^ They don't make em like they used to. - Old fogey praverb.
When Yo! MTV Raps was the only blog in town, real cats like Rakim actually ran the scene, Tupac was putting in stellar acting performaces, and hip-hop movies were about actually about turntablism, the art of MCing, and depicting a reality of street life in big cities (read: not Get Rich Or Die Trying)...this is what was defining the culture.
Can you imagine a song like this coming out in 2009? Your head would explode. It would make all of this garbage floating around the internet look like a complete waste of your precious zShare ad click time. This just doesn't happen anymore, even from the potential legends, and I'm not quite sure why.
ERIC B & RAKIM - KNOW THE LEDGE