We approached hundreds of hip-hop and music experts — critics, industry figures, artists, academics — and from 15 countries across six continents responded by filling in an online poll in August and September Each critic voted for five songs, ranking them from one favourite to five 5th favourite. We awarded 10 points for first ranked track, eight points for second ranked track, and so on down to two points for fifth place. The song with the most points won. We split ties by the total number of votes: songs with more votes ranked higher.
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Then the song started moving units in the millions and climbed its way up the US Billboard charts, peaking at number 36 in , and at number three on the UK Singles Chart. Hip-hop is pop culture now. Hip-hop has become a dominant cultural force, driving conversations about music, literature, and entertainment forward. Cardi B and Common are movie stars. Young Thug has created a wake of imitators that span genres and sounds. And it has become a truly global phenomenon, crossing ethnic, linguistic, and geographical boundaries.
View Charts Legend. Be Without You. Thrift Shop.
Hip-hop's origin as the soundtrack of New York City block parties is well known, but no one could have predicted where the genre would go in just 40 years. In , it became America's most popular genre in total consumption , according to Nielsen, and it has grown globally , too, dominating the streaming era and molding the rest of pop music in its image. At the core of rap is the Black American experience, something that these musicians have been painstakingly documenting for years. From the gritty streets of Compton that birthed N. Whether you're looking for fuel for a workout playlist, old school throwbacks to dance to, or songs that help deepen your understanding of the world around you, hip-hop has all the bases covered. It's impossible to capture the full creative breadth and cultural importance of this music, but this list of some of the best hip-hop songs of all time will get you off to a strong start. While his rags-to-riches story ended in tragedy after a fatal shooting, Biggie's star burned bright enough that he's still topping all-time lists well into the s. Bonus points are owed for the absolutely off-the-walls sci-fi music video.