The BIG List: Rap's 30 Most Powerful Album Intros (#16 - 15)
"Intro: A Million and One Questions/Rhyme No More," from In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 (1997)
Choosing your favorite Jay-Z intro is like choosing your favorite Michael Jordan moment. You really can't go wrong regardless of what you pick—but you're gonna have a tough time narrowing it down to just one. So we won't be too upset if you say you'd rather hear "Intro" from 2000's Roc La Familia or "The Ruler's Back" from 2001's The Blueprint. But Jay over Premier on "A Million and One..." is tough to overlook.
"Hard Times," from Run-D.M.C. (1984)
It's hard to even compare rap intros from the early 1980s to rap intros of today, because back then, guys weren't giving up a track—especially the intro track—to talk shit or put on a skit. Just look at Run-D.M.C.'s seminal debut, where the guys covered a Kurtis Blow song from 1980 to introduce themselves to the world. Hard times never sounded so good.