100 Best Hip-Hop Songs Of The 90s

Best Hip-Hop Songs Of The 90s

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Our Top 100 Hip-Hop Songs of the 1990s takes a look at the Top 100 Hip-Hop Songs of the 1990s. Here is some information about Hip Hop music. Hip Hop got started in the 70s just like rap music did. The genre became more popular in the 80s. More hip-hop albums were being released during that time. In the 90s, hip-hop music exploded. It was considered by some to be the best music and genre of the decade. People started to embrace the hip-hop culture. People of different races started to embrace the culture. By the time the 90s ended, hip-hop became a huge part of pop culture. Artists like the Fugees, A Tribe Called Quest, Mos Def, Common, Salt-N-Pepa as well as others changed hip-hop. They created their own style of hip-hop music. Our Top 100 Hip-Hop Songs of the 1990s list will feature the best hip-hop songs of the 1990s.

# 100 – Street Talkin’ – Slick Rick ft. OutKast

“Street Talkin’” came out in 1999. The track is featured on the album The Art of Storytelling. The jam peaked at number 65 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. The song was written by Ricky Walters and Antwan Patton. This is the first and only single from Slick Rick’s last album. OutKast helped turn “Street Talkin’” into a hip-hop anthem.

# 99 – Foe Life – Mack 10 ft. Ice Cube

“Foe Life” came out in 1995. The track appears on Mack 10’s self-titled album. The song is from his debut album. The track is a diss track to East Coast rappers. The song is featured in the movie Anaconda.

# 98 – Renee – Lost Boyz

“Renee” came out in 1996 and is featured on the albums Legal Drug Money and the Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood. The banger peaked at number 13 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 33 on the Hot 100 charts. The song features a sample of Janet Jackson’s “Funny How Times Flies (When You’re Having Fun).” This is their most successful single to date. It sold over 500,000 copies.

# 97 – Caroline – MC Solaar

“Caroline” came out around 1992 and appears on the Quiseme levent recolte le tempo album. The song peaked in Europe at number 25 on their Hot 100 charts. It was a Top 5 hit in France as well. Hip-Hop expanded so far and wide that artists from Europe were recording hip-hop music too.

# 96 – Rappin’ 4-Tay – Playaz Club

“Rappin’ 4-Tay” came out in 1994 and appears on the album Don’t Fight the Feelin’. The track became a classic West Coast hip-hop song. The track peaked at number 36 on the Hot 100 charts and number 54 on the R&B and Hip-Hop Charts. The track features the sample of Judy Clay and William Bell’s hit song “Private Number.”

# 95 – Tap the Bottle – Young Black Teenagers

“Tap the Bottle” came out in 1992 and appears on the album Dead Enz Kidz Doin’ Lifetime Bidz. The track peaked at number 55 on the Hot 100 charts and number 73 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. The song did better in New Zealand than it did in the United States. This is the group’s most successful single. The song became a drinking anthem.

# 94 – C.R.E.A.M. – Wu-Tang Clan

“C.R.E.A.M.” made its debut in 1994 and is on the album Enter the Wu-Tang Clan (36 Chambers). The song reached number 60 on the Hot 100 charts and number 32 on R&B and Hip-Hop charts. The song teaches people about street economics.

# 93 – Shook Ones Pt. II – Mobb Deep

“Shook Ones Pt. II” was released in 1995 and appears on the album The Infamous. The track peaked at number 59 on the Hot 100 charts and number 52 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. Mariah Carey used this song as a sample for the remix of her song “The Roof (Back in Time)”. Mobb Deep appears on Mariah Carey’s single.

# 92 – Electric Relaxation – A Tribe Called Quest

“Electric Relaxation” was released in 1994 and is on the album Midnight Marauders. It peaked at number 38 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 65 on the Hot 100 charts. The song features the sample “Mistic Brew” by Ronnie Foster. It was also the theme song for the TV show The Wayans Brothers.

# 91 – MCs Act Like They Don’t Know – KRS-One

“MCs Act Like They Don’t Know” came out in 1995 and is on his self-titled album. The banger peaked at number 35 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 57 on the Hot 100 charts. The song features an interpolation of Kurtis Blow’s “These Are the Breaks.” This is his highest charting single.

# 90 – Definition – Black Star

“Definition” made its mark on the world in 1998. The track appears on the album Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star. The song peaked at number 31 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 60 on the Hot 100 charts. The song features a sample from the song “Stop the Violence” by Boogie Down Productions.

# 89 – All I Got Is You – Ghostface Killah ft. Mary J. Blige and Popa Wu

“All I Got Is You” was released in 1996 and is featured on the album Ironman. The banger peaked at number 51 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. The track features a sample from the Jackson Five’s song “Maybe Tomorrow.” You can’t go wrong when you include a sample of a song by Michael Jackson.

# 88 – Mathematics – Mos Def

Mos Def is making another appearance on our list with the song “Mathematics”. The track was released in 1999 and appears on the album Black on Both Sides. This is a social song about racism. The song was written by Dante Smith and Christopher Martin.

# 87 – Burn Hollywood Burn – Public Enemy ft. Ice Cube and Big Daddy Kane

“Burn Hollywood Burn” came out in 1990. The song is from the album Fear of a Black Planet. The track pokes fun at Hollywood stereotyping African Americans. The song is relevant today because of what is happening in Hollywood with minorities.

# 86 – Stakes Is High – De La Soul

“Stakes Is High” dropped in 1996 and is featured on the album of the same name. The song peaked at number 53 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. The track was about the decline of hip-hop music in the culture.

# 85 – Shimmy Shimmy Ya – Ol’ Dirty B*stard

“Shimmy Shimmy Ya” droppin in 1995 and is featured on the album Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version. It peaked at number 47 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 62 on the Hot 100 charts. The song was featured in the movie 8 Mile.

# 84 – Know the Ledge – Eric B & Rakim

“Know the Ledge” came out in 1992 and appears on the album Don’t Sweat the Technique and the Juice Soundtrack. It peaked at number 38 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 96 on the Hot 100 charts. This is one of the most successful singles from the Juice Soundtrack. The song has been used in other movies, TV shows and video games.

# 83 – Elevators (Me & You) – OutKast

“Elevators (Me & You)” was released in 1996 and is featured on the album ATLiens. The song peaked at number five on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 12 on the Hot 100 charts. This is one of their highest peaking songs besides “Ms. Jackson.” You can expect to see OutKast on our list again.

# 82 – Daddy’s Little Girl – Nikki D

“Daddy’s Little Girl” dropped in 1991. It appears on the album of the same name. The track peaked at number one on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. The song was written by Nikki D, Michelle Strong and Sidney Reynolds.

# 81 – Ruff Ryders’ Anthem – DMX

“Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” dropped in 1998 and is featured on the album It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot. The track peaked at number 93 on the Hot 100 charts and number 33 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. It was voted as one of the greatest hip-hop songs. It’s featured in commercials. The song was written by Earl Simmons and Kassem Dean.

# 80 – 1st of tha Month – Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

“1st of tha Month” was released in 1995 and appears on the album E.1999 Eternal. The track peaked at number 14 on the Hot 100 and number nine on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. Anyone who is familiar with the term “first of the month” already knows what this song is about. The track features an interpolation from Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing.” The single sold over 500,000 copies.

# 79 – So What’cha Want – Beastie Boys

“So What’cha Want” came out in 1992 and appears on the album Check Your Head. The song peaked at number 21 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 93 on the Hot 100 charts. The song samples “Just Rhymin’ With Biz” by Big Daddy Kane ft. Biz Markie.

# 78 – Doin’ It – LL Cool J

“Doin’ It” made its debut in 1996 and is on the Mr. Smith album. The track peaked at number seven on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number nine on the Hot 100 charts. This features a sample of Grace Jones’ song “My Jamaican Guy.” The single was a success for LL Cool J. The song sold over 600,000 copies.

# 77 – Back That Azz Up – Juvenile ft. Lil’ Wayne and Manie Fresh

“Back That Azz Up” came out in 1999 and is featured on the album 400 Degreez. The song peaked at number five on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 19 on the Hot 100 charts. This was one of Juvenile’s biggest hit singles until “Slow Motion” was released. The song sold over 500,000 copies.

# 76 – Crush on You – Lil’ Kim

“Crush on You” dropped in 1996. The jam is on the Hardcore album. The song peaked at number four on the R&B charts. Mariah Carey sampled this song for her single “A No No.” Lil’ Kim proved that women could record hip-hop tracks and peak in the Top 5 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts.

# 75 – The Choice Is Yours – Black Sheep

“The Choice is Yours” came out in 1991. The single appears on the album A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. The song peaked at number 21 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 57 on the Hot 100 charts. The song contains an interpolation from Roger Miller’s “Engine Engine Number 9.” The single can also be heard in movies and video games.

# 74 – The Ghetto – Too Short

“The Ghetto” made its debut in 1990 and is on the album Short Dog’s in the House. The track peaked at number 12 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 42 on the Hot 100 charts. The music contains a sample of Donny Hathaway’s song “The Ghetto.”

# 73 – Still Not a Player – Big Pun ft. Joe Thomas

“Still Not a Player” came out in 1998 and appears on the album Capital Punishment. The song features a sample of Brenda Russell’s “A Little Bit of Love” and Earth Wind & Fire’s song “Brazilian Rhyme (Beijo).” The song peaked at number six on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 24 on the Hot 100 charts. Ariana Grande used this song as a sample for her single “The Way.”

# 72 – Jump Around – House Of Pain

“Jump Around” was released in 1992 and is on their eponymous album. The song peaked at number three on the Hot 100 charts and number 14 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. The track contains a sample of Chubby Checker’s “Popeye the Hitchhiker.” The song sold over one million copies.

# 71 – Money Ain’t a Thang – Jermaine Dupri ft. Jay- Z

“Money Ain’t a Thang” dropped in 1998 and is featured on the album Life in 1472. It peaked at number 10 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 52 on the Hot 100 charts. The song was nominated for a Grammy award.

# 70 – I Wish – Skee-Lo

“I Wish” came out in 1995 and is featured on the album of the same name. The jam peaked at number 13 on the Hot 100 charts and number 43 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. He sampled Bernard Wright’s song “Spinnin’.” The song was nominated for a Grammy award, but he lost to Coolio’s song “Gangsta’s Paradise.” The single sold over 600,000 copies.

# 69 – Smile – Scarface ft. Tupac and Johnny P

“Smile” came out in 1997 and is on The Untouchable album. The song peaked at number four on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 12 on the Hot 100 charts. The song samples “Tell Me If You Still Care” by the S.O.S. Band. This is one of Scarface’s most successful singles. The track sold over 500,000 copies.

# 68 – Fantastic Voyage – Coolio

“Fantastic Voyage” was released in 1994 and is on the album It Takes a Thief. The single peaked at number three on the Hot 100 charts and number 12 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. It features the sample of “Fantastic Voyage” by Lakeside. The song sold over one million copies.

# 67 – I Got 5 on It – Luniz

“I Got 5 on It” came out in 1995 and is featured on the album Operation Stackola. The track was number four on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number eight on the Hot 100 charts. The song contains the samples “Why You Treat Me So Bad” by Club Nouveau and Kool & the Gang’s “Jungle Boogie.” The song sold over one million copies.

# 66 – Sound of Da Police – KRS-One

“Sound of Da Police” dropped in 1993 and is on the album Return of the Boom Bap. The jam peaked at number 79 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 89 on the Hot 100 charts. The song is about police brutality. It came out years ago and it’s still relevant today.

# 65 – Player’s Ball – OutKast

“Player’s Ball” came out in 1993. The song is on the album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. The song peaked at number 12 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 37 on the Hot 100 charts. This single is the highest charting single from their debut album. The song sold over 500,000 copies.

# 64 – Back in the Day – Ahmad Lewis

“Back in the Day” came out in 1994 and is featured on the album Ahmad. The jam peaked at number 19 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 26 on the Hot 100 charts. The song features a sample from Teddy Pendergrass’ song “Love TKO.” The single sold over 500,000 copies.

# 63 – You Got Me – The Roots ft. Erykah Badu and Eve

“You Got Me” came out in 1999 and is featured on the album Things Fall Apart. The song peaked at number 11 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 39 on the Hot 100 charts. Singer and songwriter Jill Scott co-wrote the track. Here is some trivia about the song. Jill Scott was supposed to sing in the song, but the label wanted someone who was more popular than her to do it. Erykah Badu was asked to sing on the track. The song won a Grammy award.

# 62 – The World Is Yours – Nas

“The World Is Yours” dropped on the scene in 1994. The song is on the Illmatic album. The song peaked at number 67 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. The track contains a sample of Ahmad Jamal’s song “I Love Music.” The song was written by Nasir Jones and Peter Phillips. It sold over 500,000 copies.

# 61 – The Most Beautifullest Thing in This World – Keith Murray

“The Most Beautifullest Thing in This World” came out in 1994. It’s on the album of the same name. The track peaked at number 19 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 50 on the Hot 100 charts. This is Keith Murray’s most successful single. He sampled the Isley Brothers “Between the Sheets.”

# 60 – I Seen a Man Die – Scarface

“I Seen a Man Die” came out in 1994 and is featured on the album The Diary. The joint peaked at number 15 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 37 on the Hot 100 charts. Scarface makes another appearance on our list. This is one of his only singles to peak on the Hot 100 charts.

# 59 – Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See – Busta Rhymes

“Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See” came out in 1997 and appears on the album Where Disaster Strikes. The track peaked at number two on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 37 on the Hot 100 charts. The song had massive airplay, but it didn’t peak any higher than 37 on the Hot 100 charts. It contains a sample from “Sweet Green Fields” by Seals and Crofts. The song received a Grammy nomination.

# 58 – O. G. Original Gangsta – Ice T

“O. G. Original Gangsta” came out in 1991 and is on the album of the same name. The song peaked at number seven on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. The song features the samples “Funky Drummer” by James Brown and “Right on For the Darkness” by Curtis Mayfield. The song was on the charts for 11 weeks.

# 57 – Victory – Puff Daddy ft. The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes

“Victory” came out in 1998 and is on the album No Way Out. The song peaked at number 13 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 19 on the Hot 100 charts. The song features a sample of Bill Conti’s “Going the Distance.” This song features the last verses The Notorious B.I.G. recorded before he passed away in 1997. He recorded the verses one day before he was murdered. The song sold over 700,000 copies.

# 56 – Ghetto Heaven – The Family Stand

“Ghetto Heaven” came out in 1990. The track appeared on The Chain album. The group wanted to capture the essence of songs like Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.” This song was a hit internationally.

# 55 – Sock It 2 Me – Missy Elliott ft. Da Brat

“Sock It 2 Me” made its mark on the world in 1997 and is featured on the album Supa Dupa Fly. It peaked at number four on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 12 on the Hot 100 list. The song features a sample from The Delfonics’ song “Ready or Not Here I Come (You Can’t Hide Love).” The song sold over 600,000 copies.

# 54 – I Get Around – Tupac ft. Digital Underground

“I Get Around” was released in 1993 and appears on the album Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z… The song peaked at number five on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 11 on the Hot 100 charts. It spent 25 weeks on the charts. It’s the most successful single from the album. The song sold over 700,000 copies.

# 53 – Get You Home – Foxy Brown ft. Blackstreet

“Get You Home” came out in 1996. The song is featured on the album I’ll Na Na. The track peaked at number 10 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. The song features a sample of “Gotta Get You Home Tonight” by Eugene Wilde.

# 52 – Can I Get A – Jay-Z

“Can I Get A” came out in 1998 and is featured on the album Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life. The song peaked at number six on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 19 on the Hot 100 charts. “Can I Get A” is Jay-Z’s highest charting single.

# 51 – U.N.I.T.Y. – Queen Latifah

“U.N.I.T.Y.” came out in 1993 and is featured on the Black Reign album. The song peaked at number seven on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 23 on the Hot 100 charts. This song was empowering. She was telling men they couldn’t disrespect women.

# 50 – What You Want – Mase ft. Total

“What You Want” came out in 1997. It’s on the Harlem World album. The song peaked at number three on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number six on the Hot 100 charts. It features the sample “Right on for the Darkness” by Curtis Mayfield. The single sold over 900,000 copies.

# 49 – Find a Way – A Tribe Called Quest

“Find a Way” was released as a single in 1998 and was featured on the Love Movement album. The song peaked at number 29 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 71 on the Hot 100 charts. The song was written by Kamaal Fareed, Malik Taylor, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Towatei and Bebel Gilberto.

# 48 – Always Be My Sunshine Jay Z ft. Foxy Brown and Babyface

“Always Be My Sunshine” came out in 1997 and was featured on the album In My Lifetime Vol. 1. The jam was number 37 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 95 on the Hot 100 charts. The song features a sample from Alexander O’Neal’s song “Sunshine.”

# 47 – You Know How We Do It – Ice Cube

“You Know How We Do It” came out in 1994. The song was featured on the album Lethal Injection. The single peaked at number 21 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 30 on the Hot 100 charts. It features the samples “The Show Is Over” by Evelyn “Champagne” King, “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson and “Summer Madness by Kool & the Gang.

# 46 – Hail Mary – Makaveli (Tupac)

“Hail Mary came out in 1997 and the song is featured on the The Don Kill Uminati: The 7 Day Theory. The song peaked at number 12 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. The song has been used for several TV shows and movies.

# 45 – Ms Fat Booty – Mos Def

“Ms Fat Booty” came out in 1999 and appears on the album Black on Both Sides. The song peaked at number 54 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. This is the single that introduced the world to Mos Def. The track features a sample of Aretha Franklin’s “One Step Ahead.”

# 44 – Feel Me Flow – Naughty By Nature

“Feel Me Flow” dropped in 1995 and appears on the album Poverty’s Paradise. The track peaked at number 17 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and the Hot 100 charts. This is the biggest hit from the album.

# 43 – Jazzy Belle – OutKast

“Jazzy Belle” came out in 1996 and is featured on the album ATLiens. The track peaked at number 25 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 52 on the Hot 100 charts. Here is a fun fact Babyface sings in the background in this song. Andre 3000 liked the song, but Big Boi didn’t like it.

# 42 -Juicy – The Notorious B.I.G.

“Juicy” was released in 1994 and was on the album Ready to Die The song peaked at number 14 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 27 on the Hot 100 charts. The track contains a sample of “Juicy Fruit” by Mtume.

# 41 – The Rain [ Supa Dupa Fly ] – Missy Elliott

“The Rain” came out in 1997 and appears on the album Supa Dupa Fly. It peaked at number four on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. It features a sample of Ann Peebles’ “I Can’t Stand the Rain.”

# 40 – Rosa Parks – OutKast

OutKast makes another appearance on our list. “Rosa Parks” came out in 1997. The song is on the Aquemi. It peaked at number 19 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 55 on the Hot 100 charts. Rosa Parks wasn’t happy about her name being used in their song. She ended up suing the duo for what they did. They would eventually settle out of court.

# 39 – Now That We’ve Found Love – Heavy D and the Boys ft. Aaron Hall

“Now That We’ve Found Love” came out in 1997 and appears on the album Peaceful Journey. The song peaked at number five on the R&B and Hip-hop charts and number 11 on the Hot 100 charts. The song is a cover of the O’Jays song of the same name. This is their biggest hit song.

# 38 – Whatta Man – Salt-n-Peppa ft. En Vogue

“Whatta Man” came out in 1993. The song appears on the Very Necessary album. The song peaked at number three on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number three on the Hot 100 charts. The song reached platinum status. It was nominated for a Grammy award.

# 37 – Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

“Ice Ice Baby” came out in 1990 and is on the album To the Extreme. The song peaked at number one on the Hot 100 and number six on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. He proved that a Caucasian man could record hip hop music despite what the critics thought.

# 36 – Make ‘Em Say Ugh – Master P ft. Silk the Shocker, Mia X, and Mystikal

“Make ‘Em Say Ugh” came out in 1998 and appears on the album Ghetto D. It peaked at number three on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 16 on the Hot 100 charts. This is one of Master P’s highest charting songs. The single sold over one million copies.

# 35 – Gone Till November – Wyclef Jean

“Gone Till November” came out in 1997 and is on the Carnival album. The song peaked a number seven on the Hot 100 charts and number nine on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. This was Wyclef Jean’s highest charting solo song in the UK.

# 34 – One More Chance – The Notorious B.I.G.

“One More Chance came out in 1995 and is featured on the Ready to Die album. It peaked at number one on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number three on the Hot 100 charts. The song features Debarge’s song “Stay With Me.” This is one of the highest debuting singles for a Hip-Hop song.

# 33 – Ice Cream – Raekwon ft. Ghostface Killa

“Ice Cream” came out in 1995 and appears on the album Only Built 4 Cuban Links. The song peaked at number 37 on both R&B and Hip-Hop and Hot 100 records. The song was sampled by different artists.

# 32 – Things Don’t Change – The Notorious B.I.G.

The Notorious B.I.G. makes another appearance on our list. “Things Don’t Change” came out in 1994. The song is featured on the Ready to Die album. The chorus of the song features a sample from Biz Markie’s “The Vapors” and Dr. Dre’s song “Lil Ghetto Boy.”

# 31 – Party Up (Up in Here) – DMX

“Party Up (Up in Here) came out in 1999 and appears on the album …And Then There Was X. The song peaked at number eight on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 27 on the Hot 100 charts. This is DMX’s most successful single.

# 30 – How Do You Want It – Tupac ft. KCi and JoJo

“How Do You Want It” came out in 1996 and is featured on the album All Eyez on Me. The song peaked at number one on both charts. It contains a sample of “Body Heat” by Quincy Jones. The song sold over two million copies.

# 29 – Let’s Talk About Sex – Salt-N-Pepa

“Let’s Talk About Sex” was released in 1991 and is featured on the album Blacks’ Magic. The song peaked at number 13 on the Hot 100 charts and number 51 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. The song is considered a “safe sex” anthem.

# 28 – Hard Knock Life – Jay Z

“Hard Knock Life” came out in 1998 and is featured on the album Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life. It peaked at number 10 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 15 on the Hot 100 charts. The song featuers a sample of “It’s the Hard Knock Life” from the movie Annie. The song sold over one million copies.

# 27 – Fu-Gee-La – The Fugees

“Fu-Gee-La” came out in 1995 and appears on the album The Score. It peaked at number 13 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 29 on the Hot 100 charts. The Fugees scored a big hit with the album and this single was part of the reason for it. The song features a sample of Teena Marie’s song “Oooh La La La.” The song sold over one million copies.

# 26 – Shoop – Salt-N-Pepa

“Shoop” came out in 1993 and appears on the Very Necessary album. The jam peaked at number three on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number four on the Hot 100 charts. The song featues the sample “I’m Blue (The Gong-Gong Show)” by Ike Turner. The song sold over one million copies.

# 25 – Hip Hop Horray – Naughty By Nature

“Hip Hop Horray” came out in 1992 and is on the album 19 Naughty III. The song peaked at number one on the R&B and Hip Hop charts and number eight on the Hot 100 charts. The track features a sample of James Brown’s “Funky President.” It also features a sample of “Don’t Change Your Love” by the Fivestairsteps.

# 24 – If I Ruled the World (Imagine That) – Nas ft. Mary J. Blige

“If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)” arrived on the scene in 1996 and is featured on the album It Was Written. It was 17 on R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 53 on the Hot 100 charts. The song features the samples of “Walk Right Up to the Sun” by The Delfonics and “Friends” by Whodini. The song is a remake of Kurtis Blow’s song.

# 23 – N.Y. State of Mind – Nas

We have back-to-back entries by Nas. “N.Y. State of Mind” came out in 1994 and is featured on the album Illmatic. The song samples “Mind Rain” by Joe Chambers and Eric B and Rakim’s song “Mahogony.” The song sold over 500,000 copies.

# 22 – Sky’s the Limit – The Notorious B.I.G.

“Sky’s the Limit” came out in 1997 and appears on the album Life After Death. The song peaked at number 26 on the Hot 100 charts and number 31 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. The song samples “My Flame” by Bobby Caldwell and “Keep On” by D. Train. The song sold over 500,000 copies.

# 21 – Holla Holla – Ja Rule

“Holla Holla” came out in 1999 and appears on the album Venni Vetti Vecci. The song peaked at number 11 on the R&B and Hip-Hop and number 35 on the Hot 100 charts.

# 20 – My Name Is – Eminem

“My Name Is” was released in 1999 and appeared on the album The Slim Shady LP. It peaked at number 18 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 36 on the Hot 100 charts. He won numerous awards for this song, and it sold over three million copies. He also proved that a Caucasian man could record hip-hop music.

# 19 – No Woman, No Cry – The Fugees

“No Woman, No Cry” came out in 1996 and appears on the album The Score. The song was number one on the UK R&B and Hip-Hop charts. The song wasn’t released in America, but it was a huge hit for the group in other countries.

# 18 – Got Your Money – ODB ft. Kelis

“Got Your Money” came out in 1999 and appears on the album N*gga Please. The song peaked at number 19 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 33 on the Hot 100 charts.

# 17 – Step to Diss – Master P

“Step to Diss” came out in 1999 and is featured on the album Only God Can Judge Me. The song peaked at number 21 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts.

# 16 – All Night Long –Mary J. Blige

“All Night Long” came out in 1995 and is featured on the album My Life. She may not be a rapper, but she is a fixture in the hip-hop community. It peaked at number 37 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. It features the samples “All Night Long” by the Mary Jane Girls and “Close the Door” by Teddy Pendergrass.

# 15 – Touch, Me Tease Me Case ft. Foxy Brown and Mary J. Blige

“Touch Me, Tease Me” came out in 1996 and appears on Case’s eponymous album and The Nutty Professor Soundtrack. The song peaked at number 14 on the Hot 100 charts. The song sold over 500,000 copies.

# 14 – I’ll Be – Foxy Brown ft. Jay-Z

“I’ll Be” came out in 1997 and appears on the album Ill Na Na. The song peaked at number five on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number seven on the Hot 100 charts. The song sold over 500,000 copies.

# 13 – Big Bad Mama – Foxy Brown ft. Dru Hill

Foxy Brown is making another appearance on our list this time it’s with Dru Hill. “Big Bad Mama” came out in 1997 and is featured on the album Ill Na Na. The song peaked at number 10 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 53 on the Hot 100 charts. The song samples the single “She’s a Bad Mama Jama” by Carl Carlton.

# 12 – Doo Wop (That Thing) –Lauryn Hill

“Doo Wop (That Thing)” came out in 1998 and appears on the monster hit album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. The song peaked at number one on the Hot 100 charts and number two on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. The successful song sold over 500,000 copies. She proved that she was ready to be a solo artist because she can do it all.

# 11 – Gangsta Lean – DRS

“Gangsta Lean” came out in 1993 and appears on the album of the same name. The song peaked at number one on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number four on the Hot 100 charts. This song is a dedication to their friends who have died. This is the group’s only hit single on the Hot 100 charts. The song sold over two million copies.

# 10 – Ready or Not – The Fugees

“Ready or Not” came out in 1996 and appears on the album The Score. The song peaked at number 22 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. The song uses the chorus from the Delfonics’ song “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide From Love).”

# 9 – I Used to Love H.E.R. – Common

“I Used to Love H.E.R.” was released in 1994 and is on the album Resurrection. The song peaked at number 91 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. This is one of his most popular songs. The track features a sample of George Benson’s “The Changing World.”

# 8 – Hey Lover – LL Cool J ft. Boyz II Men

Hip-Hop and R&B combined to make this track. “Hey Lover” came out in 1995. The song appears on the album Mr Smith. The song peaked at number three on both charts. It sold over one million copies. The track features a sample of Michael Jackson’s “Lady in My Life.”

# 7 – No Scrubs – TLC

“No Scrubs” was released in 1999 and is on TLC’s album FanMail. The song was a huge hit for the group. Women didn’t want to have scrubs in their lives. The song peaked at number one on both charts.

# 6 – Mama Said Knock You Out – LL Cool J

“Mama Said Knock You Out” came out in 1991 and appears on the album of the same name. LL Cool J wanted to convince the world that he didn’t disappear. His grandmother wanted him to tell everyone that he was still around, and they heard him because the song was a hit.

# 5 – No Diggity – Blackstreet, Dr. Dre and Queen Pen

“No Diggity” came out in 1996 and it’s on the album Another Level. The song peaked at number one on both charts. The song sold over one million copies.

# 4 – Ex-Factor – Lauryn Hill

“Ex-Factor” came out in 1998 and it’s on the album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. The song peaked at number seven on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 21 on the Hot 100 charts. This song was rumored to be about her ex-bandmate Wyclef Jean.

# 3 – Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are) – Pras Michel ft. ODB and Mya

“Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)” came out in 1998 and appears on the album Ghetto Supastar. The song peaked at number eight on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 15 on the Hot 100 charts. The song sold over a million copies.

# 2 – Gangsta’s Paradise – Coolio ft. LV

“Gangsta’s Paradise” came out in 1995 and appears on the albums Gangsta’s Paradise, I Am L.V. and the Dangerous Minds Soundtrack. The song peaked at number one on the Hot 100 charts and number two on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. The song sold over three million copies. The hit song won numerous awards and we aren’t surprised.

# 1 – Killing Me Softly – The Fugees

“Killing Me Softly” came out in 1996 and is featured on the album The Score. This was a monster hit when it came out. The song was very popular and was on almost every radio station. The song peaked at number one on the Hot 100 charts and the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. The song sold over three million copies.

100 Best Hip-Hop Songs Of The 90s article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022

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