Rolling Stone’s 50 Greatest Hip Hop Songs

blame it on Shake December 5, 2012

To end the year, Rolling Stone throws Eminem, Biggie, 2pac and Jay-Z on the cover to their latest issue. Asking 33 artists and experts — Rick Rubin to Pete Rock (full list can be found here) — to choose their favorite hip hop tracks, Rolling Stone crunched the numbers and came up with a 50 Greatest Hip Hop list. Check ?uestlove’s introduction here and proceed to read through to see how things stacked up.

Question is, after checking the list, what would you change? To save time, let’s keep it specifically Top 10. What songs would make y’all list?

  • OldJew

    Can someone just post the actual list so we don’t have to deal with all this click fuckery

  • DBS

    Can’t agree with about half of them, I do wholeheartedly agree with the other half.

  • waldo

    Till I Collapse – Eminem ft. Nate Dogg.. Can’t believe that didn’t make the list

  • Matt Marino

    where is nas??????

  • MMD

    Respiration by Blackstar needs to on that list

  • ihiu

    fuckin idiots forgot nasty huh smh

  • mack

    I Used to Love H.E.R is missing

  • Rukstar

    Big pimpin is one of the greatest hiphop songs of all time? what in the actual fuck?

  • truehiphophead

    naz is not quite there yet. dont get me wrong life is good was a solid sophomore album but give him time to grow. with the right mentor i.e. jay z or someone of that calibur he could be alright. just imho. 1 love

  • kaz

    Ya’ll assholes criticize before even looking at the list. NY state of mind is on there. Don’t usually agree with RS, but they did a decent job. The 2000’s were under-represented though. Call me crazy, but some Clipse (grindin?) and *hides face* Lil wayne (bling bling?) probably deserve a spot in there somewhere. Looks like a list mostly ranking influence and we’re definitely feeling the effects of some crucial 2000’s track, for better or worse.

  • brooklyn

    I never understood why you internet nerds always wanna complain about OTHER peoples lists, that’s there opinion obviously…sit the fuck down with ya sensitive asses lol

  • bigtrav

    LOL @ truehiphophead. gtfo man.

  • KING

    In Da Club – 50 Cent at #20?!?!?!

    I loved that song but aint no way near top 50 of all time.

  • konycheeseburger

    “who the best? pac, nas, and big”

    HAHHAHA where you at now son

  • ptj

    They really don’t think there have been any “great” songs in the last decade?

  • Mangy

    I’m so fucking sick of this 80’s and 90’s bias in hip hop. Really, there were only 3 songs made after 2000 that deserve to be in the top 50? Is this greatest songs or most influential because someone needs to point out the inherent greatness of “Big Pimpin” and “In da Club” (huge fan of those songs and both artist but come on those don’t even rank in the top half of either of theses dudes catalogs). No more black people over 40, and no more white people over 30 are allowed to comment on hip hop until they at least attempt to listen to a song that’s not older than children… Seriously.

  • Wow. I can rock with the top ten, but Jigga’s Hard Knock Life is not on the list. And Nas’ Life’s a Bitch could’ve been substituted for NY State of Mind.

    And I just put up the best albums of 2012 on my website if anyone cares.


  • Mike Tomlin

    I dont agree with Mangys whole statement but I do agree with alot of it. What makes La Di Da Di any better than Stan? Both were influential but IMO Stan is the better song.

    I do love that Mind Playin Tricks on Me was so high. CREAM and Big Pimpin were in the right spots too. Gimme Changes over Dear Mama anyday.

    Making a list like this is tough especially since Im sure they got input from a ton of people. A lot of it I agree with, some of it I don’t, I just wish it was more about the music than the era.

  • Mike Tomlin

    @Mr_Hip I tried bro. But as soon as I saw Based on a TRU Story and Roman Reloaded were 10 and 9 I just couldnt take it seriously.

  • disdatfiya

    I swear to god if one of y’all even fucking THINKS of mentioning a Lil B’ song…

  • nyc22

    WHERE IS CHANGES by 2PAC??? NO PUN? NO BIG L? NO BUSTA RHYMES? 50 Cent In Da Club at #20 is a travesty!! Lose Yourself was and is so much bigger than that. Big Pimpin’ should not be there. Hard Knock Life is Jay-z’s masterpiece. Even Empire State of Mind (to me) has more of an impact on hip-hop than Big Pimpin’. Where is I Used To Love H E R by Common? I think Dance With The Devil by Immortal Tech deserves a spot. Sorry for not being sorry about it!!! I expected more from RS!!!


  • Z

    That list was so incredibly biased to early 90’s nostalgic songs and popular later songs. I’m annoyed I actually went through it all. Waste of time.

  • rell

    Do people even read anymore? This isn’t a bunch or Rolling Stones writers picking their favorite songs. The list came from polling rappers, producers and industry people (only 33, but yeah).

  • Gunz

    Tha Based God – Wonton Soup

  • tical

    if i see rappers delight in the top five of one more hip hop list im going to freak the fuck out

  • deedzle

    Gang Starr’s “Mass Appeal” or “Full Clip” is missing

  • Yasser

    I know Nas is mad at this

  • egyle

    Real talk.

    10. Soulja Boy – Crank That (Soulja Boy)
    9. Mims – This Is Why I’m Hot
    8. Kreayshawn – Gucci Gucci
    7. Lil B – Wonton Soup
    6. Boldy James – Truck Driving School
    5. ED OG & DA BULLDOGS – I Got To Have It
    4. Special Ed – I Got It Made
    3. Slim Thug – Welcome To Houston
    2. Redman – Whateva Man
    1. Assholes By Nature – Rain

  • egyle

    Randomness always wins.

  • egyle

    Best hiphop song ever though?

    Maste Ace – Take a walk

  • Ryan G

    Where is Slick Rick? also they could have chosen a better Eminem song than “My name is”, and where the fuck is “Gin & Juice”?

  • david

    @egyle Take a walk, fuckin ill song, Beautiful is my fave Ace track

  • david

    The list looks more like a list of the top 50 tracks that had an impact on the direction of mainstream hip-hop. I’d put in at least a track by Gang Starr, Pun, Masta ace (Symphony’s on there but his solo stuff’s just as nice), G Rap, Slick Rick (credible for more than just La di da di), Jeru, Das EFX, KRS solo track, Slum Village, Blu n Ex, DOOM. Then you’ve got solo Wu tracks. I’d take out Eazy-E, Salt n Pepa, Beastie Boys, Flava in ya ear, Get ur freak on, In da club, Big pimpin, Hypnotize, California Love, My name is, swap 99 problems for Dead presidents. Most of them are nice but not top 50

  • lm

    in the top ten the newest song is 18 years old. the oldest song on the list is 33 years old. So top 10 were all from the first half? And there have been more song in the last 18 years than the 18 years before that.

    THough as it was a poll of established artists they are obviously going to talk about songs that they looked up to, so naturally you have to expect songs like that.

    It’s always the fucking sugarhill gang up there. God dammit

  • O’Shea

    as someone who has listened to rap from the late 70’s to present, I was very glad to see this list was not filled with the popular radio garbage that is called “rap” these days. Just like every muscical genre – rock, country, soul – its greatest music came from its golden age. Rap/hip-hops golden age was mid-80’s to mid-90’s. And like every genre, the were some bleak times like the 2000’s for rap, outside of some very stellar recordings, most was garbage. I agree with the message as number on – it embodies rap and it still sounds great today.
    The term classic rock is term that represents timeless music that is great regardless of when it was record, Classic Rap should be viewed and appreciated in the same light. D