It’s a truth universally acknowledged that the golden geese of music were laying 24K cackleberries during one particular decade: the ‘90s, which had it all in bucket(hat)s.

Emerging from its ‘80s chrysalis, the hip hop scene found its feet in the ‘90s as the three pillars that comprised its cultural ID – graffiti art, breakdancing, and using double turntables in a pioneering way that incorporated samples, breakbeats and scratching – erupted into the global zeitgeist.

From the east coast of the US came Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Nas, Beastie Boys, Salt-N-Pepa, and Wu-Tang Clan; from the west came N.W.A., Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice-T, and Xzibit. Meanwhile, the more melodic R’n’B genre was dominated by fearlessly innovative female artists like Lauryn Hill, Neneh Cherry, and Aaliyah.

Check out our fave three tracks below, as well as a playlist of all the greats.

TOP TRAX

Lauryn Hill, Doo Wop (That Thing)

Snoop Dogg, Gin and Juice

Eminem and Dido, Stan