When one thinks of hip hop, they think of stylized rap. In fact, hip hop is a huge part of the genre. Emphasizing on rhythmic words and limerick, this is an element of music that covers performance poetry at it’s finest. So, what are the top 100 hip hop songs of all time?
100. E.T. by Katy Perry featuring Kanye West. Some of the greatest hip hop songs are those that mix genres. Released in 2011, this futuristic song features rap verses from hip hop artist Kanye West, making it one of the best electronic hip hop tunes ever.
99. Lady Marmalade by Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil Kim, and Mya. Did you ever notice with cover renditions of classic tunes, they are either a hit or miss? Released in 2001, this is one of the greatest songs covered by some of the most talented women in music.
98. Act A Fool by Ludacris. When this song first came out, it was at the top of rap charts. Released in 2003, this hip hop jam proves why it one of the greatest songs from the genre.
97. All Summer Long by Kid Rock. What do you get when you add rock, rap, and country together? This tune. Released in 2008, this song is one of the coolest additions ever to hip hop.
96. Shots by LMFAO featuring Lil Jon. Have you ever heard a song that was so excited, you just wanted to play it over and over? Released in 2009, this crunk infused jam proves why it is one of the best songs to play at a party. The video alone has almost 200 million views.
95. Tipsy by J-Kwon. Everybody in the club get tipsy. Released in 2004, this modern hip hop tune is all about having fun. I remember when I went to various clubs back in 2004 and every single one played this hip hop jam.
94. My Neck, My Back (Lick It) by Khia. When it comes to rapping about sexual innuendos, the steamier the better. Released in 2002, this hip hop jam represents what dirty rap is all about.
93. Fighting Temptation by Beyonce featuring Missy Elliot, MC Lyte, and Free. Is it possible to set a “no sex” rule? Released in 2003, this funkadelic, hip hop song is about women laying down the law and not giving into men’s demands.
92. Warm It Up by Kriss Kross. I remember when this song came out. I was just 11 years old. I thought Kriss Kross was the coolest hip hop act at that time. Released in 1992, this is one of my favorite jams ever. RIP Chris Kelly.
91. Forever by Drake, Eminem, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne. I love this song because it possesses quite a big opening, which makes you want to continue listening to the track. Released in 2009, this rap jam is what a full fledged, posse cut is all about.
90. On The Grind by Nelly featuring King Jacob. I remember when I first heard this song. I was in college and some frat guys were blaring it outside of their frat house. I was 21 at the time and thought it was bank. Released in 2002, this is one of the hottest jams you will ever hear.
89. How Many Licks? by Lil Kim featuring Sisqo. Dirty rap anyone? Released in 2000, this rap song not only has catchy lyrics and a haute beat, but the innuendo is about Kim bragging about the men she’s been with.
88. Wasting Time by Kid Rock. This song is about a man who is describing his life. Released in 2000 with the help of Thornetta Davis, this Kid Rock tune covers an array of genres but highly emphasizes on hip hop, modern rock, and neo-soul, making it one of the best songs of the genre.
87. Mirror by Lil Wayne featuring Bruno Mars. When it comes to alternative hip hop, it seems that Lil Wayne truly knows how to contribute to the genre. Released in 2011, this is one of my favorite modern hip hop tunes.
86. Set Adrift On Memory Bliss by P.M. Dawn. Some of the greatest hip hop songs I have ever heard are based on cultural experiences. Released in 1991, I remember being 10 years old and turning on the radio only to discover this amazing song.
85. Stronger by Kanye West. When it comes to hip hop and Kanye West, the two go together perfectly. Released in 2007, this hip hop gem has sold over 5 million digital copies in the United States alone.
84. It Wasn’t Me by Shaggy featuring Maxi Priest. This song is about a man who asks his friend for advice, after he is caught being unfaithful. Released in 2000, this reggae infused tune is not only one of the greatest songs to ever come out that year, but in all of hip hop.
83. The Next Episode by Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, and Nate Dogg. Going back to Dre and Snoop’s roots with ‘Nuthin’ But A G Thang’ this rap tune was released in 2000. The lyrical delivery in this song proves why it is one of the greatest.
82. Mr. Wendal by Arrested Development. Music is as unique as the person who listens to it. Released in 1992, I remember hearing this alternative hip hop tune on the radio and thinking how good it was. I was only 11 years old at the time.
81. Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys. I don’t know what it is about hip hop music, but it seems to touch my soul hardcore. Released in 2009, this jam really proves that dreams are really made in the big apple.
80. Family Affair by Mary J. Blige. Some of the greatest songs you will ever hear are within the hip hop genre. Released in 2001, this song remains to be of the greatest contributions from Blige and to hip hop.
79. Real Muthaphuckkin G’s by Eazy-E. This was one of the first diss songs ever in rap. I remember hearing this song and thinking “Who is this about?” Released in 1993, this tune added a lot of fuel to a fire that made Eazy-E popular. Why? This was his highest charting single to date. RIP Eric Wright.
78. Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot. I like big butts and I cannot lie is what sets this jam off. Released in 1992, this song brings a whole new defintion to dirty rap. It’s quite comical and delivers a message that a woman doesn’t have to be a beanpole to be hot.
77. Intergalactic by Beastie Boys. What I love about music is the fact that there is always innovation. Released in 1998, this alternative hip hop tune features repeated vocodes that mimic robots. It is very futuristic and was way ahead of it’s time.
76. Rapper’s Delight by The Sugarhill Gang. Released in 1979, this tune is one of the pioneers of the hip hop genre. Incorporating funk, disco, and hip hop this song remains to be legendary within the genre.
75. I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me) by Jay-Z featuring Pharrell Williams and Omillio Sparks. I remember when I first heard this song. Released in 2000, I remember when my roommate in college would blare this hip hop tune constantly. Definitely one of the greatest hip hop songs ever.
74. Forget About Dre by Dr. Dre featuring Eminem. Music is as unique as the individual that listens to it and enjoys it. Released in 2000, this rap tune sends a powerful message to rap enthusiasts who are enjoying other rappers. If you are a fan of hip hop, you are never going to forget about this rap icon.
73. Get Low by Ying Yang Twins featuring Lil Jon. Every time a song features Lil Jon, you just know it’s gonna be good. Released in 2003, this is one of the best Southern hip hop songs. This is epic crunk at it’s finest.
72. Ms. Jackson by Outkast. Are you forreal? Released in 2000, this hip hop tune has everything a good song should have – catchy phrases, a strong beat, and a fantastic delivery. I’m sorry Ms. Jackson, I am forreal.
71. Swagga Like Us by Jay-Z, T.I., Kanye West, and Lil Wayne. If you have swagga, you won’t care what anyone thinks of you, as long as what they have to say is good. Released in 2008, this rap collaboration proves why it is one of the greatest hip hop songs of all time. The only thing missing from the original track is M.I.A.
70. Gangsta Lovin by Eve featuring Alicia Keys. Some of the greatest contributions to hip hop are collaborations. Released in 2002, this is one of my favorite hip hop/R&B mixes to date and one of my favorite hip hop songs of all time.
69. Back On The Block by Big Daddy Kane, Ice-T, Kool Moe Dee, Melle Mel, and Quincy Jones. They are back and ready for action. Released in 1990, this is one of the first urban jam collaborations to break into mainstream pop of the late 80s, early 90s music persuasion.
68. Who Are You Lovin by Ice Cube featuring Mr. Short Khop. Nasty girl, nasty girl. Released in 1998, this hip hop jam proves why ‘The Players Club’ soundtrack was one of the most successful soundtracks of all time.
67. Go To Sleep by Eminem, DMX, and Obie Trice. When hardcore hip hop merges with East coast hip hop, the result is definitely this jam. Released in 2003, this is the reason why I love the ‘Cradle 2 The Grave’ soundtrack so much.
66. Only You by 112 featuring The Notorious B.I.G. An epic lyrical delivery is one thing, however; polishing your limerick is quite another. Released in 1996, this hip hop song is the reason why I love the ‘Save The Last Dance’ soundtrack. RIP Christopher Wallace.
65. Me So Horny by 2 Live Crew. Released in 1989, this song is the epitome of dirty rap. The sexual innuendos in this jam are so graphic, I am sure there have been many people around the world who have lost their virginity to this tune.
64. We Be Clubbin by Ice Cube. Released in 1998, this was one of my favorite songs of the year because me and my friend Nicole would cruise to this tune. And although this single was not considered a successful, it remains to be one of my favorites regardless.
63. It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp by Three 6 Mafia. I remember when I first heard this song. What was impressive to me was the catchy phrasing. Released in 2005, this song epitomizes bona-fide crunk. Yeah yeah!
62. Know The Ledge by Eric B. and Rakim. Can you believe this was one of Eric B. and Rakim’s final hits together? Released in 1992, this culturally inspired gangsta rap tune proves why it is one of the best songs ever to enter the genre.
61. Thong Song by Sisqo. Released in late 1999, this hip hop song was quite popular in early 2000. In fact, I remember in college when everyone and their mama’s were playing this song loud and you could hear the song literally echoing.
60. Justified & Ancient by the KLF featuring Tammy Wynette. This is one of the first hip hop tunes to cross into the house music genre. Released in 1991, this collaboration proves to be one of the greatest contributions in the history of hip hop.
59. Wild Thing by Tone Loc. I believe that Tone Loc has brought us some of the greatest contributions to this genre. I remember watching the movie Uncle Buck and just falling in love with this song. Released in 1989, you have to love a rap rock tune that tells a story like this one.
58. Cold Rock A Party by MC Lyte featuring Missy Elliot and Puff Daddy. What happens when you combine hip hop, dance music, and three great lyricists? This song. Released in 1996, this hip hop hit is a true classic and Lyte’s last single to reach Billboard’s hot 100.
57. Natural Born Killaz by Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. I have always been a fan of West coast hip hop. Released in 1994, this tune really embraces the G-Funk genre with a hint of horrorcore. If you want bona-fide poetry performing, this is your jam.
56. Fight The Power by Public Enemy. Hip hop is a lot more fluid of a genre than you realize. In fact, it is possible to take an angry song and make it rhythmic because this tune is proof. Released in 1989, this motown infused hip hop jam tells quite a story and sends a powerful message, as a result.
55. 911 by Wyclef Jean featuring Mary J. Blige. One of the greatest contributions ever to hip hop is this jam. Released in 2000, this reggae infused tune truly elevates the ultimate collaboration between rap and soul.
54. I’m A Ruff Ryder by Ruff Ryders. The emotion this song projects is amazing. Released in 1999, I remember playing this song on repeat. Definitely one of my favorite hip hop songs ever.
53. Foolish by Master P, Magic, and Mo B. Dick. Have you ever watched the movie Foolish? Released in 1999, this southern hip hop addition proves why it is one of the greatest jams of all time.
52. Give Me Everything by Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo. Pitbull is talented, however; this is the song that made him a huge star, as it was his first hit to make it to #1 on the Billboard charts. Released in 2011, this is not only one of my favorite hip hop songs, but favorite songs of any genre.
51. Rump Shaker by Wreckx-n-Effect. What happens when you combine dirty rap, new jack swing, and raw hip hop morphed into a pop redux? This jam. Released in 1992, every single time I hear this tune I feel like I am 11 years old again.
50. Where Is The Love? by The Black Eyed Peas. Have you ever heard a song that covers war, terrorism, crime, racism, hypocrisy, and pollution in it’s lyrical content? Released in 2003, this hip hop tune is the reason why the Black Eyed Peas crossed over into mainstream pop music. This song tells a story which has managed to sell itself.
49. Let Em Have It by Tupac featuring Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. Some of the best songs Tupac ever recorded were released after his death. Released in 2001, this is one of those dirty kind of rap tunes. You know, the kind that makes just want to make love with your significant other? RIP to two great geniuses to the hip hop genre. You will be deeply missed.
48. P Control by Prince. This is dirty hip hop at it’s finest. Released in 1995, this song explores the world of sexual innuendo and proves that Prince can do anything with music. Not only is this one of the greatest hip hop tunes ever, it’s one of my favorite songs.
47. Gin and Juice by Snoop Dogg. Released in 1994, this is one of the hautest West coast hip hop, g-funk jams I have ever heard. With the essence of gangsta rap and hardcore, this is just another reason why Snoop Dogg is the ultimate performance poet.
46. Club Can’t Handle Me by Flo Rida. When I first heard this jam, I thought it was insanely catchy. Released in 2010, this hip house influenced track is truly what hip music is all about. An epic story line, an incredible delivery, and haute beats.
45. Criminology by Raekwon featuring Ghostface Killah. Are you in the mood to hear some Mafioso rap right now? Released in 1995, this East coast hip hop jam uses actual dialogue from the hit movie Scarface where Alex Sosa insults Tony Montana.
44. Juicy by Notorious B.I.G. It’s as if Chris Wallace appreciated everything he had because he went from rags to riches and in the end, he achieved that dream. Released in 1994, this is one of my favorite rap songs ever.
43. Ruffneck by MC Lyte. I remember being 12 years old and turning on the local radio station to hear this song. Released in 1993, this is one of the first catchy rap jams I ever heard by a performance poet. Lyte is one of my favorite artists of all time and in this incredibly catchy jam, she proves why she is one of the greatest poets ever.
42. Ain’t No Half Steppin’ by Big Daddy Kane. Released in 1988, this hip hop tune is the reason why Antonio Hardy became such a huge star. As one of the greatest contributions to rap, this song remains to be a favorite.
41. Castle Walls by T.I. featuring Christina Aguilera. I am still trying to understand how this song never made it to radio. Released in 2010, this is one of my favorite hip hop songs ever. Everything from the words and lyrical delivery to Aguilera’s flawless vocals.
40. Same Love by Macklemore featuring Mary Lambert. Love is a powerful thing and should always be accepted, as long as it is consentual. Released in 2012, this hip hop tune tells a story that you should embrace your differences and who you are.
39. Push It by Salt-n-Pepa. Released in 1987, this synthpop meets hip hop jam was the reason why they were big stars in the 90s, giving the group their first mainstream hit to stardom. And because of this tune, they were the first female rap act to go platinum.
38. C.R.E.A.M. by Wu-Tang Clan. Cash rules everything around me is what this track stands for. Released in 1994, this East coast hip hop infused tune is one of the first ever hardcore hip hop jams in the genre.
37. The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly) by Missy Elliot. Can you stop the rain? Released in 1997, this is one of the hottest rap ballads I have ever heard, making this tune one of the greatest hip hop songs of all time.
36. O.P.P. by Naughty by Nature. There are certain song that have a huge impact on pop culture and one of them is this one. Released in 1991, this is not only one of the best rap jams ever, but one of the greatest of the 90s.
35. Let Me Blow Ya Mind by Eve featuring Gwen Stefani. The song tells a story about two women who disrupt a party and what they have to endure afterwards. Released in 2001, this was one of the biggest hits of the year and Eve’s second top 10 hit.
34. I’ll Be Missing You by Puff Daddy featuring Faith Evans and 112. Released in 1997, this tribute remains very true to my heart because I remember when I as a teenager and Notorious B.I.G. aka Christopher Wallace was murdered. Rest in Peace big man.
33. Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg by TLC. Not only is this TLC’s debut single, it is the reason they became such big stars. Released in 1992, this is one of the first songs to ever combine funk, soul, and pop with hip hop.
32. Tha Crossroads by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. Released in 1996, this Grammy Award winning rap jam epitomizes what Midwest hip hop is all about. This song was dedicated to Eazy-E aka Eric Wright, who died in March of 1995.
31. Slow Jamz by Twista featuring Kanye West and Jamie Foxx. Paying tribute to smooth soul classics, this tune embraces slow jam songs. Released in 2003, this was not only Twista’s first #1 single, but West and Foxx’s first hit too. I don’t care what anyone says, without this song, there would be no Kanye West.
30. Got Your Money by Ol’ Dirty Bastard featuring Kelis. Ever single hip hop tune with ODB is classic, including this one. Released in 1999, this is not only one of the greatest jams I have ever heard, it’s one of the best ever.
29. C U When U Get There by Coolio featuring 40 Thevz. I remember when I first heard this song. I was 16 years old and I was in a convenience store buying a juice. Released in 1997, this hip hop tune is the sole reason why I love the ‘Nothing To Lose’ soundtrack so much.
28. Thug N U Thug N Me by Tupac featuring K-Ci and JoJo. This is one of my favorite songs ever. Released in 2001 this tune was recorded in between 1995 and 1996. The next time you are looking to download a fun, upbeat West coast hip hop collaboration, you need to get this one.
27. Me And The Biz by Masta Ace. Some of the greatest songs I have ever heard pay tribute to the amazing artists. Released in 1990, this track pioneered the golden age of hip hop, making it one of the greatest jams of all time.
26. The Message by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five. When I think of old school hip hop, I think of this song. What started as an experiment, took over the world. Released in 1982, this is jam pioneered the hip hop genre.
25. Gone Ride With Me by Juvenile. Released in 1998, I discovered this song when my neighbor in college would blare it constantly. I asked him one day what the song was and he told me this one.
24. Let’s Talk About Sex by Salt-n-Pepa. This song started the entire dirty rap trend in term of sexual innuendos. Released in 1990, I remember hearing this song on the radio and thinking how dirty it was yet how hip it was.
23. Play Me by Korn featuring NAS. What I love most about music is that there are no limits. Released in 2003, this hip hop collaboration is the ultimate mixture of neo-soul and rap. This is one of my favorite hip hop songs of all time.
22. Drop It Like It’s Hot by Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell. Have you ever heard a song that was so catchy, you find yourself singing it? Released in 2004, this is one of the catchiest tunes in the history of music. In fact, today I find myself singing this fantastic contribution to hip hop when the title is brought up.
21. We Care A Lot by Faith No More. Based on a sarcastic parody of popular culture, this remains to be one of my favorite hip hop songs. Released in 1988, this is one of the first hip hop tunes to dip from rock into both the funk and the hip hop genre.
20. Around The Way Girl by L.L. Cool J. Have you ever heard a song that was so good, that every time you listened to it after, it sounded just as good as the first time? Released in 1990, this little hip hop gem was L.L. Cool J’s first, top 10 single.
19. California Love by Tupac featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman. When Tupac created All Eyez On Me he knew exactly what he was doing. Released in 1995, this West coast hip hop, g-funk jam proves why Tupac, as well as, Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman are all lyrical geniuses.
18. Murder Was The Case by Snoop Dogg featuring Dat Nigga Daz. The lyrical delivery in this song is bank. Released in 1993, this is one of my favorite gangsta rap tunes ever and one of the greatest contributions to hip hop. Can you believe Dr. Dre produced this tune?
17. I Know You Got Soul by Eric B. and Rakim. Hip hop is as unique as the individual that listens to it. Released in 1987, this is one of my favorite songs ever in hip hop. Everything from the lyrical delivery to the crashing and epic bass line is bumping.
16. Guilty Until Proven Innocent by Jay-Z featuring R.Kelly. Out of the many hip hop collaborations, this is one of my favorites. Released in 2001, this rap tune sends a powerful message that insinuates one is guilty of something until they can prove otherwise.
15. Jesus Walks by Kanye West. Does Jesus walk with everyone? Released in 2004, this hip hop hit is about spiritual exultation and emphasizes on Jesus’s role in the world and in life. After this hip hop tune was rejected by various music executives, West beat the odds and proved it’s one of the greatest songs ever.
14. Party Up (Up In Here) by DMX. This song truly epitomizes what East coast hip hop is all about. Released in 1999, this is not only one of DMX’s best additions to music, but one of the greatest rap songs of all time.
13. Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are) by Pras featuring Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Mya. I remember when I was 17 years old and this song came out. I literally floored at how amazingly catchy and awesome this tune was. Released in 1998, this hip hop jam proves why it is one of the greatest songs of all time.
12. Now That We Found Love by Heavy D & the Boyz. What do you get when you mix house music with hip hop music? Released in 1991, I just never get tired of hearing this exciting contribution to hip hop. RIP Dwight Myers.
11. Regulate by Warren G. and Nate Dogg. I remember when I was 13 years old and hearing this jam on the radio. Released in 1994, this is easily one of the greatest jams and contributions to not only West coast hip hop, but the entire hip hop genre.
10. Nuthin’ But A G Thang by Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg. Released in 1992, this is one of the very first hip hop songs that actually made me not only love the genre, but appreciate it more. This jam proves how talented both Andre Young and Calvin Broadus are.
9. Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice. What do you get when you have great lyrics, an even greater storyline, and hot beats? Released in 1990, this hip hop tune remains near and dear to my heart because I was only 9 years old when it came out.
8. Hell 4 A Hustler by Tupac. I think Tupac was a decent guy, but he also wanted to change. In fact, his story proves so. Released in 1999, this West coast hip hop gem proves that Tupac and Rap go together like coffee and mornings. This is one of my favorite songs ever.
7. It’s Tricky by Run-D.M.C. When it comes to hip hop, the music always has some sort of meaning. Released in 1987, this was not only the last single released by Run D.M.C. but one of their greatest ever.
6. 2 Legit 2 Quit by Hammer. I will never forget when I heard this song for the first time. I was 11 years old and I was trying to find something to listen to on the radio. Released in 1991, this is one of my personal favorite old school jams.
5. Gangstas Paradise by Coolio. Have you ever watched the movie Dangerous Minds? If so, more than likely you have heard this rap song. Released in 1995, this west coast hip hop tune begins with a line from Psalm 23:4 from the Bible. The song is about a young gangsta who regrets his choices in life.
4. Hypnotize by Notorious B.I.G. I remember hearing this song come on the radio when I was about 16 and ever since, I have been quite a fan of this jam. Released in 1997, this East coast rap classic remains to be one of the greatest additions to the hip hop genre. RIP Chris Wallace.
3. Funky Cold Medina by Tone Loc. Released in 1989, this song refers to a man that goes through a series of experiences in which he attempts to meet various women at a bar. As funny as this tune is, it’s catchy and one of the greatest jams of all time.
2. Lose Yourself by Eminem. Can you believe this is the first rap song to ever win an Academy Award? Released in 2002, this hip hop tune was not only performed by Eminem, but written and produced by him too. This story is very real and is projected through the lyrics.
1. Ghetto Gospel by Tupac featuring Elton John. Not only is this the best hip hop song of all time, it is one of the greatest collaborations I have heard. Recorded by Eminem and released in 2005, this tune was written by Shakur and inspired by an outcry to end the war on the streets. RIP Tupac Shakur.