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Top 10 Best Rap Songs of All Time (As of 2015)

Rap emerged in mainstream pop in the 1970s, although its roots go back much farther. The genre covers a lot of ground. In this top 10, rap songs from different stages in its modern era of development are represented. Here are our favorite rap songs of all time as of 2015. Let us know what you think of the song list in the comments.

Mama Said Knock You Out (1990)
LL Cool J

Any reference to violence is purely metaphorical. The song is about being on top of the game as a rap singer. It won a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance and LL Cool J was the first rapper to be on MTV’s Unplugged.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Theme Song (1990)
Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff

The duo won a Grammy for “Parents Just Don’t Understand” in 1989 and had other notables but this mainstream song is worth mentioning. The opener to the early 90’s sit-com of the same name is among the most popular TV theme songs. It also marked just the beginning of Will Smith’s acting career.

Lose Yourself (2002)

Featured in the movie 8 Mile, the song beat out U2 and Paul Simon for an Oscar and is the most commercially successful Oscar winning song. It topped the Hot 100 for 12 weeks. Guitar power chords and a heavy production make it stand out as well.

Fight the Power (1989)
Public Enemy

With its messages of black pride and empowerment, the song was somewhat controversial yet it endures as a statement on young black sentiment at the time.

Juicy (1994)
Notorious B.I.G.

A song about the artist’s beginnings, it was Notorious B.I.G.’s first solo hit. It was also part of the 8 Mile soundtrack.

Can’t Touch This (1990)
MC Hammer

The music is based on “Super Freak”, by Rick James, who got co-writing credits in a settlement. In 1990, the song won two Grammy Awards. It was also parodied by Weird Al Yankovic and featured in the movie Charlie’s Angles: Full Throttle.

C.R.E.A.M. (1993)
Wu-Tang Clan

The title is short for Cash Rules Everything Around Me. Many rappers have cited the song as an influence. It was certified gold in 2009 and charted on the Hot Rap Singles and R&B charts.

Get Ur Freak On (2001)
Missy Elliot

A collaboration with Hype Williams, the song can have many different meanings, according to Elliot. It was also featured in 2015 during Katy Perry’s Super Bowl Halftime Show and actually appeared on the Hot 100 once again following the performance.

Rapper’s Delight (1979)
Sugarhill Gang

The first Top 40 rap song in the U.S. It was used on many TV shows, featured in The Wedding Singer in 1998, and was used in a 2001 commercial for Dasani water.

The Message (1982)
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five

The song is more of a social commentary and cultural documentary than a Hip Hop hit. It’s often thought the song changed the tone and direction of rap. Rolling Stone named it the Greatest Hip-Hop Song of All Time in 2012.

From the Sugarhill Gang and Grandmaster Flash to Will Smith, to Eminem, this list reflects distinct periods in rap music. Your favorite songs might be different. Our approach has been to identify songs that reflect the evolution of rap in modern pop music.

Top 10 Best Notorious BIG Songs of All Time

Brooklyn’s Notorious BIG is one of the most dynamic and prolific rappers of all time. With that said, it is incredibly difficult to narrow down his work to a handful of best tracks. But that is exactly what we did below. We bring you the top 10 best Notorious BIG songs of all time.

1. Kick in the Door

“Kick in the Door” is an “eff you” track if there ever was one. Aimed at no one in particular, the beauty of the song is that it is also aimed at everyone in the world.

2. Big Poppa

One of Biggie’s most well known songs, “Big Poppa” highlights the rapper’s romantic and sensual side. Despite being something of a love song, it is also one of the most popular party songs of all time.

3. Get Money

Released by Junior M.A.F.I.A. (a group consisting of Biggie and his close friends), “Get Money” is one of the most popular Notorious B.I.G. songs. It’s the one time that the rapper went head-to-head with Lil’ Kim on the same track.

4. Warning

“Warning” is a solid Biggie song no matter how you look at it. It highlights the rapper at his artistic peak, especially as far as his “show not tell” method of writing lyrics goes.

5. I Got a Story to Tell

“I Got a Story to Tell” is one of the best examples of the funny side of Notorious B.I.G. The humorous song recounts a wild tryst with a New York Knicks’ girlfriend.

6. Sky’s the Limit

Among his most uplifting tracks, “Sky’s the Limit” is classic Biggie in every sense of the word. It’s a declaration of freedom and is filled with autobiographical notes from his life.

7. What’s Beef?

Another warning song, “What’s Beef?” is a signal to Notorious B.I.G.’s competitors to steer clear of him. In addition to the hard-hitting lyrics, the insidious cackles the rapper emits during the track add a new level of terror.

8. Suicidal Thoughts

Notorious B.I.G. was not just a rapper. No, he was far more than that. He was a storyteller as well. And nowhere is his power to tell a great story more evident than in “Suicidal Thoughts.”

9. The World is Filled

Too often overlooked, “The World is Filled” is a Notorious B.I.G. song that more people need to take a listen to. The deep cut boasts about the artist’s own sexual prowess.

10. Brooklyn’s Finest

Though it’s not exactly one of Big’s songs, “Brooklyn’s Finest” by Jay Z nevertheless features a fire Biggie verse. Indeed, it’s one of the rappers best verses of all time.

So there you have it – 10 of the best Notorious B.I.G. songs of all time. What do you think? Did your favorite song make the cut? Let us know in the comments below.

Top 10 Best Eminem Songs of All Time (As of 2015)

Love him or hate him, it’s hard not to admit that Eminem is great at what he does. In fact, his musical career has changed the landscape of hip-hop as we know it. Below are our choices for the top 10 best Eminem songs of all time.

1. Stan

It really doesn’t get any better than “Stan.” It’s a simple, slow-paced song that gets straight to the point. Chronicling the life of a diehard fan turned stalker, it is a far cry from the Slim Shady days of Eminem’s early career.

2. Lose Yourself

The lead single from the autobiographical film 8 Mile, “Lose Yourself” is another classic Eminem song that most people are at least somewhat familiar with. With a big chorus, a great hook, and loads of positivity, the track is one of the best hip-hop songs about self-motivation that there is.

3. The Way I Am

“The Way I Am” is classic Eminem. Though the entire song including the beat with eerie piano and funeral bells is a masterpiece, it is the rapper’s barking, masculine vocals that really make it stand out.

4. Guilty Conscience

Perhaps the first truly significant song he ever wrote, “Guilty Conscience” puts Eminem’s Slim Shady character and the character of Dr. Dre head to head. It is considered the quintessential Slim Shady track by many people.

5. Renegade

“Renegade” is a song that truly highlights the skill and stardom of Eminem. Written and performed by Jay-Z, Em takes the spotlight despite only rapping a single guest verse.

6. Kill You

From the early days of Eminem’s career comes “Kill You.” The provocative song is meant to be humorous although it can be hard to tell that sometimes from the hard-hitting vocals and the increased sense of mania that creeps into the rapper’s delivery as the song progresses.

7. Kim

Nowhere are Eminem’s skills as a rapper, storyteller, and artist more apparent than in his song “Kim.” Yet it is also one of his most terrifying tracks. The near hysterical mania in his delivery really hits a breaking point in the last few lines of this dark, unhinged song.

8. Forgot About Dre

“Forgot About Dre” is another song in which Eminem comes in as a guest and leaves with the song all his own. This time he does it on the heels of Dr. Dre. In many ways, Eminem’s appearance on the track was his introduction to the musical world at large.

9. Cleanin’ Out My Closet

“Cleanin’ Out My Closet” perfectly highlights the artistic formula Eminem built his career on. It’s a straightforward, hooky, self-referential track that has Em throwing crass accusations at several people in his life including his mother and his ex-wife Kim.

10. White America

Much less political than its title makes it out to be, “White America” is nevertheless another great song by Eminem. It’s a dripping, sarcastic track that takes shot at many different things including consumerism, censors, his fans, and even himself.

So there you have it – 10 of the best Eminem songs of all time. Which other songs do you think should have made the list?

Top 10 Best Tupac Songs of All Time

Tupac Amaru Shakur is one of the greatest rap artists of all time. In just 25 years of life, he recorded more songs than almost anyone else on earth. With that said, it’s hard to weed through his extensive catalog to select the very best of his songs. Below is our idea of the top 10 Tupac songs of all time.

1. Keep Ya Head Up

“Keep Ya Head Up” is among the most meaningful and profound of Tupac’s many songs. It’s inspirational message reminds people to keep their heads up and keep fighting.

2. Hit Em Up

Beef tracks have long held an important place in rap history. But few are as fiery as “Hit Em Up.” In the track, Tupac calls out Biggie and Mobb Deep among others.

3. I Ain’t Mad at Cha’

Tupac is more than a rapper. He is also a cult figure and an urban legend. The release of “I Ain’t Mad at Cha’” just after the artist’s death helped him achieve this status. Even more cryptic is that the song is about Tupac making peace with his life up to that point.

4. Dear Mama

As its name implies, “Dear Mama” is a track dedicated to Tupac’s mother. The song shows what an important figure she was in his life.

5. California Love

One of the best party rap songs of all time, “California Love” is still a go-to on dance floors across the nation. It is a west coast tune in every sense.

6. Hail Mary

While “Hail Mary” is one of the best Tupac songs of all time, it is also one of the most mysterious. It was written a mere seven days before the rapper’s death. It was also created and released under the adopted title “Makaveli.”

7. Brenda’s Got a Baby

Most of Tupac’s songs don’t stray into the realm of social commentary. But “Brenda’s Got a Baby” does. It addresses domestic abuse, teen pregnancy, and other acts of domestic violence.

8. I Wonder If Heaven Got a Ghetto

From the very beginning, Tupac was a haunted man. He spent a lot of his time pondering his eventual demise. And nowhere in his recorded work is this more evident than in “I Wonder If Heaven Got a Ghetto.”

9. I Get Around

There were many different sides to Tupac. One side that often took the backseat to his social commentary and politics was his womanizing side. “I Get Around” is a testament to Pac’s love for the ladies.

10. Changes

“Changes” is a particularly poignant song as Tupac muses on the changes happening around him in the world. The track is also one of the artist’s most popular. If you’ve heard only one Tupac song before, there is a good chance it is this one.

Here is our opinion of the top 10 best Tupac songs of all time. Did we leave your favorite off the list? Let us know in the comments below.