The Galaxy of Queens has a healthy handful of superstar street rappers, each with their own style. There’s the rapid fire flow of Kool G. Rap, the introspective genius of Nas, the reckless gangster mentality of Mobb Deep, and the thugged out energy of Noreaga. And don’t forget about hood legends Large Professor, Tragedy, Cormega, Capone, Big Noyd, and Nature, all of whom influenced the likes of modern day Queens rappers such as 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, and Action Bronson. And though their voices and rap patterns may differ, they all share a common love for banging beats and heavy slang. So for our latest edition of The 10s, we present some of the finest two-man collaborations that display this bond with QU Duets: 10 Killer Queens Combos, a follow up to our Wu Duets we dropped last week. Enjoy, dun duns.
1. Prodigy f/ Noreaga “What U Rep”
Breakdown: Pee and Nore pop off and rep their projects to the fullest on this one.
UNT Quotable: "Stick it to you, black magic like voodoo, ya’ll can’t fuck with us ‘cause y’all cats straight doo doo." -Noreaga
2. Kool G. Rap f/ Nas “Fast Life”
Album: 4, 5, 6
Breakdown: The two biggest rappers in Queens flaunt their skills and skrilla on this flashy Buckwild track. Smell the success.
UNT Quotable: "Two major players gettin’ paper by the layers." -Kool G. Rap
3. Big Noyd f/ Prodigy “Recognize & Realize”
Album: Episodes Of A Hustla
Breakdown: These two QB brethren go rhyme for rhyme on this mixtape classic from Noyd’s solo project. Recognize the real.
UNT Quotable: “Lookin’ for trouble, ‘fraid so, you found a couple, me and Rappin’ Noyd blastin’ off like NASA space shuttles.” -Prodigy
4. Cormega f/ Large Professor “Sugar Ray and Hearns”
Album: Legal Hustle
Breakdown: Mega and Extra P throw a few jabs and uppercuts on this J-Love jewel. It’s short, but it packs a punch.
UNT Quotable: “Ghetto philosopher like marijuana I’m sparkin’ ya, verbal conquerer, drama choreographer.” -Cormega
5. Large Professor f/ Nas “One Plus One”
Album: The LP
Breakdown: Nas made his breakthrough appearance with Large Pro on Main Source’s “Live At The Barbeque,” and he returns years later to lay a verse on this mellow cut for LP’s solo LP, which originally was shelved in ‘96 but is now available worldwide.
UNT Quotable: “Truly, reppin’ QB, my life is like a movie.” -Nas
6. Half A Mill f/ Ali Vegas “Tuff Guy”*
Breakdown: At one point, Ali Vegas was being dubbed as the second coming of Nas. But as nice as he might have been, he never made the impact that was predicted. Still, youngin’ definitely shows his potential on this cut with the late, great, and extremely underrated Half A Mill.
UNT Quotable: “Six million ways to die, which way you want, spray players, have you runnin’ with one gator on.” -Half A Mill
7. Noreaga f/ Nas “Body In The Trunk”
Breakdown: Here’s how the story goes. N.O.R.E. reaches out to Nas after murking some cat and throwing him in his trunk in the mall parking lot. Turns out Esco knows the kid, and now they have to dispose of the body without getting knocked. This is definitely some movie shit.
UNT Quotable: “This ain’t no game god, dump his body in the train yard.” -Nas
8. Nas and Prodigy “Tick Tock”
Album: 1st Infantry
Breakdown: Alchemist brings the big guns into his lab for this highly slept on collaboration of mics. To the, tick tock, ya don’t stop!
UNT Quotable: “Cock your seat back, relax while I spit, the spitting image of how I live.” -Prodigy
9. Nature f/ Noreaga “I’m Leaving”
Album: The Album (The Firm)
Breakdown: Trackmasters provides the beat for Firm rookie Nature and Lefrak animal thug N.O.R.E. to do what they do best.
UNT Quotable: “We used to pop bottles and slugs the same night.” -Nature
10. Cormega f/ Prodigy “Thun and Kicko”
Album: The Realness
Breakdown: Prodigy joins Mega to celebrate the thun language and expose frauds who talk tough on wax. Brace yourself.
UNT Quotable: "You’s a notebook crook, with loose leaf beef, a backseat criminal who pass the heat, to somebody who blast the heat, man it sound bad on the pad, what happened in the street?" -Prodigy
*Editor’s Note: Shout to @TEFLONDONPOST for correcting us. Yes, Half A Mill was from Albany Projects in Brooklyn, our bad. But we’ll consider him an honorary QU rapper for the purposes of this episode of The 10s. Like we said before, we never claimed to be experts, we just love this shit. Good looks, enjoy the mix. RIP Half A Mill.
words by @StanIpcus / mix by @UnitedCrates / graphics by @CNTRBND