Who Killed It? Ranking Rap’s Greatest Verses: ‘Stranded on Death Row’
Welcome to Who Killed It?, our new column where we rank the verses on classic posse cuts from worst to first. For our last go-round, we took a look at EPMD's song “Head Banger” from their 1992 album, Business Never Personal, which features Erick and Parrish going rhyme for rhyme alongside Hit Squad members K-Solo and Redman. But this time we take a gander at another standout selection from that very same year with “Stranded on Death Row″ featuring Kurupt, RBX, Lady of Rage, and Snoop Dogg bumping heads for bragging rights.
1992 was a year of transition for hip-hop on the west coast. After dominating the Billboard charts as a member of N.W.A with the album, Efil4Zaggin, in 1991, Dr. Dre had decided to split from the group, join forces with Suge Knight, and launch his own record label, Death Row Records, the following year. Soon after, Dr. Dre would unleash his debut solo album, The Chronic, which would alter the course of hip-hop and go down as one of the most pivotal hip-hop albums ever released. While far from the best lyricist in N.W.A., Dr. Dre served as the lead rapper on The Chronic, drawing additional help from his de facto costar, Snoop Dogg, as well as Death Row's roster of young talent.
But one track on the album that didn't include an appearance from Dr. Dre on the mic is "Stranded on Death Row," a posse cut featuring Death Row bench players-turned-starters like Kurupt, RBX, and Lady of Rage. The Chronic as a whole may have been a ploy to get rap fans familiar with the Death Row family, but "Stranded on Death Row" has gone done as one of the more popular deep cuts from the album.
We took a trip down memory lane to see who killed this classic free-for-all and who had to settle for runner-up status.