A History of Classic Hip Hop Songs Recorded at D&D Studio

Rap masterpieces created inside the legendary sound lab.

N.Y. State of Mind - The legendary D&D Studios, a hip hop cornerstone where some of the biggest records and albums were created, has been sold and will be transformed into apartments. Artists like Jay Z, Nas and KRS-One all made some of their crowning moments there with the help of super producers like DJ Premier and Easy Mo Bee. D&D?s original owners even sold the spot to Premo back in 2003 to preserve the legacy. He rechristened it HeadQCourterz and continued to make magic while leaving the classic foundation intact.Now, as this hip hop sanctuary is closing it?s doors for the last time, let's take a look at some of the gems that were spawned on the fourth floor of 320 West 37th Street.? Michael Harris (@IceBlueVa)(Photos from Left: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images, David Corio/Redferns, Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

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N.Y. State of Mind - The legendary D&D Studios, a hip hop cornerstone where some of the biggest records and albums were created, has been sold and will be transformed into apartments. Artists like Jay Z, Nas and KRS-One all made some of their crowning moments there with the help of super producers like DJ Premier and Easy Mo Bee. D&D’s original owners even sold the spot to Premo back in 2003 to preserve the legacy. He rechristened it HeadQCourterz and continued to make magic while leaving the classic foundation intact.Now, as this hip hop sanctuary is closing it’s doors for the last time, let's take a look at some of the gems that were spawned on the fourth floor of 320 West 37th Street.— Michael Harris (@IceBlueVa)(Photos from Left: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images, David Corio/Redferns, Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

Jay Z feat. Foxy Brown, "Ain't No N***a" - Hov and Fox set up shop inside D&D and recorded this breakout smash in 1996, officially launching both of their careers after some previous minor successes. The future King of N.Y. made the studio a second crib and crafted the rest of his landmark debut Reasonable Doubt there as well.  (Photo: Roc-a-Fella)

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Jay Z feat. Foxy Brown, "Ain't No N***a" - Hov and Fox set up shop inside D&D and recorded this breakout smash in 1996, officially launching both of their careers after some previous minor successes. The future King of N.Y. made the studio a second crib and crafted the rest of his landmark debut Reasonable Doubt there as well.  (Photo: Roc-a-Fella)

KRS-One "Sound of Da Police"  - Taking a cue from N.W.A's "F the Police" released five years earlier, KRS-One's "Sound of Da Police" (1993) speaks out against institutionalized racism ? specifically oppression by police officers. On the track, the rapper likens officers to plantation overseers.\r\r(Photo: David Corio/Redferns)

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KRS-One, "MC's Act Like They Don't Know" - KRS-One delivered this one for the hard core hip hop heads in 1995 while Premo handled the boards, interpolating Kurtis Blow's "The Breaks" and sampling "Yesterdays" by Clifford Brown. It's Kris's highest-charting single to date.(Photo: David Corio/Redferns)

Nas, "N.Y. State of Mind" - DJ Premier held Nasty Nas hostage inside of D&D Studios and the outcome was this classic off his acclaimed debut, Illmatic. Realizing magic was in the making, Prem dug in the crates and sampled bars from Eric B & Rakim's "Mahogany" for the song's hook and title. (Photo: Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

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Nas, "N.Y. State of Mind" - DJ Premier held Nasty Nas hostage inside of D&D Studios and the outcome was this classic off his acclaimed debut, Illmatic. Realizing magic was in the making, Prem dug in the crates and sampled bars from Eric B & Rakim's "Mahogany" for the song's hook and title. (Photo: Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

Gangstarr, "Mass Appeal" - Guru took MCs to task who watered down their sound in efforts to achieve crossover success back in 1994. Cutting up Da Youngsta's "Pass Da Mic (Remix)" and Big Daddy Kane's "Raw," for the track, Premier himself notes this as one of his finest moments behind the boards.(Photo: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images)

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Gangstarr, "Mass Appeal" - Guru took MCs to task who watered down their sound in efforts to achieve crossover success back in 1994. Cutting up Da Youngsta's "Pass Da Mic (Remix)" and Big Daddy Kane's "Raw," for the track, Premier himself notes this as one of his finest moments behind the boards.(Photo: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images)

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Heather B, "All Glocks Down" - Heather B went into the lab with fellow Boogie Down Production member Kenny Parker in 1995 to lay down her vocals for this peace treaty anthem, released when hip hop was going through its East vs. West tensions. 2 Chainz later paid respect to the track with 2013's "Feds Watching," although he didn't get with her lay your arms down request.(Photo: EMI)

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Heather B, "All Glocks Down" - Heather B went into the lab with fellow Boogie Down Production member Kenny Parker in 1995 to lay down her vocals for this peace treaty anthem, released when hip hop was going through its East vs. West tensions. 2 Chainz later paid respect to the track with 2013's "Feds Watching," although he didn't get with her lay your arms down request.(Photo: EMI)

Mad Lion, "Take It Easy" - Mad Lion had the clubs on lock in the '90s and the aftershocks from this track can still be felt when DJs go into their dancehall/reggae set. KRS-One was already in the books as one of dopest lyricists of all time, but this smash also let the world know he was nice as a producer too.(Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

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Mad Lion, "Take It Easy" - Mad Lion had the clubs on lock in the '90s and the aftershocks from this track can still be felt when DJs go into their dancehall/reggae set. KRS-One was already in the books as one of dopest lyricists of all time, but this smash also let the world know he was nice as a producer too.(Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

Blahzay Blahzay, "Danger" - "When the East is in the house, oh my God." Blahzay Blahzay had heads in check in 1995, when they dropped this New York anthem. It still resonates today in part because of its memorable opening and blend of samples including Jeru the Damaja's "Come Clean" the Beastie Boys' "Get It Together" and Gwen McCrae's "Rockin' Chair."(Photo: fader/Mercury/Polygram Records)

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Blahzay Blahzay, "Danger" - "When the East is in the house, oh my God." Blahzay Blahzay had heads in check in 1995, when they dropped this New York anthem. It still resonates today in part because of its memorable opening and blend of samples including Jeru the Damaja's "Come Clean" the Beastie Boys' "Get It Together" and Gwen McCrae's "Rockin' Chair."(Photo: fader/Mercury/Polygram Records)

Black Moon, "I Gotcha Opin (Remix)" - "I Gotcha Opin" was a raucous but overlooked album cut from Black Moon's underrated 1993 debut, Enta da Stage, but the smoky remix, released as a single with a recognizable Barry White sample, is an underground classic.(Photo: Duck Down Records)

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 Black Moon, "Who Got the Props"  - Black Moon and Da Beatminerz piled up inside D&D to create this song as they loaded up the clips for their first album Enta Da Stage. Pulling from Ronnie Laws's jazz instrumental "Tidal Wave," the 1993 outing made Buckshot and crew kings of the underground. (Photo: Duck Down Records)

Gang Starr feat. Nice & Smooth, "DWYCK" - Premier took Guru and Nice & Smooth out with the fader in 1992 on this classic boom bap track. Originally a B-side to their single "Take It Personal," from their third album Daily Operation, the club rocker gained enough weight that they had to place it on their 1994 album Hard to Earn.   (Photos from Left: Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images, Shareif Ziyadat/FilmMagic)

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Gang Starr feat. Nice & Smooth, "DWYCK" - Premier took Guru and Nice & Smooth out with the fader in 1992 on this classic boom bap track. Originally a B-side to their single "Take It Personal," from their third album Daily Operation, the club rocker gained enough weight that they had to place it on their 1994 album Hard to Earn.   (Photos from Left: Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images, Shareif Ziyadat/FilmMagic)

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Lost Boyz, "Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz & Benz" - Producer Easy Mo Bee had a gang of hits in the '90s and D&D was his studio of choice. He laid the foundation for the Lost Boyz's club bangers "Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz & Benz" and "Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless" there and helped make the Jamaica Queens crew a household name with their 1996 album Legal Drug Money. These club staples had everyone doing Mr. Cheeks's hood bounce step. (Photo: Uptown Records)

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Lost Boyz, "Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz & Benz" - Producer Easy Mo Bee had a gang of hits in the '90s and D&D was his studio of choice. He laid the foundation for the Lost Boyz's club bangers "Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz & Benz" and "Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless" there and helped make the Jamaica Queens crew a household name with their 1996 album Legal Drug Money. These club staples had everyone doing Mr. Cheeks's hood bounce step. (Photo: Uptown Records)

19. "Brooklyn Took It," Jeru Tha Damaja - Backed by a jerky beat from hometown legend DJ Premier and the classic "Brooklyn keeps on takin' it" sample from Boogie Down Productions' "The Bridge Is Over," East New York rapper Jeru reps for the borough's notorious club-brawlers and stick-up kids on this 1994 underground banger. It's the perfect song to play after Deron Williams strips the ball from Lebron.    (Photo: Courtesy Polygram Records)

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Jeru the Damaja, "Come Clean" - Premo introduced the game to Jeru the Damaja and made heads take notice with the chin-checking "Come Clean" in 1994. Sampling Onyx's "Oh-oh! Heads up 'cause we're dropping some s**t!" Jeru proved why he was one of the nicest at the time, as he brought knowledge and awareness to Brooklyn's over-hyped hustler and gun talk lane. (Photo: Polygram Records)

1995 ??? The Notorious B.I.G. 

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The Notorious B.I.G., "Unbelievable" - Frank White blessed his vocals inside Premier's playground on several occasions and one of the illest that came out of there was this song from his debut Ready to Die. According to legend, the session lived up to the song's title because Big Poppa had two female friends in the studio giving him oral pleasure before he got up and went into the booth to spit his rhymes.(Photo: David Corio/Redferns)

Dah Shinin', Smif-n-Wessun - All rap and no play makes some scary-a** dudes from Boot Camp.(Photo: Courtesy Wreck Records)

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Smif-N-Wessun, "Bucktown" - Smif-N-Wessun also made the legendary studio home when they recorded their 1995 underground classic Dah Shinin'. With Da Beatminerz behind the boards, the Boot Camp Clik representatives gave you a verbal introduction of what goes on in the land of the original gun clappers, and made them an underground force to be reckoned with.(Photo: Wreck Records)

Black Star, "Definition" - Mos Def and Talib Kweli banged out a few tracks in D&D, including "Definition," which had the backpackers and the streets striving for enlightenment. Produced by Hi-Tek, the cut kick-started the conscious crew's careers. (Photo: Bob Berg/Getty Images)

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Black Star, "Definition" - Mos Def and Talib Kweli banged out a few tracks in D&D, including "Definition," which had the backpackers and the streets striving for enlightenment. Produced by Hi-Tek, the cut kick-started the conscious crew's careers. (Photo: Bob Berg/Getty Images)

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Big L, The Big Picture - Backed by production heavyweights like DJ Premier and Pete Rock, this album, which arrived a year after Big L's 1999 murder, is a fitting exhibition of the punchline mastery and slicing delivery that made him an underground legend.  (Photo:  Rawkus Records)

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Big L, "Ebonics" - Big L and producer Ron Browz invaded the lab in 1998 to record "Ebonics" in what would be the Harlem MC's final bow before he was tragically murdered in 1999. L spent many nights in D&D with his Diggin' in the Crates Crew (Lord Finesse, Big L, O.C., Diamond D, Fat Joe, Buckwild, AG, Showbiz) and broke down the language of the streets on this underground favorite. (Photo: Rawkus Records)

Jeru the Damaja, "Ya Playing Yourself" - DJ Premier manned the boards once again as Jeru cleaned house in 1996 and called rappers to task for promoting the drug game to the youth on this song, featured on his sophomore release Wrath of the Math. Shots were fired as the Brooklyn lyricists sent darts to Puff, Foxy and Jay during the recording sessions. (Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

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Jeru the Damaja, "Ya Playing Yourself" - DJ Premier manned the boards once again as Jeru cleaned house in 1996 and called rappers to task for promoting the drug game to the youth on this song, featured on his sophomore release Wrath of the Math. Shots were fired as the Brooklyn lyricists sent darts to Puff, Foxy and Jay during the recording sessions. (Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

Black Moon, "How Many MC's (Must Get Dissed)" - Black Moon burst on the scene in 1993 with their hip hop mantra Enta Da Stage. Pitching tent at D&D, the Brooklyn crew recorded their entire critically acclaimed debut there. which included this wack rapper destroyer. Produced by Da Beatminerz, Buckshot flowed effortlessly over this beat and became one of the most respected lyricists in the early '90s. (Photo: Nervous Records)

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Black Moon, "How Many MC's (Must Get Dissed)" - Black Moon burst on the scene in 1993 with their hip hop mantra Enta Da Stage. Pitching tent at D&D, the Brooklyn crew recorded their entire critically acclaimed debut there. which included this wack rapper destroyer. Produced by Da Beatminerz, Buckshot flowed effortlessly over this beat and became one of the most respected lyricists in the early '90s. (Photo: Nervous Records)

Jay Z, "Streets Is Watching" - Produced by Ski, Jay Z had the streets on fire with this cut from his platinum-selling sophomore album, In My Lifetime, Vol. 1. It eventually manifested into a movie and soundtrack all its own.(Photo: Roc-a-Fella- Records)

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Jay Z, "Streets Is Watching" - Produced by Ski, Jay Z had the streets on fire with this cut from his platinum-selling sophomore album, In My Lifetime, Vol. 1. It eventually manifested into a movie and soundtrack all its own.(Photo: Roc-a-Fella- Records)

Gang Starr feat. K-Ci & JoJo, "Royalty" - D&D was literally the home of Gang Starr, as they recorded most of their classic material there. One gem that was birthed in the studio was their collaboration with K-Ci & JoJo on this keep-it-real track. Released in 1998 on their fifth album, Moment of Truth, Guru proved why he was one of the most regarded MCs ever while Premo may have delivered arguably his production magnum opus. They went on to score a gold plaque with their highest-selling album to date. (Photos from Left: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images, Paul Bergen/Redferns)

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Gang Starr feat. K-Ci & JoJo, "Royalty" - D&D was literally the home of Gang Starr, as they recorded most of their classic material there. One gem that was birthed in the studio was their collaboration with K-Ci & JoJo on this keep-it-real track. Released in 1998 on their fifth album, Moment of Truth, Guru proved why he was one of the most regarded MCs ever while Premo may have delivered arguably his production magnum opus. They went on to score a gold plaque with their highest-selling album to date. (Photos from Left: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images, Paul Bergen/Redferns)