The legendary posse cut. 4 or more of your favourite emcees jumping in on one song, all trying to outshine each other. To me posse cuts are like the pinnacle of a great rap album, the main event so to speak. You know the old saying, “nobody wants to be out-shined on their own song”, so the posse cut was like the ultimate test for showcasing rhyme skills side by side.
A hip-hop track in which four or more artists rap.
For this post I want to present what I consider to be the 40 greatest posse cuts of all time. You can give us your favourites in the comments section at the end.
The criteria for this list is that all the songs must feature 4 mc’s or more, preferably from at least 2 different rap group. I’ll make an exception for Wu Tang solo joints featuring other Wu members but not Wu Tang group albums. Wu Tang Clan would need a top 20 list all their own, but It wouldn’t be right to leave them out of this one entirely.
40. Craig Mack – Flava In Ya Ear (Remix) (1994)
Ft: Craig Mack, Biggie, LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes & Rampage
Craig Mack’s 1994 smash hit “Flava In Ya Ear” was a hugely popular solo track that became a posse cut when it received the remix treatment, adding Biggie, LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes and Rampage in to the mix.
39. Tommy Tee – World Renown (1999)
Ft: AG, Large Professor, Mike Zoot, Pete Rock
Back in 1999 Norwegian record producer, Tommy Tee, assembled some of hip hop’s royalty for a Guesswhyld project. This quality posse cut with it’s steller production also has some classic record sleeve artwork by the talented Skam2 making it a nice collectable piece of 12″ vinyl.
38. MC Ren – Mr Fuck Up (1993)
Ft: ‘The Whole Click,’ Grinch, Bone, Juvenile & J-Rocc
In 1993, N.W.A legend MC Ren, dropped his most controversial album to date, the apocolyptic and long out of print “Shock Of The Hour“. The album introduced us to a new group called The Whole Click, consisting of Bigg J-Rocc, Grinch, Bone and Ren’s brother Juvenile. “Mr Fuck Up” turned out to be one of my favourite joints on the album with its dark and eerie bass heavy production. A nice little overlooked gem in the world of hip hop posse cuts.
37. Mobb Deep – Eye For An Eye (Your Beef Is Mine) (1995)
Ft: Prodigy, Havoc, Nas & Raekwon
We couldn’t have a posse cuts list without throwing in one from the Infamous Mobb Deep. Legend has it that Nas actually recorded two versions of his verse for the track but I doubt the lost verse will ever surface.
36. Penthouse Players Clique – Trust No Bitch
Ft: DJ Quik, Playa Hamm, Eazy E & AMG
Absolutely love Penthouse Players, “Paid The Cost”. Their one and only album from 1992. The production from DJ Quik and DJ Battlecat was on point, and of course you couldn’t have a Ruthless records joint without Eazy E dropping a verse or two, which he did on the albums posse cut, “Trust No Bitch”. An ode to scandalous females everywhere. The album was also another opportunity for DJ Quik to let off hard on the East coast’s rap scene, particularly the South Bronx. A diss aimed straight at Tim Dog no doubt
35. Too Short – The Dangerous Crew (1993)
Ft: Too Short, Pee Wee, Spice 1, Ant Banks & Mhisani
Too Shorts 1993 album, Get In Where you fit in, showcased Short’s Dangerous Crew. A collective of Oakland emcees and live musicians. Shorty B on the bass and drums, Pee-Wee on keyboards, drums and guitar, and Ant Banks on keyboards, drums, programming and mixing. The rappers consisted of Too Short, Goldy, FM Blue, Dangerous Dame, Rappin’ Ron, Ant Diddley Dog, Spice 1 and Father Dom. This posse cut featuring Pee Wee, Spice 1, Ant Banks & Mhisani, made great use of Funkadelics “Freak of The week”, Just like Digital Underground had done 2 years earlier with “Heartbeat Props”, only this time Ant Banks turned the funk up a notch more.
34. Venomous2000 – The Most Efficient (2011)
Ft: Venomous 2000, Cymarshall Law, John Robinson, El Da Sensei
I’ve been a Venomous fan since 2013, but I must confess I was a latecomer to this posse cut. I have to say Scottish Beatmaker SciFi Stu killed it with the production here, El Da Sensei has never sounded so good……Quality!
33. N’Matez – Trajical (2012)
Ft: Lady Of Rage, RBX, Daz & Kurupt
Just listen to the Lady of Rage, as she almost explodes!!!!
32. RUN DMC – Down With The King (1993)
Ft: RUN, CL Smooth, D.M.C & Pete Rock
This RUN DMC classic received heavy airplay back in the day, probably because the music video was so epic and featured cameos from, Redman, Kris Kross, Jermaine Dupri, Onyx, Salt-n-Pepa, KRS-One, EPMD, A Tribe Called Quest, Kid Capri, Das EFX, P.M. Dawn, Naughty by Nature and even the Godfather of gangsta rap, Eazy-E. The song contains samples of Galt MacDermot’s “Where Do I Go” from the original Broadway cast recording of the rock musical Hair and Run–D.M.C.’s 1988 single “Run’s House”. Pete Rock and CL Smooth’s verses contain reused lyrics from Run DMC’s 1983 single “Sucker M.C.’s”. “Down with the King” was certified Gold by the RIAA on May 11, 1993.
31. Panther: Movie Soundtrack – The Points (1995)
Ft: The Notorious B.I.G., Coolio, Doodlebug of the Digable Planets, Big Mike, Buckshot, Redman, Ill Al Skratch, Rock of Heltah Skeltah, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Busta Rhymes, Menace Clan / 5th Ward Boyz and Jamal
This one could potentially be the most slept on posse cut of all time, which is surprising given the magnitude of the artists featured on it. Easy Mo Bee’s version featured the Menace Clan, while DJ U-Neek’s version featured the 5th Ward Boyz.
30. Outkast – Mainstream (1996)
Ft: T-Mo Goodie, Andre 3000, Khujo Goodie & Big Boi
A masterpiece album wouldn’t be complete without a posse cut and the ATLantian super stars brought in a couple of East Point natives from Goodie Mob to create “Mainstream”, a dark but thought provoking song about navigating through the ghettos shark infested waters. T-Mo and Khujo Goodie are both in full “Soul Food” form with their distinctively overstated Southern slang that we all love.
29. Above The Law – Call It What You Want (1992)
Ft: 2Pac, Money B, Cold 187um, KMG
“Call It What You Want” is classic posse cut featuring the late Tupac Shakur and Digital Underground’s Money B. The track features on Above The Law’s, “Black Mafia Life” album, and was also given an official release on 12″ single in 1992. The music video features a short cameo appearance from Eazy E and MC Ren.
28. GZA – 4th Chamber (1995)
Ft: GZA, Ghostface Killah, Killah Priest & RZA
Possibly my favourite Wu Tang solo joint. Using soundbites from the classic samurai movie Shogun Assassin, The GZA managed to preserve that authentic martial arts theme that the Wu had become so loved for. This beat with its deep and bassy guitar distortions had me amped the first time I heard it. I remember blowing out my car speakers when it first dropped in 95. Classic!!
27. South Central Cartel – The Gangsta Team (1994)
Ft: Havikk, Prodeje, 2Pac, Ice T, Mc Eiht, Spice 1
Havocc the Mouthpiece assembled some of the west coast’s dopest rappers for South Central Cartel’s, 1994 gangsta rap classic ‘N Gatz We Truss’. SCC would become known for their epic collaboration projects as they released another 2 posse cuts the following year under the “Murder Squad” moniker.
26. 2Pac – Got My Mind Made Up (1996)
FEATURING: 2Pac, Dat Nigga Daz, Kurupt, Redman & Method Man
In 1996, at the height of the east coast/west coast rivalry, 2Pac dropped his momentous double album ‘All Eyes On Me’. Despite the bi-coastal beef wars, Pac brought in 2 heavyweights from the East, “Red Man and Method Man,” to add some diversity to this excellent posse cut. “Mind Made Up”, also features Death Row label mates Daz & Kurupt.
25. Luniz – Killaz On The Payroll (1997)
Ft: Phats Bossalini, Madd Maxx, Numskull, Poppa L.Q, Yukmouth,
The album may have marked the end of the Luniz/too $hort rivalry, but Yukmouth still had some choice words for Rappin 4-Tay, as he fires some heavy shots at the Sanfrancisco legend. The Luniz hit their peak with this slept on and very infectious mafioso flavoured posse cut.
24. Dr. Dre/Group Therapy – East Coast/West Coast Killas (1996)
Ft: RBX, B-Real, KRS One, Nas
Between 96 and 97 it would seem Dr Dre was pondering the idea of forming a supergroup that would ignite his Aftermath label. The Group Therapy project, which consisted of RBX, B-Real, KRS One and Nas was an interesting fusion of east and west coast flavour, but it only seemed to materialize in to one single that featured on Dre’s Aftermath comp album. Dre did eventually get his supergroup together, signing The Firm to his Aftermath label.
23. MC Serch – Back to the Grill (1992)
Ft: MC Serch, Red Hot Lover Tone, Nas, Chubb Rock
While “Live at the BBQ” goes down in history as one of the most well-known posse cuts, let’s face facts, it was all about Nas on that one. “Back to the Grill” on the other hand is more balanced out with standout performances by Serch and Chubb, not to mention it boasts a funkier beat. Still, Nas’ rhymes are still irreverent and astounding as they were “Live at the BBQ”. I mean, “waving automatic guns at nuns?” “My rhymes are hotter than a prostitute with gonorrhoea?” Goddamn, Nas killed this posse cut as well, no question about it.
22. South Central Cartel – Sowhatusayin (1995)
Ft: South Central Cartel, Ft. Jaylo Felony, MC Eiht, Treach, Sh’killa & Spice 1
Yet another epic posse cut from the “unofficial” masters of posse cuts, South Central Cartel. This one featured on the soundtrack to Russell Simmons 1995 Hip Hop documentary “The Show.” S.C.C were also signed to Simmons’ Rush Asscoiated labels around that time.
BEST VERSE: Jayo Felony
21. Stop the Violence Movement – Self Destruction (1989)
Ft: Boogie Down Productions (KRS-One, D-Nice & Ms. Melodie), Stetsasonic (Delite, Daddy-O, Wise, and Frukwan) Kool Moe Dee, MC Lyte, Doug E. Fresh, Just-Ice, Heavy D, Public Enemy (Chuck D & Flavor Flav)
A 1988 murder during a BDP and Public Enemy concert, mobilised community leaders and prominent east coast hip hop artists to form the Stop The Violence Movement in a bid to bring awareness to violence within the black community. The movement spawned one of the biggest posse cuts of all time, “Self Destruction”.
20. Big L – Da Graveyard (1995)
Ft: Big L, Lord Finesse, Microphone Nut, Jay Z, Party Arty & Grand Daddy I U
“Creep through your block, fuck a glock; I step, through your neighborhood armed with nothing but a rep.” Back in the days before Hov ascended to dizzying heights of fame, he was sending emcees to the Graveyard with D.I.T.C heavyweights. R.I.P Big L.
19. Same Gang – West Coast All Stars
Ft: King Tee, Body & Soul, Def Jef , Michel’le, Tone-Loc, Above The Law, Ice-T, Dr. Dre & MC Ren, Young MC, JJ Fad, Oaktowns 3.4.7, Digital Underground, MC Hammer & Eazy-E
Same Gang was the west coast’s equivalent of the east coast’s Self Destruction anthem in that 14 of the west’s most relevant rappers of the era gathered to bring awareness of the gang culture that was plaguing inner city communities.
18. The Luniz – 5 on it (Remix) (1995)
Ft: E-40, RICHIE RICH, SPICE 1, DRU DOWN, & SHOCK G
There probably wasn’t a soul on earth that wasn’t familiar with the “I Got 5 On It” melody back in 95. It wasn’t long before the label would cash in on the songs popularity with a remix featuring some more Oak-town vets.
17. 9th Wonder – Merchants of Dreams (2007)
Ft: Chaundon, Skyzoo, Torae and L.E.G.A.C.Y
When super producer, 9th Wonder isn’t making beats for his North Carolina crew, Little Brother, he’s laying the tracks for some of the dopest emcees in the game. The second installment of his Dream Merchant compilation project, released in October 2007 through Sixhole Records, featured the likes of Yasiin Bey, Jean Grae, Buck Shot, Sean Price and many more.
16. Marley Marl (Juice Crew) – The Symphony
Ft: Masta Ace, Big Daddy Kane, Craig G, Doug E Fresh and Kool G Rap
Often touted as the benchmark that all posse cuts are measured by. The Symphony featured some of the baddest lyricists of the 80’s era. Masta Ace, Big Daddy Kane, Craig G, Doug E Fresh and Kool G Rap teamed up to form the Juice Crew, and together with some timeless Marley Marl production, “The Symphony” was the end result.
15. Digital Underground – Family Of The Underground (1991)
Ft: Shock G, Blocko, Mack One, Kenny K, Big Stretch (Live Squad), Master Mind, Shassiah, The God Rakiem, O.B., D-Love (PBC),
“People wanna know about the Underground, and how the hip hop rivers keep flowin, they wanna know where we’ve been and where we’re goin, straight droppin style, after style, let’s take a look through the M-C file..” In my opinion, Shock G is the unsung melody master of hip hop, and Digital Underground’s, ‘Sons Of The P’, is still one of my all time favourite albums.
14. South Central Cartel – No Peace (1995)
Ft: Prodeje, Young Prodeje, Havik, Ice-T, Powerlord JEL, Spice 1, Ant Banks, Boss & Treach
Taken from South Central Cartel’s 1995 ‘Murder Squad world wide project’, “No Peace,” boasted features from Ice-T, Powerlord JEL, Spice 1, Ant Banks, Boss & Treach making it the stand out track on the album.
13. LL Cool J – I Shot Ya (1995)
Ft. LL Cool J, Fat Joe, Foxy Brown, Keith Murray & Prodigy
This infamous LL Cool J track may have come at a time when East Coast/West Coast tension was heating up after Tupac being shot 5 times at a Times Square recording studio, but the track is allegedly aimed at Puff Daddy. LL had featured on Craig Mack’s “flavor in ya ear” remix the previous year and was due to feature on a project for Mary J Blige with Biggie and Kieth Murray also guest versing. For whatever reason the deal went sour and Mary’s song project became Biggie’s “Who Shot Ya” track instead. LL must have felt some kind of way about the deal and this excellent posse cut was his response. Ironically it’s Ice T and Kool Moe Dee who take the direct shots, leaving the audience to interpret the Puffy subliminal for themselves.
12. Heavy D – Don’t Curse (1991)
Heavy D, Kool G Rap, Grand Puba, C.L. Smooth, Big Daddy Kane, Pete Rock, Q-Tip
I’ve never been a big fan of Heavy D, probably because I still have visions of him and the Boyz dancing around in yellow rubber rain-coats in the “Now That We Found Love” video. Still there’s no denying he did drop a few gems, including “Don’t Curse”, which featured some major lyracists. As always, Kool G. Rap steals the show, displaying some phenomenal linguistics.
11. D.I.T.C. Presents – South Bronx (2014)
Ft: AG, A-Bless, Tashane, Majestic Gage
South Bronx veteran and criminally under appreciated D.I.T.C affiliate, AG teams up with fellow BX mc’s to produce an anthem that’s all about reppin the birth place where it all started. A bangin beat and cuts from Dj premier top it all off nicely. I’m betting this will be the first time that most people reading this will have heard this banger….Thank me later in the comments section 😉
10. Main Source – Live at the Barbecue
Ft: Nas, Joe Fatal, Akinyele
Nasty Nas had his career mapped from day one and this classic from Main Source was just another opportunity for him to shine. This was also the debut track for Akinyele, who would later become known for his notoriously explicit sex rhymes.
9. Nas – Affirmative Action (1996)
Ft: AZ, Foxy Brown, & Cormega
Following the acclaim of his landmark debut album, “Illmatic”, Nas hooked up with AZ and together with Foxy Brown and Cormega, planned to form a super group that would tap in to the popularity of the mafioso rap genre of the mid 90s. However, Cormega later left the group due artistic differences between him and Nas, as well as contract disagreements with Nas’ manager Steve Stoute. He was later replaced by “Nature” prior to recording of the album, but not before featuring on the groups first debut “Affirmative Action”, which showcased on Nas’ 1996, Illmatic-sequel, “It Was Written”.
8. FTP Movement – Wrath Of The Siafu (2013)
FEATURING: Zayd Malik, El Sun, Ekundayo, Methuzulah, Mike Flo, G.R.E.A.T. Scott, FluxWonda, Isreal, Sa Roc, Chosen, StaHHr
Next up we have a posse cut from more recent years. Back in 2012, eleven of the dopest underground mc’s from around the Atlanta area gathered together under the umbrella of community activist Kalonji Jamma Changa and his FTP Movement. The result was mind blowing!!!
7. De La Soul – Buddy- Remix (1989)
Ft. Jungle Brothers, Q Tip, Monie Love & Queen Latifah
De La Soul’s “Buddy” was the third single released from their hugely successful debut album 3 Feet High and Rising. Buddy is also one of those tracks that’s often referred to as a true remix; as not only was the beat switched up, but the lyrics and guest features were too. Phife Dawg lends a verse on the extended mix but his appearance was left out on the official video.
6. D&D All-Stars – 1.. 2.. Pass It (1995)
Ft: Mad Lion, Doug E Fresh, KRS-One, Fat Joe, Smiff-N-Wessun and Jeru The Damaja
The mighty D&D Studios, the iconic recording space which permanently closed its doors in January 2015 after more than 20 years of spawning some of hip hops most important records, including this magificent posse cut from 1995. The track also contains one of the best Jeru verses in history.
5. Ice Cube – Color Blind (1991)
Ft: Ice Cube, Deadly Threat, J Dee, Kam, King Tee, Coolio & WC
Who could forget Color Blind, a vivid expose of L.A gang culture. Just one of a number of classic tracks taken from Ice Cube’s socio-political masterpiece, Death Certificate.
4. Ice-T – What Ya Wanna Do? (1989)
Ft: Ice-T & The Rhyme $yndicate, Randy Mac, Nat The Cat, Donald D, Bronx Style Bob, Hen-Gee, Shaquel Shabazz, Toddy Tee, Everlast, M.C. Taste & Divine Styler
An absolute classic from Ice-T’s 1989 album “The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech…Just Watch What You Say“. The song features the whole line up of Rhyme Syndicate royalty, with fine production from Afrika Islam and Ice T himself.
3. Raekwon – Wu Gambinos (1995)
Ft: Method Man, Raekwon, RZA, Masta Killa & Ghostface Killah
“No information, just say yes or no”
I’ll never forget the first time I heard Wu Gambinos on Tim Westwood back in 95. I remeber throwing a TDK tape in the deck and hitting record. Being the huge Wu fan I was at that time I was always looking for any new material I could get my hands on and Westwood’s Wu exclusive had me eagerly anticipating what the rest of Rae’s Cuban Linx joint had in store. Wu Gambinos is still one of my all time favourite Wu joints. It posseses that unmistakable raw RZA production that I miss so much. In regards to posse cuts, this one is charged with adrenaline and still gets me amped!!
2. A Tribe Called Quest – Scenario (1991)
Ft: Phife, Q-Tip, Leaders of the New School: Dinco D, Charlie Brown, Busta Rhymes
What can we say about this classic posse cut anthem from A Tribe Called Quest? People still lose they shit every time this drops. Probably the first introduction to Busta Rhymes for many people too….“Raaah raaah like a dungeon dragon”. Classic!!!
1. Geto Boys – Bring It On (1993)
Ft: Scarface, 2Low, Seagram, Too Much Trouble, 5th Ward Boyz , Odd Squad, Ganksta N-I-P, DMG, Lord 3-2 & Big Mello
I’ve got a soft spot for anything coming out of the early Rap-A-Lot stable and “Bring It On” from the Geto Boys 1993 album ‘Till Death Do Us Part’ tops my list of memorable posse cut moments. Almost 9 minutes of the hardest verses ever put down on wax by an assortment of the hardest rappers that the dirty South has ever produced. If it doesn’t rank number one as the greatest posse cut of all time, it certainly ranks number one as the hardest. “It’s the return of the motherfuckin dreadlock, puttin fools in headlocks, givin ni***s head shots”, If only James Prince had put out a video for this, that shit would be historical, especially now that 3 of the featured rappers have now passed away. R.I.P Seagram, Big Mello & Mr. 3-2
And that concludes “The 40 Greatest Posse Cuts of All Time” run down. How did I do? Tell me your favourites in the comments below ⇓
Forgotten Beefs: Ice Cube VS Cypress Hill