The Notorious B.I.G.’s ‘Juicy’ tops new poll of greatest hip-hop tracks ever

BBC Music unveiled the list today

The Notorious B.I.G.‘s ‘Juicy’ has topped a new poll of the greatest hip-hop tracks of all time – see the full run-down below. 

The BBC called upon more than 100 critics, experts and artists – including Common and Slick Rick – to compile the new list, which was unveiled today (October 8).

Coming out on top was B.I.G.’s 1994 single ‘Juicy’, which appeared on the legendary rapper’s debut album, ‘Ready To Die’. Public Enemy‘s ‘Fight The Power’ holds second place, followed by Mobb Deep’s ‘Shook Ones (Part II)’. 

Speaking of the list-topping track, rapper Common said: “This song defines the American dream from any kid’s perspective. But Biggie is one of the greatest MCs to ever live.”

Also featured are the likes of Kanye West (‘Runaway’), Grandmaster Flash (‘The Message’), Dr. Dre (‘Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang’), Wu-Tang Clan (‘C.R.E.A.M.’), and Nas (‘N.Y. State of Mind’). 

Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac

Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac in 1993. (Credit: Getty)

“Hip hop is a uniquely American art form that has become a global mainstream phenomenon,” said Simon Frantz, Managing Editor of BBC Music. “Forty years after ‘Rapper’s Delight’ broke into the charts, hip-hop has become the voice for otherwise underrepresented groups in America and beyond.

“I think the tracks topping the poll show rap’s role in speaking truths. They’re also examples of deeply personal poetry, and an amazing playlist.”

Those who voted chose from a total of 280 songs, with 12 of the final top 20 released between the years of 1992 and 1995. Kanye West’s ‘Runaway’ from 2010 is the most recent entry.

BBC Music’s Top 20 Rap Tracks of All Time list is as follows:

1. Juicy; Notorious B.I.G., 1994
2. Fight the Power; Public Enemy, 1989
3. Shook Ones (Part II); Mobb Deep, 1995
4. The Message; Grandmaster Flash, 1982
5. Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang; Dr. Dre, 1992
6. C.R.E.A.M.; Wu-Tang Clan, 1993
7. 93 ‘Til Infinity; Souls of Mischief, 1993 
8. Passin’ Me By; The Pharcyde, 1992
9. N.Y. State of Mind; Nas, 1994
10. Dear Mama; Tupac Shakur, 1995 
11. Electric Relaxation; The Roots, 1993
12. Runaway; Kanye West, 2010
13. Paid in Full; Eric B & Rakim, 1987
14. Rapper’s Delight; Sugar Hill Gang, 1980
15. They Reminisce Over You (T .R.O.Y.); Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, 1992
16. B.O.B.; Outkast, 2000
17. It Was a Good Day; Ice Cube, 1992
18. Fuck Tha’ Police; NWA, 1988
19. U.N.I.T.Y.; Queen Latifah, 1993
20. International Players Anthem; Underground Kings, 2007

Meanwhile, it’s been announced that The Notorious B.I.G.’s ‘Ready To Die’ is being commemorated with a new documentary. The short Amazon Music film will coincide with the classic LP’s 25th anniversary.