In hip hop, fans and critics often marvel at and put a premium on the supreme soloists or groups who can craft classic songs and bodies of work while remaining the central figure. However, the most electric moments in the culture occur when multiple emcees collaborate on a track with the sole purpose of asserting themselves as the most lyrically gifted by delivering an epic rhyme spill that outclasses the others. Throughout the years, the songs -- which are generally referred to as "posse cuts" -- have become some of the most memorable in the genre's history, as rap's most legendary stars team up on wax and bringing the most rabid of rap fans' fantasies to reality.
In celebration of these historic songs and what they mean to the culture, REVOLT Presents: Tale of the Tape, our series in which we break down the greatest posse cuts of all-time and rank their verses from worst to first.
In our latest installment of the series, we'll be revisiting "Bling Bling," a song from B.G.'s 1999 album, Chopper City in the Ghetto. It finds him joining forces with label-mates Juvenile, Lil Wayne, Turk, and the Big Tymers. The first single released from the album, "Bling Bling" helped further establish Cash Money Records as the hottest new movement out of the south and a national powerhouse. Famously popularizing the term "Bling," which has since become not only a part of urban slang, but the English lexicon as a whole with the term being added to the Merriam Webster dictionary in 2006. While the song's radio edit includes a verse from Lil Wayne and peaked at No. 36 on the Billboard Hot 100, the album version with Turk rapping in place of Weezy is the one that diehard Cash Money fans revere and ranks among the label's greatest hits.
Without further adieu, check out our ranking of the verses on "Bling Bling" below.
5. Mannie Fresh
Known for his production prowess rather than his lyrical ability, Mannie Fresh's sheer charisma and outlandish humor earned him listeners' ears whenever he hopped on a track. This occasion was no different. In addition to supplying the beat for the song, the Big Tymer contributes a quick-strike verse where he brags about his various forms of transportation including a Lexus, helicopter, and a tricked-out private jet. In spite of its entertainment factor, Mannie Fresh's bars are serviceable at best, giving him last runner-up status in this particular ranking.
Standout Lyrics: "It's the nigga with the Lex bubble/Candy-coated helicopter with the leather cover/If ya suckin', not fuckin', take off therubber/Then toss that bitch nigga cause I don't love her/Balla, Manny bought a private plane/Then turned around and sold that bitch to Juve and Wayne."
At the time this record touched the streets, Juvenile had positioned himself as the most recognizable and accomplished member of the Cash Money Records roster with his multi-platinum debut, 400 Degreez. However, Juve plays a more reserved role this go-round with only eight bars worth of air-time allotted to the uptown rep. Spitting poetic rhymes about his bedazzled accessories and shouting out his Magnolia stomping grounds, Juvenile lays down a verse that's efficient. But, it falls near the bottom of the totem pole when matched against those of his label-mates.
Standout Lyrics: "I'm a 1999 driver/I'm a uptown Third Ward, Magnolia T.C. rider/Ol' ignorant ass always stuntin'/Big ballin' ass nigga you can see him when he comin'/Booted up, diamond up, golds be shinnin' up/Muthafuckas be blindin' up."
As the head honcho of the Cash Money clique, it's appropriate that the artist formerly known as Baby leads the pack, throwing his weight around with a verse full of cocksure swagger. Filling his couplets with nods to the debauchery that accompanies life as a member of his crew, Birdman makes it clear that he's a capitalist first with frequent references to the trappings of his wealth, particularly his collection of gaudy jewelry. However, occasional idle threats ("Beef I don't discuss, a nigga outta line gon' get his motherfuckin' head bust") and an apathetic attitude are a reminder of Birdman's roots in the New Orleans underworld and adds an aggressive undertone to this classic performance.
Standout Lyrics: "Hit the club, light the bitch up/The Cash Money motto is to drink 'til we throw up/Nigga point the ho out, guaranteed I can fuck/Woadie, I'm tattooed and balled up/Medallion iced up, Rolex bezelled up/And my pinky ring is platinum plus."
When looking at the nucleus of the Hot Boys, Turk's lack of commercial success and productivity outside of the group has led some to write him off as the weak-link of the group. However, showings like this one is a reminder that the notion is a shortsighted one. As one of Cash Money's trio of teenage phenoms, Turk's energy and bravado were key components in making the Hot Boys formidable and are put on full display. On this track, the unsung spitter attacked the beat with a tenacity that's palpable from the first line. Comparing his bank account with his age and pledging his loyalty to his crew, Turk's verse is a boastful one with the rapper putting the industry on notice that 1999 was the Cash Money Brothers' for the taking, a prophecy that ultimately proved to be true.
Standout Lyrics: "A lil' nigga seventeen playin' with six figures/Got so much ice you can skate on it nigga/When you see Cash Money you know we stay flossin'/Catch ya girl down bad ya know we straight tossin'/I ain't seen a clique yet that can stunt like mine/I ain't seen a 'Maro yet that can run like mine/1999, and it's our turn to shine/Fifty or better on our wrist and they all blind."
Despite only being 18 years old, B.G. was the most tenured artist on Cash Money Records at the time of this song's release. This made him a seasoned veteran with a command on the mic beyond his years. With four studio albums under his belt and a reputation as one of the most prolific independent artists out, B.G. getting his shining moment on the national stage was long overdue. But, the hardened street poet took full advantage of the moment and put together a string of rhymes about brandishing trinkets in his Mercedes Benz. Anchoring what is remembered by many as his coming-out party, B.G. shines on "Bling Bling." He placed his imprint on the track and ended one of the greatest posse-cuts of all-time with a performance that proved them boys from New Orleans were stunting on a whole other level.
Standout Lyrics: "I be that nigga with the ice on me/If it cost less than twenty it don't look right on me/I stay flossed out all through the week/My money long, if you don't know I'm the B.G/I be fuckin niggas bitches all in they home/Niggas be like, "Look at that Benz on all that chrome"/Diamonds worn by everybody that's in my click/Man I got the price of a mansion 'round my neck and wrist."
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