West Coast hip hop music ruled America’s airwaves from the late 80’s to the early 2000’s. This genre of music shaped the 90’s and it defined the music and culture of the world for at least 20 years. However, by 2001 it started to fall off and never fully recovered.
West Coast hip hop was brought to the mainstream by NWA. This group was the primary driving force behind West Coast rap. They might not have been the sole creators of this genre but their body of work brought it into the spotlight. West Coast hip hop is no longer the big phenomena that it was in the past. Even though there is a new generation of West Coast rappers in 2017 many of them are no longer the big draw like they were during the 90s. The following list will describe the top 10 best West Coast Hip Hop songs of all time.
List of Top 10 Best West Coast Hip Hop Songs of All Time until in 2017
10. MC Hammer
U Can’t Touch This was released in 1990 and it was a huge culture impacting hit. MC Hammer, from Oakland, created this West Coast song and it went on to perform well on the charts. This is another song from the West Coast that is commonly used in commercials, television programs and on film. Some stations even still play it though this song is nearly 30 years old. This song was a major hit for MC Hammer and it further advanced the West Coast hip hop music scene. While Hammer was not gangsta, his work has helped to shape the legacy of the West Coast sound.
9. Baby Got Back
Baby Got Back emerged in 1992 and it was that was performed by a West Coast rapper known as Sir Mix A Lot. He was born in Seattle, Washington and his song about the black woman’s rear end has become a huge commercial success. People all over America and from around the world played (and continue to keep playing) this song on the radio, commercials, TV shows and in film. People enjoy the song because it has a great beat, a catch hook and it talks about a female body part that many people find attractive.
Warren G. and Nate Dogg produced regulate back in 1993. It debuted at the number 2 position on the Billboard charts. This song took Michael McDonalds song and turned it into a gangsta masterpiece. This song was and remains a West Coast mega hit because it was a perfect mix of rhythm and blues and rap. This song put Warren G. and Nate Dogg on the map. It was also used on the soundtrack for the film Posse which was released in 1993.
Colors is an important West Coast hip song by Ice-T. It was released in 1988 and it told about the gang problem that was a serious issue that impacted the nation. Ice-T brought the gritty world gangs into the spotlight through the song colors. It was a nightmarish song that mainstream America did not know existed and was even more afraid to deal with. Colors was the feature song on a film with the same title. When this song was released it was one of Ice-T’s biggest hits. This song is definitely a true West Coast hip hop masterpiece.
6. Life is Too Short
Life is Too Short is a mega hit by a West Coast artist by the name of Too Short. Keep in mind that Too Short came out long before NWA and he was a true West Coast artist. However, he focused more on pimping and sexual activity with females and not so much about the gangsta lifestyle. Too Short also made raps about life and his experiences with the gangsta lifestyle. Life is Too Short is a true West Coast hip hop song because it was a solid song that really represented the West Side.
5. Deep Cover
Deep Cover was the first song released on the Chronic album. This song introduced Snoop Dogg to the world and it was Dre’s first solo release under Death Row. What made this song so special was the expectation behind it. After Dr. Dre left NWA he was expected to come out with something big and Deep Cover was that song.
This song was used as the theme song for a film called “Deep Cover” which was released in 1992. Dre introduced the world to Snoop Dogg through this song and he later followed up with Nuthing But A G Thang which made Snoop Dogg a certified star. This is one amongst the Top 10 Best West Coast Hip Hop Songs of All Time until 2017.
4. Nuthing But A G Thang
The Chronic was the first album released by Dr. Dre once he left NWA. He released a song called Nuthing But A G Thing. It also helped to put Snoop Dogg on the map. This song was also released on the Chronic album which helped to define all of West Coast hip hop. Dr. Dre established his legacy and it went on to become another great West Coast hip hop song that would define a generation of hip hop music. This is another important tune for West Coast fans needed as part of their hip hop collection.
3. California Love
California Love was a collaboration between the legendary rapper 2Pac and Dr. Dre. This video was a huge hit for Death Row records. It was released in 1995 and it featured Roger Troutman on vocals. This song is considered an important piece within the genre of West Coast hip hop. 2Pac was an extremely influential East Coast hip hop artist. However, he was arrested early in 2005. While in jail, Death Row records got him released. Once he left jail, he started to work with Dr. Dre. The two hip hop mega stars created California Love.
2. F— the Police
F—uck the Police is the second-best West Coast hip hop song of all time. This song went on to become one of the most controversial in the history of music. The song was released in 1988 and once it was released millions of people all over the nation turned it into an instant hit.
The song was an anthem for people within black community who experienced brutality and harassment at the hands of the police. This controversial song was and still is anthem within the black community about the harsh existence that happens between the police and minorities. NWA had to deal with the FBI behind this song. They claimed that this song caused people to rebel against the police.
1. Straight Outta of Compton
When NWA exploded onto the scene in 1988 it became the ultimate theme song for the West Coast genre. No matter what anyone says, this song was responsible for pushing the West Coast sound to the mainstream. Gangsta rap was defined by Strait out of Compton.
This song was created by the group NWA and it told about the life of many black people that lived within the city of Compton which is a suburb of Los Angeles. Strait Out of Compton won over many legions of gansta rap fans all over the world. This song is considered the essential gangsta rap song in West Coast music history. A true West Coast hip hop fan would have this within their collection.
These above are the Top 10 Best West Coast Hip Hop Songs of All Time until 2017. West Coast music has faded into history. There are few artists left from the original West Coast lineup. New artists such as the Game and Kendrick Lamar among the latest West Coast rappers who keep the legacy of the west alive.