We here at VIBE are all about results. So we refuse to allow disputed topics like Greatest Hip-Hop Producer Of All Time to live on without allowing you—our faithful readers—the chance to collectively slam the gavel. It's the reason we're following up the Greatest Producer (congrats again, Dre!) and Best Rapper Alive Tourneys with another vote-in competition for the masses: The Greatest Hip-Hop Song of the VIBE Era.
That's right, sons: We're asking you to vote on the greatest rap song (singles only!) since VIBE's inception in 1993. Call us insane (in the membrane), but we want solutions! So we rounded up the gang and deliberated on 17 years of music—everything from Busta Rhymes' "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See" to Lil Wayne's "A Millie" was considered—until we agonizingly whittled to 33 of the dopest songs from all regions of the map.
Of course, 33 songs won't fit in a 32-song bracket, for which voting begins next Monday, Sept. 6. Which is where you come into play. The two songs that had us especially stumped came down to the undying battle of the Empire State—Jay-Z's "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)" and Nas' "If I Ruled The World (Imagine That)," both rounding out the East Coast division. So we're asking you to kick off the preliminary round by voting on the final song to make the bracket. We'll unveil one region each day of this week, finally announcing Friday whether Nas' '96 masterpiece or Jay's '98 classic will take the East Coast's no. 8 amongst seven other bangers. Voting for Nas or Jay is a wrap come 12 a.m. Friday. Look out for the bracket announcements throughout the week!