The hip-hop genre will turn 40 years old soon. With many of the genre’s most prolific artists still pumping out music, it is only right to take a step back and recognize the songs that have stood the test of time.
N.W.A.: “Straight Outta Compton”
This single put the most infamous rap group in history on the map. “Straight Outta Compton” brought rap to the mainstream and influenced the genre for decades to come. This single would help launch the legendary careers of Dr. Dre and Ice Cube.
Notorious B.I.G.: “Juicy”
Coming in at #8 on Rolling Stones’ The 50 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs Of All-Time list, one of the greatest rappers most popular songs came from his 1994 Ready To Die album. You can almost be guaranteed to hear this song at any party or club you got 22 years later. The “Birthdays were the worst days, now we sip champagne when we’re thirsty” will never die.
Mobb Deep: “Shook Ones Part II”
The 1995 single has one of the most famous instrumentals made since the 1990s. This song is known by known by even the slightest of hip-hop fans.
Tupac and Dr. Dre: “California Love”
Tupac may be gone, but his music will last forever. This upbeat song will forever be linked to the fun and laid back lifestyle you can find in California.
Jay Z: “99 Problems”
“If you having girl problems I feel bad for you son” is one way to get the whole party singing the same song. Jay Z and Rick Rubin painted us with a relatable picture with the beat and the lyrics, and then put it together beautifully in one of the most memorable rap music videos of all-time. When you buy Jay Z tickets, he may not perform all of his old hits, but you can bet that he will play this 2004 classic.
Eminem: “Lose Yourself”
Eminem’s 8 Mile smash single will go down as the greatest pump up song of all-time. Eminem has a lot of hit songs, but the 2002 masterpiece takes the case as his most influential song ever.
“Fuck The Police” – N.W.A.
“Hypnotize” – Notorious B.I.G.
“Momma Said Knock You Out” – LL Cool J
“In Da Club” – 50 Cent
“Dear Momma” – Tupac