With tickets for closed-circuit viewings of the big fight going for $150, you and your bros are best off ordering the fight on cable and kicking back at the crib (be wary of anyone with a popped collar and six-pack of Natty Ice). The perfect fight party calls for an appropriately aggressive playlist. Allow me to offer unsolicited advice in what’s surely the most irresponsible article I’ve ever written. We’re skipping the obvious (“Mama Said Knock You Out”) and going straight to the gutter for some of the grimiest, Timbs-to-your-grill beatdown anthems.
2Pac ft. the Outlawz, “Hit ’Em Up” (1996).Quite possibly the meanest diss song ever recorded, “Hit ’Em Up” is an audio assassination of the Notorious B.I.G. and his affiliates, opening with the infamous line: That’s why I fucked your bitch you fat motherfucker. It’s a solid five minutes of piercing, personal insults. Pac even picks on a member of Mobb Deep for having sickle-cell anemia. Needless to say, if you want to get a room full of dudes amped up for a fight, put this at the top.
M.O.P., “Ante Up” (2000). A Sesame Street mash-up video of the song may have been popular on YouTube, but “Ante Up” is not for children. In fact, don’t ever let your kids listen to this song—it’s an unabashed glorification of armed robbery. Do, however, put this on any workout mix, because it will pump you the fuck up. Also, tuck your chain before you get yapped.
Bone Crusher ft. Killer Mike and T.I.,“Never Scared” (2003). An atom bomb of aggression, “Never Scared” is the epitome of crunk with its bone-rattling production. The song is so successful in getting guys riled up that it was reportedly used as ballpark music for the Atlanta Braves in 2003.
Brand Nubian, “Punks Jump Up to Get Beat Down” (1992). An excursion from the socially conscious, Afro-centric rhymes for which they were known, members Sadat X and Lord Jamar let us know what happens when “soft newjacks” step to them. The crew caught flak for homophobic lyrics, but what’s political correctness when you’re administering a beatdown?
Eminem ft. Obie Trice and DMX, “Go To Sleep” (2003). There’s no shortage of Slim Shady songs to put on this list, but what makes this one special is that Eminem is so angry that he’s not really rapping—he’s just speaking aggressively and intonating random words that rhyme. It’s far from his best work lyrically, but the chorus of Why are you still alive?/Why, die motherfucker gets straight to the point.
T.I. ft. Juicy J and Trae tha Truth, “Fighting Words” (2013). The first minute of the song is T.I. saying, “Who you talkin’ to? Punk hoe. You don’t like me, hit me in the face then” repeatedly. I wonder if he asked Mayweather that during their Fatburger brawl?
Dizzy Wright, “Floyd Money Mayweather” (2015). Speaking of Mayweather, if your money’s on Money, you’ll want this on your mix. Vegas native Dizzy takes a break from his deep-thinking smoke-out joints to boast: Hop out, lookin’ like Floyd Money Mayweather … runnin’ round Vegas finna get that knockout!