By Rob Markman
Many hip-hop enthusiasts consider the 1990s the genre’s best decade. With the music in full maturation, hip-hop expanded outside of New York, blew up in the west, and introduced us to new stars, styles and sounds. To celebrate the ’90s, on May 24 XXL Magazine will release a special one-off issue that ranks the Top 250 Greatest hip-hop songs from “Rap’s Best Decade Ever!”
At the top of the heap is Dr. Dre’s 1992 classic with Snoop Dogg, “Nothin’ But a ‘G’ Thang.” The Chronic lead single, sparked the West Coast’s ’90’s reign and helped mold Dre and Snoop into worldwide superstars.
The artist formerly known as Puff Daddy comes close, but doesn’t get the cigar at the number two spot with his 1997 posse cut all “It’s All About the Benjamins (Remix).”2Pac’s “California Love” (No.7) and Pete Rock and CL Smooth’s “They Reminisce Over You” (No.10) get ranked pretty high, while fan favorites like Ice Cube’s “No Vaseline” (No.58), The Lox’s “Money, Power & Respect” (No.117) and Luke’s “I Wanna Rock” (No.141) get props as well.
East Coast pioneers like Public Enemy, KRS-One, Run-DMC and Eric B. & Rakim are all present. West Coast luminaries like E-40, Too $hort and Ice-T get nods too. Crossover pop hits like MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” (No.115) get ranked right alongside hardcore rap classics like Scarface’s “I Never Seen a Man Die” (No.99).
In the end, the list is sure to be celebrated as well as debated.
What do you think is the greatest hip-hop song of the 1990’s? Let us know in the comments.