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    24 Classic Hip-Hop Songs That Will Transport You To 1996

    "Ready or Not," you're about to feel old.

    by ,

    Yes, all of these were hits TWENTY years ago.

    1. Nas, β€œIf I Ruled the World”

    Sony Music / Via

    "Fun" Fact: This was nominated for a Grammy but lost out to LL Cool J's "Hey Lover."

    2. 2Pac, "California Love"

    Death Row Records / Interscope Records

    The Most Memorable Thing About This Song: It somehow managed to get everyone up and on the dance floor, even if they weren't from California.

    3. Ghostface Killah, β€œAll That I Got is You (ft. Mary J Blige)”

    Epic Records

    Thing You Remember Most About It: Ghost rapping about "pluckin' roaches out the cereal box."

    4. OutKast, "Elevators (Me & You)"

    Sony Music / Via

    What The Song Most Reminds You Of: Parked somewhere with your friends smoking weed with your friends while ATLiens played over the speakers.

    5. The Fugees, "Ready or Not"

    Ruffhouse Records / Via

    Fun Fact: This is one of President Obama's favorite songs.

    6. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, β€œTha Crossroads”

    Ruthless Records

    Lyric Everyone Still Yells When This Comes On: "AND I MISS MY UNCLE CHARLES Y'ALLLLLL"

    7. Blackstreet, "No Diggity"

    Interscope Records

    Number of Times You've Danced to This Since 1996: ∞

    8. De La Soul, "Stakes is High"

    Tommy Boy

    Lyric That Sums It Up: "We some brothers from the east, with the beats that be thorough"

    9. Junior M.A.F.I.A., "Get Money"

    WMG / Via

    Your First Thought Upon Hearing This Song: This isn't on Ready to Die, when did Biggie drop a new track?

    10. Lil' Kim, "Crush on You (ft. Lil' Cease)"

    Undeas Recordings / Big Beat Records

    Most Prolific Lyric Verse: Lil' Kim sampling "Lady Marmalade" with the lyric, "And itchy-gitchy-yaya with the marmalade" five years before appearing on the cover track for the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack.

    11. Busta Rhymes, "Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check"

    WMG / Via

    Notable Thing About The Music Video: It is an early example of Hype Williams (the video's director) use of his signature fisheye lens.

    12. Ginuwine, "Pony"

    Epic Records

    Thing You Do Every Time You Hear This Song: Goofily sing along to that froggy synth part.

    13. Jay Z (ft. Mary J. Blige), β€œCan’t Knock the Hustle”

    UMG / Via

    Lyric That Makes You Feel Twice as Nostalgic: "Me and my fam roll tight like The Firm"

    14. DJ Kool, β€œLet Me Clear My Throat”

    American Recordings / Warner Bros. Records

    The One Thing You Didn't Realize At First: That this song was recorded LIVE.

    15. 2pac (ft. K-Ci & JoJo), β€œHow Do You Want It”

    UMG / Via

    Lyric You Mumbled Along To 'Cause You Had No Idea What Pac Was Saying: "Livin' in hell, only a few of us'll live to tell/ Now everybody talkin' bout us I could give a fuck I'd be the first one to bomb and cuss."

    16. UGK, "Murder"


    Thing This Makes You Miss Most: Pimp C

    17. Snoop Dogg, β€œSnoop’s Upside Ya Head”

    Death Row Records / Interscope

    Catchiest Part: That chanting chorus.

    18. Ras Kass, β€œSoul on Ice”


    Things That Still Kill You About This:

    1. "I brush my teeth with amphetamines"

    2. That guitar sample

    19. Redman, "Smoke Buddah"


    Line That Still Sticks With You: "Ayo, I got a slight problem, I smoke weed too much"

    20. Dr. Octagon, "Blue Flowers"

    UMG / Via

    Thing This Entire Album Made You Realize: Rap can be psychedelic.

    21. Westside Connection, "Bow Down"

    UMG / Via

    Straight Up Fact: Not only was this Westside Connection's debut single, it's also their highest charting, reaching No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100.

    22. Foxy Brown (ft. Blackstreet), "Get Me Home"

    Def Jam Recordings / UMG / Via

    Memorable Lyric: "You sent me Crown Royale with a note attached."

    23. Monica & Treach, "Ain't Nobody"

    UMG / Via

    Where You Probably Heard This Song Most: On the mixtape your friend made you with the CDs they ordered from Columbia House.

    24. LL Cool J (ft. Total), "Loungin"

    UMG / Via

    Why The Backing Vocals Were Iconically '90s: Total sang the backing vocals for Notorious B.I.G.'s "One More Chance" and "Juicy," Mase's "What You Want," Foxy Brown's "I Can't," and Lil Kim's "Not Tonight (Ladies Night Remix)."

    Here's a Spotify playlist so you can live in '96 wherever you're at: