Hip Hop has produced countless hits since its inception 50 years ago. In this blog post we outline the top 10 hip hop singles of the 90’s.
1O) IT WAS A GOOD DAY: ICE CUBE (1992)
Ice Cube’s feel-good anthem paints a picture of a perfect day in South Central Los Angeles. The track samples The Isley Brothers’ “Footsteps in the Dark” and showcases Ice Cube’s storytelling skills and his ability to capture the essence of a carefree day in the neighborhood. The single became a chart-topper and sold over 600,000 copies.
9) JUICY: THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G (1994)
“Juicy” by The Notorious B.I.G. (1994): This iconic track is a rags-to-riches story that chronicles The Notorious B.I.G.’s rise from a struggling youth to a successful rapper. It features introspective lyrics, catchy hooks, and a sample from Mtume’s “Juicy Fruit.” The single sold over 1 million copies.
8) HYPNOTIZE: THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G (1997)
Released shortly before his untimely death, “Hypnotize” became one of Biggie’s biggest hits. It features a catchy chorus and showcases his confident, larger-than-life persona, solidifying his status as one of the greatest MCs of all time. The single became a chart-topper and sold over 1 million copies.
7) MO MONEY MO PROBLEMS: THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G FEAT. PUFF DADDY & MASE
This collaboration between The Notorious B.I.G., Puff Daddy, and Mase is a catchy and upbeat track that explores the complexities of success. It became a massive hit and sold over 1 million copies.
6) HARD KNOCK LIFE (GHETTO ANTHEM): JAY Z (1998)
Sampling the musical “Annie,” Jay-Z turned “It’s the Hard Knock Life” into a hip hop anthem. The track highlights the struggles and triumphs of life in the inner city and helped solidify Jay-Z’s place as one of rap’s most successful artists. The single became a chart-topper and sold over 1 million copies.
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5) REGULATE: WARREN G FEAT. NATE DOGG (1994)
This laid-back West Coast track features smooth rhymes from Warren G and Nate Dogg’s soulful vocals. “Regulate” tells a story of an everyday encounter turning into a street confrontation, showcasing their storytelling abilities. The single became a chart-topper and sold over 2 million copies.
4) CALIFORNIA LOVE: 2PAC FEAT. DR. DRE (1995)
This collaborative effort between 2Pac and Dr. Dre is a West Coast anthem. It’s a high-energy, upbeat track with a prominent sample from Joe Cocker’s “Woman to Woman.” “California Love” celebrates the California lifestyle and became an instant classic. With its infectious energy and memorable chorus, the single sold over 2 million copies.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: 2Pac’s Most Iconic Studio Album
3) GIN & JUICE: SNOOP DOGGY DOG (1993)
Another G-funk anthem, Gin and Juice is a party track that became a major hit. It captures Snoop Doggy Dogg’s carefree lifestyle, partying, and enjoying life with friends. The catchy chorus and infectious beat made it an instant crowd pleaser. The single became a massive hit, selling over 2 million copies.
2) NUTHIN’ BUT A G THANG: DR. DRE FEAT. SNOOP DOGGY DOGG (1992)
Produced by Dr. Dre, this West Coast classic introduced Snoop Doggy Dogg to the world. The song showcases their smooth flows, laid-back vibe, and is widely regarded as one of the defining tracks of G-funk. The single sold over 2 million copies.
1) MY NAME IS: EMINEM (1999)
“My Name Is” by Eminem (1999): Serving as Eminem’s introduction to the world, “My Name Is” is a satirical and humorous track that showcases his unique style and controversial lyrical content. The song’s witty wordplay and catchy hook helped propel Eminem to mainstream success. The single became a chart-topper and sold over 3 million copies.
***Please keep in mind that the ranking and selection of the top 10 singles may vary depending on different sources and record sales updates.
And as always we like to close with a saying, quote or adage and today’s is from KRS One: RAP IS SOMETHING YOU DO, HIP HOP IS SOMETHING YOU LIVE.
Now, go forth and change the game!