The 90s represent a romantic era for most hip-hop heads. A strong, inventive, diverse era that stretched the boundaries of hip-hop innovation.
Whether youre headed to a 90s themed party or simply pining for nostalgic days, the tunes make a perfect soundtrack. These tunes will take you back to your middle school days. Theyll jolt you back to the first time you heard the legendary voices of 2Pac and Biggie. Or the first time you experienced Nas lyricism, or Scarfaces storytelling or Juveniles rasp, or Master Ps grunt or Jay Zs swag.
Lets take a trip down memory lane and revisit the best 90s hip-hop songs of all time.
Kool G Rap changed the game with his brand of hardcore. Its not that people werent rhyming about gory stuff pre-G Rap. They were. G Rap simply raised the stakes. He took lyricism to cinematic extremes. On “Ill Street Blues,” for example, he says: We snatched him by his hands and feet and threw him out the window/Up, up, up and away cause I don’t play, clown/ Buck, buck, buck, take that with you on the way down.” Christ.
Its a miracle, in retrospect, that Master P earned widespread fame and fortune. He wasnt exactly an exceptional lyricist or producer. Beats and rhymes arent everything, it turns out. Its a testament to Ps tastes that he darted onto the top of the chart with the street classic, Make Em Say Unghh and made a fortune for (and from) a host of other rappers in his crew.
Legend has it that ODB was in an altered mental state and so he didnt know what he was doing when he recorded this Brooklyn-doting smash. Nothing is ever that simple. Whatever the case, the Wu-Tang magician certainly knew how to turn things animated and firmly nailed a call of the wild on Brooklyn Zoo. Long after his death, ODB fans still chant Brooklyn Zoo at concerts in different area codes.
Rakim a true master of emceeing. Not only is he gifted at moving the crowd, hes also one of a handful of MCs capable of making rap both fun and