10 Songs That Defined New York Rap to Me, From the Outside Looking In

I grew up as a ‘90s hip-hop head, which means that I have an ironically romantic view of New York City. Though my musical palette tended to veer south (where I lived) and west (where the sounds seemed fit for driving), I knew that New York City was what made it all possible. Also, I say “ironically” because most of the hip hop I loved from NYC at that time was the grimy, rah-rah, boom-bap stuff that typically spoke to a life of which I had zero understanding or desire to step into. But it looked and sounded like hip hop to me. That’s all I needed…


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