Man, I can’t believe 106 & Parkers most likely don’t know who Boot Camp Click is.
Dudes may have caught Buckshot on Rap City on one of the last episodes and flipped the channel immediately. They don’t know what they’re missing, though. I was revisiting “Leflah Leflah Eshkoshka” the other day. Rockness Monstah killed it, but Starang stole the show if you ask me. There’s just something about his opening lines, “Ay Carumba! Starang, Gun clappa number, one on the set, man/I cut you like lumber.” He didn’t say anything spectacular there, but his presence and the way he pronounced his words made the verse classic. He hooked the listener with his first bars, which is what any MC should aim to do.
There have been some classic verse openers over the years. Some slugger MCs swing for the fences on the first pitch, but again, it’s not always about what you say. At times, it’s about how it’s being said. Here are some of my personal favorite opening lines.
“I ain’t no joke/I used to let the mic smoke/now I slam it when I’m done and make sure it’s broke” Rakim “I Ain’t No Joke,” Paid In Full
” Mic check, I walk around the street with a black tech nine by the wasteline kickin out hype shit/I don’t pretend the be the best type of rapper, but have to/show these motherfuckers what I’m after” Redman, “Tonight’s Da Night,” Whut? Thee Album
“I smoke on the mic like smokin Joe Frazer/the hell raiser/raisin hell with the flavor/terrorizing jams like troops in Pakistan/swinging through your town like a neighborhood Spider-Man” Inspector Deck of Wu-Tang Clan “Protect Ya Neck,” Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
“Rappers I monkey flip ‘em with the funky rhythm I be kickin/Musician, inflictin composition/
of pain I’m like Scarface sniffin cocaine/Holdin a M-16, see with the pen I’m extreme” Nas “NY State Of Mind,” Illmatic
“Who the fuck is this?/pagin me at 5:46 in the morning/crack of dawn and now I’m yawnin/wipe the cold out my eye/see who’s this pagin me and why” The Notorious B.I.G. “Warning,” Ready To Die
“At a thousand degrees celsius, I make mc’s melt/ fuck my record label, I appear courtesy of myself/Let me explain how I maintain thresholds to pain/I walk across the Sun barefoot lookin for shade” Canibus on The Firm’s “Desperados,” The Firm
“I never freestyle for free, without charging motherfuckers a fee/it’ll cost you a brain cell just to cipha with me” Canibus “How We Roll,” Can-I-Bus
“Take minks off! Take things off!Take chains off! Take rings off! Bracelets is yappd, Fame came off! [Ante up!] Everything off!” -M.O.P. “Ante Up,” Warriorz
“Who the fuck you think you fuckin’ with I’m the fuckin boss/745 white on white that’s fuckin Ross” Rick Ross “Hustlin,” Port Of Miami
This is just off the top. I can be here all day. Shoot! I almost forgot Phife Dawg on “Electric Relaxation.” “I like em brown, yellow, puerto rican and haitian.” Big L, Kane and Hov had some memorable openers too. What are your favorites? -Jackpot