The ten best rap songs of all time, like any list ranking works of art, is a highly debatable subject. This ten best list contains rap songs that aren't rooted in trends, and contain timeless, universal subjects that are capable of remaining relevant to listeners now, and for years to come. And by all means, if there are any tunes on this ten best rap songs list that you have never heard, treat yourself to inevitable satisfaction.
- Eric B and Rakim – "Follow The Leader". This hypnotic hit is the best rap song because it manages to mix intricate dream-like science fiction depictions with everyday facts, all told with a voice as bold and convincing as a civil rights leader. This is hip hop at it's highest level – where all future storytellers must be compared.
- Brand Nubian – "All For One". This early 1990's classic unites the creative trio of Grand Puba, Sadat X, and Lord Jamar, for a rap song that is equal parts Saturday hang out music, as well as a message about peace and loyalty. This beat has a definitive hip hop sound, before everything went down the wild digital road.
- Pete Rock and CL Smooth – "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)". By far the most emotionally striking hip hop song ever made. This dedication to the deceased hits right at the heart, without forcing itself to be overly mellow-dramatic.
- Nas – "The World Is Yours". Nas pulls off a powerful anthem for anyone needing to build up their self-esteem. Pete Rock produces a piano-driven rap song, that is among the best displays of rhyming expertise – back when Nas was only a twenty year-old young man.
- Common Sense – "I Used To Love H.E.R." This is the best rap song about hip hop ever recorded. Using a female he used to love as a metaphor for hip hop was genius, and so was the solid storytelling.
- A Tribe Called Quest – "Electric Relaxation". This is the supreme rap song about dating, told with a flare for life, love, and lust. The warm-hearted production has that same comforting feeling of taking refuge in a downtown cafe with a hot cup of coffee during the dead of winter.
- Public Enemy – "Fight The Power". This song was literally the pivotal theme music for Spike Lee's brilliant third feature film, "Do The Right Thing." This explosion of sound was a wake up call for the need for equal rights and respect for all people.
- Slick Rick – "Children's Story". Slick Rick is one of the only rappers ever who could pull off a song like this – using multiple voices for different characters without sounding like a corny childish weirdo. This extremely necessary tale of the pitfalls of street life carried with it Rick's distinguished British accent, his Bronx NY charisma, and an eye for detail that his eye-patch could never disrupt.
- Black Sheep – "The Choice Is Yours". Now we get to the ultimate party rap song ever recorded. Apparently the car company Kia would also agree, being that they used it for a commercial for their Kia Soul car.
- Special Ed – "I Got It Made". A rapper who can talk the most trash about others, make himself utterly triumphant, and combine it all in a completely clever lyrical package has always been a component of the hip hop genre. A then sixteen year old Brooklyn New York-born Jamaican named Special Ed put most grown rappers to shame with this highly articulate brag-fest, that is often hilarious.
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