Ten Hip-Hop Classics Millennials Might Have Missed

Snoop Dogg: It's like this and like that and like this and-a...
Snoop Dogg: It's like this and like that and like this and-a...
Photo by Marco Torres

I’m just going to be real: If you were born after 1996, this article is for you. Not only did you miss out on possibly the peak of modern hip-hop, you missed out on a complete culture. Do you remember when Tupac died? If so, this article might not be for you. I was at a football game when we got the news he had passed. My buddy and I sat that night and blasted him through the speakers of my old ’82 Dodge. So, let me school you on what I believe are the best songs you missed.

10. Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg, "Nuthin But a "G" Thang"
In the '90s, listening to Dre was the absolute tops: on-point lyrics, on-point beats. This was the first single off 1992's iconic The Chronic album, one of the all-time best. If you weren’t born then, this article is for you.

9. The Notorious B.I.G., "Juicy"
As a major Tupac fan, I was still extremely saddened to hear of B.I.G. being killed; he’s the other rap great from that time period we lost to violence. “Juicy” is pretty much the quintessential come-from-nothing song. The lyrics reflect selling drugs to feed Biggie's daughter — the struggle. I’m still waiting to get my money-green sofa.

8. Outkast, "Rosa Parks"
A civil-rights anthem that rings true to this day, "Rosa Parks" puts into perspective what humans still feel when discriminated against. The incident with the actual Rosa Parks was seen as the start of the Civil Rights movement and is remembered as a turning point in the country. This single, from the album Aquemini, reflects on past oppression — but it's also a great jam.

7. Tupac, "Keep Ya Head Up"
Basically, this man was a poet. This song is geared toward women, African-Americans, and everyone who is struggling. “Trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents/It’s hard to be legit and still pay the rent." That, and respecting the women in our lives, pretty much sums this song up. So, “Keep Ya Heads Up."

6. Ice Cube, "It Was a Good Day"
Look, everyone wants a perfect day. According to science, the good day referenced in this song is January 20, 1992 — maybe correct, maybe not, but it’s a tradition at my home. This song essentially describes the most awesome day ever. A drop-top, switches, some basketball, hooking up with someone you’ve wanted since the 12th grade. Cheers with a 40 to a good day.

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