Composing a list of the 10 best gangster rap songs takes a great deal of effort considering the extensive database of albums within the sub-genre. The 1980s golden era introduced artists that pioneered and paved the way for the best gangster rap songs since hip-hop's inception. Here are our top ten:
- Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and Nate Dogg – "The Next Episode": A rendition of the classic "Nuthin' But A G Thang," "The Next Episode" references EPMD's "It's My Thang" off their hit album, "Strictly Business." "The Next Episode" was rated number twenty-three on the Billboard 100 of July 2009. The song provides an N.W.A. feel of the early 2000 era, except with the phenomenal production interlaced on "The Chronic: 2001."
- Warren G feat. Nate Dogg – "Regulate": "Regulate" is a 1994 gangster rap song that appears on the "Above the Rim" soundtrack. "Regulate…G Funk Era" reached number two on the Billboard 200 in June of 1994..
- Coolio – "Gangsta's Paradise": "Gangsta's Paradise" is a 1995 rap song that won a Grammy. The song was featured on the "Dangerous Minds" soundtrack. The track sampled Steve Wonders "Pasttime Paradise." It ranked number thirty-eight on VH1's Greatest 100 Songs of Hip-Hop.
- Tupac – "Hit 'Em Up": Tupac and the Outlawz deliver a controversial diss to East-coast rappers, including the legendary Notorious B.I.G. In fact, "Hit 'Em Up" is considered one of the greatest diss songs of all time.
- Luniz – "I Got 5 On It": "I Got 5 On It" details the hood struggle with the catchphrase claiming half a dime of marijuana. The song reached number eight on the Billboard 200 in 1995. The RIAA labeled the song as certifiably platinum.
- Nas – "NY State of Mind": Nas carefully details the life of a gangster in his song "NY State of Mind," which was pressed on the album, "Illmatic" (a highly regarded classic).
- Wu-Tang – "C.R.E.A.M.": Cash Rules Every Thing Around Me is what the song "C.R.E.A.M." by the Wu-Tang Clan claims. With much truth to the message of the song featured on the classic album "Enter the 36 Chambers," Wu-Tang performs the controversial version of the hood's perception to getting money.
- Notorious B.i.G. – "Gimme the Loot": "Ready to Die" is a hip-hop classic that presents the ruggedness of Biggie. "Gimme the Loot" amplifies the tone of the self-acclaimed "Black Frank White."
- N.W.A. – "Gangsta, Gangsta": "Gangsta, Gangsta" is a 1988 hit song off the album "Straight Outta Compton." N.W.A. is considered one of the foremost groups of the gangster rap movement.
- DMX – "Ruff Ryders Anthem": "Ruff Ryders Anthem" is the final single on DMX's "It's Dark and Hell Is Hot." The track was produced by Swizz Beats and ranks number 79 on the VH1 100 Greatest Songs of Hip-Hop.
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