The Best Hip Hop Songs of All Time

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

From old school to the latest in trap, these are the best hip hop songs of all time.


The term “hip hop” is often used to describe a wide variety of activities, including rapping, DJing, graffiti painting, and break dancing. Most people think of hip hop as a musical style, but it is also a lifestyle and a form of expression.

The earliest form of hip hop was created in the early 1970s by African American youths living in the South Bronx, a borough of New York City. These youths mixed together elements of funk, soul, and disco to create a new kind of music. They called this music “hip hop” because it was meant to be danced to while high on marijuana.

In the 1980s, hip hop became a national phenomenon, thanks in part to the popularity of rap music. Rap is a type of hip hop song that features rhyming lyrics spoken in a rhythmic fashion. Some of the most popular rap songs ever recorded include “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang and “Walk This Way” by Run-DMC featuring Aerosmith.

Over the past few decades, hip hop has evolved into many different styles and subgenres. Today, there are countless different artists making hip hop music, and the genre continues to grow in popularity all over the world.

The Best Hip Hop Songs of All Time

Hip hop music first emerged on the streets of New York City in the 1970s. Since then, it has evolved into a global phenomenon, with artists and fans all over the world. Hip hop has been praised for its artistic expression, its ability to inspire, and its positive messages. However, it has also been criticized for its violence and its misogynistic and homophobic lyrics. In this article, we will take a look at the best hip hop songs of all time, from the old school to the present day.

“Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang

“Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang is often cited as the song that introduced hip hop music to a mainstream audience. Released in 1979, the song was an instant hit, reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It is credited with helping to launch the career of hip hop legend Grandmaster Flash, who was featured on the track. “Rapper’s Delight” is considered one of the most influential hip hop songs of all time and remains a classic of the genre.

“The Breaks” by Kurtis Blow

“The Breaks” was released in 1980 and is widely considered to be one of the first hip hop songs. It was written by Kurtis Blow and Robert Ford, Jr., and produced by Arthur Baker. The song samples “Good Times” by Chic, “Dreams” by Blondie, and “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” by McFadden & Whitehead.

“The Breaks” peaked at number 87 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the first hip hop song to chart on the US pop charts. In 2008, the song was ranked number 12 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs of All Time list.

“The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five

“The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five is often cited as one of the best hip hop songs of all time. The song was released in 1982 and was an instant classic. It is a political song that speaks to the struggles of inner city life. The song is also notable for its use of sampling, which was a new technique at the time.

“Walk This Way” by Run-D.M.C.

Released in 1986, “Walk This Way” by Run-D.M.C. is widely considered to be one of the best hip hop songs of all time. The song was a huge commercial success, reaching the top five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and becoming one of the first hip hop songs to achieve mainstream crossover success. “Walk This Way” is also notable for its innovative use of sampling, with Run-D.M.C. incorporating elements of Aerosmith’s 1975 song of the same name into their own track. The song’s success helped to break down barriers between hip hop and rock music, paving the way for future collaborations between the two genres.

“Fight the Power” by Public Enemy

“Fight the Power” is a song by American hip hop group Public Enemy, released as a single in June 1989 on Motown Records. The song was written and produced by group members Chuck D and Hank Shocklee, with assistance from fellow Bomb Squad member Keith Leblanc. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential songs in hip hop history.

The song samples “Burning of the Midnight Lamp” by Jimi Hendrix, “Funky Drummer” by James Brown, and “Get Up, Stand Up” by Bob Marley & The Wailers. In response to criticisms from Spike Lee and others about the film Do the Right Thing, which Lee directed and in which Public Enemy appears, Chuck D wrote “Fight the Power” as an anthem for African Americans.

The song’s message is about African Americans fighting back against police brutality and racial inequality in the United States. It has been described as “a rallying cry for oppressed people all over the world”. In 2004, it was ranked number 388 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. In 1991, it was added to the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress, which called it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

“Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer

Can’t Touch This is a song co-written and performed by MC Hammer from his album Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em. The song is considered to be his signature song. It became a worldwide hit, reaching number one in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The song has been used or referenced in many television shows, films and commercials.

“Gin and Juice” by Snoop Dogg

Released in 1993 on Doggystyle, “Gin and Juice” was the first top 10 hit for Snoop Dogg. The song samples David McCallum’s “The Edge” and features background vocals from Dat Nigga Daz. “Gin and Juice” peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has been certified platinum by the RIAA.

“Regulate” by Warren G

From the album Regulate…G Funk Era, “Regulate” is a classic 1993 gangsta rap song by Warren G featuring Nate Dogg. The song samples Michael McDonald’s “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)” and peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. It remains one of the most iconic rap songs of all time.

“Hypnotize” by The Notorious B.I.G.

“Hypnotize” is a song by American rapper The Notorious B.I.G., released as the first single from his posthumous album Life After Death on March 18, 1997. The song was produced by Diddy and features a sample of “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” by Michael Jackson. “Hypnotize” peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the last single released during Biggie’s lifetime to reach the top position on that chart.

“Lose Yourself” by Eminem

“Lose Yourself” is a song by American hip hop artist Eminem from the soundtrack to the 2002 motion picture 8 Mile. The song was written by Eminem and produced by Jeff Bass, one half of the production duo Bass Brothers, and partly by Eminem’s alter-ego, Slim Shady. It was released in October 2002, topped the charts in several countries, including the United States, Canada and Australia, and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 75th Academy Awards.


In conclusion, there are many great hip hop songs out there. However, these are the best of the best. If you haven’t heard them already, go check them out!

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