Readers' Poll: The 10 Best Hip-Hop Songs of the 1990s - Rolling Stone
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Readers’ Poll: The 10 Best Hip-Hop Songs of the 1990s

See who beat both Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.

Tupac and Biggie

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In the late Eighties, N.W.A kicked off a gangsta-rap revolution that launched the careers of the Nineties' biggest solo stars (Dr. Dre, Ice Cube) and created a template for the new sound of hip-hop. The decade's hefty roster of rap luminaries ranges from certified icons like Tupac and Biggie to novelty acts such as Vanilla Ice, but across the board, hip-hop from that era has proved surprisingly enduring. We asked our readers to vote on their favorite Nineties hip-hop tracks. Here are the results:

Tupac and Biggie

2Pac Featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman, “California Love”

Tupac Shakur reigned supreme as the King of California during his too-brief career, so it's appropriate that he created an enduring anthem for his homeland. Aided by Dr. Dre, this 1995 single facilitated 'Pac's post-prison comeback and launched his relationship with Suge Knight and Death Row Records. 

Tupac and Biggie

Beastie Boys, “Sabotage”

Rapcore reached an aesthetic peak with the Beastie Boys' heaviest single, "Sabotage." Harking back to their days playing hardcore punk, Ad-Rock, MCA and Mike D showed off their skills on guitar, bass and drums, respectively, crafting a screeching blast of noise-funk goodness. The Spike Jonze–directed video, with its odes to kitschy crime dramas like Hawaii Five-O and Starsky and Hutch, proved to be just as memorable as the song itself.

Tupac and Biggie

Al Pereira/Getty (2)


Dr. Dre Featuring Snoop Dogg, “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang”

The first single off Dr. Dre's solo debut, 1992's The Chronic, not only features one of the most memorable beats of the Nineties; it's also the track that helped catapult the former N.W.A member into the hip-hop stratosphere as a star all on his own. Just as importantly, the song introduced the world to the rapper then known as Snoop Doggy Dogg, who would release his own debut, Doggystyle, the following year. 

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