Ben Horowitz schools you on hip-hop

February 27, 2014: 9:00 AM ET

The Andreessen Horowitz co-founder shares his favorite songs -- and annotates them, too.

The Notorious B.I.G.

FORTUNE -- Ben Horowitz grew up listening to hip-hop and to this day remains an unabashed fan. It's the music that he listens to, what's in his head a lot of the time and what often inspires him to write some management lessons on his blog. Horowitz, who has become friends with some of hip-hop's biggest stars, also believes there is a connection between rappers, who had to overcome obstacles and bootstrap their careers, and entrepreneurs.

At Fortune's request, he created a playlist of his all-time favorite hip-hop songs, and you can read annotations of these classics over at Rap Genius, a site Andreessen Horowitz invested $15 million in.

MORE: Ben Horowitz: Silicon Valley's stealth power

"Juicy," The Notorious B.I.G. (Annotated lyrics)

"I Ain't No Joke,"  Eric B. and Rakim (Annotated lyrics)

"Rebel Without a Pause," Public Enemy (Annotated lyrics)

"The Message," Nas (Annotated lyrics)

MORE: Q&A with Nas: The rapper and the venture capitalist

"Can't Tell Me Nothing," Kanye West (Annotated lyrics)

"Let Me Ride,"  Dr. Dre (Annotated lyrics)

"Mind Playing Tricks on Me," Geto Boys (Annotated lyrics)

"A Week Ago," Jay-Z (Annotated lyrics)

"Swiss Francs," Ryan Leslie (Annotated lyrics)

"Keep Ya Head Up," 2Pac Shakur (Annotated lyrics)

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About This Author
Miguel Helft
Miguel Helft
Senior Writer, Fortune

Miguel Helft is a San Francisco-based Senior Writer at FORTUNE, where he covers Silicon Valley. He joined FORTUNE in August 2011 following a 5-year stint as a reporter at The New York Times covering companies like Apple, Facebook and Google. His knowledge of Silicon Valley and the tech world runs deep. He worked as a software engineer at Sun Microsystems in the late-1980s, and for the past 15 years, he has chronicled major industry events -- from the Microsoft antitrust trial to the dot-com boom and bust - at publications like the Industry Standard, the San Jose Mercury News and the Los Angeles Times. Born and raised in Argentina, Helft emigrated to the U.S. to attend Stanford University, where he earned a BA in Philosophy and a Master's in Computer Science.


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