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6 Greatest... Old Skool Hip Hop Songs

Updated on October 26, 2016

6. Can I Kick it?, A Tribe Called Quest

Still mourning the passing of Phife Dawg, A Tribe Called Quests hip hop classic could not be left out of this list. Can I Kick it? is unofficially one of the most referenced songs in history, everybody knows this phrase and the consequential answer. It is this catchy-ness that gives this song a real boost in the ranks for the greatest hip hop track. The instrumental is also a key player, with a deep bass line and smooth drum track. Mix that with the chilled vocals provided by Phife Dawg and Q-Tip and you have one great hip hop song.

5. Let Me Clear My Throat, DJ Kool

This song is one of many classics in this genre. The instrumental - sampled from the 45 king's the 900 number - itself holds the ability to get a room hyped. and the lyrical content from DJ Kool is a cool mixture of old skool references and audience participation. The songs breaks, an impressive short beat-box break and the fact this was recorded live at the Bahama Bay club in Philadelphia makes sure to prove that this song is one of the finest examples of hip hop the world has too offer.

4. Hits From the Bong, Cypress Hill

Cypress Hill, from songs such as How I Could Just Kill a Man and Insane in the Membrane, quickly moved their way into the hearts of every stoner/skater out there. And to this day still are hold in high acclaim by many. this song in particular though is an extremely well produced song. with clever lyrics an a catchy hook, it is a prime example of how hip hop was a chilled genre alongside the violent, anti-social side of it that was displayed as well. The uses of the 'Preacher Man' sample throughout was a beautifully decided choice and highlights th key to the right sampling in hip hop songs.

3. Me, Myself & I, De La Soul

De La Soul are another Hip Hop group that have long been hailed as masters of the genre. Their debut album '3 Feet high and rising' has long been considered a hip hop masterpiece and this particular song from said album proves that. Me, Myself & I has a funky bass line and cool, calm and collected lyrics, with intelligent word play and a hook line that will most definitely find its way to get stuck in your head in no time at all.

2. Express Yourself, N.W.A

After their recent Hollywood success with Straight Outta Compton, it is no surprise that an N.W.A song has found its way onto this list. The groups line-up chopped and changed throughout the years, the main line-up known by all as N.W.A consisted of; Dr, Dre, Eazy E, MC Ren, Ice Cube, Arabian Prince and DJ Yella. this song in particular though is a great hip hop song. Other such as F**k the Police were classic songs of the genre, however, Express Yourself holds a real good vibe and is always a crowd pleasing tune. Also its message is actually a very good one, to always express yourself and even to stay off drugs, which i believe is a powerful message coming from a group who normally would just F**k the Police.

1. Walk This Way, Run-DMC (Feat. Aerosmith)

This list has to be completed by Run-DMC's Bootleg of Aerosmith. the reason? This song is what bought hip hop out of the underground and made it more accessible for so many people. It showcased the pure talent the hip hop artists had and the ability to scratch the records like the DJ's could had never been proven quite like it was in this song. Noted as the first song to cross genre barriers, it was also seen to be one of the steps in the breakdown of colour barriers as well. Its for these reasons that its at number 1 in my list. That and the fact this song is an absolute classic.


It is key to remember that Hip Hop is a genre with so much history, roots so very deep. It is a genre that offered so much hope to so many people - whether it be those growing up in the ghettos or those who just wanted to have a voice in it all. I am in no way saying these songs are definitely greatest, they just are in my opinion and are the hip hop songs i listen to most personally, but these songs each have their own story and their own inner meaning that place them on my list. Again, songs such as Run-DMC's Walk this Way helped to not only break barriers in music, but also helped to break racial barriers alike. Songs such as A Tribe called Quest's Can I Kick it? helped path the way to so many more songs and even more genres and for that we all owe a huge thank you to those artists who stuck their necks out for a genre built on failure and risk.

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