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"Daytona 500" is the greatest hip-hop song ever--not merely my favorite, but "the greatest."


This is true because I have declared it as such. One of the benefits of of my status as a black intellectual is the right to cocoon myself in an elite bastion, and make broad declarations about urban culture, at a safe distance from those best equipped to refute said declarations.

Some black intellectuals would use their power to assure you that black people like being poor. I shall use it to declare that hip-hop begins in 1988 ends in 1998, and no intelligent person could possibly think differently. Also, the West Coast never happened. (OK, I'll give you Ice Cube.) There is no such thing as the South. Outkast were from Philly.

At any rate, I defy you to find a hip-hop song greater than "Daytona 500." What constituites greater? Whatever suits my whim. I'm a black intellectual. I have pronounced it from the offices of The Atlantic, therefore it must be true.

MORE: Snark aside, I need to make clear that TROY is the greatest hip-hop song ever. Again, no intelligent person can dispute.


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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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