Hi-Top Top 14 – Pop Rap Songs of the late 80s/early 90s

There’s been a lot of talk around Hi-Top HQ lately reminiscing on the good old days. As Le Cap so elegantly put it in his newest ode to West Medfid, 1989 was 30 years ago. A lot has changed in those 30 years, mostly for the better. But certain things peaked in the late 80s/early 90s and have never been better than they were back when you rocked a fresh pair of Skids to the Junior High dance.

Imagine if you will a time when a Rap Song could be about nothing more than having a good time and dancing. No drug deals. No murder. No Feds hot on the rappers tail. Just fresh beats, fresh rhymes and fresh dance steps. This was Pop Rap. Fanciful clothed MCs dropping lighthearted verses over bouncy beats while their back up dancers defied gravity behind them. Pop Rap was joyous and wonderful, footloose and fancy free and reigned supreme over school dances and house parties from roughly 1988-1993. Here’s the best of the best.

Hi-Top Top 14 Pop Rap Songs

14. Rollin’ With Kid N Play

The Kings start us off. Not many did it better folks.

13. Every Little Step

Was BB technically a rapper? No. But he did looooove to bust out a terrible rhyme and none are better than this one. Well one is and you’ll find out a little farther down our list but still, “Bobby Brown was good to g-g-g-good to go solo…..”

12. Iesha

11. Playground

Back to back killer jams from the funkiest elementary school kids to ever live.

10. It Takes 2

The most “rap” of this list of pop rap, Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock basically got willed into pop stardom by creating such an undeniable jam. This song goes hard.

9. Rico Suave

Is this a good song? Probably not. Was it hugely popular for what seemed like years and years? Yes. Can you listen to it once and get it out of your head? Not a chance in hell.

8. Humpty Dance

First of all, I need to give a quick shout out to Kiss You Back :

Personally I think KUB is the superior jam but there’s no question that the Humpty Dance was a full on movement.

7. Funky Cold Medina

Sure Wild Thing would have been the obvious choice. But the Lil’ Dogg has held strong for 30 years that Funky Cold Medina is the better tune and I ain’t caving in now.

6. Bust A Move

The production on this track is incredibly underrated. Just an absolute banger.

5. U Can’t Touch This

A phenomenon? Yes. A great song? Not really.

4. What About Your Friends

The Queens. Such a fun song. Just a pure blast of joy.

3. Good Vibrations

Did I want to put Marky Mark on this list? Undoubtedly No. Did I have to? Absolutely yes. This song was as massive as humanly possible. Just unavoidable. Every dance. Every party. Every where.

2. Ice Ice Baby

A bit of a shocker here at #2. But facts is facts and the fact is that #1 is just a flat out better song. That isn’t to say that anyone aged 35-45 doesn’t know Ice Ice Baby by heart front to back. And it’s a jam for sure. No doubt. It just ain’t as good as….

1. Now that We Found Love

Honestly half this list could have been Heavy D and the Boyz. Just the undisputed champions of the dance pop rap life.

They had the hooks, the beats and the dancing. It’s legit unfathomable that Heavy D could move the way he did at that size. Feet as light as feathers on the big guy and that’s why he’s at number 1.

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