Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock

It Takes Two

Composed by Robert Ginyard

Song Review by

There are many critics and listeners who claim that Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock's "It Takes Two" is the greatest hip-hop single ever cut. It's hard to disagree with them. Built on a sample of Lyn Collins' "Think (About It)," the song is a prime example of how the best hip-hop doesn't merely recycle the past -- it expands upon it. "It Takes Two" may be unthinkable without the sample, but it's hardly a loop -- the bass phrase has been fattened and strengthened, placed front and center in the mix so it now functions like a heavy metal guitar riff. The beat is constructed around the phrase, and everything grows from there, from the female vocalist singing "It takes two to make a thing go right" to Base's effortless rhyming. This is party music, pure and simple, but it's transcendent party music -- it sweeps you up immediately, and you're carried away by the sheer thrill of the bass, beat, and rhymes. It takes a few concentrated listens to realize just how immaculately the record is constructed, and, even then, it's amazing how easy Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock make it seem. But if it really was easy, not only would more hip-hop from 1988 be this timeless, but the years that followed would have produced many records that matched it. As it stands, "It Takes Two" is a singular work. It broke down the doors for crossover rap -- although it barely scraped the Top 40, it went platinum -- and it provided the hook-heavy blueprint for its successors. And, as the years pass, its musical brilliance loses none of its luster. It's still irresistible, and still a sure-fire way to get a party started right.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
It Takes Two 1988 Arista 5:00
The Real Cancun 2003
Original Soundtrack
Thrive Records 4:44
Massive Party Hits 2005
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:59
blue highlight denotes editor's pick