With all the hype surrounding the controversial album cover, the upcoming short film and the ongoing “G.O.O.D. Fridays” project, there is one fascinating story that has gotten a bit lost in the run up to the release of Kanye West’s new album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. During the Los Angeles premiere of “Runaway,” West revealed that the next single from the album (the third overall, after “Power” and “Runaway”) will be a track called “All of the Lights,” and it will feature a staggering list of guest stars. On that track, there are drop-ins from Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Elton John, Fergie, John Legend, The-Dream, Tony Williams, Kid Cudi, Charlie Wilson, Ryan Leslie and La Roux’s Elly Jackson. “It’s completely seamless and completely ghetto as f—,” West said of the track.
Not only is that a huge number of collaborators for one song (that’s 11 total, which means a full dozen voices once West participates), but that’s also an incredible diverse collection of people (with no two voices sounding alike). No matter what it sounds like, it will end up being one of the craziest posse cuts in history. What are some of the others? We’re glad you asked.
“It’s All About the Benjamins (Rock Remix)” featuring Diddy, Jadakiss, Styles P, Sheik Louch, Lil’ Kim, Notorious B.I.G., Tommy Stinson, Fuzzbubble, Rob Zombie and Dave Grohl
That’s an awful lot of names, and yet somehow the guitar-happy version of “It’s All About the Benjamins” totally works. One of the biggest hits from Diddy’s height (which appeared on his massive solo debut No Way Out), “It’s All About the Benjamins” became big three times: Once by itself as a single (which only included Diddy, Jadakiss and Sheik Louch), once as a remix (the version that appeared on the album, which added Biggie Smalls and Lil’ Kim) and the final time as a rock song (which tacked on the rock names). Not all of Diddy’s rock experiments were winners (anybody remember the Led Zeppelin-biting “Come With Me”?), but this one worked.
“Ghetto Symphony” featuring Snoop Dogg, Mia X, Fiend, C-Murder, Silkk the Shocker, Mystikal and Goldie Loc
Snoop Dogg’s run with No Limit Records was a mixed bag, but his 1999 album No Limit Top Dogg is still probably the most underrated of his career. It not only represented his long-awaited reuniting with Dr. Dre (he produced three songs) but it also featured one of No Limit’s best posse cuts. Sure, “Make ’Em Say Uhh!” was an actual hit, but “Ghetto Symphony” (which borrows its beat from Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle”) shows off the skills of some of No Limit’s underdogs (Mia X comes across especially well).
“6 Minutes” featuring Big Boi, Witchdoctor, Big Gipp, Backbone, Khujo Goodie, T-Mo, Cee-Lo, Cool Breeze and Big Rube
A true posse cut in every sense of the word, “6 Minutes” (from the Dungeon Family’s stunning group album Even in Darkness) gathers together most of the best names under the Dungeon Family umbrella and lets them all cut loose with their best lyrical fireworks (though in all honesty, just about every single track on that album is a pretty excellent posse cut). One question: Where was Andre 3000?
“The Anthem” featuring Sway, King Tech, RZA, Eminem, Tech N9ne, Xzibit, Pharoahe Monch, Jayo Felony, Chino XL, KRS-One and Kool G. Rap
MTV News’ very own Sway got his start as the host of the highly influential radio program “The Wake-Up Show,” which was the definitive place for a rapper to lay down his best verse and step up into the big time. “The Anthem,” a big hit from Sway and his partner King Tech’s 1999 mixtape album This or That, got together an amazing level of amazing new talent (including Eminem, who was not yet a superstar) and enough old-school cool (like KRS-One and Kool G. Rap) to keep everything fresh. Also, it somehow manages to cram all of that talent into four-and-a-half minutes.
“Triumph” featuring RZA, GZA, Inspectah Deck, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Cappadonna, U-God, Masta Killa, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon
This one is a bit of a cheat, mostly because it’s just a Wu-Tang Clan track. But how many times did every single member of the Clan (plus off-the-bench star Cappadonna) spit on a single track, and did it so amazingly well? Not only does “Triumph” show how hard and intense the Clan could be when working as one, but it also was a big single that doesn’t have anything that resembles a chorus — a testament to the power of the RZA way back in ’97.
What’s your favorite hip-hop posse cut? Let us know in the comments!