“Scenario”, the closing track from The Low End Theory, is one of the greatest posse cuts of all time1. Featuring Leaders of The New School, Scenario is probably most well know for Busta Rhymes’ catchy, quotable, energetic final verse.
In order for a track like this to work, your lead off hitter has to set the tone early and often. Phife more than accomplishes this, balancing playfulness, boasting, and “hardness” (not “O.G/thuggish hard”, but “booming”… if that makes sense ). From the call-and-response start, through a string of cliches, to one of Phife’s most memorable lines (“…to show you where I come from”), Phifer KILLS it. It might be the one time where Phife out raps Q-Tip.
- I define a “posse cut” as a track with loosely affiliated artists. The artists aren’t part of a group, but maybe part of a larger collective. NWA’s “Straight Outta Compton” – not a posse cut because they are part of a group. G Unit’s “Hate It or Love It (Remix)” – Posse Cut. Wu Tang Clan’s recordings – not a posse cut. No Limit’s “Make ‘Em Say Uhh!” – posse cut.