New York City is a center for many things in the world: fashion, art, media, finance, subway rats fighting park pigeons in battles for ultimate supremacy, etc. New York—and the Bronx specifically—is the birthplace of hip-hop.

Rap listeners around the world who’ve never been to the Big Apple still know places like Nas’ Queensbridge projects, the slums of Wu-Tang’s Shaolin, and KRS-One’s South Bronx. Even Manhattan has its own Harlem World fresh with stars like Kool Moe Dee, Diddy, and Cam’ron.

So it should come as no surprise that all five of its boroughs have produced many of rap’s greatest talents. The fact that artists who even attempt to carry NYC’s flag these days are inevitably crushed by its sheer weight is a testament to the city’s contribution to the foundation of hip-hop.

While “​Purple Swag”​ put Rocky on the map, it was “Peso” that turned him into a star.

Once that video dropped in 2011 with the A$AP Mob showing out in the streets of Harlem the crew never looked back.

He did so in part by retooling his collaborative group Dipset.

Although Dipset had existed in some form for several years, and both Juelz Santana and Jim Jones (along with fourth member Freekey Zekey) had appeared on records with Cam’ron before, it wasn’t until “Come Home With Me” that all three men would appear together on a track.Remember a time when “backpack rap” wasn’t a pejorative.—Masta Ace’s “Jeep Ass Niguh” is a rap rarity, a dope song that was turned into another dope song, “Born to Roll,” simply by flipping the beat and adding more bass. Which is fine and all, especially for the woofers in your Jeep, but honestly the original was fine the way it was.Slick Rick, KRS-One, and Big Pun all hail from the Bronx. All of that is reason why picking the 100 Best New York City Rap Songs is no easy task.There’s so much to choose from that so much still gets left out.—As the title track of Cam’ron’s third studio album (and Roc-A-Fella Records debut), “Come Home With Me” marked a watershed moment in the Harlem rapper’s career.