hop songs...

1979: “Rapper’s Delite” -  Sugar Hill Gang

1980: “I’m Ready”  -  Kano.  “8th Wonder”  - Sugar Hill Gang.

1981: “Genius of Love”  -  Tom Tom Club.  “Numbers”  - Kraftwerk.  “Square Biz”  - Teena Marie.

1982: “Looking for the Perfect Beat”  -  Afrika Bambataa & The Soul Sonic Force.  “Planet Rock”  - Afrika Bambataa & the Soul Sonic Force.  “Scorpio”  -  GrandMaster Flash.  “Pack Jam”  - Jonzun Crew.  “The Message II (Survival)”  - GrandMaster Melle Mel & Duke Bootee.

1983:   “Al Naafiysh”  - Hashim.  “Electric Kingdom”  - Twilite 22.  “Tour De France”  - Kraftwerk. “Jam On Revenge”  - Newcleus. “Radio Active” - Royal Cash.

1984:   “Jam on It”  - Newcleus.  “Rock Box”  - Run DMC.  “Five Minutes of Funk”  - Whodini.  “Shake it Up”  - Barrone. “Step Off”  - GrandMaster Melle Mel & the Furious Five.

1985:   “Rock the Bells”  - LL Cool J.  “My Hands are Quicker than the Eye”  -  Byron Davis & the Fresh Crew.  “Rock Berry Jam” - L.A. Dream Team. “Roxanne, Roxanne” - UTFO.  “Fresh is the Word”  - Mantronix

1986:   “Smurf Rock”  - Gigolo Tony.  “Peter Piper”  - Run DMC.  “Slow Ride”  - Beastie Boys.  “Throw the D”  -  2 Live Crew.  “Saturday Night”  -  Schooly D.

1987:   “I Ain’t no Joke”  - Eric B. & Rakim.  “I Know You Got Soul”  -  Eric B. & Rakim.  “It’s Gotta Be Tough  -  MC Shy D.  “A Touch of Jazz”  -  DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince. “Cinderfella Dana Dane”  -  Dana Dane.

1988:   “Follow the Leader”  -  Eric B. & Rakim.  “You’re a Customer”  - EPMD.  “T’Cha, T’Cha  - Boogie Down Productions.  “Children’s Story”  -  Slick Rick.  “On the Bugged Tip”  -  Big Daddy Kane.

1989:   “Cha Cha Cha”  - MC Lyte.  “It Gets no Rougher”  - LL Cool J.  “Give it All U Got”  - Afrorican.  “It’s Funky Enough” - The D.O.C.  “Cooley High”  -- Rodney O. & Joe Cooley.

1990:   “Can’t do Nuttin’ for ya Man”  - Public Enemy. “Freaks of the Industry”  - Digital Underground.  “The Boomin’ System”  - LL Cool J.  “Gold Digger”  - EPMD.  “Welcome to the Terror Dome”  -  Public Enemy.

1991:   “Mind Playin’ Tricks on Me  -  Geto Boys. “Summertime”  - DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince. “Essays on BDPism”  - Boogie Down Productions. “Sometimes I Rhyme Slow”  -  Nice & Smooth.  “Vibes and Stuff”  -  A Tribe Called Quest.

1992:   “Let Me Ride”  -  Dr. Dre.  “Nothin but a G Thang”  - Dr. Dre.  “They Reminisce Over You”  -  Pete Rock & CL Smooth. “___ wit Dre Day  -  Dr. Dre.  “Cantaloop”  - US 3.

1993:   “Electric Relaxation”  -  A Tribe Called Quest.  “Gin & Juice”  - Snoop Doggy Dogg.  “Pacifics”  -  Digable Planets.  “Chief Rocka”  - Lords of the Underground. “Rebirth of Slick”  -  Digable Planets.

1994:   “Juicy”  -  Notorious  B.I.G.  “Flava in ya Ear”  -  Craig Mack.  “Gimme the Loot”  -  Notorious B.I.G.  “It Was a Good Day (remix) -  Ice Cube.  “Just a Matter of Time”  - Urban Species.