The best rap song ever, of all time, is “Mo’ Money, ‘Mo Problems.”

Let’s throw out the obvious reasons that this song is the best: Ma$e practically winning the lottery by being involved; Puffy’s hilariously-inept-but-strangely-potent verse in the middle of the song; the fact that, for all Biggie’s gangster bluster, his secret weapon was always crushing soul beats like this (see “Juicy”); the somewhat-dated-but-still-incredible music video that went with this song. Throw all that out.

This song works because its a time machine.

What follows is a conversation between myself and The Mayor of Bushwick, the only other person I would trust to discuss the matter with (besides 2Cranez, of course).

Nate: Let’s talk seriosuly about this: “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems” is probably the best rap song ever, right?

Mayor: Yes

Nate: Okay then, good talk.

Mayor: In terms of staying power, I consider it unmatched. Not in a “Rapper’s Delight” or a “Bust a Move” way. This is a rap song that remains timeless with a virtually endless shelf life on pop radio. Other rap songs will achieve it, but they won’t be doing it for as long as “Mo’ Money” and they won’t have to break through the same barriers of the era. Essentially, the song is an event from a time and place whose largeness can’t be duplicated.

Nate: Very well said, I completely agree. It’s an eternal moment frozen in place. It is always 1998 when that song is playing, but it will also sound at home in any era, in any setting. It was both of its time and completely ahead of its time.

Mayor: And Diddy harnessed that energy to himself and lives ’98 every day. The perfect year.

Thanks for coming out, every other rap song.