UpNorthTrips Presents The 10s | 914’s Where I’m Listed: 10 Westchester County Classic Songs

Published Material

We’ve been curating a new series on UpNorthTrips called The 10s, where we put together lists of ten songs or pieces of hip hop artifacts in categories to release regularly on the site, complete with a full write-up (which I’ve been doing in addition to coming up with themes and hand picking tracks) and an official DJ mix that can be streamed and downloaded for free. To set it off, we started on 10/10 by dropping a new episode of The 10s every weekday for 10 straight work days. One of the episodes featured 10 Westchester County Classic Songs, which I figured would be perfect to showcase here at Westcheddar. Check it out…

UpNorthTrips Presents The 10s | 914’s Where I’m Listed: 10 Westchester County Classic Songs

Taking any UpNorthTrips this fall? Maybe to visit your boy locked up, hit the mall, or take your boo to go apple picking? Whatever the reason, you will most certainly be breezin’ through or stopping in Westchester County. And don’t sleep, the 914 ain’t all sweet. You think it’s upstate because you see the trees and shit from the Saw Mill and the Hutch, but get off the wrong exit and you will be back in the projects in no time. And there’s plenty of talent lurking in those hoods. In fact, some of the hottest songs in hip hop history were created by residents in the cities of Yonkers, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, and even White Plains. So for today’s episode of The 10s, we bring you 10 Westchester County Classic Songs. And don’t worry, we’ll supply the trees for this one. We’ve got plenty of them. 

1. Grand Puba “What Goes Around (360)”
Album: Reel to Reel
Year: 1992
Hometown: New Rochelle
Breakdown: Puba went solo after Brand Nubian’s first album, and proved he was a star with his first single. It wasn’t long after this dropped that everyone in the 914 and beyond was wearing Tommy Hilfiger shirts and Girbaud jeans.
UNT Quotable: “First batter up well here’s the pitch it’s a curve, second batter up because the first got served.” -Grand Puba

2. Pete Rock & CL Smooth “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)”
Album: Mecca and the Soul Brother
Year: 1992
Hometown: Mount Vernon
Breakdown: With Pete Rock behind the boards (and providing ad-libs on the chorus), CL Smooth thinks back to his family life growing up, and immortalizes their fallen friend Troy Dixon on what is highly regarded as one of the greatest rap songs of all time.
UNT Quotable: “Took me from a boy to a man so I always had a father when my biological didn’t bother.” -CL Smooth

3. InI f/ Pete Rock “Fakin’ Jax”
Album: Center Of Attention
Year: 1996
Hometown: Mount Vernon
Breakdown: InI member Grap Luva grabs his brother to lace the beat and add some vocals too for this public service announcement to all those out there perpetrating the fraud. Stop it.
UNT Quotable: “Recline like a passenger seat son, relax.” -Pete Rock

4. Mary J. Blige f/ Grand Puba “What’s the 411?”
Album: What’s the 411?
Year: 1992
Hometown: Yonkers
Breakdown: On the title track of Mary’s debut album, Puba sees some skinz he likes and tries to step up and get the digits. But Mary ain’t havin’ all that, “Wham, bam, thank you ma’am,” and let’s him know what time it is with some slick lines of her own. She actually spits bars on this, and her flow is on point. Check the resume.
UNT Quotable: “I need a man who’s lookin’ out with some security, so come correct with some respect and then we will see.” -Mary J. Blige

5. Jadakiss f Styles P “We Gonna Make It”
Album: Kiss tha Game Goodbye
Year: 2001
Hometown: Yonkers
Breakdown: Kiss and Styles show leadership and uplift the hood while doing the in and out thing on this Alchemist banger. They certainly learned the game quickly. Salute.
UNT Quotable: “I’m the reason niggas got deals the past few years, sound anything like ‘Kiss then sign right here.” -Jadakiss

6. Genovese f/ Styles P “Genovese Thesis”
Album: N/A
Year: 1996
Hometown: Yonkers
Breakdown: This song first appeared on a DJ Clue?’s Show Me The Money tape and got real hot in the streets. Genovese’s mixtape buzz and LOX affiliation eventually led to a major label deal with Universal, but his album was shelved right before it was about to drop. Too bad, because this paisan had some serious skills.
UNT Quotable: “Seems like the day turn to night so quick, life passin’, the hole we in massive, Narcs knock one of us the next day come through laughin’, so we just mathin’, out the possibilities.” -Genovese

7. Brand Nubian “Slow Down”
Album: One For All
Year: 1990
Hometown: New Rochelle
Breakdown: These guys flipped bohemian babe Edie Brickell’s hit pop song “What I Am” into a rap song about girls who are straight living foul. Slow down, ma.
UNT Quotable: “A forty and a blunt, that’s all she really wants.” -Grand Puba

8. Heavy D f/ Kool G. Rap, Q-Tip, Big Daddy Kane, Grand Puba, Pete Rock, and CL Smooth “Don’t Curse”
Album: Peaceful Journey
Year: 1991
Hometown: Mount Vernon
Breakdown: Mr. Big Stuff gets props for letting his younger cousin the Chocolate Boy Wonder bless the beat and kick a verse. And how crazy is the rest of the lineup? I mean, it was enough to have the two hottest up and coming rappers in the 914 on here, Grand Puba and CL Smooth, but then to go out and get G. Rap, Q-Tip, AND Big Daddy Kane to kick verses with no curses? This is definitely one of the craziest posse cuts of all time. And they all come clean. Pause?
UNT Quotable: “I don’t have to swear, curse, or juggle, lyrics in a verse to make a party bubble. -Heavy D

9. Top Quality “Magnum Opus”
Album: Magnum Opus
Year: 1993
Hometown: White Plains
Breakdown: PMD affiliate Top Quality put WP on the rap map with this underground single. Unfortunately, we never heard much from him after this.
UNT Quotable: “It ain’t about the quantity.” -Top Quality

10. DMX “Ruff Ryders Anthem”
Album: It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot 
Year: 1998
Hometown: Yonkers
Breakdown: X tells us how his team gets down on this high powered hit. Stop, drop, and pop a wheelie to this shit.
UNT Quotable: “Oh you think it’s funny? Then you don’t know me money.” -DMX

words by @stanipcus / mix by @UNITEDCRATES / graphics by @CNTRBND

Shout out to my boy Ev Boogie, and UpNorthTrips resident DJ, The Vinylcologist, it’s been a pleasure working with you guys. Check the link at the bottom for to catch up on all episodes of The 10s in chronological order (there’s a couple pages of them), which includes today’s Nas x Salaam Remi mix that was done by my dude DJ ROZ. There’s some great lists and mixes we put together, featuring all sorts of classic hip hop songs from the 90’s and early 2000s. My favorite of them all might be the DJ Clue? freestyles episode, check it out HERE. All the rest are in the link below…

UpNorthTrips Presents The 10s (All Episodes Link)

Holler at your boy!

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