HHH: Top 20 Hip Hop Tracks of 2008


Nas‘ “Hero,” Lil Wayne‘s “A Milli,” DJ Khaled‘s “Out Here Grindin’.” It’s been a strong year for rap, and those are just three of the cuts that have stuck in our ears for awhile. We’re currently celebrating the old school heroes with our annual Hip Hop Honors show (airs Monday night, October 6 at 10 pm), but we’re not forgetting the MCs at work today. 2008 isn’t over yet, but here’s a list of the year’s 20 hottest tunes.

Check out our list of hip hop’s greatest weed songs, too.

When Flav Met Estelle


Yesterday, Flavor Flav?and Estelle?rehearsed their tribute honoring the late, great Isaac Hayes. After their performance, Flav approached the “American Boy” singer to introduce himself.??

Flav, obviously, was taken with Estelle…?

Then made her pose for a picture…

Which the lovely singer obviously obliged. I think we can call off Flavor of Love 4.?

Be sure to tune in Monday, October 6th at 10 p.m. to watch the sparks fly.?

Busta Rhymes: Powerless Against Technology


Above, we ask Busta Rhymes about the way media has changed since he first entered the game and he lets us know what he really thinks about the Internet and blog culture. Right here, we explain why Busta’s “Don’t Touch Me” is one of this year’s Top 20 Hip Hop Tracks.

Watch Hip Hop Honors 2008 on VH1 on Monday, October 6, 10 pm ET.

Mos Def Talks About His Hero, Ghostface Forgets Lyrics


Even though Mos Def‘s paying tribute to Isaac Hayes at this year’s Hip Hop Honors, he had some choice words about his hero and one-time obsession, Slick Rick.???

Ghostface Killah, who is tributing Slick Rick, stopped by to share with us some of the joys and hardships of covering Slick.

Eve Raps, Biz Beatboxes And Busta’s Got Babies


Just when you thought the house couldn?t get any more packed, Busta Rhymes, Eve and MC Lyte show up to join Biz Markie for their tribute to Slick Rick. Eve lounges on the steps as she and Ghostface Killah chat, and Biz and Busta joke around up until the minute the Slick Rick medley starts.

Once the bass kicks in though, it?s all business. MC Lyte struts out on the stage, lyric sheet in hand, announcing that the ruler is back. Moments later, Busta Rhymes and Spliff Star run out, launching into ?The Show,? and nearly miss the exit once their segment is over. Ghostface Killah and Biz duet on ?La Di Da Di,? with Biz?s chest-hollowing bass backing up Ghostface?s gloriously off-kilter vocals.

Next to us, our lovely online host, Gym Class Heroes? Travis McCoy fields emails from his special lady friend, the girl-kissing Katy Perry, and Busta?s sons, the next generation of hip-hop, tag along with their dad.

Everyone’s Talking Hip Hop Honors


The buzz about Hip Hop Honors is spilling into all sorts of quarters these days. The respect that contemporary rap artists have for the musicians that paved the way is obvious. Here are a couple of blogs getting primed for the show by punditizing on the past.

First up, Rhapsody. Here’s Devin the Dude on Slick Rick:

“Every time you heard [his music], you laughed, danced, and at the end, it had a storyline. A lot of rap didn?t have storylines back then, but Slick Rick was real good at that. Anybody can just say they?re a story teller, but there?s an art to it and he figured it out.” Read the whole interview at Rhapsody.

And over at The Smoking Section, they’re kicking an overview of Cypress Hill‘s ganga sensibilities.

“Potheads wrapped Mary Jane in cigar skins long before Cypress Hill endorsed it, but the first Latino rap group to go platinum helped introduce blunts to the mainstream. In 1991 Cypress Hill dropped a self-titled debut album celebrating L.A. gang culture and, more prominently, marijuana. They weren?t the first rappers to talk about weed, just as N.W.A. wasn?t the first to spit gangsta shit. But B-Real?s nasal vocals, Sen Dog?s gravelly ad-libs and DJ Muggs? stoned, off-kilter beats set off a revolution.” Read the whole piece.

Check out the list of hip hop’s greatest weed songs. Did your fave make the cut?

Read what DJ Drama has to say about the glory of De La Soul at Rhapsody. Full interview here.

Watch our Hip Hop Honors show on VH1 on Monday, October 6 at 10 EST.

It Takes A Nation Of Pot Smokers: Hip Hop Honoring Cypress Hill


Jim Jones, Mack 10 and Gym Class Heroes are just a few of the artists who’ll hit the stage to salute Cypress Hill during this year’s Hip Hop Honors (airing Monday, October 6 at 10/9c). We caught up with the honorers to hear their thoughts on the mary jane-praising group, and to get to the bottom of a highly important question: do you have to be high to enjoy Cypress Hill’s music. Answers below.

Check out our Greatest Weed Songs list.