100 songs Long Islanders should know

As we prepare for the upcoming Long Island Music Hall of Fame Induction Gala on Oct. 18 at the Paramount in Huntington, we wanted to pull together a list of the songs that should be a source of civic pride.
These are the 100 songs every Long Islander should know -- songs by people from here, about here, and written and recorded here, that also have changed the world of music. And by here, we go along with the LIHoF's definition of Long Island: Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk.


(L-R) Flavor Flav, Professor Griff, Terminator X, S1W and Chuck D of the rap group Public Enemy pose for a portrait in a studio.

It is arguably the best hip-hop song ever — taking a sample from The JB's “Hot Pants Road” and turning it into an aggressive call for revolution. The group from Roosevelt deftly outlined the racial and class divides that existed in America in 1989, when the song hit No. 1 on the rap singles chart. ("Most of my heroes don't appear on no stamps,” Chuck D. declared.) "Fight the Power” was a blueprint for hip-hop long before Jay-Z, with Chuck explaining, “As the rhythm designed to bounce, what counts is that the rhyme's designed to fill your mind.“ So much of hip-hop's rhymes that have followed were about wealth and women, but “Fight the Power” was a call for self-education. Its message, combined with its use in Spike Lee's “Do the Right Thing,” had many bracing for riots after the movie's release. That didn't happen. Instead, it helped galvanize a generation of hip-hop intellectuals and the genre of conscious rap.

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