You know what they say: You don't get a second chance to make a first impression. That's especially true on rap albums, where MCs receive only a single shot to introduce their records to the world. Strong album intro? We're all ears. Wack album intro? Let the judgement begin.
To prove the super significance of LP prologues, we came up with a list of the 30 most powerful rap album intros of all-time. Now, when we say "album intro," we're not talking about preliminary skits (click here if you're interested in reading about those) and we're not talking intros that begin as skits and melt into songs (which is why you won't find songs like, say, GZA's "Liquid Swords" on this list), either. Rather, we're talking about knock-you-in-the-jaw, no-holds-barred, coming-straight-for-the-number-one-spot album intros that immediately snatched our attention and took our fingers off the fast-forward button. We're talking powerful stuff here, people.
So go ahead and say hello to hip-hop's hot 30. We guarantee a great first impression or your page view back. —Chris Yuscavage