Table of Contents
- 1. “Lose Yourself” – Eminem
- 2. “Bodak Yellow” – Cardi B
- 3. “Ms. Jackson” – Outcast
- 4. “Mind Playing Tricks On Me” – Geto Boys
- 5. “Dear Mama” – 2Pac
- 6. “Lost Ones” – Lauryn Hill
- 7. “Fight The Power” – Public Enemy
- 8. “Juicy” – Notorious B.I.G
- 9. “Me Myself And I” – De La Soul
- 10. “California Love” – 2Pac And Dr. Dre
- 11. “99 Problems” – Jay Z
- 12. “Jesus Walks” – Kanye West
- 13. “In Da Club” – 50 Cent
- 14. “The Box” – Roddy Ricch
- 15. “Starships” – Nicki Minaj
- 16. “In My Feelings” – Drake
- 17. “Anaconda” – Nicki Minaj
- 18. “It Was A Good Day” – Ice Cube
- 19. “N.Y. State Of Mind” – Nas
- 20. . “Hypnotize” – Notorious B.I.G
- 21. “I Know You Got Soul” – Eric B & Rakim
- 22. “Strictly Business” – E.P.M.D.
- 23. “C.R.E.A.M” – Wu-Tang Clan
- 24. “Paid In Full” – Eric B & Rakim
- 25. “Nuthin’ But A G Thang” – Dr. Dre Ft. Snoop Dogg
- 26. Empire State Of Mind” – Jay Z Ft. Alicia Keys
- 27. “Slow Down” – Brand Nubian
- 28. “Tha Crossroads” – Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
- 29. “The Symphony” – Marley Marl
- 30.“The Breaks” – Kurtis Blow
- 31. “It Takes Two” – Rob Base And DJ E-Z Rock
- 32. “Rock The Bells” – LL Cool J
- 33. “Paul Revere” – Beastie Boys
- 34. “Big Pimpin’” – Jay-Z Ft. UGK
- 35. “F*Ck Tha Police” – “N.W.A”
- 36. “Straight Outta Compton” – N.W.A
- 37. The Message” – Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
- 39. “Southern Hospitality” – Ludacris Ft. Pharrell
- 40. “Children’s Story” – Slick Rick
- 41. “God’s Plan” – Drake
- 42. “U.N.I.T.Y.” – Queen Latifah
- 43. “Grindin’” – Clipse
- 44. “U Don’t Know” – Jay-Z
- 45. “Touch The Sky” – Kanye West Ft. Lupe Fiasco
- 46. “Shook Ones Pt. 2” – Mobb Deep
- 47. “My Name Is” – Eminem
- 48. “A Milli” – Lil Wayne
- 49. “Worst Behavior” – Drake
- 50. “Alright” – Kendrick Lamar
Hip hop is one of the most popular and influential genres of music in the world today. Originating in the African American and Latino communities in the Bronx, New York in the 1970s, hip hop has since become a global phenomenon, with artists from all over the world contributing to its rich and diverse history. From its early days as a form of expression for marginalized communities to its current status as a mainstream cultural force, hip hop has always been at the forefront of pushing boundaries and challenging norms.
With so many incredible songs to choose from, narrowing down the top 50 best hip hop songs of all time is no easy task. From classic tracks that helped define the genre, to modern hits that continue to push hip hop forward, this list represents the very best that hip hop has to offer. Featuring artists from all eras and sub-genres, this list is a celebration of hip hop’s past, present, and future, and a tribute to the incredible creativity and innovation of the artists who continue to shape the genre today.
1. “Lose Yourself” – Eminem
“Lose Yourself” is a powerful and emotional song by American rapper Eminem. Released in 2002 as part of the soundtrack for the movie “8 Mile,” the song quickly became a massive hit and is now widely considered one of Eminem’s signature tracks. The song’s lyrics focus on the struggles and determination of a young man trying to make it as a rapper in Detroit, Michigan. The intense and passionate delivery of the verses, coupled with the driving beat and unforgettable chorus, make “Lose Yourself” an anthem for anyone facing challenges and trying to overcome them. Eminem’s raw and honest storytelling shines through, making this song a timeless classic in the world of hip-hop.
2. “Bodak Yellow” – Cardi B
“Bodak Yellow” is a breakout hit by American rapper Cardi B, released in 2017. The song features a catchy beat and Cardi B’s bold and confident flow, making it an instant hit with fans and critics alike. The lyrics of the song showcase Cardi B’s rise to fame, celebrating her success and newfound wealth while also calling out those who doubted her abilities. “Bodak Yellow” became the first solo female rap song to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart in over two decades, cementing Cardi B’s place as a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. The song’s infectious energy and Cardi B’s unapologetic attitude have made it a fan favorite and a modern classic.
3. “Ms. Jackson” – Outcast
“Ms. Jackson” is a classic hip-hop song by the American duo Outkast, released in 2000. The song features a smooth, melodic beat and emotionally charged lyrics that speak to the complexities of relationships and family dynamics. The lyrics address the narrator’s complicated relationship with the mother of his ex-girlfriend, apologizing for any pain or hurt caused during their time together. The song’s catchy chorus and Andre 3000’s and Big Boi’s effortless delivery made it an instant hit and a fan favorite. “Ms. Jackson” is widely considered one of the greatest hip-hop songs of all time, a testament to Outkast’s incredible talent and ability to create timeless music.
4. “Mind Playing Tricks On Me” – Geto Boys
“Mind Playing Tricks On Me” is a legendary hip-hop song by the American group Geto Boys, released in 1991. The song features a dark and haunting beat and introspective lyrics that explore the psychological effects of street life and urban violence. The verses describe the narrator’s struggles with paranoia, anxiety, and fear, highlighting the emotional toll that a life of crime and danger can take on a person. The song’s powerful and evocative storytelling, coupled with its chilling beat and memorable chorus, have made it a staple of hip-hop culture and a timeless classic. “Mind Playing Tricks On Me” remains a must-listen for fans of the genre and a powerful reminder of the human cost of violence and trauma.
5. “Dear Mama” – 2Pac
“Dear Mama” is a heartfelt and emotional song by American rapper Tupac Shakur, also known as 2Pac, released in 1995. The song features a sample from the classic R&B song “In All My Wildest Dreams” by Joe Sample and the Crusaders and tells the story of 2Pac’s love and appreciation for his mother, Afeni Shakur. The lyrics describe the challenges that 2Pac and his mother faced growing up in poverty and the sacrifices she made to provide for him and his siblings. The song’s powerful and relatable message, combined with 2Pac’s raw and honest delivery, make it a timeless classic and a fan favorite. “Dear Mama” remains a testament to the bond between a mother and child and a moving tribute to the strength and resilience of women.
6. “Lost Ones” – Lauryn Hill
“Lost Ones” is a powerful and introspective song by American singer, rapper, and songwriter Lauryn Hill, released in 1998. The song features a driving beat and Lauryn Hill’s passionate and soulful delivery, exploring themes of love, betrayal, and personal growth. The lyrics address the challenges of relationships and the importance of staying true to oneself, encouraging listeners to let go of negative influences and pursue their dreams. The song’s potent and honest message, combined with Lauryn Hill’s incredible vocal range and emotional depth, make it a fan favorite and a classic of the hip-hop and R&B genres. “Lost Ones” is a testament to the power of self-reflection and personal transformation, inspiring listeners to embrace their inner strength and resilience.
7. “Fight The Power” – Public Enemy
“Fight The Power” is a legendary hip-hop song by the American group Public Enemy, released in 1989. The song features a powerful and energetic beat and socially conscious lyrics that speak to the experiences of black Americans and the importance of fighting systemic oppression. The lyrics encourage listeners to speak out against racism and injustice, advocating for unity and empowerment. The song’s driving beat and catchy chorus, combined with its potent and relevant message, have made it a timeless classic and an anthem for social justice movements around the world. “Fight The Power” remains a must-listen for fans of hip-hop and anyone committed to the struggle for equality and justice.
8. “Juicy” – Notorious B.I.G
“Juicy” is a classic hip-hop song by American rapper Christopher Wallace, better known as the Notorious B.I.G., released in 1994. The song features a sample from Mtume’s “Juicy Fruit” and tells the story of Biggie’s rise from poverty to fame and success. The lyrics describe the struggles and hardships that Biggie faced growing up in Brooklyn and his aspirations to make it big in the music industry. The song’s catchy beat, infectious chorus, and Biggie’s smooth flow and storytelling make it an iconic and beloved track, and a fan favorite. “Juicy” remains a staple of hip-hop culture and a testament to the power of perseverance and ambition.
9. “Me Myself And I” – De La Soul
“Me Myself and I” is a popular hip-hop song by the American group De La Soul, released in 1989. The song features a sample from the classic funk track “Funky Worm” by the Ohio Players and tells the story of the group’s journey to find their own unique identity and creative voice. The lyrics encourage listeners to embrace their individuality and reject the pressure to conform to societal norms. The song’s catchy beat, playful lyrics, and humorous references to pop culture make it a fan favorite and an iconic track of the hip-hop genre. “Me Myself and I” remains a testament to the power of self-expression and the importance of staying true to oneself.
10. “California Love” – 2Pac And Dr. Dre
“California Love” is an iconic hip-hop song by American rappers 2Pac and Dr. Dre, released in 1995. The song features a catchy beat and an infectious chorus that pays homage to the California lifestyle and the West Coast hip-hop scene. The lyrics describe the party scene and the good life in California, with references to famous landmarks and cultural icons. The song’s driving beat, catchy hook, and memorable music video, featuring a Mad Max-inspired post-apocalyptic setting, make it an iconic and beloved track of the hip-hop genre. “California Love” remains a testament to the power of the West Coast hip-hop scene and the cultural impact of the genre on American music and popular culture.
11. “99 Problems” – Jay Z
“99 Problems” is a popular hip-hop song by American rapper Jay Z, released in 2003. The song features a sample from the rock song “The Big Beat” by Billy Squier and tells the story of the challenges that Jay Z has faced as a Black man navigating the music industry and the criminal justice system. The lyrics describe the ways in which racism and systemic oppression have affected his life and career. The song’s driving beat, catchy hook, and honest lyrics make it an iconic and beloved track of the hip-hop genre, and a testament to the power of using music to speak truth to power.
12. “Jesus Walks” – Kanye West
“Jesus Walks” is a critically acclaimed song by American rapper and producer Kanye West, released in 2004. The song’s powerful gospel-inspired beat and lyrics, which explore the role of faith in the African American community, have made it a fan favorite and a staple of the hip-hop genre. The song’s chorus, which repeats the phrase “Jesus walks with me,” celebrates the power of faith to provide strength and hope in the face of adversity.
13. “In Da Club” – 50 Cent
“In Da Club” is a popular hip-hop song by American rapper 50 Cent, released in 2003. The song’s infectious beat and catchy hook have made it a fan favorite and a staple of the hip-hop genre. The lyrics describe the lavish lifestyle of 50 Cent and his crew, with references to expensive cars, jewelry, and other trappings of success. The song’s driving beat and confident swagger make it an iconic and beloved track of the hip-hop genre, and a testament to the power of using music to celebrate one’s own success and achievements.
14. “The Box” – Roddy Ricch
“The Box” is a 2020 hit single by American rapper and singer Roddy Ricch. The song features an addictive melody and a catchy chorus, and its unique sound and production have made it a fan favorite and a staple of the hip-hop genre. The lyrics describe Roddy Ricch’s experiences with fame, money, and success, and his struggles to stay grounded and focused in the face of these distractions. The song’s memorable beat, clever wordplay, and honest lyrics make it a standout track in the contemporary hip-hop landscape, and a testament to the power of using music to express oneself and connect with fans.
15. “Starships” – Nicki Minaj
“Starships” is a hit dance-pop song by Trinidadian-American rapper, singer and songwriter Nicki Minaj. Released in 2012, the song’s upbeat and infectious rhythm and melody have made it a fan favorite and a staple of the pop and hip-hop genres. The lyrics describe the thrill of adventure and the joy of escaping the stresses of everyday life, and its sing-along chorus has made it a beloved and iconic track. The song’s success helped propel Nicki Minaj to mainstream fame and cemented her position as one of the most successful and influential female rappers in modern music.
16. “In My Feelings” – Drake
“In My Feelings” is a chart-topping hip-hop track by Canadian rapper Drake. The song, released in 2018, features a catchy beat and a memorable chorus, and it became a viral sensation thanks to the dance challenge that accompanied it. The lyrics describe Drake’s romantic feelings for a girl, and the chorus is an earworm that has been embraced by fans all over the world. The song’s popularity has cemented Drake’s position as one of the biggest and most successful artists in the music industry.
17. “Anaconda” – Nicki Minaj
“Anaconda” is a hit single by Trinidadian-American rapper Nicki Minaj, released in 2014. The song’s infectious beat and catchy chorus make it a fan favorite, and the song’s sexually charged lyrics and music video have made it a controversial hit. The lyrics describe Minaj’s sexuality and confidence, and the chorus samples Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back”. The song’s success helped solidify Nicki Minaj’s place as one of the most successful and influential female rappers of her time, and it remains a memorable and influential track in the hip-hop genre.
18. “It Was A Good Day” – Ice Cube
“It Was a Good Day” is a classic hip-hop track by American rapper Ice Cube, released in 1992. The song features a laid-back beat and a catchy chorus that celebrates a day without any trouble or worries. The lyrics describe Ice Cube’s experience of a perfect day in Los Angeles, free of violence or conflict. The song’s catchy hook has been sampled by other artists and has become a cultural touchstone for hip-hop fans. “It Was a Good Day” is widely regarded as one of Ice Cube’s best tracks and a classic of the West Coast rap scene.
19. “N.Y. State Of Mind” – Nas
“N.Y. State of Mind” is a classic hip-hop track by legendary rapper Nas, released in 1994. The song features a haunting beat and introspective lyrics that paint a vivid picture of life in the New York City streets, including the struggles and dangers that come with it. Nas’ gritty and unflinching depiction of life in the inner city has made the song a landmark in hip-hop, and it is widely regarded as one of the greatest rap tracks of all time. The song has been praised for its vivid storytelling and its ability to capture the essence of New York City in the 90s.
20. . “Hypnotize” – Notorious B.I.G
“Hypnotize” is a classic hip-hop track by the late Notorious B.I.G, released in 1997. The song features a funky and upbeat sample from the classic 1980s song “Rise” by Herb Alpert, and Biggie’s smooth flow and confident lyrics make it an infectious party anthem. The song has become one of the most recognizable and beloved tracks in hip-hop history and is widely regarded as one of the greatest songs of all time.
21. “I Know You Got Soul” – Eric B & Rakim
“I Know You Got Soul” is a classic track by legendary hip-hop duo Eric B & Rakim, released in 1987. The song features a sample from Bobby Byrd’s “I Know You Got Soul,” and it has a distinctive bassline and breakbeat that have become synonymous with classic hip-hop. Rakim’s smooth and confident delivery and the duo’s masterful production have made this song a landmark in hip-hop history, and it is widely regarded as one of the greatest rap tracks of all time. The song has been sampled and referenced by countless artists over the years and remains a testament to the art form’s power and longevity.
22. “Strictly Business” – E.P.M.D.
“Strictly Business” is a classic hip-hop track by American rap duo EPMD. Released in 1988, the song features a funky bassline and samples from the song “I Shot the Sheriff” by Bob Marley, creating a catchy and memorable sound. The lyrics describe the duo’s dedication to their music and the business of making a living from it. The song has been widely recognized as a pioneering track in the development of the “golden age” of hip-hop, with its minimalist sound and clear, direct lyrics becoming hallmarks of the genre. “Strictly Business” remains a beloved classic in the hip-hop canon.
23. “C.R.E.A.M” – Wu-Tang Clan
Released in 1993, “C.R.E.A.M” is one of the Wu-Tang Clan’s most notable songs. The acronym stands for “Cash Rules Everything Around Me,” and the song tells the story of the struggle to make ends meet in the face of poverty, crime, and drug addiction. RZA’s piano-driven beat complements Inspectah Deck’s and Method Man’s verses as they reflect on the harsh realities of life on the streets. The song’s message, along with its catchy hook and iconic samples, has made it a classic in the hip-hop canon, and it remains a staple of Wu-Tang Clan’s live performances to this day.
24. “Paid In Full” – Eric B & Rakim
“Paid In Full” by Eric B & Rakim is a classic hip hop song from the late 80s. The track features a sample from the James Brown song “Papa Don’t Take No Mess” and features Eric B’s signature scratches over Rakim’s smooth, confident flow. The song has been sampled and referenced by numerous other artists over the years, cementing its place as one of the most influential hip hop tracks of all time.
25. “Nuthin’ But A G Thang” – Dr. Dre Ft. Snoop Dogg
“Nuthin’ But A G Thang” is a classic West Coast hip hop track by Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg. The song’s smooth, laid-back beat and catchy chorus made it an instant hit upon its release in 1992. The track helped to establish Dre as one of the most influential producers in hip hop, and Snoop Dogg’s verse is now considered one of the most iconic in the genre. “Nuthin’ But A G Thang” has remained a staple of hip hop radio and playlists for over 25 years, and is widely regarded as one of the best songs of the genre.
26. Empire State Of Mind” – Jay Z Ft. Alicia Keys
“Empire State Of Mind” is a 2009 song by Jay Z featuring Alicia Keys. The song is an ode to New York City and its vibrant culture, with Jay Z referencing various locations and landmarks within the city. Keys delivers a soulful chorus that pays tribute to the city’s greatness and resilience. The track became a massive hit and went on to become one of the most popular songs of the 2000s. It was nominated for several awards, including Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards, and is considered one of Jay Z’s most iconic tracks.
27. “Slow Down” – Brand Nubian
“Slow Down” is a classic hip-hop track by the group Brand Nubian. Released in 1990, the song features a smooth, jazzy beat and laid-back flows from the group’s members, Grand Puba, Sadat X, and Lord Jamar. The lyrics reflect on the fast pace of life in the city and encourage listeners to slow down and enjoy the simple things. The song’s catchy chorus, which samples the classic Bob Marley track “Stir It Up,” is still instantly recognizable today. “Slow Down” is a great example of the positive, conscious lyrics and smooth, soulful sound that helped define hip-hop’s golden age in the early 1990s.
28. “Tha Crossroads” – Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
“Tha Crossroads” by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is a soulful hip hop ballad that pays tribute to the group’s deceased mentor and friend, Eazy-E. The song features ethereal harmonies and melodic rapping, along with a sample from the 1970s hit “Wake Up Everybody.” The lyrics express the pain and heartbreak of losing someone close, as the group reflects on the lives and deaths of their loved ones. The song was a massive commercial success, reaching number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and winning a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.
29. “The Symphony” – Marley Marl
“The Symphony” by Marley Marl is a classic hip hop track that features several of the biggest names in rap during the late 1980s, including Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, and Craig G. The song is a showcase for each artist to display their lyrical skills and distinctive styles over a funky, uptempo beat. The lyrics are filled with boastful rhymes and clever wordplay, with each rapper taking turns to demonstrate their abilities. “The Symphony” was a major hit and is considered a landmark moment in hip hop history, as it brought together several of the genre’s most talented and influential artists.
30.“The Breaks” – Kurtis Blow
“The Breaks” is a classic hip-hop song by American rapper and record/film producer, Kurtis Blow. Released in 1980, the song is widely considered as one of the earliest and most influential records of hip-hop music. The track was an instant success and its catchy hook, solid drum beats, and memorable lyrics helped propel it into becoming the first certified gold record rap song. “The Breaks” is credited with helping to establish hip-hop as a mainstream music genre and inspiring the next generation of rap artists. The song’s legacy continues to inspire and influence hip-hop culture and music today.
31. “It Takes Two” – Rob Base And DJ E-Z Rock
Released in 1988, “It Takes Two” by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock is a classic hip-hop song that’s still played at parties and events to this day. The song is built around a sample of the James Brown and Lyn Collins classic “Think (About It),” and features catchy hooks, fun lyrics and an infectious beat. The song was a massive hit and helped to popularize the use of samples in hip-hop. It has been covered and remixed numerous times, with its signature call-and-response chorus becoming a timeless catchphrase in popular culture. “It Takes Two” is a must-listen for any fan of classic hip-hop.
32. “Rock The Bells” – LL Cool J
“Rock The Bells” is a classic hip-hop track released by LL Cool J in 1985. The song is characterized by its hard-hitting drum beat, catchy hook, and LL’s confident and aggressive flow. The song was a major success, becoming one of LL’s signature tracks and earning him a place in the pantheon of hip-hop legends. The song’s title has since become a phrase synonymous with a high-energy performance or party, and the track itself remains a staple of old-school hip-hop playlists. “Rock The Bells” is a prime example of the genre’s early days and its ability to inspire and motivate generations of music lovers.
33. “Paul Revere” – Beastie Boys
“Paul Revere” by Beastie Boys is a classic hip-hop song from their debut album, “Licensed to Ill,” released in 1986. The song tells a humorous story of the trio’s fictional encounter with Paul Revere during the American Revolution. The catchy beat, clever rhymes, and humorous lyrics quickly became a fan favorite and a staple of the Beastie Boys’ live performances. The song features a signature guitar riff and samples from the funk band Bar-Kays, giving it a distinct and recognizable sound. “Paul Revere” is a perfect example of the Beastie Boys’ unique style and irreverent sense of humor that helped to redefine hip-hop music in the 1980s.
34. “Big Pimpin’” – Jay-Z Ft. UGK
“Big Pimpin'” is a popular song by Jay-Z, featuring UGK, and was released as a lead single from Jay-Z’s album “Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter”. The song’s production combines Middle Eastern influences with a bouncy beat, and features verses from both Jay-Z and UGK, who rap about the glamorous life of a “pimp.” The song’s catchy chorus and memorable production made it an instant hit, reaching #18 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Big Pimpin'” is considered to be one of Jay-Z’s biggest hits and is often cited as a classic in the hip-hop genre.
35. “F*Ck Tha Police” – “N.W.A”
Released in 1988, “Fk tha Police” is one of the most controversial and iconic songs in the history of hip-hop. The track is a protest against police brutality and racism, and it highlights the issues of racial profiling and police misconduct towards the black community in the United States. N.W.A. used their platform to bring attention to the unjust treatment of African Americans and to give a voice to the voiceless. The song received widespread backlash and was banned from radio stations, which further fueled the message behind the song. Despite the controversy, “Fk tha Police” remains a powerful social commentary that has inspired generations of artists and activists.
36. “Straight Outta Compton” – N.W.A
“Straight Outta Compton” by N.W.A. is an iconic gangsta rap song that challenges the social and political norms of its time. With its gritty and aggressive sound, it’s a powerful statement about the experience of living in Compton, California, and the violence, racism, and poverty that exists in the inner city. The song was a controversial hit that sparked a nationwide conversation about police brutality, censorship, and freedom of speech. It remains a powerful statement about the ongoing struggles of marginalized communities in America.
37. The Message” – Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
“The Message” by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five is a pioneering hip-hop classic that introduced social commentary to the genre. Released in 1982, the song’s lyrics describe the harsh realities of life in the inner city, including poverty, drugs, violence, and police brutality. The track’s socially conscious message was a departure from the party-oriented lyrics of previous hip-hop hits, and it paved the way for other artists to address social and political issues in their music. The song’s driving beat and catchy chorus have made it a timeless anthem that continues to inspire new generations of hip-hop fans.
39. “Southern Hospitality” – Ludacris Ft. Pharrell
Released in 2000, “Southern Hospitality” is a classic southern hip-hop banger by Ludacris featuring Pharrell Williams. The song was a huge commercial success and peaked at number 23 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It features a catchy beat with a unique blend of funk, rock, and R&B, with Ludacris’s smooth delivery, witty wordplay, and Pharrell’s trademark falsetto vocals. The lyrics of the song pay tribute to the southern United States and its culture, with references to southern hospitality, sweet tea, and cowboy boots. Overall, “Southern Hospitality” remains a fan-favorite and a staple in the southern hip-hop canon.
40. “Children’s Story” – Slick Rick
Slick Rick’s “Children’s Story” is a classic hip-hop narrative that tells a cautionary tale of the consequences of bad decisions. Slick Rick’s unique storytelling ability brings the story to life as he raps about a young boy who chooses a life of crime and eventually ends up in jail. The song’s infectious beat, catchy chorus, and smooth delivery have made it one of the most beloved tracks in hip-hop history. “Children’s Story” is a testament to Slick Rick’s skill as a storyteller and his ability to create vivid characters and scenarios through his music.
41. “God’s Plan” – Drake
“God’s Plan” by Drake, released in 2018, is a hip-hop track about success and self-worth. The song’s lyrics touch upon Drake’s journey in the music industry and how he’s become successful despite the obstacles he faced. The catchy hook and uplifting melody add to the song’s feel-good vibe. The music video features Drake giving away money to people in need, which aligns with the song’s message of giving back.
42. “U.N.I.T.Y.” – Queen Latifah
“U.N.I.T.Y.” by Queen Latifah, released in 1993, is a feminist rap track that addresses the treatment of women in the hip-hop industry and society at large. The song’s title stands for “Unity, love, living, and equality,” and the lyrics encourage women to stand up for themselves and demand respect. The track’s upbeat tempo and Queen Latifah’s powerful voice make it an anthem for empowerment and equality. The song won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance, making Queen Latifah the first female rapper to receive the award.
43. “Grindin’” – Clipse
“Grindin'” is a 2002 song by Virginia Beach-based hip-hop duo Clipse, consisting of brothers Pusha T and Malice. The song’s signature grinding beat, produced by The Neptunes, and its catchy hook make it one of the duo’s most recognizable songs. The lyrics speak to the duo’s hustle and determination in the drug game, as well as their mastery of the art of rapping. The song was a commercial success, reaching the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 and earning a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. Its influence can still be heard in modern hip-hop production.
44. “U Don’t Know” – Jay-Z
“U Don’t Know” is a classic Jay-Z track that showcases the rapper’s lyricism and flow. The beat, produced by Just Blaze, features a prominent guitar riff and hard-hitting drums, providing the perfect backdrop for Jay-Z’s aggressive delivery. The song’s hook, “I will not lose,” captures Jay-Z’s unyielding determination and confidence in his ability to succeed. The verses are filled with clever wordplay and clever lines that demonstrate Jay-Z’s mastery of the craft. “U Don’t Know” is a testament to Jay-Z’s status as one of the greatest rappers of all time and a highlight of his celebrated discography.
45. “Touch The Sky” – Kanye West Ft. Lupe Fiasco
Released in 2006, “Touch The Sky” by Kanye West featuring Lupe Fiasco is a song that showcases West’s ability to fuse different genres. The track is a unique blend of hip-hop and soul with elements of funk and includes a sample from Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up.” The song features West and Fiasco trading verses about overcoming obstacles and achieving success. The music video, which features West and actress Pamela Anderson, is a nod to the classic film “American Werewolf in London.” “Touch The Sky” was a commercial and critical success, with many praising its catchy beat and uplifting message.
46. “Shook Ones Pt. 2” – Mobb Deep
Mobb Deep’s “Shook Ones Pt. 2” is a classic hip-hop track that showcases the group’s gritty, raw, and streetwise style. The song’s haunting piano riff, ominous bassline, and sparse percussion create a tense and menacing atmosphere that perfectly complements Prodigy’s and Havoc’s razor-sharp rhymes. The lyrics depict the harsh realities of life in the projects, where violence, poverty, and drugs are a way of life. With its vivid imagery and vivid storytelling, “Shook Ones Pt. 2” has become one of the most iconic songs in hip-hop history, inspiring countless other artists and leaving a lasting impact on the genre.
47. “My Name Is” – Eminem
“My Name Is” by Eminem is a satirical take on the rapper’s own identity, as he introduces himself in a series of cleverly crafted verses that poke fun at popular culture and American society. The song features a catchy, upbeat hook that instantly draws listeners in, while Eminem’s unique delivery and irreverent lyrics make it an enduring classic of the late 90s hip-hop scene.
48. “A Milli” – Lil Wayne
“A Milli” by Lil Wayne is a high-energy, hard-hitting track that showcases the rapper’s signature lyrical style and flow. The song is built around a simple, repeating beat that is overlaid with a complex and constantly shifting series of rhymes, creating a frenzied, almost hypnotic effect. With its pounding bass and infectious chorus, “A Milli” is a testament to Lil Wayne’s skill as a rapper and his ability to create anthemic hits that continue to resonate with fans of all ages.
49. “Worst Behavior” – Drake
Drake’s “Worst Behavior” is an energetic and confrontational song that features him expressing his dominance and success in the rap game. The song’s aggressive production, which includes booming drums, gritty synths, and a sample from New Orleans bounce artist Big Freedia, perfectly matches Drake’s tough and boastful lyrics. Throughout the song, Drake references his success, his relationships with women, and his place as one of the top artists in the game. The song’s memorable hook and Drake’s confident delivery make “Worst Behavior” a standout track on his 2013 album “Nothing Was the Same.”
50. “Alright” – Kendrick Lamar
“Alright” is a powerful and socially conscious track by Kendrick Lamar, released on his 2015 album “To Pimp a Butterfly”. The song’s lyrics explore issues of racism, police brutality, and the Black Lives Matter movement, while also expressing hope and resilience in the face of these challenges. The track features a catchy and memorable hook, a jazzy instrumental backing, and Kendrick’s signature complex flow and wordplay. “Alright” became a rallying cry for social justice advocates and a testament to Kendrick’s artistic and cultural influence. The song was even performed during the 2015 BET Awards in a powerful and memorable performance that spoke to the spirit of the times.