100 Best Rap Songs Of The 90s

100 Best Rap Songs Of The 90s

Our 100 Best Rap Songs Of The 1990s takes a look at the Top 100 Rap Songs Of The 1990s. Before we get to our list, here’s a little history. Rap music began in the 1970s. It started with people rapping at block parties in New York. Rap wasn’t taken seriously when it got started until The Sugarhill Gang released “Rapper’s Delight” in 1979. Their song became so popular the world had to take notice of the genre. Rap started to grow in 80s with artists like Kurtis Blow, Run-D.M.C., The Fat Boys, LL Cool J, as well as others.

The world wasn’t ready for what happened in 1991. The course of music would change forever when N.W.A. released their album. Rock and pop music were dominating the charts so music critics were surprised when N.W.A.’s album outsold R.E.M.’s album. R.E.M.’s album was number one in the United States until N.W.A.’s album was released. No one expected their album to outsell R.E.M.’s. That was the beginning of the shift in music. Gangsta Rap was extremely popular in the 90s. Rappers were talking about what was going on in the world at the time. They were rapping about violence, drugs, racism, as well as other important topics.

The 1990s was an important decade for rap music. Gangsta rap was very popular and changed the course of music. Fans we re tuning in to rap and the other genres were starting to suffer because of it. Our Top 100 Rap Songs Of The 1990s will feature some of the best rap songs of the 90s. Are your favorites on the list? Do you agree with our list?

# 100 – Tootsee Roll – 69 Boyz

“Tootsee Roll” came out in 1994. The song appears on the 199Quad album. The song was so popular that it sold over one million copies. It peaked at number one on the Hot Rap Singles charts and number eight on the Hot 100 charts. The song spent months on the charts before it reached its peak position. Albert V Bryant and Pat Hicks wrote the song.

# 99 – 4,5,6 –Sole

“4,5,6” came out in 1999. The song appears on Sole’s Skin Deep album. The song features appearances by JT Money and Kandi Burruss. The song was a hit for Sole. It peaked at number 21 on the Hot 100 charts and number one on the Rap charts. The song sold over 500,000 copies. She proved that a woman could have a hit rap song just like the men. The song was written by Jeff Thompkins and Tonya Johnston.

# 98 – Murder Rap – Above The Law

“Murder Rap” was released in 1990. The track appears on the album Livin’ Like Hustlers. The song made it to number one on the Rap charts. The song was written by Cold 187UM, Dr. Dre, Go Mack, LayLaw and Total Kaos.

# 97 – Funhouse – Kid ‘n Play

“Funhouse” was released in 1990. It appears on the album of the same name. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 27 on the r&b and hip-hop charts. The song was written by Hurby Azor.

# 96 – Untouchable – Above the Law

Above the Law makes another appearance on our list. This time the song is “Untouchable.” The track was released in 1990 and it’s on the Livin’ Like Hustlers album. This album made quite an impact since there were at least two songs that appeared on the Billboard charts. The track peaked at number one on the Rap charts.

# 95 – We’re All in the Same Gang – The West Coast Rap All-Stars

“We’re All in the Same Gang” came out in 1990. It appears on the album of the same name. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts. The song features hip-hop artists from the West Coast. Some of the artists on this track are Tone-Loc, Above the Law, Ice-T, Young MC, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, EZ-E, Michel’le, MC Hammer as well as others. The track was nominated for a Grammy award.

# 94 – F*ck Compton – Tim Dawg

“F*ck Compton was released in 1991. The track appears on the album Penicillin on Wax. The song was a diss track to West Coast hip-hop artists. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts. The song was written by Timothy Blair.

# 93 – The International Zone Coaster – Leaders of the New School

“The International Zone Coaster” came out in 1991. It appears on the album A Future Without a Past… The track peaked at the top of the Rap charts. The song was written by John Dajani, John Gamble, Bryan Higgins, James Jackson, Dante Ross and Busta Rhymes.

# 92 – The Choice Is Your (Revisited) – Black Sheep

“The Choice Is Your (Revisited)” was released in 1991. This track is on the album A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. It peaked at number one on the Rap charts. The song contains a sample from “Impressions” by McCoy Tyner. It includes an interpolation of Roger Miller’s “Engine Engine Number 9.” The track was written by James E. Alexander, Ben Cauley, Allen Jones, William McLean, John R. Smith and Andreas Titus.

# 91 – They Want EFX – Das EFX

“They Want EFX” came out in 1992. It’s on the album Dead Serious. The track peaked at the top of the Rap charts. The song was number one for three weeks. The rap track features the samples “Buffalo Gals” by Malcolm McLaren and “Blind Men Can See It” by James Brown.

# 90 – They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) – Pete Rock and CL Smooth

“They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” came out in 1992. The track appears on the album Mecca and the Soul Brother. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 58 on the Hot 100 charts. The song was inspired by the death of T.R.O.Y. from Heavy D and the Boyz. The tender track was written by Pete Rock and CL Smooth.

# 89 – Pop Goes The Weasel – 3rd Bass

“Pop Goes The Weasel” burst on the scene in 1991. The song is featured on the album Derelicts of Dialect. The track is a diss track to rappers who went commercial. They targeted artists like MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice. The track seemed to grab the attention of listeners because it peaked at the top of the Rap charts for two weeks. The song was written by Michael Barrin, John Dejani, Peter Gabriel, John Gamble, Peter Nash, Dante Ross and Stevie Wonder.

# 88 – Call Me D-Nice – D-Nice

“Call Me D-Nice” was released in 1990. The song appears on the album of the same name. The track peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 12 on the r&b and hip-hop charts. The track was number one for four weeks on the Rap charts so fans really enjoyed it.

# 87 – Band in the U.S.A. – 2 Live Crew

“Band in the U.S.A.” came out in 1990. The track is on the album of the same name. It peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 20 on the Hot 100 charts. The song contains a sample of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A. The track was written by Luther Campbell, David Hobbs, Marquis Ross and Christopher Wong Won.

# 86 – The Boomin’ System – LL Cool J

“The Boomin’ System” was released in 1990. The song is from the album Mama Said Knock You Out. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 48 on the Hot 100 charts. The song contains samples by James Brown and Public Enemy. James Todd Smith and Marley Marl wrote this song.

# 85 – Golddigger – EPMD

“Golddigger” came out in 1990. The track is featured on the album Business As Usual. The song soared to the top on the Rap charts and was number 14 on the r&b and hip-hop charts. The track was written by Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith.

# 84 – AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted – Ice Cube

“AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted” was released in 1990. It appears on the album of the same name. It was number one on the Rap charts for three weeks. The song is about racism in America. The track was featured on Ice Cube’s first solo album.

# 83 – Mind Playing Tricks on Me – Geto Boys

“Mind Playing Tricks on Me” was released in 1991. The track is on the album We Can’t Be Stopped. It peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 23 on the Hot 100 charts. This song is their highest charting single. The song was supposed be on Scarface’s solo project. Their label thought it would be better if the Geto Boys recorded it. It’s written by Brad Jordan, Doug King and William Dennis.

# 82 – Oochie Coochie – M.C. Brains

“Oochie Coochie” appeared on the music scene in 1991. The track appears on the album Lover’s Lane. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 21 on the Hot 100 charts. The song went gold and it was a crossover hit for M.C. Brains. Here is a fun fact about the song. New Edition member Michael Bivins wrote and produced the song.

# 81 – Check the Rhime – A Tribe Called Quest

“Check the Rhime” was released in 1991. The song is on the album The Low End Theory. The track peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 59 on the r&b and hip-hop charts. The track was written by Phife Dawg, Q-tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. The song went gold so it was a huge hit for the rap group.

# 80 – Mic Checka – Das EFX

Das EFX makes another appearance on our list. “Mic Checka” came out in 1992. The song appears on the album Dead Serious. The song peaked at number one on the Rap and number 22 r&b and hip-hop charts. This album gave the group a couple of number one hits on the Rap charts.

# 79 – Take It Personal – Gang Starr

“Take It Personal” came out in 1992. The song is from the album Daily Operation. The track peaked at number on the Rap charts. The song managed to be number one for a week. Every artist doesn’t get to have a number one track so that was a good thing.

# 78 – 360 Degrees (What Goes Around) – Grand Poobah

“360 Degrees (What Goes Around)” was released in 1992. The track is on the album Real to Real. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 68 on the Hot 100 charts.

# 77 – Treat Em Right – Chubb Rock

“Treat Em Right” came out in 1991. It appears on the album The One. The track peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 95 on the Hot 100 charts. The song was number one for three weeks on the Rap charts. Fans loved the song because it spent three weeks at number one. The song was written by Richard Simpson and Howard Thompson. The song was sampled or covered quite a bit by different artists throughout the years.

# 76 – Knockin’ Boots – Candyman

“Knockin’ Boots” was released in 1990. “Knockin Boots” appears on the album Ain’t No Shame in My Game. The song was a top charter on the Rap charts and number nine on the Hot 100 charts. The song features samples by Rose Royce and Betty Wright. The single went gold.

# 75 – It’s a Shame (My Sister) – Monie Love

“It’s a Shame (My Sister)” came out in 1990. It’s featured on the album Down to Earth. The track peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 26 on the Hot 100 charts. It features the samples “It’s a Shame” by The Spinners and “He’s the Greatest Dancer” by Sister Sledge. The song made it to the top of the Rap charts in America, but it performed even better overseas.

# 74 – Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody – Kid ‘n Play

“Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody” came out in 1991. The song is on the Face the Nation album. It’s also on the House Party 2 Soundtrack. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 51 on the Hot 100 charts. This is the only song by the duo to appear on the Hot 100 charts. It’s their second song to appear at number one on the Rap charts.

# 73 – Can’t Truss It – Public Enemy

“Can’t Truss It” debuted in 1991. It’s featured on the album Apocalypse 91…the Enemy Strikes Back. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 50 on the Hot 100 charts. This is one of the group’s most successful singles. The album was a huge hit for the group and this song is part of the reason for it.

# 72 – Poor Georgie – MC Lyte

“Poor Georgie” was released in 1991. The song is featured on the album Act Like You Know. The song reached number one on the Rap charts and number 11 on the r&b and hip-hop charts. The song contains samples from Toto, The Supremes, Michael Jackson, S.O.S. Band, Eric B. & Rakim and Jimmy Spicer.

# 71 – Warm It Up – Kriss Kross

“Warm It Up” debuted in 1992 and is featured on the album Totally Krossed Out. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 13 on the Hot 100 charts. They were a popular rap duo in the 90s. They were able to achieve another number one hit that will appear later on our list. The song was written by Jermaine Dupri. The song sold over 500,000 copies.

# 70 – Flex – Mad Cobra

“Flex” came out in 1992 and appears on the album Hard to Wet, Easy to Dry. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 13 on the Hot 100 charts. The song was written by Ewart Brown and Brian Thompson.

# 69 – Blow Your Mind – Redman

“Blow Your Mind” came out in 1992 and it appears on the album Whut? The Album. It peaked at number one on the Rap charts. It was number one for one week. The song has samples from James Brown, Parliament, Zapp, The Gap Band and Sly & the Family Stone. The song was written by Reggie Noble.

# 68 – I Got a Man – Positive K

“I Got a Man” debuted in 1992. The song appears on the album The Skills Dat Pay da Bills. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 14 on the Hot 100 charts. The single was successful and sold over 500,000 copies.

# 67 – Time 4 Sum Aksion – Redman

Redman is back again on our list. “Time 4 Sum Aksion” came out in 1993 and appears on the album Whut? The Album. The track peaked at number one on the Rap charts. The song contains samples from Zapp, LL Cool J, The Dramatics, Michael Jackson as well as others.

# 66 – Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like That) – Digable Planets

“Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like That)” came out in 1992. It appears on the album Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space). The song appeared at the top of the Rap charts and number 15 on the Hot 100 charts. The song earned the group a Grammy award for Best Rap Song. The track sold over 500,000 copies.

# 65 – How I’m Comin’ – LL Cool J

LL Cool J will be making a few appearances on our list. “How I’m Comin’” came out in 1993 and appears on the album 14 Shots to the Dome. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 57 on the Hot 100 charts. The song features a sample of “The Humpty Dance” by Digital Underground. Quincy Jones’ son, QD III, wrote the song with LL Cool J.

# 64 – We Getz Busy – Illegal

“We Getz Busy” came out in 1993 and is on the album The Untold Truth. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 57 on the r&b and hip-hop charts. This is Illegal’s most successful single.

# 63 – Deeper – Boss

“Deeper” came out in 1993 and appears on the Born Gangsterz album. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 28 on the r&b and hip-hop charts. This is the only song she released that reached the Hot 100 charts. The song was written by Lishelle Laws and Jeffrey Fortson.

# 62 – Throw Ya Gunz – Onyx

“Throw Ya Gunz” came out in 1992 and it appears on the album Bacdafucup. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 61 on the r&b and hip-hop charts. The song was number one for two weeks. The song performed better in the UK.

# 61 – Don’t Sweat the Technique – Eric B & Rakim

“Don’t Sweat the Technique” came out in 1992 and appears on the album of the same name. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 14 on the r&b and hip-hop charts. The song features the sample “Give It Up” by Kool & the Gang.

# 60 – Passin’ Me By – The Pharcyde

“Passin’ Me By” was released in 1993. The song is from the album Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde. It peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 52 on the Hot 100 charts. The track was given a new lease on life when it was featured in different TV shows. Robin Thicke used a verse of this track for his hit song “Blurred Lines.”

# 59 – Tennessee – Arrested Development

“Tennesse” was released in 1992. The song appeared on the album 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of… The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number six on the Hot 100 charts. The song won a Grammy award. It samples Prince’s song “Alphabet Street.”

# 58 – It Was a Good Day – Ice Cube

“It Was a Good Day” was released in 1993 and appears on the album The Predator. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 15 on the Hot 100 charts. This is Ice Cube’s highest charting single on the Hot 100 charts as a solo artist. The song was ranked as one of the best rap songs of all time on several lists. The single sold over 600,000 copies.

# 57 – Lots of Lovin’ – Pete Rock and CL Smooth

“Lots of Lovin’” came out in 1993 and appears on the album Mecca and the Soul Bro. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts for a week. This is another song that appears on our list by the duo. They did something right because they had two singles from the same album peak at number one on the Rap charts.

# 56 – Chief Rocka – Lords of the Underground

“Chief Rocka” was released in 1993 and appears on the album Here Come the Lords. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 55 on the Hot 100 charts. This is their signature song. Lords of the Underground wrote the track.

# 55 – Recipe of a Hoe – Boss

As you can see, Boss makes another appearance on our list. “Recipe of a Hoe” came out in 1993. The song appears on the album Born Gangsterz. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 73 on the Hot r&b and hip-hop charts. Lishelle Laws wrote the song. This track gave her a second number one song on the Rap charts.

# 54 – Ruffneck – MC Lyte

“Ruffneck” came out in 1993. It’s on the album Ain’t No Other. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 35 on the Hot 100 charts. This is her third number one song of her career. She earned her first Grammy nomination for this song. She lost the award to Dr. Dre. She was one of the first female rappers to have a gold single with this track.

# 53 – Down With the King – Run-D.M.C. ft. Pete Rock and CL Smooth

“Down With the King” debuted in 1993 and appears on the album of the same name. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 21 on the Hot 100 charts. Run-D.M.C. were losing their fan base once Gangster Rap emerged. This track gave the group a chance to revive their career. If you can believe it, this is their second biggest hit single on the Hot 100 after “Walk This Way.”

# 52 – Informer – Snow

“Informer” was released in 1993 and appears on the album 12 Inches of Snow. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number one on the Hot 100 charts. The song spent seven weeks at number one on the Hot 100 charts. The song sold over 1 million copies.

# 51 – Check Yo Self – Ice Cube ft Das EFX

They all make another appearance on our list with this collaboration. “Check Yo Self” came out in 1993 and appeared on the Predator album. The track peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 20 on the Hot 100 charts. This song was a big hit for Ice Cube and Das EFX. They proved they could have number ones alone as well as with each other. The song sold over a million copies.

# 50 – Alright Kris Kross ft. Super Cat

“Alright” was released in 1993 and appears on the album Da Bomb. The song reached number one on the Rap charts and number 19 on the Hot 100 charts. The song sold over 500,000 copies. It features the sample “Just a Touch of Love” by the group Slave.

# 49 – Flow Joe – Joe

“Flow Joe” came out in 1993 and is featured on the album Represent. The song peaked at number one on the Rap and r&b and hip-hop charts. This is Fat Joe’s debut single and it did pretty well for a new rapper.

# 48 – Stay Real – Erick Sermon

“Stay Real” came out in 1993 and appears on the album No Pressure. The track peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 92 on the Hot 100 charts. This song is from Erick Sermon’s debut album.

# 47 – What’s Next – Leaders of the New School

“What’s Next” made its debut in 1993. It appears on the album T.I.M.E. (The Inner Mind’s Eye). This is the first single off the album. It reached number one on the Rap charts.

# 46 – Keep Their Heads Ringin’ – Dr. Dre ft. Nanci Fletcher

“Keep Their Heads Ringin’” debuted in 1995. The song appears on the Friday Soundtrack. The song reached number one on the Rap charts and number 10 on the Hot 100 charts. This is the only track that was released as a single from the soundtrack. The song sold over 700,000 copies.

# 45 – Cell Therapy – Goodie Mob

“Cell Therapy” came out in 1995. The song appears on the Soul Food Soundtrack. The song was number one on the Rap charts and number 39 on the Hot 100 charts. This is their only single to make it in the Top 40. The song was written by Organized Noize, Cameron Gipp, Willie Knighton Jr. and Robert Barnett.

# 44 – 5 O’clock – Nonchalant

“5 O’clock” was released in 1996 and it appears on the album The Day. The song reached number one on the Rap charts and number 24 on the Hot 100 charts. The song sold over 500,000 copies. The song was written by Raguel Dill, Kapin Ferguson, Andre Harrison, Tanya Pointer and Alonzo “Lonnie” Simmons Jr.

# 43 – Cold Rock a Party – MC Lyte

“Cold Rock a Party” came out in 1997 and appears on the album Bad As I Wanna B. The song reached number one on the Rap charts for two weeks and number 11 on the Hot 100 charts. This song is MC Lyte’s second highest charting single. It features the sample of Diana Ross’ song “Upside Down.” The track sold over 500,000 copies. Here is a fun fact. P. Diddy produced the song for MC Lyte.

# 42 – Keep On, Keepin’ On – MC Lyte ft. Xscape

These are back-to-back songs by MC Lyte. “Keep On, Keepin’ On was released in 1996 and appears on the album Bad As I Wanna B and it appears on the Sunset Park Soundtrack. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 10 on the Hot 100 charts. This is MC Lyte’s highest charting single. The song features a sample of Michael Jackson’s song “Liberian Girl.” The track sold over 600,000 copies.

# 41 – What About Po Pimp – Do or Die ft. Twista

“What About Po Pimp” came out in 1996. The song is featured on the album Picture This. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 22 on the Hot 100 charts. The song was a breakthrough hit for the trio. The track sold over 600,000 copies. Do or Die wrote the song.

# 40 – Dangerous – Busta Rhymes

“Dangerous” came out in 1998. The track is on the album When Disaster Strikes. The track peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number nine on the Hot 100 charts. The song won a Grammy award. The track sold over 600,000 copies.

# 39 – Bow Down – Westside Connection

“Bow Down” came out in 1996 and it’s from the album of the same name. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 21 on the Hot 100 charts. This is the most successful song by Westside Connection. The song was written by Ice Cube, Dedrick Rolison and William Calhoun. The song was number one for two weeks.

# 38 – Treat Them Like They Want to Be Treated – Father MC

“Treat Them Like They Want to Be Treated” came out in 1990 and is featured on the album Father’s Day. The track peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 14 on the r&b and hip-hop charts. The group Jodeci sings the background vocals on this song. Father MC and Mark Rooney wrote this song.

# 37 – People Everyday – Arrested Development

“People Everyday” debuted in 1992 and is featured on the album 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of… The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number eight on the Hot 100 charts. “People Everyday” uses the structure from Sly & the Family Stone’s song “Everyday People.”

# 36 – Slam – Onyx

“Slam” made its debut in the world in 1993 and is featured on the album Bacdafucup. The song reached the top of the Rap charts and number four on the Hot 100 charts. The track was number one for two weeks. The single went platinum. The song was so popular that a lot of rappers used it as a sample for their songs. Some of the people who used the song were Eminem, Shaquille O’Neal, PMD as well as others.

# 35 – Insane in the Brain – Cypress Hill

“Insane in the Brain” was released in 1993 and was on the album Black Sunday. The song was number one on the Rap charts and number 19 on the Hot 100 charts. The song is a diss track towards Chubb Rock. He wasn’t a fan of their work so he dissed them on his song and they returned the favor. The song features samples by James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone, the Young Bloods as well as others. The single sold over 600,000 copies.

# 34 – I’ll Do 4 U – Father MC

“I’ll Do 4 U” was released in 1990 and was featured on the album Father’s Day. As you know, Father MC is making another appearance on our list. This popular song peaked at the top of the Rap charts and number 20 on the Hot 100 charts. Singer Mary J Blige sings the chorus of the track. The song features the sample of Cheryl Lynn’s song “Got to Be Real.”

# 33 – Rump Shaker – Wreckx-n-Effect

“Rump Shaker” was released in 1992 and was on the album Hard or Smooth. The hit peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number two on the Hot 100 charts. The song became a crossover hit. Pharrell Williams was a co-writer on the song. There was some controversy surrounding the song. There was a rumor that The Neptunes helped produce the song, but Teddy Riley and Ty Fyffe claimed Pharrell Williams was only responsible for writing the song.

# 32 – What’s My Name? – Snoop Dogg

“What’s My Name?” was released in 1993 and appears on the Doggystyle album. It was number one on the Rap charts and number eight on the Hot 100 charts. The song contains samples from George Clinton, Funkadelics and Parliament. The track was number one for three weeks on the Rap charts. It sold over 500,000.

# 31 – Jump – Kris Kross

“Jump” came out in 1992 and appears on their album Totally Crossed Out. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number one on the Hot 100 charts. This song helped launch their careers. This is their biggest song and was number one around the world. The track went platinum. It sold over two million copies. The song was voted as one of the best songs of the 90s. They were a duo who wore backwards clothes so they didn’t have to be taken seriously, but they had a couple of songs appear on our list because they made good music.

# 30 – Street Dreams – Nas

“Street Dreams” was released in 1996 and appears on the album It Was Written. The song reached the top of the Rap charts and number 22 on the Hot 100 charts. It features the sample of the Eurythmics song “Sweet Dreams Are Made of This.” He chose a great song to sample for this track. The song sold over 500,000 copies.

# 29 – Money, Power & Respect – the Lox ft. DMX and Lil’ Kim

“Money, Power & Respect” came out in 1998 and appears on the album of the same name. The popular track peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 17 on Hot 100 charts. The song is the Lox’s most successful single. The song sold over 500,000 copies.

# 28 – I Got the Hook Up – Master P

“I Got the Hook Up” was released in 1998 and appears on the I’ve Got the Hookup Soundtrack and The Game of Funk album. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 16 on the Hot 100 charts. The single sold over 700,000 copies. This was Master P’s last single to go gold.

# 27 – Just the Two of Us – Will Smith

“Just the Two of Us” was released in 1998 and it appears on the album Big Willie Style. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 20 on the Hot 100 charts. It’s a song about a man dedicating his love to his child. There aren’t too many rap songs dedicated to men and their children. The song features the sample from Grover Washington, Jr and Bill Weather’s song of the same name.

# 26 – 911 Is a Joke – Public Enemy

“911 Is a Joke” came out in the 1990 and appears on the album Fear of a Black Planet. The single reached the top of the Rap charts and number 15 on the r&b and hip-hop charts. People didn’t see this song coming. Critics didn’t expect it do well because it didn’t get enough airplay. They were wrong because it was a hit for the group.

# 25 –The Power – Snap!

“The Power” came out in 1990. The song is featured on the album World Power. The hit song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number two on the Hot 100 charts. The song almost made it to number one on the Hot 100 charts, but it lost to Mariah Carey’s hit “Vision of Love.” Jocelyn Brown sings the chorus of the song. The group used her vocals for this song without her permission. The song sold over one million copies.

# 24 – Jamboree – Naughty By Nature ft. Zhane

“Jamboree” was released in 1999 and appears on the album Nineteen Naughty Nine: Nature’s Fury. The song reached number one on the Rap charts and number 10 on the Hot 100 charts. The song reached gold status. Unfortunately, it’s the last single by the group to make it to gold status.

# 23 – Satisfy You – Puff Daddy ft. R Kelly

“Satisfy You” came out in 1999 and appears on the Forever album. The track peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number two on the Hot 100 charts. The song was number one on the r&b charts for six weeks. The track was so successful that it was nominated for a Grammy. It sold over 500,000 copies.

# 22 – Jigga My N*gga – Jay-Z

“Jigga My N*gga” came out in 1999 and is featured on his Vo!l. 3…Life and Times of S. Carter. The song reached number one on the Rap charts and number 28 on the Hot 100 charts. The song features the samples from the Counts and Snoop Dog.

# 21 – What’s It Gonna Be?! – Busta Rhymes ft. Janet Jackson

“What’s It Gonna Be?!” came out in 1999. The song is on the E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front album. The song reached the top of Rap charts and number three on the Hot 100 charts. Busta Rhymes and Janet Jackson seemed like an odd pair to work together since they are from different music genres. The song sold over 950,000 copies.

# 20 – Feel So Good – Mase

“Feel So Good” came out in 1997. The song appears on the album Harlem World. The track reached the top of the Rap charts and number five on the Hot 100 charts. This is Mase’s first single and it reached the top of the Rap charts and in the top five on the Hot 100 charts. The song went gold after it was released for one month. The track features the samples “Hollywood Swinging” by Kool & the Gang and the Miami Sound Machine’s “Bad Boy.” The song sold over one million copies.

# 19 – Getting’ Jiggy With It – Will Smith

“Getting’ Jiggy With It” was released in 1998 and is featured on the album Big Willie Style. The song reached number one on the Rap and Hot 100 charts. The critics weren’t too happy about the song, but the fans didn’t care at all. The song won a Grammy award. The song features a sample of Sister Sledge’s “He’s the Greatest Dancer.” The track sold over 900,000 copies.

# 18 – Loungin’ – LL Cool J ft. Total

“Loungin’” came out in 1996. The song is featured on the album Mr. Smith. The track topped the Rap charts and peaked at number three on the Hot 100 charts. The track features a sample from Bernard Wright’s song “Who Do You Love.” The fans enjoyed this song and it paid off for LL Cool J because it sold over one million copies.

# 17 – Big Poppa – The Notorious B.I.G.

“Big Poppa” came out in 1994 and appears on the album Ready to Die. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number six on the Hot 100 charts. When The Notorious B.I.G. came on the music scene, the fans clamored to him. One of his biggest adversaries was Tupac Shakur. The song features the sample “Between the Sheets” by The Isley Brothers. The song is featured in the movie Hardball as well as other movies. The single went platinum.

# 16 – Get Money – Junior M.A.F.I.A. ft. The Notorious B.I.G.

“Get Money” came out in 1996 and appears on the Conspiracy album. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 17 on the Hot 100 charts. The single went platinum.

# 15 – Regulate – Warren G ft. Nate Dogg

“Regulate” came out in 1994 and appears on the album Regulate…G Funk Era and it appears on the Above the Rim Soundtrack. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number two on the Hot 100 charts. The song samples Michael McDonald’s “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near).” The sample helped make the song stand out. The song was a huge hit with fans. It had a lot of airplay. The track sold over two million copies. The track won a Grammy award.

# 14 – I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need to Get By – Method Man ft. Mary J. Blige

“I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need to Get By” came out in 1995 and appears on the album TICAL. The song rose to the top of the Rap charts and reached number three on the Hot 100 charts. The song won a Grammy. The song sold over 800,000 copies. The song features the sample “You’re All I Need to Get By” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

# 13 – Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince

“Summertime” came out in 1991 and appears on the album Homebase. The track peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number four on the Hot 100 charts. This is the track you hear every summer. Before Will Smith became a movie star, he was a rapper with DJ Jazzy Jeff. You know it’s summertime when this song comes on the radio. The song features the sample “Summer Madness” by Kool & the Gang. The song won a Grammy award. The song sold over one million copies.

# 12 – Around the Way Girl – LL Cool J

“Around the Way Girl” was released in 1991 and it appears on the album Mama Said Knock You Out. The hit peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number nine on the Hot 100 charts. This was a big hit on multiple charts. This song was the rapper’s first top 10 hit. Women everywhere were excited when he did the shout out of different people’s names. The song features samples from Mary Jane Girls’ (“All Night Long”) and Keni Burke’s (“Risin’ to the Top”). The song was written by LL Cool J, Marlon Williams and Rick James.

# 11 – O.P.P. – Naughty By Nature

“O.P.P.” debuted in 1991. The track appears on Naughty By Nature’s self-titled album. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number six on the Hot 100 charts. This song became so big that the phrase “Down wit O.P.P.” became a popular catchphrase. The song was one of the first rap songs to become a pop hit. The track was also named one of the greatest songs of the 1990s. The song features two samples. It features a sample from Melvin Bliss called “Synthetic Substitution” and The Jackson 5’s song “ABC.”

# 10 – Gin and Juice – Snoop Dogg

“Gin and Juice” came out in 1994 and appears on his album Doggystyle. The album peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number eight on the Hot 100 charts. The song was the second single from his debut album. David Ruffin’s son (D Ruf) sings the chorus of the song. The song was nominated for awards. The single sold over 700,000 copies.

# 9 – Funkdafied – Da Brat

“Funkdafied” came out in 1994 and appears on her album of the same name. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number six on the Hot 100 charts. The song was number one for 11 weeks. Janet Jackson’s “Anytime, Anyplace” kept the song from being number one on the r&b and hip-hop charts. The track sold over one million copies. It’s Da Brat’s most successful single.

# 8 – Tha Crossroads – Bone-Thugs-n-Harmony

“Tha Crossroads” came out in 1996 and is featured on the album E.1999 Eternal. The song reached the top of the Rap charts and the Hot 100 charts. The song is a dedication to rapper EZ-E as well as other relatives they lost. The song went on to win a Grammy award. The song was a worldwide hit for the group. It sold over two million copies.

# 7 – The Humpty Dance – Digital Underground

“The Humpty Dance” debuted in 1990 and appears on the album Sex Packets. The track peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 11 on the Hot 100 charts. “The Humpty Dance” is one of the most sampled songs in music. The song appears in over 100 songs. The song sold over one million copies.

# 6 – Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang – Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dog

“Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” was released in 1992 and is on the Chronic album. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number two on the Hot 100 charts. “Informer” by Snow kept the track from being number one on the Hot 100 charts. It was considered one of the songs that shaped rock and roll music. The song was used as a sample for other songs and appeared in movies, TV shows and video games. The song sold over 1.3 million copies.

# 5 – Hot Boyz – Missy Elliott ft. Lil’ Mo, Nas, Eve and Q-Tip

“Hot Boyz” came out in 1999 and appears on the album Da Real World. The song was number one on the Rap charts and number five on the Hot 100 charts. The song was number one on the Rap charts for 18 weeks. The song was so popular for Missy Elliott and company that it was number one on the Rap charts for so long.

# 4 – Hypnotize – The Notorious B.I.G.

“Hypnotize” came out in 1997 and was on the album Life After Death. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number one on the Hot 100 charts. The song was a hit while the Notorious B.I.G. was alive, but became even more famous once he was killed. The track features the sample of Herb Alpert’s “Rise.” It was nominated for a Grammy award, but he lost to Will Smith’s “Men in Black.”

# 3 – Dear Mama – Tupac Shakur

“Dear Mama” came out in 1995 and appears on his album Me Against the World. The hot track peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number 9 on the Hot 100 charts. The moving song is a tribute to his mother. The song went on to sell over three million copies. “Dear Mama” contains a sample from the Spinners’ track “Sadie.”

# 2 – Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down – Puff Daddy ft. Mase

“Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” came out in 1997 and appears on the No Way Out album. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number one on the Hot 100 charts. The song contains elements of “Break My Stride” by Matthew Wilder. The song went on to sell over two million copies. The song spent 12 weeks at number one on the Rap charts and six weeks at number one of the Hot 100 charts.

# 1 – I’ll Be Missing You – Puff Daddy and Faith Evans ft. 112

Puff Daddy makes another appearance on our list. “I’ll Be Missing You” came out in 1997 and appears on the album No Way Out. The song peaked at number one on the Rap charts and number one on the Hot 100 charts. The song made it to number one in several countries. The song is a tribute to the Notorious B.I.G. He was killed almost two months before the song was released. Puff Daddy wanted Faith Evans to sing the song because she was his wife. The song was a massive hit, but it had some controversy surrounding it. The song clearly has a sample from The Police’s hit “Every Breath You Take.” There is no denying the sample that was used in the song. The Police weren’t given credit for the track and Sting sued them for it. Sting ended up receiving credit for the track. The song sold over three million copies.

Feature Photo: BrAt82 / Shutterstock – Text Design: Brian Kachejian ClassicRockHistory.com

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

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