10 Greatest Rap Songs Ever

Compiling a list of the 10 greatest rap songs ever is quite the daunting task, especially considering the radical differences between sound and flow that each particular artist has to offer. However, it has been done, and some truly remarkable and genre defying songs have made it. Rap may not be everyone's cup of tea, but for those that enjoy it these songs are must listens.

  1. Afrika Bambataa – "Planet Rock." Groundbreaking in more ways than one, it can be said that this song completely changed the direction that hip hop was going in the 80s. Released in 1982, it featured incredibly danceable breakbeat sounds, and was made especially fun by the producer: Arthur Baker. This is a song that should be on anyones list of greatest rap songs.
  2. Public Enemy – "Fight the Power." In a word: revolutionary. Militant lyrics powered by booming bass and occasional outburst from everyone's favorite hype-man Flavor Flav, Public Enemy should be in anyones list of greatest rap songs.
  3. Nas – "The World is Yours." This song from Nas's incredible debut album "Illmatic" is one of the reasons why people get into rap in the first place. Extremely articulate and clever wordplay, it's no wonder that Illmatic is consistently placed on so many peoples top 10 lists.
  4. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – "They Reminisce Over You." Featuring incredible production by Pete Rock, it's hard to imagine that this song is a tribute to CL Smooth's close friend Troy. A unique blend of somber lyrics with a hopeful tone, this song defined the 90s and is definitely one of the 10 greatest rap songs ever made.
  5. 2Pac – "Dear Mama." 2Pac at his prime, taking a break from his typically violent and thuggish lyrics, he offered this song as a tribute to his mother and mothers worldwide. Though 2Pac is no longer living, it's easy to see why his heart wrenching lyrics got him placed in the 10 greatest rap songs ever list.
  6. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5 – "The Message." Expert DJ Grandmaster Flash shows his stuff in this 7 minute epic, and can easily be identified by its lyrics about growing up impoverished accompanied by wickedly inventive production done by Grandmaster Flash.
  7. Common – "I Used to Love H.E.R." Arguably the best song from arguably Chicago's finest, this incredibly hip ballad weaves a tale of love won and love lost by master word smith Common. If you haven't heard this song, it's time to. You owe it to your senses to listen to one of the greatest rap songs.
  8. The Sugarhill Gang – "Rapper's Delight." Fast, playful and inventive is this song. It showed the world that the inner city had more to offer than violence, and could sound quite good doing so as well.
  9. N.W.A – "Straight Outta Compton." An almost direct contrast to the last entry, N.W.A was the inner city at it's toughest. Murderous, explicit, and incredibly fun to listen to. For those that honestly want to listen to the greatest rap songs, this is one that absolutely can't be missed.
  10. The Notorious B.I.G. – "Juicy." This is New York at its finest. This song, with the unique delivery by Biggie himself is what put New York on the map as far as mainstream rap goes. It tells a tale of a young youth who goes from rags to riches, and it's popularity is just one of the reasons why this is one of the greatest rap songs ever.
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