You’ve probably heard all of the 10 most famous rap songs. They're practically unescapable. Well-crafted and unforgettable, these rap songs are enduring standouts in a genre clogged with noteworthy tunes.
- “Rapper’s Delight” – Sugarhill Gang Widely considered to be the rap song that brought the genre into the mainstream, “Rapper’s Delight” is nothing if not famous. Released as a single in 1979, this rap song is one of the most influential of all time.
- “Fight The Power” – Public Enemy First appearing on the soundtrack to Spike Lee’s controversial 1989 film “Do The Right Thing,” this famous rap song brought Public Enemy’s staunch political views to the masses. Pairing Chuck D’s powerful rhymes with Flava Flav’s unconventional back-ups, this rap song immediately made its mark.
- “Ice, Ice Baby” – Vanilla Ice We never said that the ten most famous rap songs had to be good, did we? All the same, Vanilla Ice does deserve some credit for this 1990 song from the album “To The Extreme.” Taking a riff from Queen and turning it into an irresistible rap song, he redefined success for hip-hop artists everywhere.
- “Parents Just Don’t Understand” – D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince Docile and safe, D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince’s 1989 album “He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper” was packed with songs that parents didn’t object to. That in itself makes this mega-successful rap song’s appeal even more ironic.
- “Straight Outta Compton” – N.W.A. This rap song is actually more infamous than famous, because N.W.A. never did anything considered to be socially acceptable. Released in 1988 on the album of the same name, this was the gritty and foul-mouthed rap song that brought gangsta rap to life.
- “The Message” – Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five As one of the most quoted entries on the list of the ten most famous rap songs, this 1982 single sparked the minds of thousands of future rappers. The line “Don’t push me ‘cause I’m close to the edge” is one of the most famous in rap culture.
- “Nothin’ But A ‘G’ Thang” – Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg With his 1992 album “The Chronic,” Dr. Dre brought a young pup named Snoop Doggy Dogg to the masses. Featuring smooth vocals and a back-and-forth style since unmatched, the pair created one of the most well-crafted and famous rap songs.
- “Fight For Your Right” – Beastie Boys Long before becoming socially conscious in their rap songs, Beastie Boys were just a trio of dudes who liked having a good time. Their breakthrough 1988 album “Licensed To Ill” contained this famous rap song, which became a party anthem for the ages.
- “Walk This Way” Run DMC and Aerosmith Rock and rap songs collided for the first time on 1986’s “Raising Hell,” and the result was nothing short of legendary. Using a guitar riff and vocal from Aerosmith’s version of the song, Run DMC paved the way for a generation of artists who would never mesh the two styles quite as well.
- “Baby Got Back” – Sir Mix-A-Lot You wouldn’t think that a rap song containing the line “My anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns, hon” would ever become famous, but this one did. Featured on the 1992 album “Mack Daddy,” this rap song was a tongue-in-cheek ode that made good, even earning a Grammy.
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