100. “American Muscle”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: Street Certified (2014)

“I’ll chop your top five in half, leave them paraplegic” – Billy Danze

Muscle cars are the thinly-veiled topic tying together this heavy hitter, which is a missed opportunity given M.O.P. are big, loud and will run you down in the street. It’s potentially ripe for smart metaphors, yet on the contrary, I love hearing them completely ignore song themes and just rap how they will kill you for the slightest thing.

99. “Street Life”
Artist: M.O.P. feat. DeMarco
Album: Foundation (2009)

“There’s a difference in taking a stand to man up
As opposed to being a man and standing up” – Billy Danze

M.O.P. + Autotune = Surprisingly good results. Who’d have thought? DeMarco’s vocals may be divisive to some but the light sprinkling of piano pairs well with the gruff presence of both emcees. Further proof, if any was needed, that the duo can deliver a softer style without compromise.

98. “On The Run”
Artist: Mark Ronson feat. Mos Def & M.O.P.
Album: Here Comes The Fuzz (2003)

“We’ll fuck up a whole city like Rudy Giuliani” – Lil’ Fame

Mark Ronson’s debut album had a heavy Hip Hop influence, and this short, largely forgotten ode to Brooklyn benefits from a snappy beat and the fact it sounds like M.O.P. hijacked the song. Mos repeatedly states “Mark Ronson and Mos Def” with Billy and Fame spouting their adlibs in the background. This was from a period where M.O.P. were working with numerous British names, from Adam F to Victoria Beckham, whilst their own records were in limbo.

97. “Back At It”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: Sparta (2011)

“I don’t plan to resign
Keep my money on my mind and my hand on my nine” – Lil’ Fame

M.O.P. and Snowgoons was a match made in heaven if your vision of heaven includes brutal heavy hardcore rap. Which mine does. This was the duo’s reminder to the fans that “Sparta” was on the way, confirming what both emcees felt was them returning to their best. They both state they’re focused and feel revitalised, touching on how some artists from similar backgrounds have changed thanks to money, yet they remain as hungry as ever.

96. “War Time”
Artist: M.O.P. feat. 50 Cent
Album: Bulletproof 3 mixtape (2006)

“My pistol’s got bronchitis – that motherfucker stays smokin’!” – Lil’ Fame

Another of the ill-fated G-Unit collaborations, this mixtape track from 2006 is a little rough and ready yet benefits from a snappy 50 Cent hook. Seriously, despite destroying Ja Rule for all his singing, it’s one of 50’s best assets and lifts one of M.O.P.’s more pedestrian performances.

95. “Roc La Familia”
Artist: M.O.P. feat. Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel & Jay-Z
Album: Ghetto Warfare (2006)

“The toughest shit in your ruggedest song is the beat” – Billy Danze

Released when State Property was a thing (2002), Jay-Z introduces M.O.P. as the latest signings to Roc-a-Fella Records. Memphis Bleek shines while Beanie spells out the words ‘State’ and ‘Property’ just because ‘R.O.C.’ and M.O.P. are repeatedly namedropped. To be fair, Beanie has the best line though – “I’ll wring your neck like Spongebob“. What an image.

94. “Ready For War”
Artist: Busta Rhymes feat. M.O.P.
Album: Anarchy (2000)

“Split your ass up like The Temptations” – Lil’ Fame

While Busta Rhymes’ “Anarchy” album isn’t really talked about two decades later, it did have some potent songs tucked amongst its epic 78-minute tracklist. It’s predictably chest-puffing and surprisingly, produced by Busta himself, feeling a bit like a slowed-down “Ante Up”. A favour for a favour and solid payback for that “Ante Up” verse.

93. “Bang Strong”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: Underground Legends mixtape (2007)

“It’s murder murder murder murder murder!” – Lil’ Fame

J-Love released four M.O.P. mixtapes (available to stream on DatPiff) and there is a smattering of exclusives spread across each one. “Bang Strong” is a solid record designed to incite a riot, but I like it more for how it sounds like their late 90s material. This wouldn’t sound out of place on “Firing Squad” or “First Family 4 Life”.

92. “Ride With Us”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: First Family 4 Life (1998)

“I came up with them thugs, I grew up in that mud
Got my hands covered in blood to stay above” – Billy Danze

There’s a haunting quality to “Ride With Us” that is dripping in dread, but the star here is undoubtedly Billy Danze’s insane, almost out-of-body performance. God only knows what state the microphone was left in after this session, as M.O.P. outline their cut-throat attitude to any friendship they build with others – rooted in their gang mentality where life and death decisions are made every day on the streets.

91. “Pounds Up (Amed Original)”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: n/a (2001)

“Allow me to wig out, dumb out, pull my gun out
Run out in the street like BUM….BUH-BUUM!!” – Billy Danze

Quite a rare one this, that draws much of its content from other M.O.P. songs of the “Warriorz” era. The original by Amed (D.I.T.C.) is superior to Showbiz’s remix benefitting from a lively mid-90s feel – it certainly sounds different to the work on “Warriorz” so it’s easy to see why there was a vinyl release shortly after in 2001 (the remix was 3 years later according to Discogs).

90. “Mopee Party”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: Return of the Warriorz Mixtape (2007)

“You make a knock-off Louis Vuitton bag look good” – Lil’ Fame

Sure, it’s a knock-off Scott Storch beat, but it works! Anybody brave enough to attend an M.O.P. party should be commended for their bravery, as judging by this track, furniture would be upended, faces would be smacked and there’d be just as much blood on the floor as spilt drinks. You can see why a party track wasn’t released as a single as it doesn’t really suit the duo, no matter how much I’d love to have heard this playing in a nightclub.

89. “Hardbody”
Artist: Big Shug feat. Fat Joe & M.O.P.
Album: I.M. 4-EVA (2012)

“I got a dead arm like the Ying Yang Twin”

Fat Joe and M.O.P. reunite after 2003’s “Who Got Gunz” for Big Shug’s DJ Premier track, a tough yet derivative production that nevertheless, lets the emcees flourish. If there was a Primo-o-Matic machine that spat out Preem beats, this would be one AND THAT’S NOT A BAD THING. Shug’s verse is surprisingly dope, but it’s Billy and Fame who stand out (again going third) despite their verses being nothing special.

88. “Handle Ur Bizness”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: Handle Ur Bizness EP (1998)

“Is this hip-hop? HELL NO THIS IS WAR!” – Billy Danze

Superior to the DJ Premier remix (how often does that happen?), “Handle Ur Bizness” is the M.O.P. approach to a warcry, magnified to obscene levels. In an era where rappers were cruising the streets in lowriders and flossing expensive jewellery, Billy and Fame tear up the concrete in a fucking tank. It’s the perfect visual representation of their music and the song itself, backs up that hardened, urban soldier message perfectly.

87. “Detonate”
Artist: Apollo Brown feat. M.O.P.
Album: Grandeur (2015)

“I’ma lay you down like ceramics” – Lil’ Fame

If Snowgoons were a perfect foil for M.O.P. in 2009, Apollo Brown is this generation’s answer. There’s a distinct lack of hook – the beat is just allowed to play out, so it’s not the most memorable record, but considering how heavy M.O.P.’s style is, it’s surprising they haven’t worked more with the thumping chopped-up soul style you’d get from an Ayatollah, early 9th Wonder or Just Blaze. This sounds like an experiment that shows promise; I’d love to hear more collaborations between both parties.

86. “Foundation”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: Foundation (2009)

“We keep arms, fuck a bodyguard” – Lil’ Fame

M.O.P. have a few tracks in their catalog that share song titles, and this slow number, whilst memorable isn’t quite as good as the track from “Warriorz”. It cracks the Top 100 because the Lil’ Fame verse is one of the best on the “Foundation” album, namedropping Kid Cudi and the swine flu before roundhouse kicking your mother. Lovely.

85. “Anybody Can Get It”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: Sparta (2011)

“We changed the pace (SAY SOMETHING!) I’ll rearrange your face” – Lil’ Fame

Less orchestral than normal, this is a solid Snowgoons record that was released as a warm-up to the “Sparta” album in 2010. It’s a shame it’s not on the album as it fits in, but maybe lacks some of the intensity that “Sparta” excelled in.

84. “I’m A Brownsvillain”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: Foundation (2009)

“It’s Common Sense dawg, we Do+It+For+The+People” – Lil’ Fame

A speaker-splitting beat from Nottz lifts a by-the-numbers effort to another level. Billy Danze really suits the suitably crunchy kicks and horns but it’s the hook that sticks out most, representing Brownsville in that familiar, ferocious manner we know and love.

83. “Blue Steel”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: To The Death (1994)

“It don’t cost nothin’ to send your ass to the paramedics” – Lil’ Fame

The influence of Run-DMC runs throughout M.O.P.’s work, but the back-and-forth rhyming is perhaps most prevalent on their debut album. “Blue Steel” is very much of its era but has aged remarkably well, avoiding the dreaded Das-EFX-isms many of their contemporaries played around with. Little more than an anthem about packing a weapon, it nevertheless sounds great at a loud volume.

82. “Heistmasters”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: Street Certified (2014)

“Why the fuck is Pharrell is so happy?” – Lil’ Fame

It’s difficult to gauge whether M.O.P. could be considered masters of heists when you hear the way they conduct them. They had a song of the same name in 1994, but this 20th-anniversary follow-up is far superior, boasting a crisp DJ Skizz instrumental.

81. “W.O.L.V.E.S.”
Artist: Krumbsnatcha feat. M.O.P.
Album: Training Day OST (2001)

“All disrespect intended” – Billy Danze

2001 was rife with rabid dogs courtesy of DMX, but Krumbsnatcha and M.O.P. ask you to let the fucking wolves out, going against everything the Baha Men instructed. Horror-like choirs and a young boy chanting give this mean collaboration a nice Jungle Book twist – but M.O.P. weren’t raised by wolves, they were raising the wolves! And this underground single was a hit with many fans.

80. “Legendary Weapons”
Artist: Ghostface Killah, AZ, M.O.P.
Album: Wu-Tang Clan’s Legendary Weapons (2011)

“You’re fuckin’ with a sick puppy” – Lil’ Fame

On a track with Ghostface and AZ, M.O.P. still go third – that’s how respected and dominant they are. Mostly braggadocio referring to their legendary status, each emcee touts how they brought something different to the table, interspersed with classic Wu-Tang Clan quotes. Celebratory and a reminder why AZ is one of the best pure flowing emcees.

79. “Crazy”
Artist: M.O.P. feat. Termanology
Album: Foundation (2009)

“It only takes me 1.2 seconds to lose it” – Lil’ Fame

A combination of 1982 and M.O.P., “Crazy” is another reminder of M.O.P’s status during a period where they had been written off by labels. “These motherfuckers are crazy – damn shit’s changed since back in the day” – this one line almost sums up the M.O.P. experience during the latter part of their career, and while this track is a good one, it could have been crazier. In fact Termanology claiming to be a young Rakim may be the craziest part of the whole song.

78. “Woodstock Hood Hop”
Artist: Slaughterhouse feat. M.O.P.
Album: Mr Pig Face Weapon Waist (2009)

“It’s time for change like Obama in a laundromat” – Crooked I

Slaughterhouse often put out better mixtapes than albums, and while I remember this appearing on an unofficial Slaughterhouse mixtape at the time, its official release was on a Crooked I EP. M.O.P. supply the hook, which is fair considering there are four of the best lyricists dropping verses, and they just shout out the cities Joell, Crook, Budden and Royce hail from. It’s one of my favourite Slaughterhouse tracks because like all of their best work – it’s made by fans for fans. Are Eminem fans clocking that Father MC reference? Probably not.

77. “My Kinda N****”
Artist: Heather B feat. M.O.P.
Album: Takin’ Mine (1996)

“I’m the reflection of my deceased brother” – Lil’ Fame

That Heather B album! So good, and it’s difficult to think of such a grimy record from a woman OR a man. The video, much like the song, is dominated by Billy and Fame’s presence and is about the character traits they like to see in the people they hang with. It’s a shame Heather B didn’t record more music, particularly with M.O.P.. The two reunited in 1998 for a sequel, on M.O.P.’s “First Family 4 Life”.

76. “Forever And Always”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: Foundation (2009)

“In the ‘hood is where you’ll find me
Hangin’ on like a kid on his mommy in a tsunami” – Lil’ Fame

Statik Selektah always provided heat for M.O.P. and this album cut from 2009 is fairly straightforward. The duo reminisces on how far they have come, from pissy hallways to having fans in Japan discussing their music. It lacks a hook, so in turn, loses some identity when compared to other tracks, but the sample is so strong on its own that hearing Billy and Fame share their story, is sometimes all that’s needed.