By D.L. Chandler
West has done it again.
While the Internet is crazily trying to decipher the meaning behind "H.A.M." — the acronym title of Kanye West and Jay-Z's debut single of their upcoming Watch The Throne album, which 'Ye tweeted on Thursday (January 6). Some say the letters stand for "Hating Ass Muthaf---as," neither West nor Jay have confirmed. — RapFix has compiled a list of some of more notable acronyms in hip-hop history.
1. De La Soul
One of the earliest uses of the acronym in hip-hop comes from Long Island trio De La Soul’s and their debut LP 3 Feet High And Rising is considered by most to be a hip-hop classic. The track features weird but fitting abstract rhymes from the Plugs 1 and 2 along with some soulful samples and scratches on the hook.
2. Gang Starr
On the legendary duo’s fourth album Hard To Earn, the original Gang Starr Foundation are all present including the group's co-creator Big Shug, who joins his Boston compatriot Guru over Primo’s piano-laced cut.
3. Wu-tang Clan
The second single from the Shaolin Clansmen’s groundbreaking debut album Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) went gold and Method Man’s infectious hook, along with many verses from the featured Clan members, are among some of hip-hop's most sampled lines.
4. Killah Priest
Featured on the Wu-Tang Clan-affiliated LP Liquid Swords by GZA, this somber yet reflective song was a bonus track which immediately became a mid-90s favorite amongst many. The Wu member’s voice sounds eerily similar to a certain metaphysical MC that was signed to Roc Nation recently (read: Jay Electronica).
As one half of the famed Queens duo Capone-N-Norega, Nore’s solo album was highly anticipated. Without his incarcerated partner to assist, the title cut from the Queens MC's debut LP, produced by the then-hot Trackmastas, was a mild late 90s club and radio hit that set up Nore’s Neptunes-produced hit "Superthug" excellently.
6. Mike Bigga
The artist formerly known as Killa Mike’s debut LP Monster boasted this cut as his second single. It featured raps from Outkast’s Big Boi and soul crooner Sleepy Brown. The MCs stay true to the song’s theme, with some vivid descriptions of the female anatomy along with Sleepy’s funk-tinged vocals bringing it all together.
Perhaps the most famous and bitten concept in hip-hop history, Common’s single from his second album Resurrection spawned a slew of imitators using the abstract to describe and defend their affinity of hip-hop music and culture. The song even sparked a short-lived feud between the Chicago MC and West Coast legend Ice Cube. The H.E.R. acronym is firmly a part of hip-hop’s vast lexicon, earning the Windy City vet a firm position in the annals of musical history.
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