Dark Light

These days, the term b-side usually refers to an artist’s lesser known songs and deep album cuts, so for all you youngsters all there, here’s a quick history lesson.

Back in the days of vinyl, the b-side was usually the other side of a single (the a-side). The formula would typically be, the a-side for the radio and the b-side for the streets.

There have been cases in the past where the b-side got so hot that it would overtake the a-side and demand it’s own single release – see Gang Starr and Jay Z below.

So let’s get into it, here are the 23 greatest hip hop b-sides of all time (in no particular order).

Raekwon – “Incarcerated Scarfaces”

Released: September 25, 1995

B-side to: “Ice Cream”

Appears on: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…

Gang Starr – “DWYCK”

Released: December 29, 1992

B-side to: “Take it Personal”

Appears on: Hard to Earn

Run-D.M.C. – “Peter Piper”

Released: May 29, 1986

B-side to: “My Adidas”

Appears on: Raising Hell

EPMD – You’re a Customer

Released: 1987

B-side to: “It’s My Thing”

Appears on: Strictly Business

Slick Rick – “Mona Lisa”

Released: June 15, 1989

B-side to: “Hey Young World”

Appears on: The Great Adventures of Slick Rick

Big Daddy Kane – “Warm It Up, Kane”

Released: August 3, 1989

B-side to: “Smooth Operator”

Appears on: It’s a Big Daddy Thing

Wu-Tang Clan – “Method Man”

Released: May 3, 1993

B-side to: “Protect Ya Neck”

Appears on: Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

Main Source – “Live At The Barbeque”

Released: 1991

B-side to: “Just Hangin’ Out”

Appears on: Breaking Atoms

Ice Cube – “No Vaseline”

Released: October 29, 1991

B-side to: “Steady Mobbin'”

Appears on: Death Certificate

Gang Starr – “Check The Technique”

Released: 1991

B-side to: “Step In The Arena”

Appears on: Step In The Arena

The Notorious B.I.G. – “Unbelievable”

Released: August 9, 1994

B-side to: “Juicy”

Appears on: Ready to Die

Raekwon – “Glaciers of Ice”

Released: June 27, 1995

B-side to: “Criminology”

Appears on: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…

Jay Z – “Ain’t No Ni**a”

Released: February 20, 1996

B-side to: “Dead Presidents”

Appears on: Reasonable Doubt

Redman – “How To Roll A Blunt”

Released: August 25, 1992

B-side to: “Blow Your Mind”

Appears on: Whut? Thee Album

Nas – “The World Is Yours (Tip Mix)”

Released: May 31, 1994

B-side to: “The World Is Yours”

Appears on: N/A

MC Shan – “The Bridge”

Released: 1986

B-side to: “Beat Biter”

Appears on: Down by Law

Jay Z – “A Million And One Questions / Rhyme No More”

Released: February 3, 1998

B-side to: “The City Is Mine”

Appears on: In My Lifetime, Vol. 1

Audio Two – “Top Billin'”

Released: October 15, 1987

B-side to: “Make It Funky”

Appears on: What More Can I Say?

Big Daddy Kane – “Wrath of Kane”

Released: 1988

B-side to: “I’ll Take You There”

Appears on: It’s a Big Daddy Thing

Run-D.M.C. – “Sucker M.C.’s”

Released: August 10, 1983

B-side to: “It’s Like That”

Appears on: Run-D.M.C.

Doug E. Fresh & MC Ricky D – “La Di Da Di”

Released: August 13, 1985

B-side to: The Show”

Appears on: N/A

The Notorious B.I.G. – “Who Shot Ya?”

Released: February 20, 1995

B-side to: “Big Poppa”

Appears on: N/A

Eric B. & Rakim – “My Melody”

Released: 1986

B-side to: “Eric B. Is President”

Appears on: Paid in Full

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts