Here we go ladies and gentleman! We are nearly at the end of this onslaught of verbal vitriol from the weaponry wordsmiths, M.O.P..

50. “Here Today Gone Tomorrow (Flatline)”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: The Marxmen Cinema (2004)

“Damn, I was just with him
(Here today and gone tomorrow) Look how them coppertops did him” – M.O.P.

After years of mimicking the sound a gun makes, it seemed a natural progression to have a gun-cock form part of the beat. Billy and Fame reflect on a shootout that put a comrade in hospital, but it’s the flatlining sound effect that’s the icing on the cake and perfectly apt, given you’ll be elbowing anybody in the vicinity right into a coma.

49. “Blood Sweat & Tears”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: First Family 4 Life (1998)

“I figured it out from the start…
and since I laid my mother to rest, I’ve been blessed with this cold heart” – Billy Danze

Rarely do Brownsville’s finest lay it bare on wax and discuss their emotions, but ‘98’s “Blood Sweat & Tears” does just that. Not afraid to cry for the loss of loved ones, Danze and particularly Fame touch upon the family they’ve lost. This is also mentioned in the Straight From the Projects DVD where Fame shares how he is the only one in his family remaining, due to the effects of gun violence and depression.

48. “Who Got Gunz”
Artist: Gang Starr feat. Fat Joe & M.O.P.
Album: The Ownerz (2003)

“You deserve a hole in the back of your motherfucking head
THE DOCTOR CAN’T FIX!” – Billy Danze

M.O.P. over DJ Premier has always reaped rewards, and there have not been enough collaborations in recent times. When Gang Starr delivered their final (at the time) album in 2003 before Guru and Preem went their separate ways, M.O.P. was essential for at least one track. “Who Got Gunz” is in your face bravado, highlighting the duo’s infatuation with weaponry not seen since Onyx’s “Throw Ya Gunz”. Fat Joe comparing his relationship with his Glock to the one Tom Hank’s character had with Wilson in Castaway is eye-opening, but M.O.P. inevitably steal the show, even backing up Guru with some hefty adlibs.

47. “For The City”
Artist: Statik Selektah feat. Jadakiss & M.O.P.
Album: Stick 2 The Script (2008)

“Too many killers in the house, take a day off
Everybody’s a baller, what the fuck is this, the play-offs?” – Lil’ Fame

The third track is hugely important on any album, acting as the key proponent for listeners deciding whether to continue onwards. Statik Selektah’s decision to pair M.O.P. with Jadakiss with a stop-start beat-flip was inspired, taking fans back to street anthems like Styles P and Noreaga’s “Come Thru”. A deceptively soft hook acts as the breather between vicious rhymes, here with Jadakiss confirming that while he’s certainly not “Top 5 Dead or Alive“, at his peak, he’s a true force to be reckoned with.

46. “4 My Peeps”
Artist: Red Hot Lover Tone feat. Notorious B.I.G., Organized Konfusion & M.O.P.
Album: #1 Player (1995)

“I’m breakin’ n****s up like referees” – Lil’ Fame

This oft-neglected collaboration with Trackmasters’ Tone from 1995 benefitted from a couple of filthy remixes so this is placed highly based on all versions. While it may lack Pharoahe Monch, Prince Po holds his own amongst Billy and Fame’s raucous posturing, but of course, Biggie Smalls dominates with a stellar performance.

45. “Foundation”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: Warriorz (2000)

“You ain’t never seen the Danze cry, but that day that man died
My world came crumbling down like a landslide” – Billy Danze

For any sceptics claiming M.O.P. ain’t nothing but violence and cursing, throw this track on. Much like 1998’s “Blood, Sweat & Tears” (which the hook references), Billy Danze is in scintillating form as he documents his father’s final moments on his deathbed. Both Billy and Fame accept this was their environment and it made them the men that they are today – while some glorify death and gangs as part of their image, this was just an everyday occurrence.

44. “Whoa”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: Wendy Williams Brings the Heat Vol. 1 (2005)

“Fucks V.I.P., I’m in the crowd screamin’ BROOKLYN” – Lil’ Fame

Wendy Williams may be a surgically enhanced talk show host airing out celebrities’ personal lives, but she put her name on a hip hop compilation in 2005 which had some solid selections. I’m sure Fame’s line “I’m lookin’ at your titties ’cause their bouncin’ all out of your bra” may even be a nod to Wendy. “Whoa” sticks out with its catchy hook but don’t sleep on that classic M.O.P. flow – particularly Fame’s verse which bounces like Wendy’s [removed for legal purposes].

43. “New York Salute”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: First Family 4 Life (1998)

“We welcome y’all with open arms, and
Firearms, and, terrorists with bombs!” – Lil’ Fame

There’s not a rap crew that’s represented their neighbourhood more than Billy and Fame, with “Sparta” being the only album that hasn’t included a song about Brownsville, Brooklyn, or New York. And that’s only because they repped Sparta, comparing themselves to ruthless Spartan warriors going into battle. Closing out their 1998 album “First Family 4 Life”, it’s less celebratory than their other work, delivered like the narrative behind a warped tourist pamphlet. Billy even gives full satellite navigation on how to get to New York.

42. “Sharks In The Water”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: Foundation (2009)

“I be around, find me where the dogs be at
With more motherfuckin’ machines than a laundromat” – Lil’ Fame

Conway may have used the Jaws-like shark artwork on his EP with Alchemist, but this track sounds like how that record looked. It’s one of the most vicious pieces of music you’ll ever hear, with a gun-cocking forming part of the beat paired off against a haunting vocal moan. It wouldn’t mean much if the duo didn’t flow to it, and well, they murder it. The way Fame rides the beat at the end of the first verse is brilliant, but Billy Danze is inspired, chomping up the hook and his verses like a possessed Great White.

41. “StompDaShitOutYou”
Artist: Capone-N-Noreaga feat. M.O.P.
Album: Def Jam Vendetta OST (2002) / Ghetto Warfare (2006)

“[Billy Danze] C.N.N
[Noreaga] WHAT WHAT? [Capone] Stompdashitoutu!”

It’s a shame M.O.P. weren’t signed to Def Jam in 2002 as their addition to videogame brawler Def Jam Vendetta would have been welcome, and arguably the most fitting. Nonetheless, they assisted CNN with the most memorable track from the game, combining Noreaga’s “WHAT WHAT” with Billy and Fame chanting “M.O.P.!” is just what the doctor ordered. If your doctor is a maniacal street fighter, that is. Tony Pizarro captures the classic M.O.P. style with the electric guitar sample, and while this track has very little in the sense of lyrics, it’s distilled aggression perfectly refined for the Fight Club atmosphere the videogame it’s designed for.

40. “Ante Up (Robbin’ Hoodz Theory)”
Artist: M.O.P. feat Funkmaster Flex
Album: Warriorz (2000)

“From the streets cousin, you know the drill
I’m nine hundred and ninety nine thou’ short of a mill'” – Billy Danze

If M.O.P. knew this record would be as huge as it was, I’m sure they wouldn’t have Funkmaster Flex ranting for the first 35 seconds of “Ante Up (Robbin’ Hoodz Theory)”. And that’s the main complaint with this iconic anthem – the remix refined the best bits and threw Busta Rhymes into the mix. The original is still excellent and ironically, the one that you’ll still hear today in their live shows, packed with all the iconic lines and unmatched energy we know and love M.O.P. for.

39. “Downtown Swinga ’96”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: Firing Squad (1996)

“It’s Lil’ Fame, Danze and Tef
So when I die make sure you bury me with a cassette of “To the Death”” – Lil’ Fame

When them snares let off like an Uzi 9mm, you know it’s about to go down. Now one of their best-known DJ Premier collaborations, it started a long relationship with Premier after he declared a fondness for their ’94 single “How About Some Hardcore” (and in-turn dropping a remix of this song’s predecessor “Downtown Swinga ’94”). The theme of the song is intent – all about taking over not just New York, or the U.S., but the world. Given M.O.P. now tour Europe annually and spend as much time there as they do Brooklyn, it shows they more than made good on their claim to be international.

38. “Let It Bang”
Artist: X-Ecutioners feat. M.O.P.
Album: Built From Scratch (2001)

“Critically acclaimed, criminals to blame
Put them in critical condition fuckin’ with Lil’ Fame” – Lil’ Fame

Other than maybe Prodigy or Inspectah Deck, M.O.P. have had their vocals scratched onto more rap tracks than most. Their voices are immediately identifiable and now iconic, so letting turntablists Rob Swift, Total Eclipse, Roc Raida and Mista Sinista (The X-Ecutioners line-up in 2002) cut them up over a savage blend of rock and boom-bap is a welcome return to the days of Run-DMC. Fame yelling “bang your head against the wall”, with Billy pushing “pieces of your dome out” – you know it’s another wild slice of hip hop that only M.O.P. can deliver.

37. “Breakin’ The Rules”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: First Family 4 Life (1998)

“The name’s Bill…WADDUP BILL!
I’m a semi-automatic addict, for real” – Billy Danze

What Premier did with a 2-second sample of Michel Legrand’s “Sweet Gingerbread Man” is testament to his genius. It becomes a menacing opener to their third album, with Billy admitting he’s addicted to guns and finds them sexy. It’s all delivered in that over-the-top manner where you can’t help but take him seriously, as Fame references John Woo and Titanic, confirming this is definitely a record created in 1998.

36. “We Run NY”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: n/a (2001)

“I’m the motherfuckin’ reason that Ma$e found God” – Lil’ Fame

When Da Beatminerz took part in Rhythm Roulette they threw M.O.P. over their creation. And for good reason; the moody style of Bucktown’s finest is the perfect foil for M.O.P.’s in your face delivery and “We Run NY” confirms this. The sinister strings, rabid recklessness of Teflon’s verse and Billy’s cold mentality of having a casual Sunday, but then he’s back after you on Monday – it’s all seamless and one of their best collaborations with Teflon. Da Beatminerz and M.O.P. should have worked together more.

35. “187”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: Street Certified (2014)

“Y’ALL SWAG, the whole place emotional,
Wake up and find somebody Frank Ocean’ed you” – Fame

Easily the best thing on 2014’s EP “Street Certified”, “187” is the M.O.P. formula tweaked to perfection. Outlandish humor? Check. Intense testosterone? Check. Outbursts of excessive violence on the level of Tom & Jerry? You’re damn right. The only downer is no sucker is getting dragged by their “red bottoms” from the back of a car in the video.

34. “Stop Pushin'”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: Foundation (2009)

“Y’all n****s rap like you rap for Nickelodeon
With a mouth full of cubic zirconias” – Lil Fame

The horns on this! It’s like Pete Rock’s MPC was on its last legs and spit out some stuttering heat. Produced by Fame, much like “Calm Down”, the song directs the listener to do exactly what they shouldn’t be doing – an ironic statement to try and control what your body wants to do, which is push anyone close to you. Billy’s verse is largely straightforward but Fame throws some much-needed humour in there to complement his hook, which is purely instructions.

33. “Stick To Ya Gunz”
Artist: M.O.P. feat. Kool G. Rap & Teflon
Album: Firing Squad (1996)

“We’ll bust your head open like avocados” – Lil Fame

A classic amongst rap connoisseurs, this is simply an onslaught on the senses. DJ Premier and Kool G Rap are both in their prime in 1996 but M.O.P. demonstrated why they deserved to stand alongside such New York stalwarts. G Rap’s verse is stupid, naturally, but both Fame and Billy hold their own. Billy in particular with the “stiff as a board” back and forth is a highlight.

32. “Roll Call”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: Warriorz (2000)

“Holla if ya hear me…
I’ll turn your head into a skeleton’s skull and leave it hollow if you’re near me” – Lil Fame

Not many artists could start a song with “Fuck the East Coast” without facing the wrath of a wealth of New York, Boston and Philly emcees. Okay, so the statement is tongue-in-cheek and nobody is going to mess with Brownsville’s finest anyway, but the sheer audacity of it all only adds to “Roll Call”’s attitude. A stripped-back DJ Premier production accompanied by Teflon’s pissed-off call to the troops is full of neat nuances like Fame’s two bars of just gun noises being offset by Billy throwing in a poignant statement of “it’s hard to eat so we hardly sleep“.

31. “Gun Hold”
Artist: DJ Honda feat. M.O.P.
Album: hIII (2001)

“You can’t miss Fame, I’m in the hood like a Malcolm X poster” – Lil’ Fame

An overlooked gem from the Japanese DJ Honda, “Gun Hold” is initially a by-the-numbers head-nodder with violent posturing, but I rank it highly because it’s one of Lil Fame’s hardest verses. Not many rap fans hold Fame up as one of the best emcees, but when he’s in the pocket of a beat like he is here, there’s nobody I’d rather hear in full flow.

30. “Brownsville”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: Firing Squad (1996)

“Livin’ these crazy ways unprotected
Everyday is a chance, so expect the unexpected” – Lil’ Fame

A harp? Don’t ever tell me M.O.P. aren’t cultured! After Jeru’s water dripping and before J-Live’s panpipes, there was M.O.P. rapping to what can only be described as bleeps and bloops. It’s like Fame and Billy just threw your face through an arcade machine and then started dropping bars whilst you bled out. The tour of Brownsville continues as a bleak landscape is painted in a hail of bullets and black Timbs with drums slapping as hard as the concrete streets of Brownsville.

29. “Put It In The Air”
Artist: M.O.P. feat. Jay-Z
Album: Ghetto Warfare (2006)

“I’m sick with the pen – call me Iceberg Chubby” – Lil’ Fame

Part of the swathe of forgotten Roc-a-Fella tracks that emerged from 2002/2003, this is a classic throwback track that is perfect in a live environment. Essentially a sequel to “Ante Up”, it’s similarly a raucous anthem about a stick-up that marries the whole “put your hands in the air” vibe of a concert, but can easily be used in more sinister terms.

28. “Downtown Swinga 98”
Artist: M.O.P.
Album: First Family 4 Life (1998)

“Hot slugs be twisting you – it’s traditional” – Lil’ Fame

The third instalment of the trilogy, 1998’s offering may have the same hook from 96 but I prefer the beat here. There’s that classic dramatic Premier production and an M.O.P. track with their own vocals scratched in is proof that nobody sounds better in the hands of a DJ. Alert listeners will recognize Fame’s line (“fuck them cassettes I don’t plan on dying no time soon“) referencing the first Downtown Swinga where he said he wished to be buried with a cassette of “Paid in Full”.

27. “4 Alarm Blaze”
Artist: M.O.P. feat. Teflon & Jay-Z
Album: First Family 4 Life (1998)

“With all intentions of droppin’ a body
I’m usually nervous so I’m flinchin’ when I enter the party” – Billy Danze

Utilizing the instantly recognizable “Eye of the Tiger” sample, M.O.P. were joined by Brooklyn comrades Teflon and Jay-Z, the latter just a few months away from the huge “Hard Knock Life” single that made Jay a household name ever since. “4 Alarm Blaze” is the perfect fit for Billy and Fame, considering the 1982 original is already synonymous with boxing arenas worldwide, and the filthy video only added to the riotous feel.

26. “Big Boy Game”
Artist: M.O.P. feat. 50 Cent
Mixtape: J-Love’s Underground Legends Vol. 5 (2007)

“JESUS! Here come them god-damn dudes STILL!
Grimy STILL! Gutter STILL! Ghetto and STILL! RUDE!” – Billy Danze

50 Cent may have built his career around beef, hit club-singles and his unmatched street reputation (having been shot 9 times), but his greatest asset was often his knack for writing a killer hook. Nottz dropped a monster with foot-stomping horns that define many of the Posse’s best tracks. Billy’s stop-start adlib work here is some of the best you’ll hear, while Fame mentions there are no hard feelings between him, Jay and Damon Dash. There’s also a remix version of “Big Boy Game” that includes a Busta Rhymes verse, which is difficult to find.