The problem with creating a list of the 10 best hip hop songs to dance to is that not everyone shares the same definition of what constitutes “hip hop.” Some say hip hop is nothing more than rap music. Others are insistent that hip hop is a culture and a mindset, and that the music from this culture encompasses everything from rap to R&B and soul. For the purposes of this list, however, hip hop is defined strictly as a form of music. Most of these songs hail from the Golden Age of rap, while others snuck in during the last decade or so. This list is meant to have universal appeal, meaning both hip hop aficionados and the casual listener will both recognize and enjoy these songs.
- “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot. The key to getting any party started right is to have a tune that the ladies can get into. Hook the women and the men will follow. This ode to big booties has that certain something that women just love to dance to.
- “Children’s Story” by Slick Rick. Mention Slick Rick or his signature song to casual hip hop fans today and they may not remember either one off the top of their heads, but start playing this classic jam and watch their memories light up. “Children's Story” is unusual because it doesn’t have a traditional chorus, which is typically a feature of popular hip hop songs that people like to dance to. What it lacks in a chorus, however, it makes up for with an infectious, killer beat.
- “Da Butt” by E.U. Like Slick Rick, most people don’t remember E.U. by name. One of the original house party songs, “Da Butt” is guaranteed to pull partygoers onto the dance floor.
- “Jump Around” by House of Pain. Many hip hop purists will disown this hugely successful commercial hit. But there’s no denying it remains one of the most popular hip hop songs to dance to. Slip this in your disc changer and watch the party start jumping.
- “Rumpshaker” by Wreckx-N-Effect. Why do women love to shake their behinds to music that explicitly tells them to do so? Who knows? But just like “Da Butt” and “Baby Got Back”, Wreckx-N-Effect’s biggest hit demands to see women shake their rumps, and they oblige Teddy Riley and Co. every time.
- “Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa. The songs on this list thus far have been sung by men, and most of those songs have told women to move their booties about the dance floor. Finally, there’s “Push It,” perhaps Salt-N-Pepa’s most popular tune. This time around, it’s the women telling the men what to do. Another certified party starter.
- “Low” by Flo-Rida. Another song about women showing off their backsides? Why not? Flo-Rida broke out with this ode to ladies’ booties, and continued a long, rich, storied tradition of hip hop songs that women love to dance to.
- “Nothin’” by N.O.R.E. This little ditty came and went earlier in the new millennium, which is a shame because it’s a wicked hip hop song to dance to. “Nothin’” is one of those slow burn type songs where the beat takes over and infects the dance floor. If there isn’t a group of females dancing on the bar by the middle of this song then the DJ just isn’t playing it right.
- “Let Me Clear My Throat” by DJ Kool. This hip hop song is great to dance to and is all about the crazy beat and nothing but the beat. And a little bit about the chorus. The beat is instantly recognizable and irresistible, just like the chorus, which should have everyone singing along at the top of their lungs while they show off their best moves.
- “Hey Ya” by OutKast. Who knew that a song about relationships would become one of the all-time best hip hop songs to dance to? OutKast outdid themselves on this one, which was the biggest hit of the year when it premiered. For good measure, it also includes a short bridge exhorting women to “shake it like a Polaroid picture.” If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it.
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