The Best Hip Hop Classics You Need to Know

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the best hip hop classics you need to know. We’ll explore the history and impact of these songs, and how they’ve influenced the genre as a whole.

The Sugarhill Gang- Rapper’s Delight

The Sugarhill Gang is a hip hop group, best known for their 1979 hit single “Rapper’s Delight”. The song was written by Bernard Wright, Sylvia Robinson, and Jean-Claude Pierre. The Sugarhill Gang was formed in Englewood, New Jersey in the late 1970s. They were the first hip hop group to have a commercially successful single with “Rapper’s Delight”.

The group’s name comes from the Sugar Hill section of Manhattan, New York City. The members of the group are Michael “Wonder Mike” Wright, Henry “Big Bank Hank” Jackson, and Guy “Master Gee” O’Brien. They were discovered by Sylvia Robinson, who was looking for a hip hop group to sign to her label, Sugar Hill Records.

The Sugarhill Gang recorded “Rapper’s Delight” in 1979, and it was released as a single in September of that year. The song became an instant hit, reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and selling over two million copies. It is considered to be one of the earliest and most influential hip hop songs.

Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force- Planet Rock

In the early 1980s, Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force’s “Planet Rock” brought hip hop to a whole new level. With its innovative blend of funk, electro, and rap, the song became an instant classic, helping to define the genre for years to come.

N.W.A- Straight Outta Compton

N.W.A’s debut album Straight Outta Compton was released in 1988 and is widely considered to be one of the most influential hip hop albums of all time. The album helped to popularize the gangsta rap subgenre and established West Coast gangsta rap as a dominant force in the genre. The album features some of the group’s most well-known tracks, including “Fuck tha Police” and “Gangsta Gangsta.”

Public Enemy- Fight the Power

Public Enemy is one of the most prolific and influential groups in hip hop history. Their music often tackled social and political issues, and their 1989 song “Fight the Power” is no different. “Fight the Power” was released as part of the soundtrack for Spike Lee’s film Do the Right Thing, and it quickly became an anthem for those fighting against police brutality and racism. The song was so powerful that it was even used by the Black Lives Matter movement in recent years.

Beastie Boys- Fight for Your Right (To Party)

The Beastie Boys came onto the hip hop scene in a big way with their debut album Licensed to Ill. The album featured the single “Fight for Your Right (To Party),” which quickly became a party anthem. The song’s simple message of “you have the right to party” resonated with many people, and the Beastie Boys became one of the most popular groups of the 1980s.

Run-D.M.C.- It’s Tricky

Formed in 1981 in the Hollis section of Queens, New York, Run-D.M.C. is widely considered one of the greatest hip-hop groups of all time. They were the first rap group to be nominated for a Grammy Award and the first to appear on MTV. They are also credited with helping to break hip-hop into the mainstream.

Their 1986 album, Raising Hell, was a breakthrough moment for the group, thanks in large part to the success of the single “It’s Tricky.” The song became a top 40 hit and its accompanying music video was groundbreaking, helping to cement Run-D.M.C.’s place in pop culture history.

LL Cool J- Mama Said Knock You Out

Mama Said Knock You Out is the fourth studio album by American rapper LL Cool J, released on October 15, 1990 by Def Jam Recordings. The album was produced by Marley Marl and LL Cool J. Despite its release as a single, the song “To Da Break of Dawn” was not included on the final track listing of the album. Mama Said Knock You Out was very well received by music critics upon its release. Allmusic gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, calling it “An excellent record that helped revive East Coast rap in the early ’90s.” The album is recognized as one of LL Cool J’s best albums, as well as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time. It has been ranked on numerous best albums lists, including #70 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and #228 on NME’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Dr. Dre- Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang

“Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” is a song recorded by American rapper Dr. Dre featuring fellow American rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg. It was released on January 12, 1993 as the first single from Dre’s debut solo album, The Chronic (1992). The single proved to be successful, reaching number two on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts, while topping the Rhythmic Top 40 chart. In 2001, the song placed at number 99 in VH1 and Blender’s poll of the greatest songs of all time.

Snoop Dogg- Gin and Juice

Gin and Juice is a song by American rapper Snoop Dogg. It was released on December 10, 1993 as the lead single from his debut album, Doggystyle. The song features guest vocals from American rapper Dat Nigga Daz. The song was produced by Dr. Dre and co-produced by Daz Dillinger. Gin and Juice peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100. The single was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Notorious B.I.G.- Juicy

“Juicy” is the debut single by American rapper The Notorious B.I.G., released on September 13, 1994. It was the lead single from his album Ready to Die. The song’s hook samples Mtume’s 1983 hit “Juicy Fruit”, and its opening line is a reference to Puff Daddy’s previous work with Teddy Riley on Blackstreet’s 1994 song “Another Level”.

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