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10 Best Rap Songs

Although deriving from a relatively newer music genre, classic rap songs still cover a multitude of influences and sounds -- from funk and disco tunes to drum machine and synthesizer-driven beats -- ultimately paving the way for their successors. Here we've compiled the best rap songs of all time, covering Run-DMC, The Sugarhill Gang, 2Pac and more.
'King of Rock'
On April 4, 2009, Run-DMC became the second hip-hop group to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, with 'King of Rock' playing in the background. The rap song's paired music video features the group "breaking" into a Rock and Roll museum, which, prophetically, is where they would end up being honored more than 25 years later.

Influenced: Run-DMC have not only influenced many of the artists on this list, but also paves the way for future rap rock groups such as Limp Bizkit, Rage Against the Machine, KoRn, and Sublime and Limp Bizkit.
Run DMC King of Rock
Nothing to do with the '60s psychedelic band, the song's name is, in fact, an backronym for "Cash Rules Everything Around Me." On January 29, 2009, the song was certified gold -- 15 years after its release.

Influenced: Several performers have mentioned 'C.R.E.A.M.' in their own songs. Some of these artists include Notorious B.I.G. ,Wyclef Jean, 50 Cent, 2Pac and Game.
Wu Tang Clan Enter the Wu
'It Was a Good Day'
This is one of the first demos Ice Cube recorded for his 'The Predator' Sessions. His inspiration came in the summer of '92, when his career started to kick off: "I had all the money I had dreamed of," he said. "I was in a good frame of mind. And I remember thinking, 'Okay, there's been the riots, people know I will deal with that. That's a given. But I rap all this gangsta stuff - what about all the good days I had?'"

Influenced: The Staple Singers did a remix of 'It Was a Good Day,' which Ice Cube included on his 'Bootlegs and B-Sides' album.
Ice Cube The Predator
'I Get Around'
No best rap songs list is complete without 2Pac. Featuring Shock G and Money-B of the Digital Underground, this song has 2Pac musing about his, er, several sexual conquests.

Influenced: Brian McKnight samples 'I Get Around' for his song 'Hold Me.'
2Pac I Turn Around
'Gin and Juice'
The song's famous hook was written by Dr. Dre and David Ruffin Jr. Additional vocals on the song include Dat Nigga Daz, Jewell, Heney Loc and Sean "Barney" Thomas.

Influenced: Rare in the hip-hop community, this song has been heavily covered by country and alternative musicians, specifically Panic at the Disco, who once actually performed the song alongside Snoop.
Snoop Dogg Gin and Juice
'My Mind Playin' Tricks on Me'
This gold-certified song samples Isaac Hayes' 'Hung Up on My Baby,' and became Geto Boys' highest charting single.

Influenced: Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind cites 'My Mind Playin' Tricks on Me' as a song that inspired his '90s hit 'Semi-Charmed Life.'
Geto Boys My Minds Playing Tricks On Me
'The Message'
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
Though credited on the song, Grandmaster Flash was not interested in recording 'The Message' and does not appear on the recording. In 2002 it was the first hip-hop recording to be chosen, by the Library of Congress, for the National Recording Registry -- a list of songs that are considered historically and culturally important.

Influenced: The catchy synthesizer riff in the beginning of the song has been sampled by various artists, including Ice Cube and Puff Daddy, whereas the song's lyrics have been used in tracks by Mos Def, Coolio, Snoop Dogg and Eminem.
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five The Message
'Rapper's Delight'
This was the first hip-hop single to be certified gold. While not the first rap song, it is the one credited to have popularized the genre.

Influenced: 'Rapper's Delight' inspired Blondie's 1980 classic 'Rapture.'
Sugarhill Gang Rapper's Delight
'Planet Rock'
Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force
The background vocals "Rock it, don't stop it" are sung by a band named the Washington Squares, who had studio time after Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force.

Influenced: This song not only influenced rapper Common's 2008 album but the entire genre of G-Funk, which has 'Planet Rock' to thank for some of its electric sounds.
Afrika Bambaataa Planet Rock
'Nuthin' But a 'G'
This was one of the first rap successes in the U.K., and also reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Allmusic named it "the archetypal G-funk single" adding that "[Snoop Dogg's] flow was laconic and relaxed, massively confident and capable of rapid-fire tongue-twisters, but coolly laid-back and almost effortless at the same time."

Influenced: Dr. Dre's influence is huge, in part to once co-owning Death Row Records -- which propelled several of the artists on this list to stardom -- specifically Snoop Dogg and 2Pac. As for the song, 'Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang' was sampled in Ja Rule's 'Livin' It Up' and Kris Kross' 'I'm Real.'
Dr Dre Nuthin But a G

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