The 10 greatest hip hop songs made the biggest impact on the rap/hip hop audience and paved the way for other artists. Some of these songs came early in the development of rap, and others were made by later artists who revolutionized hip hop. Make sure that the ten greatest hip hop songs appear in your record collection soon.
- "The Humpty Dance" (1989) – Digital Underground. Back when hip hop first appeared on the music scene, it did not have an identity. Humpty Hump and the Digital Underground gave hip hop a party identity that stuck around for many years.
- "Wild Thing" (1989) – Tone Loc. Rapper Young MC wrote this for Tone Loc, and "Wild Thing" (1989) become the first rap/hip hop song to make it on to the top 40 music charts. This song broke significant ground for hip hop and deserves to be on the list of the ten greatest hip hop songs.
- "Fight the Power" (1989) – Public Enemy. Cutting through all of the fun and games going on in early hip hop was the serious sounds of Chuck D and Public Enemy. The song "Fight the Power" (1989) was featured all throughout the Spike Lee movie "Do The Right Thing" (1989) and gave Public Enemy an outlet for its intense rap.
- "Shoop" (1993) – Salt-N-Pepa. The significance of Salt-N-Pepa is sometimes lost in the shuffle of hip hop history. Salt-N-Pepa paved the way for women in hip hop and this was their first hit. Its place on the list of ten greatest hip hop songs cannot be denied.
- "Straight Outta Compton" (1988) – NWA. NWA was an angry group of rappers that included future stars such as Dr. Dre and Eazy-E. Their first hit, "Straight Outta Compton" (1988), established the future for gangsta rap and angry hip hop for years to come.
- "My Name Is" (1998) – Eminem. When Dr. Dre unleashed Eminem into the hip hop world, the entire music industry would never be the same. This was Eminem's first of a long string of multi-million selling hits.
- "Me Myself and I" (1989) – De La Soul. De La Soul was always on the border of hip hop and R&B, but this song was definitely one for the list of ten greatest hip hop songs ever. This was one of the first smooth and jazz-style rap hits that inspired an entire generation of rappers.
- "What's My Name?" (1993) – Snoop Dog. No one raps like Snoop Dog, and when he introduced himself to the world with this hit single it instantly became one of the ten greatest hip hop songs ever. Few rappers have made the impact on American popular culture beyond the world of hip hop like Snoop Dog has.
- "Rapture" (1981) – Blondie. The large majority of the American public had never heard a rap of any kind until Blondie released the song "Rapture" (1981). With her own rap, complete with a mention of early rap pioneer Fab Five Freddy, Deborah Harry takes her place on the list of the ten greatest hip hop songs ever.
- "The Message" (1982) – Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. This song is considered the trend setter in hip hop and circulated throughout the underground hip hop movement for years before rap finally hit the radio. As hip hop songs go, this is a permanent member of list of the ten greatest hip hop songs ever.
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