Top 100 Hip Hop Songs of all time.

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( Hip-hop has long been a powerful cultural force, influencing music, fashion, and social movements worldwide since its inception in the streets of New York in the 1970s. What began as a form of street-level expression has evolved into a diverse and dynamic genre that spans the globe. From the gritty tales of urban struggle and survival to anthems of triumph and celebration, hip-hop has consistently provided a voice for the voiceless and a platform for innovation. This compilation of the top 100 all-time hip-hop songs showcases the genre’s remarkable range and depth, featuring tracks that have not only defined generations but also pushed the boundaries of what music can represent. Each song tells a story, offering a snapshot of the artist’s world, thoughts, and emotions, weaving a rich tapestry that continues to influence and inspire both listeners and creators alike.

Top 100 Hip Hop Songs of all time.

1. “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang (1979)

One of the first songs to popularize hip-hop on a global scale, “Rapper’s Delight” was a groundbreaking track that introduced many to the genre. Despite its length—over 14 minutes in its longest version—it became a top 40 hit and has been credited with launching hip-hop into the mainstream.

2. “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five (1982)

This song shifted hip-hop from party music to a platform for social commentary. With its haunting refrain of “Don’t push me ’cause I’m close to the edge,” it painted a stark picture of urban strife and inequality, influencing generations of conscious rappers.

3. “Fight The Power” by Public Enemy (1989)

Crafted for Spike Lee’s film “Do the Right Thing,” this powerful anthem is renowned for its politically charged lyrics and its role in the politically motivated music movement of hip-hop.

4. “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” by Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg (1992)

A definitive G-funk track, this song exemplifies the laid-back yet potent style of Southern California’s hip-hop scene. Its smooth, melodic hooks and sharp lyrical delivery make it a timeless classic.

5. “C.R.E.A.M.” by Wu-Tang Clan (1993)

Acronym for “Cash Rules Everything Around Me,” this track offers a gritty narration of the harsh realities of growing up in urban America, showcasing the group’s sharp lyrical prowess and innovative production.

6. “Juicy” by The Notorious B.I.G. (1994)

This autobiographical track tells of Biggie’s rise from poverty to fame. Sampling Mtume’s “Juicy Fruit,” it’s become an anthem for anyone pursuing their dreams against all odds.

7. “Dear Mama” by Tupac Shakur (1995)

A poignant tribute to his mother, Tupac’s “Dear Mama” discusses his upbringing in a single-parent home and acknowledges his mother’s struggle and sacrifice.

8. “Stan” by Eminem ft. Dido (2000)

“Stan” uses a fictional tale of fan obsession to explore the darker side of fame. The song’s narrative style and haunting chorus have cemented it as a critical piece in Eminem’s catalog.

9. “Ms. Jackson” by OutKast (2000)

A heartfelt apology to the mothers of their children, “Ms. Jackson” combines a catchy hook with introspective lyrics, showcasing OutKast’s unique blend of southern hip-hop with funky rhythms.

10. “Jesus Walks” by Kanye West (2004)

Kanye tackles issues of faith and doubt with “Jesus Walks,” challenging mainstream hip-hop norms and discussing themes of spirituality and redemption in a genre often criticized for materialism.

11. “Lose Yourself” by Eminem (2002)

From the soundtrack of “8 Mile,” this song captures the intense pressure of seizing the moment. Its raw energy and inspiring lyrics have made it an anthem for motivation.

12. “99 Problems” by Jay-Z (2004)

Jay-Z uses a hook based on an Ice-T song to delve into the multiple challenges he faces, from legal troubles to racial profiling. The track is a showcase of Jay-Z’s lyrical dexterity.

13. “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar (2015)

An anthem of hope amid societal and personal turmoil, “Alright” has been adopted by activists and communities as a chant for perseverance and resistance.

14. “Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B (2017)

Cardi B’s breakout hit, “Bodak Yellow,” is celebrated for its assertive energy and has become an anthem of self-empowerment and success, marking a significant moment for female artists in hip-hop.

15. “The Real Slim Shady” by Eminem (2000)

With its satirical lyrics and infectious beat, this track is a critique of pop culture and a declaration of Eminem’s unique place in hip-hop.

16. “California Love” by 2Pac ft. Dr. Dre (1996)

This anthem of West Coast hip-hop features Roger Troutman’s talkbox and verses from Dre and Tupac that vividly celebrate California’s hip-hop lifestyle.

17. “Big Poppa” by The Notorious B.I.G. (1994)

Over a smooth Isley Brothers sample, Biggie’s laid-back delivery and suave lyrical content made “Big Poppa” a staple of 90s hip-hop.

18. “Hotline Bling” by Drake (2015)

Known for its meme-worthy dance moves in the music video, “Hotline Bling” showcases Drake’s signature blend of singing and rapping over a minimalist beat.

19. “Gold Digger” by Kanye West ft. Jamie Foxx (2005)

Sampling Ray Charles’s “I Got a Woman,” this song critiques relationships based on materialism, highlighted by West’s sharp wit and Foxx’s charismatic vocals.

20. “God’s Plan” by Drake (2018)

A reflective track where Drake contemplates his fate and charity, “God’s Plan” is notable for its philanthropic music video, which documented acts of kindness and generosity.

21. “Express Yourself” by N.W.A (1989)

A standout track that advocates for free expression, deviating from N.W.A’s typical hardcore style to focus on the importance of personal freedom and non-conformity.

22. “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” by Kanye West (2007)

This song combines West’s reflective lyricism with a triumphant beat, capturing the complexities of fame and success.

23. “Mass Appeal” by Gang Starr (1994)

A critique of the commercialization of hip-hop, DJ Premier’s minimalist production complements Guru’s laid-back yet poignant delivery.

24. “Doo Wop (That Thing)” by Lauryn Hill (1998)

From her critically acclaimed solo debut, this track features Hill’s rapping and singing talents while discussing respect and self-worth.

25. “Shook Ones, Pt. II” by Mobb Deep (1995)

Known for its haunting instrumental and vivid depictions of urban life, this track is a staple in hip-hop, often cited for its raw portrayal of struggle and survival.

26. “It Was A Good Day” by Ice Cube (1992)

A rare positive reflection amidst his often gritty narratives, Ice Cube recounts a perfect day in South Central LA, free from violence and stress.

27. “Gin and Juice” by Snoop Dogg (1994)

With its laid-back vibe and catchy chorus, this track became a party anthem, showcasing Snoop’s smooth delivery and charisma.

28. “Runaway” by Kanye West ft. Pusha T (2010)

A self-reflective track that discusses personal failings and public perception, “Runaway” is lauded for its honest lyrics and minimalistic piano-driven beat.

29. “HUMBLE.” by Kendrick Lamar (2017)

This song combines a hard-hitting beat with Lamar’s sharp critique of the hypocrisy in society and the music industry, encouraging listeners to stay grounded.

30. “In Da Club” by 50 Cent (2003)

Produced by Dr. Dre, this track is one of 50 Cent’s most popular hits, known for its catchy hook and beats that became an anthem for club celebrations.

31. “The Crossroads” by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (1996)

A tribute to their deceased friends, including Eazy-E, this song is celebrated for its melodic flow and emotional depth.

32. “Planet Rock” by Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force (1982)

Merging electronic music with hip-hop, this song is pivotal in the development of breakdancing culture and electro-funk sound.

33. “Money Trees” by Kendrick Lamar ft. Jay Rock (2012)

Featuring a laid-back beat and introspective lyrics, this track explores the effects of economic struggles and the allure of fast money.

34. “Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa (1987)

An early mainstream success for female rappers, this track is celebrated for its catchy beat and empowering vocals.

35. “Electric Relaxation” by A Tribe Called Quest (1993)

Known for its smooth, jazzy beats and relaxed, conversational style of rapping, this song exemplifies the group’s innovative approach to hip-hop.

36. “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” by Jay-Z (2001)

This upbeat track discusses Jay-Z’s rise from the streets to stardom, marked by catchy hooks and reflective lyrics.

37. “Grindin'” by Clipse (2002)

Featuring stark, minimalist production from The Neptunes, this song became famous for its raw sound and lyrical content focused on the drug trade.

38. “Simon Says” by Pharoahe Monch (1999)

A club favorite known for its aggressive beat and commanding chorus, this track showcases Monch’s complex lyrical skills.

39. “Big Bank” by YG ft. 2 Chainz, Big Sean, and Nicki Minaj (2018)

A modern anthem that celebrates wealth and success, this track combines hard-hitting verses from major artists over a catchy beat.

40. “B.O.B.” by OutKast (2000)

Rapid-fire verses and a high-energy beat make this track stand out in OutKast’s discography, noted for its fusion of genres and experimental sound.

41. “Life’s a Bitch” by Nas ft. AZ (1994)

From Nas’ debut album “Illmatic,” this track is known for its introspective lyrics and the notable guest verse by AZ, contemplating the harsh realities of life.

42. “Mo Money Mo Problems” by The Notorious B.I.G. ft. Puff Daddy and Mase (1997)

This upbeat track discusses the complications that come with wealth, featuring a catchy sample from Diana Ross’s “I’m Coming Out.”

43. “Lose Control” by Missy Elliott ft. Ciara & Fatman Scoop (2005)

A dancefloor anthem that combines hip-hop with electronica, showcasing Missy Elliott’s innovative approach to music and video production.

44. “Award Tour” by A Tribe Called Quest (1993)

With its jazzy beats and relaxed flow, this song from the influential album “Midnight Marauders” discusses the group’s musical success and experiences.

45. “New York State of Mind” by Nas (1994)

Another gem from “Illmatic,” this track is a raw depiction of the struggles and street life in New York City, driven by Nas’ vivid storytelling.

46. “Mama Said Knock You Out” by LL Cool J (1990)

A comeback track that reasserted LL Cool J’s dominance in hip-hop, known for its aggressive lyrics and hard-hitting beats.

47. “Rosa Parks” by OutKast (1998)

Combining elements of funk and hip-hop, this track uses Rosa Parks as a metaphor for reclaiming one’s space and rights, laced with catchy hooks and rhythmic beats.

48. “Dear Mama” by Tupac Shakur (1995)

An emotional tribute to his mother, this song highlights Tupac’s deep respect and love for his mother despite their struggles.

49. “So What’cha Want” by Beastie Boys (1992)

From their album “Check Your Head,” this track features a gritty rock-infused sound that helped solidify the group’s place in hip-hop history.

50. “U.N.I.T.Y.” by Queen Latifah (1993)

This Grammy-winning track addresses issues of gender discrimination and disrespect towards women, empowering listeners with its assertive lyrics.

51. “Regulate” by Warren G ft. Nate Dogg (1994)

A staple of West Coast hip-hop, this smooth track narrates a story of street life over a Michael McDonald sample, showcasing the genre’s storytelling prowess.

52. “Killing Me Softly” by The Fugees (1996)

A cover of Roberta Flack’s song that blends hip-hop with soul and reggae elements, highlighted by Lauryn Hill’s poignant vocals.

53. “I Got 5 on It” by Luniz (1995)

A laid-back track famous for its catchy hook and smooth beat, this song discusses the casual use of cannabis on a social level.

54. “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” by Pete Rock & CL Smooth (1992)

A tribute to a fallen friend, this track is highly regarded for its heartfelt lyrics and one of hip-hop’s most memorable horn samples.

55. “Pursuit of Happiness” by Kid Cudi ft. MGMT & Ratatat (2009)

This song melds hip-hop with psychedelic and alternative influences, reflecting on personal struggles and existential themes.

56. “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” by Eve ft. Gwen Stefani (2001)

A crossover hit that blends rap with R&B and pop, featuring a catchy hook and standout verses that discuss breaking free from expectations.

57. “Hey Ya!” by OutKast (2003)

A genre-defying single from their double album “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below,” it combines funk, rap, and pop, making it a massive hit across audiences.

58. “Trap Queen” by Fetty Wap (2014)

A major debut single that brought trap music to mainstream audiences with its infectious melody and lyrics about love and loyalty in the trap lifestyle.

59. “Still D.R.E.” by Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg (1999)

A triumphant return for Dr. Dre, reaffirming his status in the hip-hop world with its memorable piano riff and smooth flows from both Dre and Snoop.

60. “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)” by Jay-Z (1998)

Sampling the musical “Annie,” this track connects Jay-Z’s street experiences with the broader themes of struggle and resilience.

61. “Hypnotize” by The Notorious B.I.G. (1997)

A posthumously released track that captures Biggie’s effortless flow and charisma, with a catchy beat that samples Herb Alpert’s “Rise.”

62. “Stan” by Eminem ft. Dido (2000)

A narrative-driven track that explores the dark side of fan obsession through vivid storytelling, becoming one of Eminem’s most iconic songs.

63. “Paid in Full” by Eric B. & Rakim (1987)

Featuring minimalist beats and Rakim’s complex lyricism, this song is a cornerstone of hip-hop, influencing the lyrical style of countless rappers.

64. “Get Ur Freak On” by Missy Elliott (2001)

Blending bhangra with hip-hop, Missy Elliott’s innovative production and unique sound made this track a global hit and a dancefloor staple.

65. “The World is Yours” by Nas (1994)

Influenced by the film “Scarface,” this track from “Illmatic” features introspective lyrics and a jazzy beat, emphasizing themes of ambition and self-empowerment.

66. “One Mic” by Nas (2001)

Nas uses a simple beat that builds in intensity to match his powerful lyrics, emphasizing his need for just “one mic” to make an impact.

67. “Goosebumps” by Travis Scott ft. Kendrick Lamar (2016)

A track known for its catchy hook and psychedelic beats, showcasing Travis Scott’s unique style and Kendrick Lamar’s lyrical prowess.

68. “It’s All About the Benjamins” by Puff Daddy ft. The Notorious B.I.G., Lil’ Kim & The Lox (1997)

A quintessential 90s hip-hop track with a hard-hitting beat and lyrics focused on wealth and success.

69. “All Falls Down” by Kanye West ft. Syleena Johnson (2004)

This track discusses consumerism and self-consciousness, with Kanye’s introspective lyrics and a catchy chorus.

70. “No Problem” by Chance the Rapper ft. Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz (2016)

A vibrant track that mixes gospel influences with hip-hop, reflecting Chance’s independent approach to the music industry.

71. “O.P.P.” by Naughty by Nature (1991)

Known for its catchy hook and playful lyrics, this track is a party anthem that brought hip-hop to a broader audience.

72. “Bonita Applebum” by A Tribe Called Quest (1990)

A smooth, romantic track that helped define the alternative hip-hop style with its relaxed beats and thoughtful lyrics.

73. “N.Y. State of Mind Pt. II” by Nas (1999)

A sequel to his earlier hit, this track continues to explore the complexities of life in New York with Nas’ sharp storytelling.

74. “Crossroads” by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (1996)

This Grammy-winning track is a tribute to their mentor Eazy-E and other lost loved ones, known for its fast-paced rapping and melodic hook.

75. “Back That Azz Up” by Juvenile ft. Mannie Fresh & Lil Wayne (1998)

A club staple that brought New Orleans bounce music to the forefront, known for its energetic beat and catchy chorus.

76. “ATLiens” by OutKast (1996)

Combining futuristic sounds with Southern hip-hop, this title track from their second album showcases OutKast’s unique lyrical and musical style.

77. “Sicko Mode” by Travis Scott ft. Drake (2018)

A multi-part track with varied beats and an unpredictable structure, reflecting Travis Scott’s innovative approach to music production.

78. “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson (1988)

While not strictly hip-hop, this track has been influential in the genre, inspiring many artists with its message of self-reflection and change.

79. “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé ft. Jay-Z (2003)

Featuring Jay-Z, this track blends pop and hip-hop, becoming a defining song of the early 2000s with its memorable brass section and catchy hook.

80. “Walk This Way” by Run-D.M.C. ft. Aerosmith (1986)

A pioneering crossover track that brought together rock and hip-hop, featuring Aerosmith and revitalizing their career as well as boosting hip-hop’s mainstream appeal.

81. “What’s My Name?” by Snoop Doggy Dogg (1993)

One of Snoop Dogg’s first solo singles that showcased his laid-back style and G-funk beats, becoming a definitive track of early 90s West Coast hip-hop.

82. “Juicy” by The Notorious B.I.G. (1994)

A quintessential rags-to-riches story that encapsulates the essence of the American dream through the lens of a young Brooklyn rapper.

83. “Ante Up” by M.O.P. (2000)

A high-energy track known for its raw aggression and catchy chorus, making it a favorite in both the streets and clubs.

84. “I Used to Love H.E.R.” by Common (1994)

A metaphorical story where Common personifies hip-hop as a woman, discussing how the genre has changed and grown through the years.

85. “Respiration” by Black Star ft. Common (1998)

A collaboration between Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Common, this track poetically explores the struggles and beauty of urban life.

86. “Superthug” by Noreaga (1998)

Produced by The Neptunes, this track was pivotal in elevating Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo’s status as top producers in hip-hop.

87. “All of the Lights” by Kanye West ft. Rihanna, Kid Cudi (2010)

A grandiose track featuring a wide array of artists, celebrated for its ambitious production and impactful lyrics.

88. “Passin’ Me By” by The Pharcyde (1992)

A soulful and reflective track about unrequited love, showcasing The Pharcyde’s innovative lyrical style and flow.

89. “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio ft. L.V. (1995)

One of the best-selling singles of all time, this song combines reflective lyrics with a haunting chorus to discuss the life of a gangster with depth and empathy.

90. “The Next Episode” by Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Kurupt (1999)

A party anthem that has become synonymous with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s collaborations, known for its catchy refrain and iconic “smoke weed every day” outro by Nate Dogg.

91. “Touch the Sky” by Kanye West ft. Lupe Fiasco (2006)

An uplifting track that samples Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up,” known for its positive vibes and introspective lyrics.

92. “Scenario” by A Tribe Called Quest ft. Leaders of the New School (1991)

A posse cut that is highly regarded for its dynamic energy and memorable verses, particularly Busta Rhymes’ breakout performance.

93. “Quiet Storm” by Mobb Deep (1999)

Named after the Smokey Robinson classic, this track is a staple of hardcore East Coast hip-hop with its dark, intense beat and vivid lyrics.

94. “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” by Jay-Z (2003)

Produced by Timbaland, this track is known for its bouncing beats and Jay-Z’s confident lyrics, representing his resilience and success.

95. “Brenda’s Got a Baby” by Tupac Shakur (1991)

A poignant narrative about a young girl’s struggles in the ghetto, highlighting Tupac’s deep empathy and social consciousness.

96. “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” by DMX (1998)

A defining song of DMX’s career, known for its rough and aggressive style that helped establish him as a dominant force in hip-hop.

97. “Get By” by Talib Kweli (2002)

Produced by Kanye West, this track is praised for its thoughtful lyrics and sampling of Nina Simone’s “Sinnerman.”

98. “Lollipop” by Lil Wayne ft. Static Major (2008)

A commercial hit that mixes hip-hop and R&B, known for its catchy auto-tuned chorus and Lil Wayne’s distinctive lyrical style.

99. “B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad)” by OutKast (2000)

A fast-paced and eclectic track that stands out for its high energy and blend of different musical styles, reflecting OutKast’s creative versatility.

100. “Forgot About Dre” by Dr. Dre ft. Eminem (1999)

A track where Dr. Dre reaffirms his significance in the rap game with sharp verses from Eminem, known for its memorable lines and dynamic production.

This list spans decades and includes a wide variety of themes and styles, illustrating the rich and diverse history of hip-hop music. If you have any other genres or artists you’d like to explore, feel free to let me know!

Staff Writer; Rap Guru

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