Lean Back

Many searched for the summer banger, but only Fat Joe's Terror Squad claimed the prize

Meanwhile, Mobb Deep's Havoc ended up selling his career defining beat to Jadakiss. The Yonkers champ croaked a bird call and promptly unraveled 52 questions over "Why," saving one for the very Training Day flick idolized in "No Problem": "Why did Denzel have to be crooked before he won it?" (öKiss fails to ask why he put Mariah Carey on Kiss of Death.) A food-for-thought banger with a soulful sweet tooth in crooner Anthony Hamilton, "Why" runs the president, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and "that whore" across urban radio. Though intrinsically less provocative after the first listen, it stamps Election Day in the dome more effectively than any "Vote or Die" T-shirt.

There were two dances to choose from last summer. One, the absurd "Jesus Walks" dance, sent you straight to hell. The other was simply ingenious in a way only the King Koopa of this rap shit, in all his street-smirking seriousness, could have concocted. Hands down, "Lean Back" was the drink-in-hand, now-do-the-rockaway anthem that could not be fucked with, because who can clown on an anti-dance?

It's beyond smart. Once faceless producer Scott Storch has gone public off the heavyweight hit's exposure (and since Dr. Dre scrapped Detox, that's a rule for survival). Hearing Joey Crack parlay, "Said my niggaz don't dance, we just pull up our pants" over the high-stakes hum of Storch's studious violin samples ... Well, that's a classy rumble, the kind of effort that sends a competitor to the top, standing tall as he watches other worthy contenders change lanes, crash, and false start for the rest of a hip-hop summer.

Season of the Terror Squad: Tony Sunshine (left), Prospect,  Remy Martin, Fat Joe, and Armageddon
Courtesy of Universal Records
Season of the Terror Squad: Tony Sunshine (left), Prospect, Remy Martin, Fat Joe, and Armageddon

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