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The best West Coast Hip-Hop songs according to Rolling Stone

In more than 40 years of music, the US West Coast scene has rocked the entire environment with a huge variety of music, not only in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, but also in Sacramento, Phoenix, Seattle and other cities in the region.

2Pac, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg are just three of the best known in a scene that is truly wide-ranging and encompasses a huge variety of artists and countless hits. Rolling Stone attempted to compile a list of the 100 greatest hip-hop hits that have been produced on the West Coast, and the task was certainly not easy.

To compile the list, the magazine used editors and a team of critics led by Bay Area writer and long-time RS contributor Mosi Reeves.

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The best West Coast Hip-Hop songs according to Rolling Stone
In more than 40 years of music, the US West Coast scene has rocked the entire environment with a huge variety of music, not only in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, but also in Sacramento, Phoenix, Seattle and other cities in the region. 2Pac, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg are just three of the best known in a scene that is truly wide-ranging and encompasses a huge variety of artists and countless hits. Rolling Stone attempted to compile a list of the 100 greatest hip-hop hits that have been produced on the West Coast, and the task was certainly not easy. To compile the list, the magazine used editors and a team of critics led by Bay Area writer and long-time RS contributor Mosi Reeves.
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10) Ice-T - 6 In The Mornin'
As Rolling Stone well explains: "'6 in the Mornin' was the first track to really showcase the hard rhymes, evocative storytelling, and streetwise subject matter that Los Angeles would be known for. Ice-T produced a seven-minute story about one man's wanderings towards the law and himself". The author himself said: 'I didn't think it would be a lasting or influential record. For me it was just the life I was living'.
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9) Mac Dre - Feeling Myself
This peculiar and eccentric dance-centred artist's sound rejuvenated Bay Area hip-hop. Unfortunately, in the year of his death, he had not yet emerged as one of the genre's most important songwriters. "Feelin' Myself", produced by Sean T, didn't really rock until almost a year after its release, making Dre a rebel figure whose innovations surpassed him.
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8) Snoop Dogg - Gin and Juice
Festive song in full Snoop style, contained in the artist's debut album, 'Doggystyle'. More of a party boy than a real OG (original gangster), Dogg has suffered much criticism for his style and voice. In the video for the track, he gets his hair braided, climbs on the handlebars of a bicycle while producer/rapper Daz pedals and tries to calm down two girls who are fighting.
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7) Ice Cube - It Was a Good Day
'It Was a Good Day' marks Cube's moment of maximum relativity. It was in 1992, thus at the moment of the singer's greatest artistic capacity, who in this track simply does not play himself. In fact, it is a 'chilli' song, where he does not shoot anyone or fight, but just enjoys the mood. This is his most famous song, a smooth, summery groove centred on producer DJ Pooh's sample of the funk ballad 'Footsteps in the Dark' by the Isley Brothers.
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6) Too $hort - Blow the Whistle
"Blow the Whistle" has universal appeal, whether you are a hip-hop OG (original gangster), a big stepper or a bad feminist. It may not be his most famous song, but it is undoubtedly the Too $hort track that can easily be heard at the disco, the pub or the beach.
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5) Souls of Mischief - 93 'Til Infinity
"93 'Til Infinity" was the debut album by Souls of Mischief, produced by Souls rapper/producer A-Plus. The song gives the eponymous album its title. "93 'Til Infinity" may not have launched the Souls to the pinnacle of success, but it fuelled a cult following that still exists today, including an annual Hiero Day festival in Oakland. They are proof of how different the West Coast hip-hop 'microclimates' are.
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4) Makaveli feat. Outlawz - Hail Mary
On 13 September 1996, Tupac Shakur died of injuries sustained in a shooting on 7 September in Las Vegas. Two months later, 'The Don Killuminati (The 7 Day Theory)' was released. With this album, completed a few days before his death, 2Pac influenced many members of the rap scene of the time. Less blatantly, 'Hail Mary' highlights Pac's true legacy as a T.H.U.G. seeking freedom through unpredictable and 'crazy' behaviour.
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3) Kendrick Lamar feat. Mc Eiht - M.A.A.d City
Thanks also to the presence of Mc Eiht, "M.A.A.d City", which is the title track of the album, fully represents the handover from the old generation to the new. "M.A.A.d City" unfolds like a short film, with Lamar and Eiht filling the screen with small but important details. The most powerful, the hope that the next generation can dream bigger than the current one, coming out of the human sacrifice of Compton.
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2) N.W.A. - Straight Outta Compton
This is the record that scared the white rock establishment and quite a few in the black music community into shaking in their boots, who called the group 'glorified gangbangers'. Co-produced by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella and inspired by Bomb Squad samples 'It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back', it was made immortal by a 2015 film.
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1) Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dog - Nuthin' But A "G" Thang
"Nuthin' but a G Thang" popularised what soon became known as "G-funk", and also helped to cement entrenched misogyny as a fundamental part of the hip hop that would develop from there on. This track also codified a sound that pervaded records like N.W.A.'s "efil4zaggaN" and DJ Quik Is the Name" and made it the default style of Los Angeles past and present.
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