Remember the days before T-Pain and Nelly? Back when Sean Combs was still Puff Daddy? Back when two kings of the game ruled supreme? When rap still sounded like rap? If you haven't figured it out yet, this article is dedicated to '90s rap music. Rap in the '90s brought widespread popularity to the genre. In the late 80s, Public Enemy, Run-D.M.C. and N.W.A. built a foundation for the gangster rap genre. They paved the way for what would be arguably the best decade the genre has ever seen.
With the exit of Ice Cube in 1989, N.W.A. continued to feud and eventually disbanded in 1991. The stage was set for an epic battle of rap supremacy in the early 90s. An East-West Coast divide had formed with Bad Boy Records on the East Coast, and Death Row Records on the West Coast. Tupac threw gasoline on the fire when he accused Biggie and Combs of being involved with the shooting he fell victim to in a NYC recording studio in 1994. With each record after that, the drama escalated and I think we all know how this story ends.
I think it was summed up best by The Notorious B.I.G. when he said:
I was in shock of everything. I wasn't shocked about him getting shot. 'Pac is a strong dude, yo. He's real strong, so when he got shot I was just like, 'Again?' You know, he's always getting shot or shot at, he gonna pull through, make a few records and it's going to be over. But when he died it took me by surprise. Even though we were going through our drama I would never wish death on nobody. 'Cause there ain't no coming back from that.
Unfortunately for everyone, the feud turned to violence and two of the greatest rappers ever were both assassinated, within six months of each other. The rivalry that sparked some of the best rap music ever was officially over and the game was forever changed.
That is your history lesson for today.
'90s rap is not something that I am a expert on but I know my fair share. That is why I have complied my top five songs from each year of the 90s. The rules are the same as the two previous lists and in case you forgot them, I have explained them below.
How it works:
For each genre of music I will rank the top 5 singles from each year in the 90s. I will provide a link for each song (either imeem or youtube, depending on availability) for your listening pleasure.
Disclaimer: These rankings are based on my personal preferences, not on actual popularity. I think of these lists as recommendations. Hopefully these songs will bring back some good memories, and if you have never heard them before, maybe create some new ones.
Interested in '90s Pop and Rock as well? Be sure to check out these lists as well.
90s Pop Music
90s Rock Music
Starting with 1999:
1. "Still D.R.E." by Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg
2. "What's My Name" by DMX
3. "You Can Do It" by Ice Cube feat. Mack 10 & Ms. Toi
4. "My Name Is" by Eminem
5. "Deception" by Blackilicious
1. "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)" by Jay-Z
2. "Ruff Ryders' Anthem" by DMX
3. "Changes" by Tupac Shakur
4. "You Got Me" by The Roots
5. "Doo Wop (That Thing)" by Lauren Hill
1. "Hail Mary" by Tupac Shakur
2. "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" by Puff Daddy feat. Mase
3. "Hypnotize" by The Notorious B.I.G.
4. "Feels So Good" by Mase
5. "Burbons and Lacs" by Master P featuring Silkk The Shocker & Gotti from The Gambino Family
1. "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" by Tupac Shakur feat. Snoop Dogg
2. "Tha Crossroads" by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony
3. "California Love" by Tupac Shakur feat. Dr. Dre & Roger Troutman
4. "Hit 'Em Up" by Tupac Shakur feat. Outlawz
5. "What They Do" by The Roots
1. "One More Chance" by The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Faith Evans and Mary J. Blige
2. "Keep Their Heads Ringin'" by Dr. Dre
3. "1st of tha Month" by Bone Thungs-n-Harmony
4. "I Got 5 On it" by Luniz
5. "Shook Ones Pt. II" by Mobb Deep
1. "Gin and Juice" Snoop Dogg feat. Daz Dillinger
2. "Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik" by Outkast
3. "C.R.E.A.M." by Wu-Tang Clan
4. "Juicy" by The Notorious B.I.G.
5. "Thuggish Ruggish Bone" by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony feat. Shatasha Williams
1. "Nuthin' but a "G" Thang" by Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg
2. "It Was A Good Day" by Ice Cube
3. "Who Am I (What's My Name)?" by Snoop Dogg (with Dr. Dre & Jewell)
4. "Down With The King" by Run-D.M.C.
5. "Hip Hop Hooray" by Naughty by Nature
1. "So What'Cha Want" by Beastie Boys
2. "Deep Cover" by Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg
3. "The Phuncky Feel One" by Cypress Hill
4. "Uptown Anthem" by Naughty By Nature
5. "Take It Personal" by Gang Starr
1. "Mama Said Knock You Out" by LL Cool J
2. "O.P.P." by Naughty by Nature
3. "Shut 'Em Down" by Public Enemy
4. "O.G. Original Gangsta" by Ice-T
5. "Check The Rhime" by A Tribe Called Quest
1. "100 Miles and Runnin'" by N.W.A.
2. "AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted" Ice Cube
3. "Around the Way Girl" by LL Cool J
4. "Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em" by Eric B. & Rakim
5. "Streets of New York" by Kool G Rap & DJ Polo
Similar to my 90s pop and 90s rock lists, this is only a small sampling of the genre. I just tried to represent all of the most influential acts of the decade and remind you of some the classic jams of the '90s. While this blog tends to focus on alternative rock, it is nice to take a step back and reflect on another great genre.
Hope you enjoyed this collection of music.
Agree or disagree with my selections? Feel free to share your opinion by making a comment below.
After the popularity of Rizzo Music's first 90s rap music playlist, I decided to create another one. Like the first, this playlist is just 10 solid rap songs from a great decade, the '90s. I am in no way an expert on '90s rap music but I really enjoy each and everyone of the songs on this list.
Enjoy this week's playlist and don't forget to sign up for our RSS feed!
1. "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)" by Jay-Z
2. "You Got Me" by The Roots
3. "Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio
4. "Tha Crossroads" by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
5. "Changes" by Tupac Shakur
6. "Award Tour" by A Tribe Called Quest
7. "Mama Said Knock You Out" by LL Cool J
8. "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By" by Method Man with Mary J. Blige
9. "Summertime" by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
10. "Notorious Thugs" by The Notorious B.I.G.
Remember when you could turn on the radio and actually find some decent music? That is what I miss the most about the 90s. Whether you liked rock, pop, or rap, the '90s provided your fix for your particular tastes. Although my tastes tend to lean towards the post-grunge music I grew up on, there was no denying some of the great songs that came out of the decade.
I thought it was time to switch it up and bring to you a new kind of article. Within in the next few weeks I am going to present to you my favorite 90s songs separated by genres. I thought I would start off with pop since its pretty general, and well, popular. I will get to strictly rock and rap and many other sub-genres in the future. Feel free to offer your suggestions.
Interested in ’90s Rap and Rock as well? Be sure to check out these lists as well.
90s Rap Music
90s Rock Music
Let's start with a year I am very familiar with 1999:
1. "Steal My Sunshine" by LEN
2. "Genie In A Bottle" by Christina Aguilera
3. "Bring It All To Me" by Blaque
4. "I Knew I Loved You" by Savage Garden
5. "If You Had My Love" by Jennifer Lopez
1. "All My Life" by K-Ci & JoJo
2. "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" by Will Smith
3. "That Don't Impress Me Much" by Shania Twain
4. "I Want You Back" by NSYNC
5. "I Don't Wanna To Miss A Thing" by Aerosmith
1. "Mo Money Mo Problems" by The Notorious B.I.G
2. "I'll Be Missing You" by P. Diddy, Faith Evans, 112
3. "Truly Madly Deeply" by Savage Garden
4. "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion
5. "As Long As You Love Me" by Backstreet Boys
1. "Always Be My Baby" by Mariah Carey
2. "Pony" by Ginuwine
3. "Because You Loved Me" by Celine Dion
4. "Macarena" by Los Del Rio
5. "Killing Me Softly" by The Fugees
1. "You Are Not Alone" by Michael Jackson
2. "I Know" by Dionne Farris
3. "This Is How We Do It" by Montell Jordan
4. "Beautiful Life" by Ace of Base
5. "Fantasy" by Mariah Carey
1. "I Swear" by All-4-One
2. "Another Night" by The Real McCoy
3. "Don't Turn Around" by Ace of Base
4. "Cotton Eye Joe" by Rednex
5. "Waterfalls" by TLC
1. "Weak" by SWV
2. "What Is Love" by Haddaway
3. "Fields of Gold" by Sting
4. "What's Up?" by 4 Non Blondes
5. "Linger" by The Cranberries
1. "Rhythm Is A Dancer" by Snap
2. "Walking On Broken Glass" by Annie Lennox
3. "To Be With You" by Mr. Big
4. "Save The Best For Last" by Vanessa Williams
5. "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston
1. "Walking In Memphis" by Marc Cohen
2. "I Do It For You" by Bryan Adams
3. "Baby, Baby" by Amy Grant
4. "When A Man Loves A Woman" by Michael Bolton
5. "Unbelievable" by EMF
1. "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" - C & C Music Factory
2. "Love Shack" - B52's
3. "We Didn't Start The Fire" - Billy Joel
4. "Pump Up The Jam" - Technotronic
5. "It Must Of Been Love" - Roxette
Some might look at the list and think, really? Is that the best the 90s had to offer? I, on the other hand, look at this collection of music, and see memories. While I made it a point to disqualify anything that resembled rock and rap, and it still has some really good songs. At the very least I hope you found at least one good song in this giant list that you forgot about.
Agree? Disagree? Feel free to share your opinion by making a comment below.
First of it's kind on Rizzo Music, this week I am here to introduce our '90s rap music playlist.
Although I grew up mostly on '90s alternative rock, I do have some rap favorites that I would like to share with you. These hits are about as good as rap singles go. My favorite from this group of songs would have to be "It Was A Good Day" by Ice Cube. I can't find a better rap song to stroll through town with the windows down. It will have you head bobbing up and down from beginning to end.
Enjoy this one and be sure to let me know if I missed any classics.
'90s Rap Hits Playlist:
1. Master P - Burbons and Lacs
2. DMX - What's My Name?
3. The Notorious B.I.G. - Hypnotize
4. Ice Cube - It Was A Good Day
5. Snoop Dogg - Gin and Juice
6. Mobb Deep - Shook Ones Pt. II
7. Luniz - I Got 5 On It
8. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony - Foe tha Love of $
9. Dr. Dre - Nuthin' but a "G" Thang
10. 2pac - Hail Mary
Here's the link for the whole playlist: 90's Rap Hits Playlist
UPDATE: 90's Rap Hits Playlist Part II
Looking for more playlists? We've got plenty.