I have come to the conclusion that Phife Dawg is the world’s greatest at introducing his verses. Anyone who has ever attempted to write a rap verse (or any kind of verse for that matter) knows how hard it is just to come up with the opening lines. Like any form of writing you want to grab the reader’s (or in this case the listener’s) attention right off the bat. As a rapper you have to sound fly too. Phife Dawg does both of these things all while referencing the fact that he is starting to rap as well. Here are a few examples of his mastery.
“I don’t know what to say, here I go, freak it…” (From Vibes and Stuff)— It’s, quick, subtle, to the point. He’s letting you know that he doesn’t know what to say, however he is going to speak anyway, and you better listen.
“Now here’s a funky introduction of how nice I am, tell your Mother, tell your Father, send a telegram…” (From Check the Rhyme)– Here he is just letting you know, that he is about to let you know, how nice he is. So tell your folks.
“Ayo Bo knows this, and Bo knows that, but Bo don’t know Jack, cause Bo can’t rap. But whatd’ya know the Didawg is first up to bat, no batteries inccluded, and no strings attached…” (From Scenario)– It is always said that Busta Rhymes stole the show on this track. If that is the case then the person who he stole it from was Phife. On this intro line he takes a little longer to get to the point, but he eventually lets you know that he will be rapping first.
“Aw… Shucks, look what the cat hauled in, it’s Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest, let me begin…” (From Show Business) — He says it all right here. Who he is, where he’s from. And to top it all off, he lets you know that he is about to start rapping. Not to mention that starting your verse with “look what the cat hauled in” is brilliant.
“Microphone check, one, two what is this…” (From Buggin’ Out) — Probably the greatest introductory line ever. It’s pretty much speaks for itself.
Honorable mentions should go to
Ol’ Dirty Bastard (“Aw shit, here I go once again…”) (“Here I go, deep type flow…”) (“First things first, man, you’re fuckin with the worst…”)
Ghostface Killah (“A hundred thousand times one, snatch up my styles get done…”) (“First of all son, peep the arson, many brothers I be sparkin, and bustin mad light inside the dark and…)
B-Real (“Time for some action, just a fractiion of friction, I got the clearence to run the interference…”) (“Well it’s the funkalistic, the blunt I twisted, the slammafied, bonafied funk on your discus…”)