Top 90s Hip Hop Songs to Dance To
Dance Like No One's Watching
I like to dance. Scratch that, I LOVE to dance. I will bust out dancing anytime, anywhere. And I do mean anywhere. I've busted out moves in Dollar General, Subway, the front yard, and even my place of employment. During Christmas time, we all had reindeer names and -yes, you guessed it- I was Dancer. No shame at all, no shame.
What can I say? It all started when I was 2 years old and I started break dancing in the middle of our mall. Almost 29 years later and I still haven't lived it down. My parents and God-parents will occasionally bring it up in conversations.
I guess there could be worse things to live down?
But I LOVE dancing while I'm doing the dishes. Especially to hip-hop songs. Mainly the 90s hip-hop songs - makes me thinking of my childhood years and teenage years. It just makes the chore funner! Of course, it makes it twice as long when you're constantly breaking it down...
It was hard picking my top ten 90s hip-hop songs but some how I did it. Of course, I switched some in and out before I finally decided on the top ten. And it brought back a bunch of good memories.
Fifteen: Party Up (Up In Here) - DMX
X is gonna getcha! DMX (real name Earl Simmons) can be kind of controversial at times but I still like to bust out the And Then There Was X album and listen to it. I always play this song over and over and over. It reminds me of senior year in high school.
And when the dogs are acting up? I usually look at them and say, "y'all gonna make me lose my mind...up in here, up in here!" They usually give me a weird look back. But it's the truth, they WILL probably make me lose my mind one of these days.
Party Up (Up In Here) is from DMX's 1999 album ...And Then There Was X. There are three different versions of the song: a censored album version, an explicit album version, and a radio edit. (For the record, my parents made me buy the censored album because I was only 17 at the time. I just filled in the censored parts, hehe.)
X is gonna getcha!
Fourteen: Whatta Man - Salt-N-Pepa w/ En Vogue
I've always been a Salt-N-Pepa fan. My absolute favorite song of theirs is Shoop and even to this day, 20 some years after it came out, I can STILL sing along to it and I STILL know every single word. That's a big achievement to someone who sometimes has a memory of a goldfish.
But I love to dance around and sing to Whatta Man while I'm doing dishes.And of course, it makes me think about my own husband. He is quite the catch and definitely whatta man.
Whatta Man is Salt-N-Pepa's second single off their album Very Necessary. Salt-N-Pepa is Cheryl "Salt" James, Sandra "Pepa" Denton, and Deidra "DJ Spinderella" Roper. En Vogue also stars in the video but the song is predominantly led by Dawn Robinson. Cindy Herron, of En Vogue, does not sing at all on the song while Maxine Jones and Terry Ellis preform a few vocals.
You so crazy...I think I wanna have your baby
Thirteen: Humpty Dance - Digital Underground
My name is Humpty, pronounced with an umpty. I'm spunky, I like my oatmeal lumpy.
Admit it. You cannot help but dance and sing along whenever you hear The Humpty Dance. It's been 23 years since the track has been released and I STILL dance to it while singing long. It's hilarious!
Humpty Hump is the alter ego of Shock G, from The Digital Underground. Humpty Hump reminds me of Groucho Marx, I guess it's the glasses & nose that Shock G wears.
The Humpty Dance is from Digital Underground's debut album Sex Packets, which was released March 1990.
(Shock G is awesome because he shares my birthday!)
I like the girls with the boom...
Twelve: Mo' Money Mo' Problems - Notorious B.I.G.
Ah, how true this is. Mo' money = mo' problems. Of course, I wouldn't know personally. Money, what's money? This song reminds me of a past job in the kitchen at a hospital - there was a white board in the kitchen where the chefs would write what they needed (so the bosses could order it). Someone had written - "mo' money" and of course, me being the smart butt that I am, had to write "mo' problems" next to it. Next thing I know, the whole kitchen is in a fit of laughter.
Mo Money Mo Problems is also from Notorious B.I.G.'s posthumously released album Life After Death. This single is one of the most popular singles in history, based on airplay and chart success. It also stars Sean Combs (Puff Daddy, Puffy, P. Diddy...whatever he's going by now) and Mase. Kelly Price also provides the refrain of the song, which is originally from Diana Ross' song I'm Coming Out.
I don't know what they want from me...
Eleven: California Love - Dr. Dre & 2Pac
They say California knows how to party. I honestly wouldn't know - I've never been to Cali. But I know we do know how to party in North Carolina. If it's anything like that...wooooo boy!
The song reminds me of eighth grade. My best friend (now sister-in-law) was obsessed with this song she loved it so much. We had a dance at the end of the year and she made a bee-line to the DJ to request this song. We had a ball dancing to it. We were a couple of nuts back in eighth grade anyway.
California Love was supposed to be on Dr. Dre's album The Chronic II: A New World Odor (Poppa's Got A Brand New Funk) but that album has been shelved and never seen the light of day. But it can be found on 2-Pac's Greatest Hits album and the UK version of 2-Pac's All Eyez On Me.
Ten: This Is How We Do It - Montell Jordan
Another song that my best friend/sister-in-law was in love with back in the day. I think it's still one of her favorites from back in the day.
This Is How We Do It was released in February 1995 and is from Montell Jordan's album of the same name. It was a representative of the popular new jack swing style at the time. From April 15 to May 27, 1995 it was on the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts and was also the number one on the R&B singles chart for seven weeks.
Montell Jordan was on the Def Soul label, being the main solo artist at one point, until 2003 when he left. In 2010, he left the music business all together to be a worship leader at a church in Georgia.
Ever since I was a lower case G
Nine: Insane In the Brain - Cypress Hill
Who you trying to get crazy with, ese? Don't you know I'm loco?
Insane In the Brain is often mistakenly referred to as "insane in the membrane."
Insane In the Brain was released June 1993, from Cypress Hill's July 1993's album Black Sunday. It reached number 1 on the US rap charts and was also a surprising crossover hit, making #19 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1993.
Fun fact: House of Pain's song, Jump Around, came out before Insane In the Brain but was later produced again by DJ Muggs for Insane In the Brain but, obviously there were a few changes. When I learned of this, I listening to both songs back to back and I can tell they're similar but not the same, know what I mean?
Insane in the membrane!
Eight: Ice Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice
Yo VIP - let's kick it!
First, don't judge!
Now stop, collaborate and listen. You have to admit, you liked this song when it first came out. I loved this song. I thought Vanilla Ice was soooooo cute...I won't say how old I was but I'll just say I was young. (He's still an attractive man, honestly.) All the kids in my neighborhood loved this song. You would hear it blaring out of boomboxes daily. And we loved dancing to it - either like they did in the video or our own dances.
Vanilla Ice (aka Rob Van Winkle) wrote Ice Ice Baby at the age of 16, based on his experiences in South Florida. It was originally the B-side of his cover of Play That Funky Music but Play That Funky Music wasn't successful. When a DJ played Ice Ice Baby, it was successful and was the first hip-hop single to top on Billboard's charts.
Nowadays, Vanilla Ice flips houses on the side and has a show on the DIY network called The Vanilla Ice Project.
Word to your motha
Seven: Intergalactic - The Beastie Boys
First off, let me say RIP Adam "MCA" Yauch.
Intergalactic is one of my favorite Beastie Boys songs. The video for it is hilarious! I mean, a robot doing the robot? Love it! And MCA looking like Einstein? Hilarious. I think it's one of the most amusing songs they have done.
Intergalactic was the first single released from The Beastie Boys fifth studio album, Hello Nasty. It also won a Grammy in 1998, while hitting #28 on Billboard's Hot 100 charts (the third time a Beastie Boys single was on there). This was also the Beastie Boys biggest hit in the UK, where it hit #5 on the Uk singles chart.
Intergalactic won the Best Hip-Hop video at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1999 and was also on Total Request Live pretty regularly. The video also ranked #64 on MuchMusic's 100 Best Videos.
I'll stir fry you in my wok!
Six: U Can't Touch This - MC Hammer
Music hits me so hard...makes me say oh Lord!
Admit it, you always tried to do the Hammer dance. And/or you had a pair of Hammer pants. I did...on both accounts. Of course, I was a youngin' when the song came out. And, my Hammer dance didn't necessarily look like his.
U Can't Touch This samples Rick James' song Super Freak and along with Rick James, Alonzo Miller shared writing credits. U Can't Touch This is MC Hammer's most recognizable song. (Although MC Hammer's songs 2 Legit 2 Quit and Addam's Family Groove were pretty popular in my neighborhood.)
The video for U Can't Touch This shows MC Hammer doing The Running Man and, of course, the Hammer Dance - two of MC Hammer's signature dance moves.
Yo, sound the bell, school's in
Five: B.O.B. - Outkast
B.O.B. is my favorite Outkast song. (I just realized it was released in 2000 but it was recorded in 1999 so it can stay on this list by a technicality.) I love dancing to B.O.B. and not just while I'm doing the dishes, honestly. I break it down in the bathroom while I'm getting ready as well. I know all the words to Big Boi's part as well. And, I am not going to lie - I am totally couch dancing to it as I do this Hub.
B.O.B. is from Outkast's 2000 album Stankonia and was released as the lead single, in September 2000. Although it's been cited as on of the greatest songs from the 2000s, it never really gained any commercial success. Big Boi said that they wanted to differ from the current music that was going on back then so him and André 3000 did a frantic flow in order to keep up with the songs fast tempo, which is 155 beats per minute. (Which explains why I'm out of breath after I sing along with Big Boi!)
B.O.B. reached #69 on the R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart, #61 on the UK Singles Chart, and #58 on R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay charts.
I dare you to NOT chair/couch/whatever dance to this song as you watch the video!
Don't pull the thang out unless you plan to bang
Four: Jump Around - House of Pain
It's been 21 years since this song was released and I still know every word to it. My favorite line is "I'm the cream of the crop/I rise to the top/I never eat a pig because a pig is a cop/Or better yet a terminator/like Arnold Schwarzenegger/Trying to play me out as if my name was Sega." (Before anybody says anything, I have the utmost respect for policemen. There are a few in my family. I just find the lines funny.) Part of me still can't believe that the lead singer is Everlast, I don't know why but he just sounds so different here than he does on his 1998 single What It's Like.
If you're a North Carolina Tarheels fan (and if you're not, you should be!), you will recognize this as the song they played before games so Danny Green and others could dance to it and get hyped up before a game. The student section also jumped up and down when the song was on.
Jump Around was produced by House of Pain member DJ Muggs in 1992, where it reached #3 on the charts. The horn from the intro is sampled from the 1963 track from Bob & Earl - Harlem Shuffle. They also sampled Chubby Checker's Popeye (The Hitchhiker). Some also said they sampled the high pitched squeal at the beginning of every bar from Prince's song Gett Off but they didn't. It was really from Shoot Your Shot by Junior Walker and the All Stars.
Three: Tootsee Roll - 69 Boyz
I was in middle school when Tootsee Roll came out. Everybody loved doing the tootsee roll. We did it until our legs hurt and were about to fall off. And then we took a break until we had feeling back in them and started again. Ah, simpler times. And more limber times. I can still do the tootsee roll but it sounds like I have a bowl of Rice Krispies in my pocket. I even taught my step-daughters how to do it a few years ago. I had to show them how we did it old school!
Tootsee Roll is the 1994 lead single from 199Quad by the 69 Boyz. The group got their name from the majority of the guys being born in 1969. The group consists of La Shaun Van, Barry Wright, Michael Fisher, Reginald Gunderson, Greg Thomas, and Mike Mike and they were based out of Florida. The song peaked at #8 on Billboard's Hot 100 in January 1995 and topped #9 on the Hot R&B Singles chart. The song was also certified platinum.
Matthew Wilkening of AOL Radio also ranked Tootsee Roll #73 on the 100 Worst Songs Ever. He said that the song "compares women to food" and also because the groups name had 69 in it and spelled Boyz with a Z and not an S.
I feel a woot coming on...
Two: Baby Got Back - Sir Mix A Lot
Oh, my, gawd, Becky...look at her butt. One of the most famous openings of a song, ever. As soon as you hear that, you know what's coming after it.
I love this song, even 21 years later. My favorite part? Of course it's "my anaconda don't want none unless you got buns hun!" I seriously can't look at an anaconda without 1) screaming like a little girl and 2) singing that part.
Baby Got Back is the 1992 single from Sir-Mix-A-Lot's album Mack Daddy. It was a rather controversial song back in the day because of it's "blatantly sexual lyrics about women" and the specific references to a certain part of the woman's anatomy. MTV also banned Baby Got Back for a period of time but then would only play it after midnight. (I remember thinking back in the day, "what's the big deal? It's just a butt, everybody has one.") Baby Got Back is the second best selling song of 1992, coming in behind Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You.
Fun fact: Georgie Lowery has deemed this song my theme song. Also, now Whitney Houston is stuck in my head.
One: Poison - Bell Biv DeVoe
I don't know what about this song makes me love it the most to rank it #1 on my list. I think it's the beat and the New Jack Swing style of the song. Of course, I'm always trying to emulate Turk's dance but no one can dance like Donald Faison can.
Poison is the 1990 song from Bell Biv DeVoe's album Poison, which was their debut album. Bell Biv DeVoe was a spinoff of New Edition and they give a shout out to the rest of the group - Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill, and Ralph Tresvant - in the song. Poison peaked at #3 for four consecutive weeks in June 1990 . It also was on the Hot Black Singles chart, peaking at #1. It was a staple on MTV in 1990 and one of the successful singles of 1990.It was also certified platinum in June 1990.
Never trust a big butt and a smile
Bonus! Turk from Scrubs dancing to Poison
Which of the top 3 is your favorite?
© 2013 Jamie Sykes