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|Top 10 Hip Hop Songs Of All Time|
Out of all the lists that I have ever done, this one has proven to be the most difficult to write. Music in general is very subjective but when trying to make a list like this, I tried to look at three aspects of what not only makes a good Hip Hop song, but what makes one that can stand the test of time. These included influence, creativity, and overall entertainment value. People will without a doubt disagree with this list but one thing that will be hard to argue, is the impact that each of the songs has done for Hip Hop music and culture.
|1||Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five|
Hip Hop music, no scratch that, music overall can be looked at as expression. Whether it is from the soul or from the greedy mind, music can impact many people?s lives. We live in a day and age where so much music is being exposed commercially and independently that when it all comes down to it, only some can stand the test of time. The Message is one of those rare songs to ever achieve in this. Sure the old school flow may not be as appealing as it once was to some but the subject matter and the beat, define timelessness. Before The Message was ever released, Hip Hop music was viewed as a novelty act to some. It wasn?t taken as seriously as other genres because the only mentality that a lot of it had was to party and to have a good time. The irony in that is that all of today?s mainstream Hip Hop music (or to some who like to refer it as Hip Pop) has this same aim. The Message took what was great about Hip Hop music, banging beats and catchy rhymes, and turned it into something that not only changed Hip Hop forever, but the face of music as a whole. This can be supported with the fact that in 2007, Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five were the first Hip Hop group ever to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. People questioned this move because the group wasn?t what people would define as Rock And Roll but when thought out, it makes perfect sense because whether people like to admit it or not, this shows that Hip Hop music has made even an impact in Rock And Roll. The song expresses the struggles of the ghetto, detailing hard times and commentating how some live their life to the end. The music is futuristic and sounds like it would never strike a match with the serious topic that it presents but oddly enough, it succeeds with effortless precision. It?s sad to see that Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five have never come close in topping off this undeniable classic but do they really have to? The Message has stood the test of time to the point that the geniuses that were responsible for this song, never needed to pick the pen and pad up again. Some music can be passive, some can be entertaining, but only few will be important everlasting gems. Whether people like it or not, The Message deserves all the praise that it gets because without it, Hip Hop as we know it would probably be dead today.
Fight The Power
Released in the summer of 1989, music as some knew it would never be the same again. Chuck D and Flavor Flav were at the top of their forms when Fight the Power was unleashed to the mainstream. Featuring an energy that is rarely seen in music today, the song cried out for a revolution and in ways, it received it. With its unapologetic lyrical aggression and a thumping beat that was a benchmark in music in itself (sampling James Brown to Afrikka Bambaataa), the song was so anti-commercial for its time and yet, it received high recognition and praise while following the footsteps of no one. Even when the song was repeatedly played in Spike Lee?s classic Do the Right Thing, the movie never succeeded in damaging its impact but instead, raised it. When this song is played whether it is through the radio (which would be a miracle in it today?s age) or through the headphones of a music junkie who is trying to seek truth, the relevance of Fight the Power will never deteriorate from its musical quality to the anger and courage that everyone living and breathing strives to have when expressing their knowledge and soul.
|3||The Sugarhill Gang|
As critically acclaimed as this benchmark of a song was, I never thought it was as good as so many people claim it to be. After finding out that the original version was much longer than I previously thought (clocking in at a whopping 14 minutes), it is truly understandable why it has been praised as much as it has. When Hip Hop was first known, it was not taken seriously as some take it today. The mood itself was mostly party centric with rhymes that weren?t with any sort of message except to shake that booty. To this day the song is still a very fun listen from the funky Good Times sample to some of the funniest rhymes to ever be laid on wax. Rapper?s Delight is truly a delight to the ears and was a necessary puzzle piece to making Hip Hop a recognized form of music.
Fuck Tha Police
It?s true that there was already other emcees rapping about the struggles of the ghetto even before NWA existed but with Fuck Tha Police, it was not only another story told from another point of view that made it memorable, it was how it was told. True aggression in Hip Hop was heard of but was not as neck-hair rising as NWA?s classic. Ice Cube?s in-your-face first verse alone caused controversy on such a level that it even made FBI agents shiver in fear. To this day, it?s hard to come by a song that is as hard and political as Fuck Tha Police was and that in itself should prove its legendary relevance.
Probably expecting Aerosmith?s cover of Walk This Way? Although that song is influential in its own right, it just wasn?t as amazing as some of Run DMC?s other work. Case and point: Rock Box. From its amazing guitar craftsmanship to its shit-talking raps that laid even more of a foundation that Hip Hop was here to stay, Rock Box made it official that it truly did take talent to make a good Hip Hop song with its deep atmosphere and overall originality.
|6||Afrikka Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force|
While some of the lyricism of this classic haven?t stood the test of time, the beat alone makes it on this list. It?s truly a ride in music escapism and feels like a trip through outer space guided by the genius that is Afrikka Bambaataa. Never a dull moment and always interesting to revisit with its urgency to played at a party or anywhere else, without Planet Rock, Hip Hop music would not even be close to being as creative and trippy that some of it can be today.
Mind Playing Tricks on Me
Once again, I had a hard time choosing between this song and Mobb Deep?s Shook Ones Pt. II. Both tell stories of the struggles that some go through in order to survive in the ghetto whether it is paranoia, or money. Both tell grimy stories that hold nothing back when it comes to emotion and lyrics but ultimately, it seems that Mind Playing Tricks was the originator of this style of music creativity (or at least made it more known) and for that, the end results are truly mesmerizing.
What can honestly be said about 2pac?s greatest achievement in Hip Hop that has not already been said? It?s a straight up tear jerker but one that is so sincere and heartfelt that it just went to show that even the most hardcore emcees shouldn?t have to rap about shooting up people and having sex with women in order to make a point about their credibility (even though 2pac had songs like that too). Overrated or not, 2pac has shown that music that aims from the heart, can be much more impactful than music that aims from mind.
I Used to Love H.E.R.
Probably the greatest ode to Hip Hop ever, it is hard to deny how poetic Hip Hop can be after listening to it. Not only was it great from the sheer fact that Common went out of his way to create a song that showed his true love for music, but it is also one of the most inventive songs in Hip Hop to ever be written. From the genius use of metaphors to No I.D.?s beautiful production, I Used To Love H.E.R. is without a doubt a great introduction to anybody who is still in denial that Hip Hop can be taken seriously as an art form.
I had a hard time choosing between this song and La Di Da Di but ultimately, went with Children?s Story. While La Di Da Di created the foundation of Slick Rick?s storytelling abilities, Children?s Story perfected it. With a timeless beat to ride along to and imaginative lyrics that aren?t too hard to decipher, Children?s Story was truly a musical experience of a lifetime even if was only around 4 minutes long.
|"I used to get feels on a bitch|
Now I throw shields on the dick
To stop me from that HIV shit"
|no wu tang clan???|
|I'd have Nas-NY state of mind, always sends a shiver down my spine.|
|needs something from nas|
|as far as your list goes, it covered all the bases. the problem is that it's boring. it's nothing new. just like when people make a list of the best hip hop albums and put ready to die, all eyez on me, it takes a nation, straight outta compton, paul's boutique, raising hell, paid in full, etc. we know. we all know. these are obvious. you should make a list of weird, underground, left field albums that not everyone in the world knows about. personally i find underground shit to be far superior to the "classics"|
|i'd make a list like that but then i wouldn't claim it as "the top 10 (insert whatever here) of all time."|
|Agree with 8, maybe 4.|
Notorious BIG - Juicy
WestSide Connection - The Gangsta the Killa and the Dope Dealer
Method Man - All I Need
2 Pac - Ambitizions as a Ridah
|Biggie - Gimme The Loot or Warning|
Wu-Tang - anything
GZA - Shadowboxin'
|good choices bighans but i actually prefer the "all i need" remix featuring mary j. blige a little more.|
|[enter text]8 would be one of mine as well.[/enter text]|
|These are 10 fantastic songs, but I'm not sure that 7-10 deserve to even be in the top 20, let alone the top 10. Of course, it's subjective. I'd say some classic songs that I'd throw in would be:|
Wu-Tang Clan - C.R.E.A.M.
Nas - New York State of Mind
Gang Starr - Mass Appeal
De La Soul - Me, Myself & I
Beastie Boys - Paul Revere
Notorious B.I.G. - Big Poppa
2Pac - Brenda's Got a Baby
and some personal favs that I think are classics:
Atmosphere - God's Bathroom Floor
Atmosphere - The Woman With the Tattooed Hands
Aesop Rock - Daylight
Aesop Rock - No Regrets
Murs - Walk Like A Man
P.O.S. - That One
P.O.S. - P.O.S. Is Ruining My Life
Mac Lethal - Take Me In My Sleep
Mac Lethal - Halo
If any of y'all haven't, check those songs out on youtube.
|then do it bro! make that list and call it whatever you want to call it. we're talking deltron, mf doom, quasimoto, dr. octagon, jurassic 5, little brother, shit like that. |
|i guess i should probably say something about UGK since this is a hip hop list and all|
|to be honest, i haven't heard much of any of those artists but what i have (mf doom, dr. octagon, jurassic 5, and little brother) have all been awesome but wouldn't it also be obvious to make a list featuring all of those underground rappers?|
|don't worry illmitch, i'll include ugk in one of my future lists.|
|oh yeah, Deltron's Virus and DOOM's Rhymes Like Dimes or Deep Fried Friendz would make my personal list too. Don't know how I forgot those.|
|well i'm not saying that every album is gonna be completely unknown to everybody but at least it'll be much less obvious and more interesting for those trying to expand beyond just the "classics." for example everyone and their gay cousin has listened to tupac and biggie, but not that many people listen to jedi mind tricks. |
|i think my promotion of UGK has become meta-ironic or something like that|
as in i do it to poke fun at myself for doing it so much
maybe i can do a philosophical study of it or shit like that
|oh myyy i was gonna whip some ass if i didnt see some geto boy and 2pac on here. |
|oh okay i get you but to be honest, as much as i adore hip hop, i still haven't heard some essentials which is why i'm foreign to more underground stuff than i should be at this point.|
|list lacks good hip-hop, and no im not going to say it needs wu-tang because wu was mediocre.|
|lacks good hip hop? throwing out them fightin' words.|
|Absolutely #9. Absolutely, and good job recognizing it. One of the top 3 hip hop songs of 1994, which means it competes with the likes of all the songs from 'Illmatic', 'Ready To Die', 'Hard To Earn' (someone mentioned "Mass Appeal" already), 'Ill Communication' and other classics of the genre.|
Mine would look a bit different, of course. I'd have to put an Eminem song on here, something from either Slim Shady or Marshall Mathers....perhaps "Stan" or "'97 Bonnie and Clyde" or "Kim" or "The Way I Am." (A sad thing, people usually wouldn't look to the 2000's for "Best Hip-Hop of All Time," but as Eminem really and truly stood out in a field of mediocrity with skill that has yet to be matched in the past 10 years...well, yeah, I'd put his most extraordinary song on here, and I think it would be one of those four).
Let's see...then there's "Bombs Over Baghdad," which, while being Pitchfork's absolute favorite hip-hop song ever, is an incredible song (regardless of how seemingly incoherent the lyrics are).
If I were to play a Notorious song on here, it would be neither "Juicy" nor "Big Pappa." Perhaps "Gimme The Loot" or "Who Shot Ya" or "Ready To Die."
But really...I'm fine with the list as it is. Except the lack of Nas...I do agree, he really ought to have a spot on here.
|surprisingly enough, nas is actually my favorite rapper ever so it should hopefully show that this list isn't totally biased. |
out of those 4 eminem songs, i'd choose "stan" hands down.
i considered "B.O.B." but then again, "planet rock" exists.
personally i'd choose "unbelievable" or "warning" but objectively, "juicy" for biggie
|Well seriously, no Big L, Lord finesse, Gang Starr, A Tribe Called Quest, Big Daddy Kane....etc, etc it's lacking a lot.|
|great list, I would have "Me Against the World" for 2pac though|
|ross22 i love all those artists but a lot of them just don't have the signature songs to compete with the songs on this list|
|@Illmitch I get you but I dunno I just don't think these songs are the pinnacle of hip-hop. Though they may be the pinnacle of hip-hop cultures/subcultures.|
|YES TO 1, 2 and 4!!|
NAS' "The World is Yours"
Eminem's "the Way i Am"
Dub Pistols' "Cyclone"
Jurassic 5's "A Day at the Races"
|seriously though 1 is the best rap song ever made. nobody will ever beat it.|
|GZA - all of Liquid Swords quite honestly|
Wu-Tang - All of 36 Chambers...
Deltron 3030 - 3030
Eminem - Stan
|Roots Manuva - Join the Dots|
|where is teh eazy and teh biggie? |