Hip-hop music is the most listened to genre of music in the world. It’s also one of the fastest-growing genres, with millions of listeners tuning in every day. And while it’s a genre that has been around for decades, it continues to evolve and stay relevant by adapting to the ever-changing sounds of the culture.
So, if the genre has been around for so long and is so popular with so many people, then why is it that no one can seem to agree on what the most popular hip-hop song is? Surely all this time, popularity and numbers of listeners should be able to indicate which songs are better than the rest.
As it turns out, it’s not as simple as that. After all, there are hundreds of different songs out there and a multitude of factors that affect their popularity. For one, the genre itself has many different sub-genres that each have their own sounds and personalities.
With such a large amount of music out there, it may be hard to pick the best, but we’ve made it easier for you with this list of the most popular hip-hop songs. We’ve picked out some of the most memorable hip-hop tracks that have received national acclaim over the years and ranked them based on popularity and critical acclaim. So, whether you’re a hip-hop expert or just have a passing interest in the genre, you will definitely find something on this list to love.
Before we start, we like to share the factors that we used to make our list. The factors, which combined together, helped us come up with our final list.
Here’s what we looked for:
First and foremost, we wanted to make sure that each of the songs on our list were timeless. There’s no point in having a hit song that doesn’t stand the test of time. While these days there are many different ways to gauge how popular a song is, in terms of radio play, music sales and performer popularity, one key thing that still remains is what your favorite artists think about the track.
That’s why we only put up hip-hop songs that won’t go out of style any time soon. Whether it’s a classic that is still loved by most of the big names from the genre or something that’s more recent, we looked for tracks that would be relevant now as well as in future.
After all, there are plenty of songs out there that are only remembered by a handful of people and are nowhere near being considered timeless. If a track is only popular because it’s still part of the mainstream consciousness today, then it can’t be considered timeless.
We went by the same principle here. A track shouldn’t only be popular because it’s on a playlist. We took into consideration which songs are getting the most plays on YouTube, which songs still top charts around the world and what is considered to be the best song in each of the sub-genres.
Tracks that were not relevant to the current styles and trends in hip-hop were left out from the list. Songs that only boasted a few radio hits and a huge fan base was also something that we considered when making our final cut because we wanted to make sure that each of the songs we included on our list could easily be considered one of the best hip-hop songs ever recorded.
Most of the songs on our list have gotten heavy radio play and numerous Grammy nominations, both of which are a great indication of how popular a song is. We also considered how artists get mentioned in lyrics of these tracks. After all, if an artist keeps getting mentioned in most modern hit songs, it can only mean that they have an influence on the genre as a whole.
We only included songs on our list that were able to influence and inspire future artists. There’s no point in listening to something that you’ve never heard before, if it doesn’t sound new or different in any way.
So, if a track only had a few radio hits or even worse, is mostly forgotten by the general public today, then it can’t be considered influential at all. We wanted to make sure that every song on our list had a lasting legacy. Whether it was moving the genre forward with new sub-genres and sounds or creating a new style of music, the tracks had to be able to influence other artists in some way.
Any track that is remembered by even just a few people should be included here because it was influential in its own way. Even if it didn’t reach the peak of its popularity then, it still managed to create its own niche within the hip-hop genre.
No matter how good a track sounds and how influential it is, there’s no point in including something if it doesn’t sound good. There are plenty of artists who have made a name for themselves through their writing skills and ability to create hits, but there are a lot of other artists who made their name through their performance and ability to entertain.
We only included songs here with good, catchy music that was also performed well. Even if a track sounds good, if the artist doesn’t have good mic skills or a charismatic stage presence, then it doesn’t belong on this list. Tracks that were performed poorly are not worthy of consideration either.
While some hip-hop fans may just be interested in the lyrics and the poetic nature of the genre, there are also many who are fans because of the performances. So, when we were selecting our list, we made sure that it featured songs that had both a lyrical and performance quality to them.
We chose songs that were critically acclaimed as well. This helped us decide which tracks were good enough to be included on this list, since there are many popular hip-hop songs out there that aren’t as good, if you really listen to them.
Tracks here have received a lot of critical acclaim and recognition from several award bodies and award shows. We also only included songs here that received a lot of praise from music critics and the general public alike.
Whether it was getting a lot of radio play or music award nominations, if a track has received critical acclaim, then we made sure that it was included on this list. Songs that are popular today and only have a few positive reviews, may not be around for long, so we didn’t want to waste any of our precious time by including them.
While this may not be the most important factor in our decision making process, we did look at the popularity of a track before deciding if it was worthy to be included on this list. Tracks on here are still widely considered popular, with many getting lots of plays and fans in the hip-hop scene today, as well as fans around the world.
We looked at when the songs were released and how long they have been around since then. The longer a song has been around and the more it is listened to now, then it means that it should be considered popular by most artists in the genre, making it more likely that we would choose to include them on our list.
While a song can be popular or critically acclaimed, but this doesn’t mean that it will make the final cut. We wanted to consider a piece of music that was on the list because it had some sort of relevance to the entire genre as a whole.
With modern hip-hop being such an eclectic mix of different styles, sub-genres and influences, we looked for songs that were able to connect thematically to the others on our list.
Even though anti-rap is a sub-genre of hip-hop, we didn’t include any anti-rap tracks on the list because most fans and artists in the genre are aware that it isn’t always done well. We wanted to make sure that each of the songs on here were popular with fans from all over the world.
So, we looked for songs that were able to link up with other songs on the list and show some sort of influence. Even if a song wasn’t lyrically innovative, if it showed an influence in another area or linked up with other tracks that were nominated for the same award, then it was included on our list.
Are you ready for our Top Hip-Hop Songs Ever list? Look no further and check out some of the best hip-hop songs of all time.
Most Trending Hip-hop Songs Till Date
“Lose Yourself” – Eminem
Eminem is one of the most well known rappers in the industry. He gained popularity with the release of the 8 Mile soundtrack. The song was released as the lead single and it summed up Eminem’s background and younger life, when he lived in the city of Detroit. His intense style of rapping was something to behold, and though people may not like his music, they can’t deny that he has had a lot of success in the industry.
The song incorporates several aggressive beats and it talks about Eminem’s struggles on the streets. The lyrics are fast paced and if you listen to the song carefully, you can actually pick out the struggles that Eminem faced growing up in the hood. Lose Yourself is considered to be one of Eminem’s best songs and it was rated top on the Billboard 100 for 12 weeks and it is still highly regarded by many.
Eminem’s lyrics are very powerful, and he brings out the theme of rage in the hood through this song. The beats are also catchy and so is the rhythm. Eminem’s voice is also very good, and he makes use of several high pitched vocal effects to give you a good idea of what rap music is like.
“Bodak Yellow” – Cardi B
Cardi B is known for her witty lyrics and she has released a number of hit songs. Bodak Yellow is one of the songs that has gotten her a lot of fame, as it was ranked top on the Hot 100 chart for months, and it gave us some good hip-hop music, to say the least. The song begins with a very fast beat, which makes you want to keep listening to the song. Cardi B’s vocals are also very powerful and they bring out her personality through the song, which I find very pleasing.
Bodak Yellow is a song that has all the elements of a good hip-hop song and it got Cardi B a lot of fame and recognition. The lyrics are also very witty, and they make you want to listen to the song again and again. The beats are also powerful and you’ll find yourself dancing along to the rhythm of the track, as you listen to it.
The female rapper has an intense vocal style that most people find very pleasing, and she makes use of various catchy phrases in her lyrics. The song is about Cardi B’s star power and how she is the boss. The lyrics are fast paced, which makes the song very entertaining to listen to. The bass is also very strong and it comes in whenever you want it to. You can imagine what the song is about from its excellent music and lyrics. This is the kind of song that you can never get bored of listening to.
“Ms. Jackson” – Outcast
The track was released in 2000, and it was made by the group Outcast. The group is best known for their music videos and being nominated at the B.E.T. Awards and MTV Europe Music Awards in 2001, as a result of their hit song “Ms Jackson”. The song had a stellar year, as they won the Best Duo/Group Video at the MTV Europe Music Awards and also received nomination at the Grammy Awards.
“Ms Jackson” is a message to child’s mother of one of the rappers in the group, he used the song to apologise for the pain he brought to the child’s life. This is a song that can relate to most relationships today, as sadly, most of them are messed up. Today’s generations will definitely enjoy this track since it has a deep message for many people.
The video represents the song quite well, and you can see the pain that is being expressed through the lyrics of “Ms Jackson”. The message is deep and many people are able to relate to it, as they have gone through similar experiences. Many will also enjoy listening to this track since it has an upbeat rhythm and a very catchy beat. They lyrics are also very witty and they make it even more interesting to listen to.
“Dear Mama” – 2Pac
“Dear Mama” was released in 1995 by 2Pac. The track is considered to be one of his best and he rapped about his mother in the lyrics of the song. The message is clearly conveyed and this is a song that captures the difficulties of a single mother raising her child alone, as he raps about struggling financially as a single mother. Despite all this, his mom was able to raise a man.
The song is mainly about the difficulties his mother faced as a single mother and how she was able to overcome these difficulties through love and guidance. His mother struggled through many things but she raised her child to become a man that can be proud of. The beat is very catchy and its upbeat rhythm makes it more appealing to the listeners, especially those who like rap music.
2Pac was an excellent rapper and he has numerous hit songs to date. This is one of his best songs and it is about a single mother raising her child alone. The lyrics are very powerful, as they are touching and emotional, that even those who have no idea about hip hop music can relate to them.
“Lost Ones” – Lauryn Hill
“Lost Ones” was released in 1998 by Lauryn Hill. The track was awarded the Best Rap Solo Performance in the 41st Grammy Awards and the track is considered to be one of her best songs ever. The song talks about her relationship with her bandmate, who became successful, but then destroyed it due to all the issues they had and Hill rapped about this.
The lyrics in the song contain some very powerful messages, like no matter how successful you are at life, there will always be someone to remind you of your past. It is also a song that everyone can relate to as it talks about failure, sadness and regret. The track will definitely make you think about your past and its impact on your present life.
All the people in the world can relate to this song and it is also a very catchy track that most people want to listen. Lauryn Hill is an excellent singer and she has a very unique voice which sounds like that of a child. The words in the song are interesting and they will definitely make you curious to know what she’s talking about. The beat is great and you won’t get bored of listening to it, as it has an upbeat rhythm.
“California Love” – 2Pac And Dr. Dre
This track was released in 1995 by 2Pac and Dr. Dre, also known as Tupac and Dr. Dre. They are arguably one of the biggest names in the hip hop genre, so their collaboration is one of the greatest in hip hop history. This song is about the people of California and how they live their lives to the fullest. The lyrics are catchy and will make you want to dance, as they have an upbeat rhythm.
The track is well known in America, especially among those who grew up in California. It has a very lively beat that makes it very appealing to the listeners’ ears. It got top on the Billboards Top 100 for two consecutive weeks, making it one of their biggest hits. The song is powerful and it will enlighten your mood. It was also about California creativeness and how they live life to the fullest.
The lyrics in the song are very powerful and they convey a message that many people can relate to today. It is a great song that captures the fun part of living in California while being creative, and this will definitely make you want to move there as well.
“99 Problems” – Jay Z
“99 Problems” was released in 2004 by Jay Z. The track won Best Rap Performance in the 47th Grammy Awards and is considered to be one of his greatest songs. The song talks about Jay-Z’s personal life and experiences, as well as his creative talents. The track’s lyrics are very catchy and they will definitely make you want to dance, as it has an upbeat rhythm.
The song is about the stereotypes of African-American men and the discrimination they experience, as well as the social problems that are still prevalent in our society today. The song talks about Jay-Z being pulled over by a racist police officer, just because he was being African American. If this is not a powerful message to convey, then we don’t know what is.
The lyrics are very powerful and the track is catchy, so those who like hip hop will definitely love it. The beat of the song is also great and you won’t get bored of listening to it, as it has an upbeat rhythm. This hip hop song will surely lift your mood and make you want to dance around your room.
“Jesus Walks” – Kanye West
“Jesus Walks” is a rap track that was released in 2004 by Kanye West from his album “The College Dropout.” The track is considered to be one of his best songs ever. “Jesus Walks” is a great track that talks about the society and the effects of racism. It gets us to think about our society and how we all do not deserve equal treatment, as everyone should be treated equally.
“Jesus Walks” also talks about being human and showing love to one another. It brings in the Biblical concept of everyone being like Jesus, regardless of their skin color, which is very unique in the hip hop genre at its time. The track is a combination of rap and gospel music and it will make you want to dance, as it has an upbeat rhythm.
The lyrics in the song are also very catchy and also very powerful and they will definitely make you think about your part of our society. A lot of people love this song, especially those who like gospel music and rap. The beat is very good as it has a lively rhythm. The words are interesting and they will make you wonder what the artist was going through when he wrote them.
“In Da Club” – 50 Cent
“In Da Club” was released in 2003 by 50 Cent from his album “Get Rich or Die Tryin.” The track is a great rap track that urges people to get rich no matter what. The message is something that many young people can relate to, as they will want to make their dreams come true and get rich. The hook in the song is catchy and captivating, thus making it still relevant today.
A lot of people love this song, especially those who like rap, as it talks about getting rich no matter the challenges people will face. The song is also catchy and well put together, so people who like hip hop will love it. The song was nominated in the Grammy Awards for Best Rap Song, which is another sign that this track is one of the best.
You’ll want to blast it in your car and listen to the music. The song will motivate you no matter what you have been through, as this song encourages people to keep trying no matter how hard it gets, as they will get rich if they keep working hard.
- “Starships” – Nicki Minaj
“Starships” was released in 2012 by Nicki Minaj from her second studio album “Pink Friday.” The track is one of the best and most popular in her catalog. It was the first single off “Pink Friday,” and it is considered to be a party anthem. A lot of people love this song, especially those who like hip hop, as it talks about getting to the peak of your potential and working hard to achieve your dreams.
This hip hop song will definitely motivate you to work hard and persevere, no matter how hard things get. The lyrics are also very catchy and the beat is very good, so it will definitely make you want to dance. The track is also one of Minaj’s biggest singles, as it reached number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. When this song was first released, most people did not like it, but after a while, it became one of the biggest hits.
The lyrics are very catchy and will make you want to sing along, as well as make you want to dance. If you are into hip hop or even pop music, then this is a track that you will definitely enjoy. The chorus in the song is very well done and will catch you off guard. The hook of the song is also very catchy and will get stuck in your head. The song is one of Nicki Minaj’s most popular songs, so if you like her music, this is definitely a track that you need to hear.
- “In My Feelings” – Drake
“In My Feelings” is a song released by Canadian rapper Drake in 2018. The track was included on his album “Scorpion.” The song is a very good rap track that talks about someone that Drake likes. The tune is fun and upbeat, as this song is about a girl that he likes. It is one of the best songs on the album and it will motivate you to work hard, get going and do something with your life.
The rapper also asks the girl if she likes him back and if she wants to see him or not. The lyrics are very powerful, so they are great for people who want to put their feelings into words. The hook is also catchy and fun, so it will definitely make you want to hear it again. You can sing along with the hook and in the chorus, as well as dance to the beat.
The rapper has proven that he is one of the best rappers out there with this song. If you like rap music, then you will definitely enjoy this gem. The beat is also very good and it will make you want to dance. People who like rap music will definitely want to hear this track again and again, as the lyrics are very captivating and the beat is upbeat.
- “Hypnotize” – Notorious B.I.G
“Hypnotize” is a song released by rapper Notorious B.I.G. from his album “Life After Death.” The track is a very good rap song that talks about the gangsta life. The beat is very good and the rapper talks about how he is going to make it big and win. The hook of the song is also catchy and will definitely have you singing along.
The instrumental track in this song is also great, so it will also help you dance while listening to this track. The rapper talks about how he will get lots of money and is confident that he can. This song is one of the best rap tracks of all time and it will definitely motivate you to work hard and achieve your goals. After this track, Notorious B.I.G was shot and killed in 1997, so you can tell how much this track means to him.
The song has multiple themes, including hip hop and the gangsta life, which makes the song extra special and powerful. The song is about the rapper’s dreams, aspirations and goals. You can also tell that he has high hopes for his future, as he keeps telling you to “Hypnotize” him. The hook is very catchy and fun, while the lyrics are also impressive, so it will definitely make you want to hear again and again. The song was a hit as it was ranked at number 20 in the Rolling Stone.
“Empire State Of Mind” – Jay Z Ft. Alicia Keys
“Empire State of Mind” is a song released by rapper Jay Z featuring Alicia Keys. The track was included on Jay Z’s album “The Blueprint 3.” It is one of the biggest songs on that album and it is definitely one of his best songs ever. The instrumental track in the song is great, so it will definitely help you dance while listening to this song.
The track is a great rap song that talks about the possibilities that New York City brings and how great it is. The rapper talks about how people can achieve anything with hard work and determination. This song is about the possibilities that New York offers, so if you are from here, then you will definitely relate to this track. The hook of the song is catchy and fun. You can sing along to the hook and in the chorus as well as dance to the beat.
The lyrics are very powerful and heartfelt, so they will definitely make you want to hear them again and again. The producer of the song also did a great job of making it sound great, so you can tell that this song took a lot of time to create. If you like rap music and hope for your future, then this is one of the tracks that you definitely need to listen to.
“It Takes Two” – Rob Base And DJ E-Z Rock
“It Takes Two” is a song released by New York’s hip hop duo Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock. It was recorded in 1998 and released in 1998. Later in February, the song was certified as platinum. The track became a Top 40 hit and is one of the best songs of all time. The track is a fun and upbeat song, as that is the formula that this duo used.
The duo talk in this song about collaboration and teamwork and how they are both needed in order to achieve success. The duo sing about how there is more than one person involved in doing well in life and achieving your goals, as you need someone to help you with it. The song is a very good song, as it shows the power of teamwork and collaboration.
The track is also very powerful, so it will make you feel good and give you hope for the future. It’s catchy and energetic, so it will definitely have you dancing along to the beat. The instrumental track in the song is great, as it sounds like a party with everyone trying to get their groove on.
“U Don’t Know” – Jay-Z
“U Don’t Know” is a song by rapper Jay Z. The track was released in 2001, then featured on his album “The Blueprint 3.” The song is a very good rap song that talks about his past and his glory. The instrumental track in this song is great, so it will definitely help you dance while listening to this song.
This rap song talks about how Jay-Z has come such a long way from his childhood and how he ha s managed to become famous and successful. The rapper talks about how he has been through a lot of tough times, but he is still here and that shows how strong he is. The chorus of the song is also catchy and fun, so it will definitely have you singing along to it.
The song is also very powerful, as it talks about how he managed to get out of tough situations and it will definitely motivate you. The lyrics in this song are also very empowering and he talks about hope for the future. If you are trying to build your future, then this is a great rap track to listen to. The production value of the track is great and the instrumental track is amazing too, so it will definitely help you dance along while listening to this track.
“Worst Behavior” – Drake
“Worst Behavior” is a song by Drake. The track was released in 2013 and it is a great rap song by one of the top rappers in the industry. In it, the rapper addresses people against him, as he talks about his transition from an actor to a rapper and now being a Grammy Award winner.
The production value of the track is amazing and the instrumental track is great too. The hook of the song is catchy and fun and you will definitely be singing along while listening to this track. The lyrics of the track are also very powerful and they will definitely encourage you. They talk about how he has come a long way and how he can handle it now, so you will definitely be motivated after listening to this track.
The rapper talking about his success will definitely give you hope for the future. If you want to become successful in the future, then this is a great song to listen to as it talks about what you should do and it will certainly motivate you. The beat of the track is also catchy and fun, so it will definitely have you dancing along with it.
In conclusion, we have various songs that will certainly make you happy and feel good, as they share positive messages. The rappers in these songs have amazing words that inspire greatness in people. So if you are feeling down or are discouraged in your life, then these are the songs that you need to listen to.
The best part is that these rappers not only inspire others, but also give them hope for the future. The instrumental tracks are great and the beats of the songs are fun and catchy, so you will definitely want to listen to them over and over again. So if you ever need optimism or inspiration in your life, these are the songs that you need to listen to.
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