Much debate ensues over the 10 best underground rap songs of the 90s. Most people acquaint themselves with the mainstream rap songs that remain on constant replay. Rap fans misconstrue the term 'underground rap' because it carries subjective connotations. Focusing on the many facets of the music itself reveals a level of respectability for avid fans and even aspiring artists themselves. In fact, some even delve into the distinction between rap and hip-hop. Hip-hop actually refers to a separate culture defined by four elements: graffiti, break dancing (b-boying), djing, and mcing. Hip-hop music focuses on beat production and rhythmic verse deliverance. The 80s constructed the foundational base for the best rap songs produced in the 90s.
- Pete Rock and CL Smooth – "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)": Pete Rock and CL Smooth compose an amazing tribute to one of their close friends Troy Dixion after his premature death in 1990. Fans can find the song on the 1992 classic album, Mecca and the Soul Brother.
- The Pharcyde – "Passin' Me By": The Pharcyde heralds from California with a 1992 debut off their hit album Bizzare Ride II the Pharcyde. The song recounts schoolboy crushes that lead to heartbreak.
- The Notorious B.I.G. – "Juicy": Although technically mainstream, "Juicy" showcases the legendary and influential B.I.G. at his finest. Fans can find this mind-blowing track on his 1994 debut album, Ready To Die.
- Wu-Tang Clan -" C.R.E.A.M.": Wu-Tang brought a rugged approach to both the beat production and lyricism of the 1990s. An eccentricity paralleling a Mafia-esque street aura describes the Clan. "C.R.E.A.M" stands for "cash rules everything around me," and reigns as the second track on the Clan's debuting album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).
- Nas – "NY State of Mind": Nas entered explosively onto the rap scene with his debuting album, "Illmatic", which arguably ranks as one of the top five best rap albums of the 90s. "NY State of Mind" introduces a hard core feel to the verbosity of the esteemed rapper.
- OutKast – "Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik": The self-titled track of the hit album, "Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik" hit the shelves in 1994. The Atlantatian group jump started their career with an all original approach detailing the life of a playa.
- Freestyle Fellowship – "Hot Potato": Freestyle Fellowship hails from Los Angeles, California, and delivered highly overlooked albums during the 1990s that are now widely acknowledged as laying the ground work for hip-hop's finest. "Hot Potato" was during the year 1993, and blessed the local scene birthed at The Good Life Cafe.
- Common Sense – "I Used To Love H.E.R.": Common Sense dropped Resurrection in 1994, which instantly became a classic for avid 90s rap fans. The song personifies hip-hop as a sexually promiscuous female that betrays those who fell in love with H.E.R.
- Jay-Z- "Dead Presidents": Jay-Z touts himself as hip-hop's greatest with very little refuting his eligibility. "Dead Presidents" debuted on Jay-Z's first album entitled, "Reasonable Doubt". Indisputably one of the greatest tracks of all time, "Dead Presidents" introduced us to the braggadocio style of the esteemed NY rapper.
- Big L – "Ebonics": Big L never saw much acclaim in comparison to bigger named rap stars; however, nobody can deny the no fluff and "realness" behind the now deceased legendary rapper.
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