The best hip-hop songs of all time are those songs that touch our soul. They make us smile, laugh, cry, think, move and shake what our mama gave us. After tracking back four decades and digging through a bottomless pile of tunes, I managed to compile a list of the best songs hip-hop has ever witnessed. Without further ado, I give you the 100 greatest rap songs of all time.
100 | Da Brat - "Funkdafied" | Download |
This fun, light-hearted track helped Da Bra-ta-ta shift one million units of her debut album, also titled Funkdafied.
99 | The Roots - "What They Do" | Buy |
In which The Roots distinguish themselves from everyone else by laying down the law.
98 | Common - "The Light" | Download |
Produced by the late great J Dilla and inspired by Common's ex Erykah Badu, "The Light" warmed up many nights throughout the 2000s. It was musical irrigation to our souls the first time it washed over the summer airwaves.
97 | Smif-N-Wessun - "Bucktown" | Download |
Smif-N-Wessun pay homage to the "home of the original gun clappers." When people say they miss that good ol' hip-hop, this is what they're talking about. Reminisce, reminisce, yo.
96 | Junior M.A.F.I.A. - "Player's Anthem" | Download |
Biggie's crew took a striking leap into the spotlight with this street anthem. "Get Money" would go on to become Junior M.A.F.I.A.'s most popular hit, reaching No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and shifting over a million copies in the summer of '96.
95 | Das EFX - "They Want EFX" | Download |
"They Want EFX" was the iggedy bomb in the early 90s. A surefire jam, the song later found its way onto an episode of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
94 | Coolio - "Gangsta's Paradise" | Download |
"Gangsta's Paradise" shares its musical DNA with Stevie Wonder's 1976 gem "Pastime Paradise." Wonder performed the chart-topping song with Coolio and L.V. at the 1995 Billboard Awards
93 | ODB - "Brooklyn Zoo" | Download |
Brooklyn has always played a pivotal role in hip-hop culture. In return, rappers have rewarded the borough with numerous tributes. ODB's love letter to BK remains one of the best hip-hop songs of all time long after Dirty's death.
92 | Too $hort - "Freaky Tales" | Download |
Too $hort has dropped many a freaky tales since his humble beginnings 25 years ago. "Freaky Tales" stands tall among his best sexploitation tunes.
91 | The Notorious B.I.G. - "Who Shot Ya" | Download |
A menacing track by one of the best to ever breathe on a mic.