Rap music has always been engrained in America’s roots, but it has only really taken over the music industry as one of the most popular genres over the last few decades.
Per RapTV, “Rap music has evolved so much in the past four decades that it’s been around.”
While rap has always subtly been part of the music industry, the journey to becoming one of the more dominant music genres has been a long road. By the time rap music reached the end of the 20th Century, a whole group of rappers had solidified the rap genre as one of the most prolific in the music industry. So, let’s reflect upon the best rap songs of the 1990s.
- Hit ‘Em Up -2Pac
One of the best diss songs in Rap’s history is 2Pacs Hit ‘Em Up. With a cheerful tone, he spends the entire song dissing his East Coast rapping colleagues that would make even the most patient person get worked up. But bettering this song was the music video, which went equally all-out and used impersonators for P.Diddy, Biggie and Lil Kim. Still to this day, one of the best disses of all time.
- Gin & Juice- Snoop Dogg
Only his second single, Snoop found early success through this hit song and even snagged a Grammy nomination for it. The song pays homage to Snoop Dogg’s happy place—a party full of weed, women, and alcohol. No surprise there.
- It was a good day-Ice Cube
After taking a break from his ghetto life and before making it big on Law and Order SVU, Ice Cube dropped on of the best rap songs of the 90s. It was a good day tells the tale of simple pleasures like smoking weed, riding around the town, and watching TV. It’s a good day when we get to hear this song!
- NY State of Mind – Nas
Storytelling reached a whole new level with this rap song. Using warm jazz tunes to create a feel good backdrop, Nas tells the story of New York City that will continue to stand still for the tale of time. Even to this day, the lyrics of this powerful hit song resonates with those who have lived in New York, fallen in love with New York and followed their dreams in New York.
- Ice Ice Baby- Vanilla Ice
You can not listen to this song without wanting to break out in dance. Try it, we dare you! Borrowing key lines from Queen and David Bowie’s song Under Pressure, this party starting tune encompasses so much of what the 90’s is known for! Even though the song continues to bring plenty of haters still to this day. But Ice Ice Baby will still live forever in rap history.
- Sabotage- Beastie Boys
This punk band turned hip hop / rap gurus melted hearts around the world with this 1994 single. Better than the song with their music video directed by Spike Jonze, in which the all-American white boys did a parody complete with their famously fake moustaches. The Beastie Boys proved with this single that white boys can certainly rap too!
- Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang – Dr Dre ft Snoop Dogg
The first single off Dr Dre’s solo debut album The Chronic, it is not surprising that he collaborated with Snoop Dogg—an equally star powered rapper of the 90s. The track catapulted both into rock star status rapping carers. And for Snoop Dogg, this song help build the momentum for his own debut rap album Doggystyle that dropped the following year.
The 90s was certainly a decade to remember when it came to rap music. They set the standard for generations to come and no doubt are the reason why this newest generation of rappers are set up for so much success.