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Greatest Hip Hop Song Ever

Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” is ranked No. 1 on VH1’s 100 greatest hip-hop songs. (File photo by Gillian Klein)

Let the debates begin: VH1 has compiled its list of the 100 greatest hip-hop songs, and Public Enemy’s black power anthem “Fight the Power” tops the list.

The cable channel will count down its list in series of shows starting Monday. At No. 2 is the Sugar Hill Gang’s groundbreaking song, “Rapper’s Delight,” followed by Dr. Dre’s “Nuthin but a ‘G’ Thang” at No. 3. Run-D.M.C.'s “Walk This Way” with Aerosmith and Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five’s “The Message” round out the top five.

Salt 'N Pepa was the only female act in the top 10, with their early hit “Push It.” Two of rap’s biggest names – Jay-Z and Eminem – didn’t make the top 10, though they are in the top 20. Other acts on the list include the Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Biz Markie, Black Sheep and J.J. Fad.

The list comes as VH1 prepares to honor the pioneers in rap once again as part of its annual Hip-Hop Honors show, which this year celebrates Slick Rick, De La Soul, Cypress Hill, Naughty by Nature and Too Short. That show airs Oct. 6.

I think Public Enemy’s “He Got Game” is more deserving of the top rank. The more I listen to it, the talk about “paying mental rent to corporate presidents” resonates more and more true every day.

I think “Crank Dat” by Souljah Boy should be No. 1.

That shit was deep, son. When he talks about Souljah Boy and Superman, I feel like he’s telling a deep complex story, full of allegory and meaning. Unlike these wannabes, like “Immortal Technique” and “2Pac”.

They ain’t shit.

It’s hard to even rank something like this. I’m sure they got all the “right” songs in there, but we could go on all day debating the order.

Personally, I don’t even think “Fight the Power” is PE’s best song, let alone the greatest rap song. But what is “greatest”? Most influential? Highest/longest chart-topper? Most groundbreaking? Most memorable?

I don’t think I could even make a list like this without wanting to rearrange it the next day.

[quote]Makavali wrote:
I think “Crank Dat” by Souljah Boy should be No. 1.

That shit was deep, son. When he talks about Souljah Boy and Superman, I feel like he’s telling a deep complex story, full of allegory and meaning. Unlike these wannabes, like “Immortal Technique” and “2Pac”.

They ain’t shit.[/quote]

You know he’s gonna be all over this thread real soon.

I really thought that for VH1 they did a pretty good job with the top 5…

But yes, I would rearrange it constantly.

Personally I think Tupac should be in the top 5. The guy was the greatest…

Juicy by Biggie…

I couldn’t name just 5

Shook Ones (Part 2 obviously)
Run Rabbit Run (Eminem)
Juicy (Biggie)
Changes (Tupac)
I can’t pick any one song but everything by Nas

I’d probably throw a Papoose song into the top twenty five or so as well.

[quote]enrac wrote:
I think Public Enemy’s “He Got Game” is more deserving of the top rank. The more I listen to it, the talk about “paying mental rent to corporate presidents” resonates more and more true every day.[/quote]

True… one of the best songs I’ve ever heard…

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
I couldn’t name just 5[/quote]

That’s my problem. I could probably name a top 20, but I wouldn’t even try to order it.

I don’t have a problem with their top 5. It’s not like there’s something ridiculous in there.

I agree with them; Jay-Z and Eminem shouldn’t be in the top 10. Also, I’m assuming Rakim is in there somewhere. He’s not mentioned, but he should be top 10. He’d probably make my top 5.

Two newer songs that could be in the top 10 off the bat-

One Mic by Nas
Jesus Walks by Kanye.

Instant classics, loaded with social consciousness, comments about race relations, the state of society as a whole… truly two works of art.

[quote]malonetd wrote:
It’s not like there’s something ridiculous in there.

I agree with them; Jay-Z and Eminem shouldn’t be in the top 10. Also, I’m assuming Rakim is in there somewhere. [/quote]

Jay and Em haven’t been around long enough to know whether they will stand the test of time.

I believe they will, especially Jay, but you can’t guess on it yet, especially when there’s songs like “California Love”, “Straight outta Compton”, “Keep they heads ringin” still out there…

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
Instant classics, loaded with social consciousness, comments about race relations, the state of society as a whole… truly two works of art.[/quote]

I guess that’s my question. Is that what makes a song great? It can’t only be that. Rapper’s Delight has none of that. It’s about super sperm and soggy macaroni.

NO NO heaven is a place on eath is the best hip hop song hahaha

[quote]malonetd wrote:
FightinIrish26 wrote:
Instant classics, loaded with social consciousness, comments about race relations, the state of society as a whole… truly two works of art.

I guess that’s my question. Is that what makes a song great? It can’t only be that. Rapper’s Delight has none of that. It’s about super sperm and soggy macaroni.[/quote]

I guess it is to me. Rappers have so much power to influence the way people think, maybe more so than other genres, that I hold them to a higher standard.

Yea, Stairway to Heaven is probably the best rock song ever, or at least in most eyes. But it’s that way because of the mastery that Led Zep had over their instruments, not because of the lyrics (which are mostly babbling bullshit).

All a rapper has is his flow and his message. So that message had better be good, and important, because you’re speaking to a whole lot of disenfranchised people that listen all too closely to what you have to say.

That’s partly why I’m waiting for some ass to jump in with a weezy reference and say that he’s a great rapper so I can laugh and shake my head…

It’s the lyrics in hip-hop, they even the odds
We gotta, come on baby, come on, come on and keep it alive


You know it’s true.

[quote]malonetd wrote:
But what is “greatest”? Most influential? Highest/longest chart-topper? Most groundbreaking? Most memorable?
[/quote]

Exactly what I was wondering. See, when I think greatest, I’m thinking the songs that stand the test of time and that I still feel even after many years of consistent play. Good examples for me would include “Gin N Juice”, “Let Me Ride”, “Shook Ones Pt 2”, “Shorty Wanna Be A Thug”, etc etc… I can go on but you guys get my point. They have that head-nodding, “this-song-is-still-the-shit” factor.

I think the fact that Public Enemy, Run D.M.C., or Sugar Hill Gang are even in the top anything is ridiculous. Yes, they helped pave the way for hip-hop, I understand that. But it doesn’t mean they put out the greatest songs. I mean seriously, what a fucking joke. To me it’s always been about how the music sounds, not how groundbreaking it was (though these two are obviously not mutually exclusive).

It’s hip-hop…who cares? LOL

[quote]ProgMtl wrote:
It’s hip-hop…who cares? LOL[/quote]

LOL? Why LOL?

Did you actually type that and burst into laughter? How hard did you laugh? Was it close to LMAO or ROFL? Were you alone or was there someone to share the laughter with? Is this an inside joke?

I was laughing the minute I saw that this thread “greatest hip hop song ever” was a product of a VH1 show…

If VH1 or MTV knew anything about actual music then this thread might have some merit.

I always love reading these “this is the best”…“no, this is the best” threads…opinions vary so much and almost no 2 are the same.

That’s why I was LOL

For me there’s only one choice: “Juicy”.