Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Best Rap Songs of All Time till 2017. Possessing origins that can date back as far as the plantation days, the beginning of rap music is almost like a written history that has kept an entire culture alive through song. While the plantation songs of old are far removed from the current rap lyrics of today, the basic and essential feeling is still there within many of the most popular tracks. The evolution of rap has gone through many interesting stages to reach where it sits today, from a simple telling of a story to a few to the grand and flashy presentation that captures the attention of millions. No matter how the story is told or in what voice, rap has become an iconic and very powerful genre in today’s social atmosphere. With that being said, here are the top ten best rap songs of all time.
List of Top 10 Best Rap Songs of All Time till 2017
10. ‘California Love’ 2Pac and Dr. Dre
At a time when his fame was rising to levels as of yet unheard of, Tupac Shakur was an icon in the rap game that seemed to have few if any equals. His tracks were laid out with such precision that one has to wonder how far he might have gone had he not been gunned down in 1996. His genius was rivaled only his showmanship as he managed to perform onstage and on the big screen in such a way that ‘California Love’ might as well have been another rendition of “The Road Warrior” set to rap music.
9. ‘New York State of Mind’ Nas
Gritty, edgy, and definitely out to showcase the issues of being a black man in America today, this track has elevated Nas to a new level that has more than earned a spot on this list. Though Nas hasn’t been a regular on such lists in some time, his music has surely earned a spot in the annals of rap for the quality and message he sends through his lyrics. Many rappers aren’t afraid to tell things like they are, or how they see them, but Nas is a step ahead of many others in bring to his tracks a level of such intensity that one can’t help but hear and agree with his words as he lays them down.
8. ‘Not Afraid’ Eminem
Eminem is a man who has met the criticisms of his detractors and come out on the other side as defiant as ever, if not more so. ‘Not Afraid’ is a testament to how he feels when he comes under fire from critics, censors, and anyone else who has a problem with him concerning his music or his person. Some might say it takes a strong personality to weather the storm of critics and naysayers that any musician has to go through, but in truth Eminem is among the few who seem to thrive on the fight and ask for more by voicing their displeasure in each new track without filter or apology.
7. ‘The Message’ Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five
Old school is the only term that seems to come to mind when speaking Grand Master Flash. This is a rapper who was kicking the beat in the days before rap became a worldwide phenomenon, when it still belonged solely to the streets and no one else. His message was so powerful and unique that it divided listeners into those who believed in and followed his words and those who thought he was just another flash in the pan act that would soon enough be over and done with. The fact that he’s on this list proves that not only was his message powerful, it was a lasting monument to a genre that has grown and evolved into a dominant force within the musical world.
6. ‘Hit ‘Em Up’ 2Pac
Tupac didn’t pull punches. If he had something to say he was going to say it. If you didn’t like it then it was up to you to do something about it or just step aside. The personality he brought to his music was so forceful and so confrontational at times that it was easy to understand how some people found him a bit arrogant and even off-putting, while in truth he was not only good enough to be on this list multiple times, but he was a master of his craft considering that he was able to evoke such emotion with just his words and a beat. This is one among the most popular Rap Songs of 2017.
5. ‘Nuthin’ But a G Thang’ Dr. Dre
There were few millennials growing up that didn’t have a copy of Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic”. Out of almost every speaker at any given moment one could hear ‘Nuthin But a G Thang’ blasting as Dr. Dre and a young Snoop Dogg busted their rhymes to a generation that became captured by the smooth lyrics and fat beats. The album flew off the shelves and was quickly memorized by many teenagers across the nation and became one of Dr. Dre’s most well-known and liked works in a matter of months. Despite his fame with N.W.A., he struck absolute gold when he laid this track down.
4. ‘Stan’ Eminem
Just like many other rappers Eminem has a fan base that is not only loyal, but at times can be quite fanatical. The story of ‘Stan’ is one that may or may not be true, but is certainly a cautionary tale that needs to be told. Fans often allow themselves to fall head over heels for their favorite icons and go so far as to idolize them in ways that is utterly creepy and even disturbing, but in this song it is seen that the limits to which the fan goes know absolutely no bounds. If ever there was a time to sit back and reflect upon one’s own fame and its effects on others, this song would be the soundtrack that should be played.
3. ‘Juicy’ Notorious B.I.G.
Call him B.I.G., or Biggy Smalls, or whatever worked for you, but the Notorious B.I.G. was another of those rare geniuses that was gone too soon. In fact if not for him it is fair to state that we might not have current stars such as Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs. Biggy’s music was always edgy in some way but also fun as well, containing beats that could put one on notice or allow them to chill and relax. The very quality of his voice was such that you felt compelled to listen even if you weren’t a fan.
2. ‘Changes’ 2Pac
Much unlike his other songs on this list, ‘Changes’ showed a much softer side of Tupac than most tracks he laid down. While he was often seen sporting his street clothes and acting much as he portrayed in his music, Tupac was still a very down to earth artist at times who could produce a very meaningful track that was both heartfelt and powerful in its message as well as its tone. ‘Changes’ strikes the listener as a plea to make a difference in the world, to make it a better place than what is left behind.
1. ‘Lose Yourself’ Eminem
It is fair to say that Eminem has taken the rap game by storm. ‘Lose Yourself’ is a piece written for his movie “8 Mile” during which he seems to showcase the difficulty he had in coming up through the industry in a fictitious but very powerful way. The song is no less forceful than the images in the film, bringing to mind a life that is fraught with uncertainty and constant tension that is only broken up by small moments of brevity and passion that is wild enough to break free of containment and unleash on anyone and everyone it touches. So if by now you don’t think Eminem is a forceful personality and a very dominant force in the rap genre, you might not have been watching closely enough.
These are the Top 10 Best Rap Songs of All Time till 2017. Rap is about telling a story, and creating an image powerful enough for listeners to believe and respond to. It calls for change, confrontation, and a level of understanding that is hard to fathom in this day and age but is still an important part of the genre. No matter who performs it or how well they are received, rap is a form of music that is composed of both power and poetry.