Rap Music 90s Hits

rap music 90s hits

From classic g-funk tracks to female rappers spitting hard lyrics, this playlist of 90s hits contains everything. Snoop Dogg made his mark with one song here while Nas was inspired to take control of his career and take charge of his destiny with another one.

Public Enemy strikes back against Hollywood’s treatment of blacks through this timeless song by confronting their exploitation in this powerful tune.

1. Vanilla Ice – “Ice Ice Baby”

Vanilla Ice’s debut single was an enormous success, becoming the first rap hit to make the top 10 pop chart and ushering in an era of white rappers. His tune, entitled American Dream and Sly Parody respectively, serves as both an anthem of American dream as well as proof that second acts can happen despite never regaining his initial fame.

“Jump Around,” by House of Pain, can get any crowd moving like no other song can. With its lively percussion and Everlast’s commanding vocals, “Jump Around” invites listeners to join along on this joyful ride. Additionally, its innovative sampling technique showcases their creativeness by reworking Sly & The Family Stone’s “People Everyday” into something fresher with its own funky flair.

Digable Planets’ 1992 hit jazzier than your typical rap track was Jazzier Than You Think and featured an energetic horn section for an easygoing atmosphere. Considered one of the most innovative and creative hip hop tracks ever produced during that era despite not being among their best works, Jazzier Than You Think helped mainstream and improve rap music overall.

2. Tupac – “California Love”

Tupac Shakur remains one of the greatest names in rap music history. Renowned both as an accomplished rapper and actor (Juice, Poetic Justice, Above the Rim), as well as prison-busting hits that helped establish him with an avid following during the early 90s – before tragically dying just a year later.

The song is an ode to California and its party culture. From its beginning line: “Out on bail, fresh outta jail, California dreamin'”, this track encapsulates Tupac’s newfound freedom and his new home state while making nods toward violence or crime that exists there without glorifying it.

Acclaim for both the single and video was widespread. Famed director Hype Williams used a dystopian landscape reminiscent of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome to shoot its music video; its visuals reinforced its theme while adding star power. It became a hit and laid the groundwork for Tupac’s 1995 megahit album All Eyez on Me; also, it marked Tupac’s final song release before his death.

3. Public Enemy – “Fight the Power”

Public Enemy explores the unjust structures that prevent life from being equal on this iconic 1990s classic by Public Enemy, originally recorded for Spike Lee’s groundbreaking film Do The Right Thing and still revered today as one of the greatest rap songs ever created.

Chuck D unleashes an angry tirade against both police officers and mainstream media for glorifying gangsta culture, in this track which also serves as a testament to his lyrical ability while warning listeners not to become trapped in its cycle of violence.

EPMD and LL Cool J’s blend of hard-hitting beats with smooth delivery is unparalleled; even in an age when rappers tend to prioritize style over substance.

Salt-N-Pepa were among the pioneers of hip hop’s alter-ego game and they took full advantage of it on this track with clever and provocative lyrics that challenged cultural stigmas surrounding female sexuality discussions – they are considered pioneers.

4. Mos Def – “Ms. Fat Booty”

As Mos Def’s debut single from 1999’s Black on Both Sides album, “Random Act of Self Love” became one of his biggest hits ever and an important component of g-funk as one of hip hop’s major genres in the 90s.

Juvenile is an innovative New Orleans rapper who made waves with this timeless track from 2013. Each “Ha” punctuates each line in such a way as to defy traditional convention. A cornerstone in conscious hip hop history, it remains an outstanding example of how this genre could explore social commentary without losing its energy and fun factor.

Michigan MC Missy Elliott made waves with her track “Deeper”, proclaiming women could hold their own in hip hop’s male-dominated environment and making stars like Lauryn Hill and The Fugees instantly iconic.

5. Warren G & Nate Dogg – “Regulate”

Following in 2Pac’s footsteps with its extravagant flair, this 1995 track remains an iconic example of rappers flaunting wealth through flashy accessories. Additionally, it coined a new slang term and inspired numerous subsequent rappers who continue to flaunt it today.

Warren G is a master of G-funk, and this track showcases his smooth summertime vibe and brilliant use of samples. This hit track made Warren a star among Long Beach-based rappers; Regulate…G Funk Era (1994) went triple platinum thanks to its follow-up single, “This D.J.”

De La Soul was one of the most outspokenly progressive rap groups of the 1990s, and this fiery indictment of social ills from them is an outstanding example of their style. Combining raw lyricism with visceral energy for maximum impact, this track from J Dilla production features jazzy samples and crisp drum loops in a relaxing yet captivating production that makes this track unforgettable.

6. Boss – “Deeper”

Few rappers have brought as much innovation and style to hip hop as MC Solaar has with her sultry love jam that blends classic loops and funk samples with an innovative, sparse beat – creating a classic that has been sampled by everyone from Public Enemy to Spice Girls!

House of Pain’s “Jump Around” can set any party ablaze; DJ Muggs’ trademark horns and infectious beat remain instantly recognisable, and it remains an anthem for NYC crowds that still gets them moving today.

Shock G was an early adopter of alter ego music, and this 1990 song from Harlem native Shock G is proof of that fact. Flexing his lyrical muscles over gritty production, Shock flexes effortlessly between braggadocio and humor to craft an infectious song which introduced listeners to Shock’s unique style – featuring guest rapper Mos Def. Black Star’s 1992 collaboration featuring poignant street life lyrics resonated deeply with audiences that could relate.

7. Mobb Deep – “Shook Ones Pt. II”

Mobb Deep’s 1995 debut, entitled simply Mobb Deep, opened with an ominous title track depicting life in Queensbridge housing projects. Led by two hardened MCs (Prodigy and Havoc), their lyrics painted an unsettling picture of life on the streets – depicted through prowling gangsta MCs who were terrified, violent and honest about life on the streets.

No other instrumentals capture the energy and technique of East Coast hip-hop better than “Shook Ones Pt. II,” with its crisp drum patterns, shrieking sirens, or menacing key line as effectively. Indeed, LL Cool J-founded hip-hop organization Rock The Bells recently named this beat the greatest beat ever written.

Samples from the Daly-Wilson Big Band’s “Dirty Feet,” Herbie Hancock’s “Jessica,” Quincy Jones’ experimental 1972 piece “Kitty With The Bent Frame” by Quincy Jones and even a gunshot sample give this song its distinctive sound; not crowd pleasing but real; not intended as sell out but felt natural to them both; these sounds carried over onto 1996’s Hell on Earth which continued their portrayal of harsh street life as it propelled them into mainstream alongside fellow New York rappers like Notorious B.I.G, LL Cool J, Jay Z and Wu-Tang Clan among others.

8. Black Star – “Definition”

Cypress Hill’s 90s classic best encapsulates their heady and psychedelic sound: this song. Featuring lyrics about unrequited love set against relaxing beats that bend the boundaries of traditional hip hop music, “Wishful Thinking” showcases that this West Coast group weren’t simply rappers but innovators in their field.

Mos Def and Talib Kweli’s poetic talent shines through on this track, which showcases Mos Def’s and Talib Kweli’s signature rap hits with precise yet powerful lyrics that highlight Bethlehem and Nazareth as depicting how audiences respond to them as MCs.

The great rap songs of the 1990s often addressed significant social issues, and this song is no exception. While its content related to gang violence was obviously prominent, its celebration of hip hop’s exhilarating energy struck a chord with listeners, cementing its position as an iconic anthem for black youth.