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list Jul 1 2024 Written by

Top 100 Hip Hop Songs Of The 1980s

Top 100 Hip Hop Songs Of The 1980s

Remember when Hip Hop was a local thing before it exploded into a global phenomenon? Born in the Bronx back in the 70s, it wasn’t until 1979 that the Sugarhill Gang dropped “Rapper’s Delight“, the first second taste of Hip Hop for the mainstream (disco beats and all!). In the early 80s, rappers mostly dropped singles, keeping the party vibes alive. But by the mid-80s, record labels finally caught on, and Hip Hop albums started flooding the streets. This is when things got crazy – Hip Hop spread like wildfire, taking over the world one rhyme at a time.

Here’s our list of the Top 100 Hip Hop songs of the 80s. Did your favorites make the cut? Let us know in the comments what jams we might have missed!

Also read: Top 100 Hip Hop Songs Of The 1990s & Greatest Hip Hop Albums 1980 – 2024

1. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - The Message (1982)

In 1982, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five dropped a bombshell on the Hip Hop scene: “The Message.” It wasn’t a party track. This song was a social commentary powerhouse, offering a gritty and honest portrayal of life in the inner city. The song’s roots go back to 1980, when Duke Bootee and Melle Mel penned it in response to a crippling New York City transit strike. Melle Mel’s unforgettable verse, beginning with “A child is born with no state of mind…”, painted a vivid picture of the challenges faced by many innercity youths. “The Message” wasn’t afraid to confront harsh realities, and its raw honesty paved the way for a generation of conscious rappers. “The Message” was a defining cultural moment that reshaped Hip Hop’s landscape.

2. Public Enemy - Rebel Without A Pause (1987)

Public Enemy’s masterpiece, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, wasn’t built overnight. In 1987, P.E. dropped “Rebel Without a Pause,” the album’s first single and a sonic stepping stone. This track bridged the gap between the raw energy of their debut, Yo! Bum Rush The Show, and the polished production mastery of the Bomb Squad on It Takes a Nation. “Rebel Without a Pause” arrived a year before the full album, a blistering preview of the firestorm that was about to engulf Hip Hop.

3. Run DMC - Sucker MCs (1983)

Run-DMC wasn’t messing around in 1983. Their debut single, “It’s Like That,” was a gamechanger, but the real head-turner was the B-side: “Sucker MCs.” This wasn’t your average early 80s Hip Hop track. The beat was stripped down and fierce, a perfect canvas for Run and DMC’s new, aggressive rap style. It was like a sonic middle finger to the old school, and a declaration of a new era. “Sucker MCs” was the trailblazer that showed the world the direction Hip Hop was headed – a golden age fueled by raw beats and even rawer rhymes. And Run-DMC? They were the crew who lit the match.

4. Eric B & Rakim - Microphone Fiend (1988)

Eric B & Rakim set the rap world on fire with “Microphone Fiend. The beat pulsates with raw energy, a perfect match for Rakim’s lyrical mastery. Every syllable crackles with precision, making this track a powerhouse of sound and wordplay. Released in 1988, “Microphone Fiend” might not have topped the charts immediately, but it’s become a staple of Hip Hop history.

5. Doug E Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew - The Show / La Di Da Di (1985)

Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew dropped two classics in 1985 with “The Show” and “La Di Da Di,” featuring a young Slick Rick. These double A-side tracks became instant classics, with Doug E. Fresh’s innovative beatboxing and Slick Rick’s distinctive flow. These songs are a cornerstone of golden-age Hip Hop.

6. LL Cool J - Rock The Bells (1985)

LL Cool J‘s debut album, Radio, was a game-changer when it dropped in 1985. One of the standout tracks, and a future Hip Hop essential, was “Rock the Bells.” This song established LL as a lyrical force to be reckoned with.

Heads-up for the hardcore fans – there’s a hidden gem out there: the original, uncut version of “Rock the Bells.” It’s a full seven minutes of LL spitting fire, his rhymes flowing effortlessly over Rick Rubin’s hard-hitting beat, punctuated with those iconic bells. Both versions are essential listening for anyone who wants to understand the golden age of Hip Hop.

7. Public Enemy - Fight The Power (1989)

Can’t talk about Public Enemy without mentioning “Fight the Power.” This electrifying track was the soundtrack for Spike Lee’s iconic film “Do the Right Thing,” perfectly amplifying the movie’s social commentary. “Fight the Power” transcended the screen, becoming a rallying cry for a generation and a timeless Hip Hop anthem.

8. Eric B & Rakim - I Ain't No Joke (1987)

Talk about a powerful opening track. “I Ain’t No Joke” sets the stage for Eric B. & Rakim’s entire debut album – and Rakim’s legendary status. After dropping two banging singles, “Eric B. Is President” and “My Melody,” in 1986, the duo returned even stronger in 1987 with Paid in Full. This opening track is a Hip Hop landmark, the whole album is too, of course.

9. Big Daddy Kane - Set It Off (1988)

Big Daddy Kane‘s debut album, Long Live The Kane, is a masterpiece, and “Set It Off” is a prime example why. Marley Marl cooked up a classic beat, and Kane seized the opportunity to show of his lyrical prowess. His rhymes are sharp, witty, and delivered with that signature BDK swagger. “Set It Off” was a declaration of arrival for a future legend.

10. Boogie Down Productions - My Philosophy (1988)

Boogie Down Productions dropped a prophetic bomb in 1988 with “My Philosophy.” KRS-One ripped into the commercialization of the genre, calling out “wack” rappers who prioritized money and fame over authenticity and truth. Packed with quotable lines, “My Philosophy” became a rallying cry for conscious rap. Over 35 years later, its message of authenticity continues to resonate. This isn’t a relic of the past – it’s a timeless anthem that keeps the soul of Hip Hop alive.

11. Run DMC - Peter Piper (1986)

“Peter Piper” is the classic opening track of Run DMC’s landmark album Raising Hell, their third and best project. This album opener is a playful tribute to the talents of the man behind the decks, Jam Master Jay. Run and DMC weave rhymes based on fairy tales and nursery rhymes, flexing their lyrical skills while praising JMJ’s mastery of the turntables.

12. Public Enemy - Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos (1988)

Raw. Political. Impactful. Chuck D‘s lyrics weave a powerful tale of a prison escape, a defiant act against a broken system. His rhymes crackle with righteous anger, perfectly matched by the relentless energy of the instrumental. This is a full-blown assault on injustice, a testament to Public Enemy’s ability to blend storytelling with social commentary. “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos” represents Public Enemy at their core: an unstoppable force in the fight for social change.

13. Boogie Down Productions - South Bronx (1986)

Boogie Down Productions’ “South Bronx” was a response to MC Shan’s “The Bridge,” BDP’s answer leaving no question about what Hip Hop’s birthplace was and who wielded the microphone with the most power. The beat, a collaborative effort by DJ Scott La Rock, KRS-One, and Ultramagnetic MCs’ Ced Gee, perfectly complements KRS-One’s lyrical fury. “South Bronx” was the opening shot of Boogie Down Productions’ groundbreaking debut album, Criminal Minded, which would be released in 1987.

14. Audio Two - Top Billin' (1987)

Audio Two’s “Top Billin'” (1987) is a Hip Hop anthem that refuses to fade. This infectious track takes the iconic “Impeach the President” beat and breathes new life into it. Released as the lead single for their 1988 album What More Can I Say? the song is a guaranteed party starter, a timeless piece of Hip Hop history.

15. N.W.A - Straight Outta Compton (1988)

N.W.A’s Straight Outta Compton caused a cultural earthquake in 1988. The album was raw, unfiltered, and unapologetically real. N.W.A co-pioneered gangsta rap, painting a picture of life on the streets of Compton that shocked and captivated audiences in equal measure. Dr. Dre’s production was revolutionary, laying the foundation for West Coast Hip Hop. Ice Cube, MC Ren, and Eazy-E unleashed a torrent of rhymes filled with raw energy and unflinching honesty.

“Straight Outta Compton”, the title track, was the perfect introduction to this groundbreaking album. It’s a declaration of arrival, a battle cry from a new generation of rappers ready to take the world by storm. The album spawned countless imitators, but few could capture the originality and authenticity of N.W.A. “Straight Outta Compton” remains a super classic, an iconic achievement that continues to influence Hip Hop to this day.

16. Slick Rick - Children's Story (1988)

Slick Rick’s debut album, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, arrived in 1988 after turning heads on Doug E. Fresh’s “The Show” and “La Di Da Di” in 1985. Rick’s lyrical talents are on full display throughout the album, but there’s one track that takes the crown: “Children’s Story”. His signature style – a blend of humor, wit, and undeniable flow – shines brighter than ever on this song. It’s a prime example of why Slick Rick’s storytelling is considered legendary, a song that will have you hooked from the first verse.

17. Kurtis Blow - The Breaks (1980)

Kurtis Blow made history in two ways: He was the first rapper signed by a major record label, and his song “The Breaks” became the first Hip Hop single to achieve gold status. “The Breaks” was an important song that helped open doors for Hip Hop in the mainstream.

18. Just Ice - Going Way Back (1987)

Just-Ice’s “Going Way Back” is a Bronx-born time capsule. With assistance from a young KRS-One, the track takes listeners on a journey through the early days of Hip Hop. Just-Ice acts as a tour guide, dropping names of pioneers and paying homage to the genre’s roots. This is a history lesson spun into infectious rhymes, a celebration of the birthplace of Hip Hop.

19. Eric B & Rakim - Eric B Is President (1986)

Produced by legendary Marley Marl, this song throws down the gauntlet from the first bars. Rakim’s opening lines (“I came in the door, I said it before…”) are instantly iconic, quotable staples in the Hip Hop Hall of Fame. Marley Marl’s revolutionary production sets the stage for Rakim’s lyrical fireworks.

20. LL Cool J - I'm Bad (1987)

LL Cool J’s “I’m Bad” (1987) is a full-blown confidence anthem and a declaration of lyrical dominance. LL throws down the gauntlet for any competitor, boasting about his skills on the mic and his undeniable coolness. “I’m Bad” is one of LL’s most recognizable hits, a song that established him as the first Hip Hop superstar.

21. Ice T - 6 N The Morning (1986)

In 1985, Schoolly D’s “P.S.K. What Does It Mean” laid the groundwork for gangsta rap. Then, in 1986, Ice-T‘s “6 N The Morning” started the gangsta rap subgenre for real. Ice-T brought a fresh perspective to the scene. He infused his rhymes with authenticity and humor, radiating confidence without needing to brag. Ice-T carved his own path from the get-go, without getting caught up in the stereotypical tough-guy posturing so many later gangsta rappers fell victim to. “6 N The Morning” stands out for its raw storytelling. Ice-T’s unflinching honesty and clever wordplay paint a vivid picture of street life. This track cemented his legacy as an innovator, a true Hall of Famer who helped define gangsta rap while staying true to his own voice.

22. Funky 4 Plus 1 - That's The Joint (1980)

“That’s The Joint” is a double dose of firsts. It’s the debut single from Funky 4 Plus 1, the first rap group to land a record deal. But that’s not all – the group also features the groundbreaking presence of a female rapper, paving the way for generations of women in the genre. The song itself is a certified classic, with samples popping up in countless Hip Hop hits over the years.

23. Schoolly D - PSK, What Does It Mean? (1985)

1985 marked a turning point in Hip Hop with Schoolly D’s “P.S.K. What Does It Mean?” This Philly anthem became a cornerstone of gangsta rap. Schoolly D’s lyrics weren’t for the faint of heart – they were brutally honest and laced with dark humor, offering a glimpse into a part of street life rarely explored in music. The track’s influence is undeniable, inspiring artists like Ice-T with his “6 N The Morning.” “P.S.K. What Does It Mean?” remains a classic, a raw and powerful song that redefined Hip Hop.

24. Ice T - Colors (1988)

This powerful song by Ice-T perfectly captured the raw realities simmering beneath the surface of gang violence. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of life on the streets, infused with Ice-T’s signature honesty and unflinching social commentary.

25. Boogie Down Productions - Criminal Minded (1987)

KRS-One drops lyrical fire laced with wit, raising the bar for clever wordplay in the genre. The instrumental? A pure banger, perfectly in sync with the lyrical assault. “Criminal Minded” is one of the many standouts on the groundbreaking album of the same name. Criminal Minded, alongside albums like Run-DMC’s Raising Hell, Eric B. & Rakim’s Paid in Full, Public Enemy’s Yo! Bum Rush the Show, and LL Cool J’s first two albums were instrumental in ushering in Hip Hop’s Golden Age.

26. Beastie Boys - Paul Revere (1986)

The bassline and reverse beat on this track are truly exceptional. Co-written by Run DMC and Rick Rubin, the song offers a fictional and humorous account of how the Beastie Boys met. It’s pure genius.

27. Public Enemy - Don't Believe The Hype (1988)

Public Enemy’s “Don’t Believe the Hype”, from their monumental sophomore album, dismantles media manipulation with razor-sharp lyrics. Chuck D. spits fire, urging listeners to see through the facade and question the narrative. The beat is iconic, a classic foundation for the lyrical assault. “Don’t Believe the Hype” is a call to independent thought, a timeless anthem that remains relevant today.

28. Ultramagnetic MCs - Ego Trippin' (1986)

Ultramagnetic MCs dropped a diamond in the rough in 1986 with “Ego Trippin'”, a glimpse into the brilliance that would explode on their 1988 masterpiece, Critical Beatdown. “Ego Trippin'” is like a sonic playground, overflowing with innovation. The rhymes are sharp, the energy is infectious, and the production is ahead of its time.

29. MC Lyte - Cha Cha Cha (1989)

MC Lyte takes center stage with “Cha Cha Cha,” the opening salvo from her sophomore album, Eyes on This. Released in 1989, the track pulsates with raw Hip Hop energy. Lyte commands the mic, her rhymes are sharp and confident. The beat is classic, providing the perfect foundation for her lyrical onslaught. “Cha Cha Cha” is a head-nodding anthem that established MC Lyte as a dominant voice in the golden age of Hip Hop.

30. N.W.A - F*** Tha Police (1988)

This track ignited controversy the moment it dropped, with its raw and unflinching portrayal of police brutality in Compton. The lyrics, laced with anger and frustration, resonated deeply with a generation. Sadly, the issues it raised haven’t faded with time. “F*** tha Police” remains a potent anthem, a reminder of the fight for justice that continues today.

31. Stop The Violence Movement - Self Destruction (1989)

Remember when Hip Hop focused on consciousness and upliftment? The Stop the Violence Movement, started by KRS-One in response to violence in the Hip Hop and African American communities, epitomized this spirit. Featuring an East Coast all-star lineup, their 1989 hit was one of the year’s biggest songs and remains relevant to this day.

32. Eric B & Rakim - Paid In Full (1987)

The unforgettable bass line and Rakim’s iconic verses make “Paid In Full” one of the most recognizable tracks in Hip Hop history. Rakim’s potent lyrics are among the genre’s finest, and it’s a song everyone knows by heart.

33. The Treacherous Three - Body Rock (1980)

The Treacherous Three, a crew of Hip Hop pioneers, prominently features Kool Moe Dee, best known among them. “Body Rock” exemplifies the typical style of its era: lengthy and steeped in Old School rap vibes. It stands out as the first Hip Hop track to incorporate rock influences.

34. De La Soul - Buddy (1989)

“Buddy” served as the third single from De La Soul’s iconic debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising. It exudes a fantastic vibe with clever, humorous lyrics filled with double entendres. This video version includes appearances by the Jungle Brothers, Q-Tip, and Monie Love, adding to its appeal. The original version, featured on 3 Feet High & Rising, is equally dope.

35. Eric B & Rakim - Follow The Leader (1988)

“Follow The Leader” exemplifies Rakim’s unparalleled lyrical prowess. It’s five minutes of pure lyrical perfection, showcasing how advanced Rakim was in his craft. Listen once, then listen again to truly absorb the depth. Rakim takes listeners on a metaphorical journey into outer space and back into their own minds—an absolute lyrical masterpiece.

36. Public Enemy - Public Enemy No. 1 (1987)

Public Enemy’s debut single. Remember, this was 1987. Musically, nothing like this was done before, ever. Highly innovative, this unique sound would become trademark Public Enemy. Throw Chuck D’s booming voice and his back-and-forth with joker Flavor Flav in the mix and the signature sound of one of Hip Hop’s biggest acts ever is born.

37. EPMD - You Gots To Chill (1988)

You Gots To Chill is the quintessential EPMD song. It introduced the world to the laidback funk-laced Hip Hop of EPMD – and is just as timeless a classic as the album it came from, Strictly Business.

38. Beastie Boys - Shake Your Rump (1989)

Everything that makes Paul’s Boutique so brilliant comes together on this track. The album performed commercially disappointing upon release (people were probably expecting more “Fight For Your Right” style frat-rap), but Paul’s Boutique would eventually universally be recognized as the creative and innovative masterpiece that it is.

39. Stetsasonic - Talkin'All That Jazz (1988)

This underappreciated song is a response to critics of (sampling in) Hip Hop. The stand-out track from Stetsasonic’s solid second album In Full Gear.

40. Boogie Down Productions - The Bridge Is Over (1987)

Directed at the Juice Crew, and in response to MC Shan’s Kill That Noise, this is the final jab on wax in the Bridge Wars. Brilliantly hard in its simplicity, it is instantly recognizable because of the menacing beat, sharp drum kicks, and classic piano melody.

41. EPMD - So Whatcha Sayin' (1989)

Picking the perfect opening track for an album is an art EPMD understood well. They got it right on their first album and did it again on their second one. So Whatcha Sayin’ is perfect for setting the tone for the rest of Unfinished Business, which would turn to be just as awesome an album as EPMD’s debut was.

42. MC Lyte - Paper Thin (1988)

An emcee who can spit with the best of them, male or female. MC Lyte‘s debut album still is a classic piece of work, that belongs in any Hip Hop fan’s collection. “Paper Thin” is the now-classic cut with which Lyte made her mark.

43. MC Shan - The Bridge (1986)

The song that started the legendary “Bridge Wars” and elicited a few vicious responses from KRS One’s Boogie Down Productions, who responded to Shan’s alleged claim that Hip Hop started out in Queens. Even though the intention of “The Bridge” may not even have been to make that claim, it still is responsible for one of the first beefs in Hip Hop and a few classic BDP songs. Of course, the Marley Marl-produced “The Bridge” is a classic song in its own right.

44. N.W.A - Dopeman (Original) (1987)

From the same album as Eazy-E‘s original version of “Boyz N The Hood”, this track was the no holds barred introduction of N.W.A to the world, with some classic Ice Cube lyrics and revolutionary production by a young Dr. Dre.

45. Biz Markie - Vapors (1988)

The lead single from Biz Markie‘s full-length debut album Goin’ Off. In full story-telling mode, Biz shows us how people’s behavior changes after you become successful.

46. Eric B & Rakim - Move The Crowd (1987)

Rakim took braggadocious rhyming to a new level by adding an intellectual veneer to it all – nobody could say “I’m the best” the way Rakim did, dismissing all competition casually and effortlessly and always without the use of profanity.

47. Biz Markie - Make The Music With Your Mouth, Biz (1986)

Another Marley Marl produced classic, this one from Biz Markie – who started out beatboxing for Roxanne Shante but soon crafted his own career – as a solo artist, as part of the Juice Crew and as close associate of longtime friend Big Daddy Kane (who soon had his own mark to make on the Hip Hop game). This song was the lead track for a 1986 EP and would also be included on Biz Markie’s 1988 full-length debut Goin’ Off.

48. Eazy E - Boyz N The Hood (1988)

This revamped version for Eazy E‘s debut album Eazy Duz It is even better than the 1987 original. Another classic Dr. Dre joint.

49. Big Daddy Kane - Smooth Operator (1989)

One of Big Daddy Kane‘s biggest hits and best-known songs. Showcasing his ladies-man persona to the fullest and lyrically destroying the competition at the same time, “Smooth Operator” is signature Big Daddy Kane. As smooth as it gets.

50. Eric B & Rakim - My Melody (1986)

Yet another Marley Marl produced classic with Rakim spitting elite bars over a hypnotic, slow and hard-ass beat. The rhyming and wordplay here are absolutely amazing and classic if only for the ‘7 emcees’ bars, which are among the most notable in Hip Hop EVER.

51. Jazzy Jay & T La Rock – It’s Yours (1984)

52. Eric B & Rakim – Lyrics Of Fury (1988)

53. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five – New York New York (1983)

54. Run DMC – Darryl & Joe (1985)

55. Big Daddy Kane – Ain’t No Half Steppin’ (1988)

56. Ice T – Squeeze The Trigger (1987)

57. The D.O.C. – It’s Funky Enough (1989)

58. LL Cool J – I Can’t Live Without My Radio (1985)

59. Marley Marl – The Symphony (1988)

60. Afrika Bambaataa – Planet Rock (1982)

61. Ice T – You Played Yourself (1989)

62. Special Ed – I Got It Made (1989)

63. Fearless Four – Rockin It (1982)

64. Run DMC – Beats To The Rhyme (1988)

65. Public Enemy – Night Of The Living Baseheads (1988)

66. Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five – White Lines (1983)

67. Just Ice – Cold Gettin’ Dumb (1986)

68. Gang Starr – Manifest (1989)

69. UTFO – Leader Of The Pack (1985)

70. J.V.C. Force – Strong Island (1987)

71. Queen Latifah ft Monie Love – Ladies First (1989)

72. Big Daddy Kane – Warm It Up Kane (1989)

73. Stetsasonic – Go Stetsa I (1986)

74. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Brand New Funk (1988)

75. Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five – Step Off (1984)

76. Kool G Rap & DJ Polo – Road To The Riches (1989)

77. Biz Markie – Just A Friend (1989)

78. Slick Rick – Hey Young World (1988)

79. Mantronix – Bassline (1985)

80. Roxanne Shante – Bite This (1985)

81. Boogie Down Productions – You Must Learn (1989)

82. Run DMC – King Of Rock (1985)

83. De La Soul – Say No Go (1989)

84. Ultramagnetic MCs – Watch Me Now (1988)

85. Run DMC – My Adidas (1986)

86. Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five – Beat Street (1984)

87. Tuff Crew – My Part Of Town (1988)

88. Big Daddy Kane – Raw (1987 / 1988)

89. Cold Crush Brothers – Fresh, Wild, Fly & Bold (1984)

90. N.W.A – Express Yourself (1988)

91. Run DMC – It’s Like That (1983)

92. Kool Moe Dee – Go See The Doctor (1986)

93. The D.O.C. – The Formula (1989)

94. 3rd Bass – Brooklyn Queens (1989)

95. Beastie Boys – The New Style (1986)

96. Public Enemy – Bring The Noise (1987)

97. LL Cool J – Jack The Ripper (1988)

98. Treacherous Three – The New Rap Language (1980)

99. Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock – It Takes Two (1988)

100. Fat Boys – Stick Em (1984)

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9 responses to “Top 100 Hip Hop Songs Of The 1980s”

  1. Mak says:

    No Whodini???

  2. CostumeLooks says:

    I m a huge fan of old-school hip-hop music and have wanted for some time to put down some kind of ranking of my favorite songs from that era. I ve been working on this post since late February, but it s finally done now that the draft crush and our summer east coast swing are over. It started out as a top 40, then a top 50, then 75, after which I figured I d just push it to 100.

  3. K Douglas says:

    I can definitely agree with the majority of this list but I get the feeling that whoever comprised it did not live through the era. Because there are some glaring omissions. Here they are

    1. It’s Yours – T La Rock & Jazzy Jay (1984). This song was a blueprint for many songs, including quite a few on this list. First release off the Def Jam label. Not only should this be in top 100, I’d argue even top 10.

    2. One Love and 5 Minutes of Funk – Whodini. Leaving Whodini off any top 80’s list is sacrilege as far as I’m concerned. Mok seems to agree.

    3. Jam On It – Newcleus. (1984). This was such an influential track and was a breaker’s anthem. It was probably the final great electro funk rap joint.

    4. Adventures of Super Rhyme – Jimmy Spicer (1980). 14 minutes of spitting rhymes. Epic. Nuff said.

    5. A Fly Girl – Boogie Boys (1985). Not often you hear a hip hop beat sampled in mainstream pop music. That’s what happened as Sly Fox used the drum beat for their 1986 hit song Let’s Go All The Way.

    6. Request Line – Rock Master Scott & The Dynamic Three (1984) – Same as 5. Uncredited but sampled in the Animotion song Obsession.

    7. Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel (1981) – It’s the godfather of turntablism.

    8. Roxanne Roxanne – UTFO (1984). Spawned over a dozen response rap songs and led to career of Roxanne Shante, the first female rapper.

    9. King Of The Beats – Mantronix (1988) – Been sampled by over 200 songs. It led to a new genre of music.

    10. Push It – Salt N Pepa (1986) – One of the key songs that brought rap to the mainstream. Some may look at that negatively but I’d argue we wouldn’t have had the likes of Nas, Biggie, Jay Z without it.

    Other songs I would include in my top 100

    Funky Dividends – Three Times Dope (1988) – Philly gotta represent. Got overlooked because of the year but such a unique track with an obscure early 80’s sample. It sneaks into my top 100

    You got EPMD under represented. One of the greatest hip hop duos ever. Strictly Business should be there as well as You’re A Customer and So What Ya Sayin’

    Serious (BDP remix) by Steady B. Sick beat and hard rhymes. Too bad he ended up in jail. Wasted talent.

    Gucci Time – Schoolly D (1985). Cow bells….who woulda thunk.

    The Gas Face – 3rd Bass (1989). I’d remove Brooklyn Queens and put this one in instead. Both are dope but this is their signature.

    Run’s House – Run DMC (1988)

    Mona Lisa – Slick Rick (1988)

    Straight Out The Jungle and Because I Got It Like That – Jungle Brothers (1988)

    I Know You Got Soul – Eric B. & Rakim (1987). How you got Move The Crowd over this one is beyond me.

    You’ve named 3 Beastie Boys tracks and I agree with all of them although I’d interchange The New Style and Shake Your Rump’s positions. I’d also add at least one more from Licensed To Ill, which was the highest selling rap album of the 80’s for a reason. It’s between Rhymin and Stealin and She’s Crafty for the dope Zeppelin samples. I’ll go with the latter due to superior rhymes and more elements.

  4. K Douglas says:

    I’ll add that during my teens I religiously listened to CKLN 88.1 with Ron Nelson. The program was called Fantastic Voyage and it ran on Saturday afternoons from 1-4. It was Canada’s first radio hip hop show. Still have some of the tapes. Woppit- B Fats, Peewee’s Dance- Joe Ski Love, Lovin’ Every Minute of It-Doug E. Fresh, Split Personality-UTFO……wow great memories. Miss those times.

  5. Lode says:

    Thank you!
    Lode from Amsterdam

  6. Xio says:


  7. Cool Beans says:

    What about Two Sisters “How can we miss these classic from them
    High Noon
    B-Boys Beware

  8. jaye says:

    you’ve got Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock – It Takes Two at 99??… solid evidence that you never stepped foot in a club in the 80’s…

  9. Carl Brown says:

    What about these…

    1. True Mathematics – After dark. 1987 – I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT THIS WAS NEVER LISTED. WHAT A TUNE THIS IS/WAS.
    2. Whodini – Friends – 1984
    3. Roxanne Shante – Have a Nice Day – 1987

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