Hip Hop Songs You Forgot About

hip hop songs you forgot about

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Before Eminem released “Lose Yourself,” no one had so successfully conveyed the rags-to-riches story of hip-hop like it has. To this day, this track still resonates strongly.

1. Bone Crusher – “I Ain’t Never Scared”

Mystikal made headlines around the turn of the millennium with one of his biggest rap songs ever released at that time – “Push It”, with its catchy beat and energetic lyrics making it an instant classic that will never grow old. While some consider him only one-hit wonder (he later ran into legal issues), his contribution to hip hop remains vital – this song still is!

Kendrick Lamar first made headlines by using “To Pimp a Butterfly” as an anthem against injustices plaguing black communities, but Too $hort contributed significantly by dropping this track from his 10th album containing some of Erick Sermon’s hardest verses – proof that Detroit rapper was far from retiring just yet.

Though often dismissed as “one-hit wonders”, Nu Shooz proved their worth with this classic club banger from the 1980s hip hop genre. With its catchy sample from Nu Shooz’s “I Can’t Wait,” the track became an instant classic of hip hop music history.

KRS-One and Nas’ bitter dispute may have overshadowed this track’s significance, yet it remains an essential piece of hip hop history. With its pace-shifting flow and production, this gangsta anthem marks Nas’ debut as an innovative storyteller; plus it includes some legendary names in hip hop like Pimp C and Bun B!

2. Lloyd Banks – “Beamer, Benz or Bentley”

Hip hop is celebrating its golden anniversary this year, and ROCK THE BELLS will commemorate it by featuring some of its greatest songs throughout 2019. From Drake and Cardi B to Naughty By Nature and Brand Nubian from years gone by – we take a look back at music that started a cultural revolution!

No list of anthems would be complete without “Back That Azz Up,” the classic New York street tune from Brooklyn’s mash-out posse that brought down listeners like potholes of Brownsville streets with its relentless horn sample and provocative lyrics. Even now, this song still helps any party come to life!

Sadat X was best known for his political raps, but his song also helped fuel Atlanta’s Three 6 Mafia’s breakthrough crunk movement with this hit club banger featuring Ohio Players beat. This track quickly became a classic among listeners worldwide.

LL Cool J may have been on his way out by 1994 when this track released, but he quickly reignited his status with its rich bass-and-drum beat and powerful flow. Notable features of this song include its smooth groove and its funky breakdown just after one minute; also noteworthy is its clean guitar jangle which only adds fuel to this New York anthem.

Kanye West possessed many different sounds throughout his long and distinguished career, yet “Power” remains his trademark song. With its catchy beat and inspirational message, “Power” remains an undeniable anthem – its lyrics being an impassioned call-to-arms for those striving to break free of unjust systems that still rings true today.

3. Redman & LL Cool J – “Still Fly”

Over time, many hip hop hits fade from public memory. This is often an inevitable process; teenage-friendly dance tracks tend to outlive mean-muggers and tough talk. Yet some songs become lost among the shuffle due to circumstances beyond their control; be it bad timing (such as single being followed by poor selling album) or simply because their style wasn’t quite relevant for its time.

The duo’s only big hit was an enjoyable, catchy song about being a fly girl – an example of commercial or sell-out rap which could easily be rejected by culture at that time. Since then, both rappers have enjoyed further successes which demonstrate they remain as fabulous.

Before this song by Mike Jones, most mainstream audiences only knew of Houston hip-hop through Scarface. With this smooth single that features an infectious trap beat and three powerful emcees who could all spit so effortlessly over it, Mike Jones transformed this genre and solidified their status as true stars in it.

At the time, hip-hop was in desperate need of strong female representation and Nicki Minaj came through to fill that void with “Monster.” Although the song became an instant classic, its release generated some controversy due to its support of gay rights and production by Madonna’s brother; nonetheless, its music itself was incredible with infectious hooks and hard-hitting rhymes that left no room for doubt about what had just occurred.

4. G. Dep – “Special Delivery”

G-Dep may be one of the most endearing Bad Boy hip hop roster members since Craig Mack, Black Rob and Loon became household names. With his distinct flow and delivery over beats, his debut album Child of the Ghetto featured contributions from Joe Hooker (aka Harve Pierre) EZ Elpee among others; unfortunately however, his talent remained unrealized and never truly saw its full potential.

“Special Delivery” is an exemplary example of his style. He draws upon Rakim’s classic track, “Microphone Fiend,” while adding his own flair. He raps with authority while not making unnecessary references to materialistic possessions that don’t belong to him.

Unfortunately, his stop-start-pause approach to rapping can become rather tedious. While he excels at certain things, such as beatboxing or singing solos, his overall skillset is lacking and therefore should not be considered the greatest in any field of endeavor.

Another issue with the song video is its quality; while not the worst ever made, it certainly lacks style and personality. Furthermore, it appears as though it were shot in an empty warehouse or similar environment without many people present.

G-Dep, real name Trevell Coleman, was recently sentenced to 15 years to life after pleading guilty to second-degree murder for robbing and killing John Henkel during an East Harlem robbery in 1993. Convicted in 2010, G-Dep is also dealing with substance abuse issues; having visited rehab on several occasions. His story illustrates the harsh reality of music industry life; should his life not improve soon prison could become his only option for redemption.

5. Mos Def & Coo Coo Cal – “What Would You Do?”

Ten years ago, Mos Def walked into the limelight wearing an unusual combination of Adidas AF1s and white tees instead of Versace robes and Gucci flip flops. Hip hop still focused on Southern culture but the ’90s saw its genre embrace everything from Nina Simone to hardcore punk music; that is what makes this track from Mos Def and Coo Coo Cal so fascinatingly wonderful.

Mos Def was immersed in the Brooklyn and NYC underground music scenes from an early age, performing alongside De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and other forward-thinking Native Tongues artists like Talib Kweli from Cincinnati Hi-Tek as part of Black Star, an impressively cohesive trio formed over just nine months’ recording time.

Black Star was an incredible successor to A Tribe Called Quest’s sound, producing rich and soulful productions that showcased Hi-Tek as one of the few producers at that time who could embrace rock music, gathering an impressive rock band for recording sessions that included Dr. Know from Bad Brains, Parliament Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell as well as Living Colour bassist Doug Wimbish and drummer Will Calhoun from Living Colour bassist Doug Wimbish and Will Calhoun – among many other artists.

“What Would You Do?” features Mos Def and his duo rapping over an infectious rock instrumental that’s surprising funky for a rap song. The track showcases Mos Def’s trademark smart, engaging rhymes; no loudmouth here; just entertaining lyrics that will have you humming along as you drive around town! Additionally, this is an enjoyable song to rediscover; chances are, it might even find you singing along in your car afterwards! Not to forget his acting talents too – he appeared in Dave Chappelle’s Block Party film as well as TV series 16 Blocks and The Boondocks among many more projects!