Eric B and Rakim – Don’t Sweat The Technique (1992)
The title track of the 1992 album by Eric B and Rakim, the song went #1 on the Rap chart and further established Rakim as one of hip-hop’s greatest lyricists.
Black Sheep – The Choice Is Yours (1992)
One of hip-hop’s most enduring and well-known classics, “The Choice Is Yours,” off the Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing debut album from the Queens, N.Y. duo Black Sheep, hit #1 on the Rap Chart in 1992, becoming the duo’s only big hit record. In 2010, the song was used as part of a Kia Soul car commercial.
Faith Evans/Puff Daddy and 112 – I’ll Be Missing You (1997)
New Jersey-born Faith Evans is the First Lady of Bad Boy. She was signed by Diddy and scored two platinum albums but this song, a tribute to her late husband, Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace was a major #1 Pop and R&B hit, selling over 8 million copies and becoming one of the top-selling hit of all time.
From the No Way Out album featuring Puff Daddy and the Family, “I’ll Be Missing You” won Faith, Puff Daddy and 112 a 1998 Grammy For Best Rap Performance By A Duo or Group.
112 – Only You (1996)
Bad Boy’s 112, an Atlanta-based quartet scored with “Only You”off their self-titled debut album in 1996. The song was remixed with Mase on the rap vocal and used a sample of both “Bounce, Rock, Skate Roll” from Vaughn Mason while the original sampled “I Get Lifted” by KC and The Sunshine Band.
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony – Tha Crossroads (1996)
The Cleveland-based rap quartet’s biggest single, off their second album E.1999 Eternal. it went #1 in 1996. The song was dedicated to their late mentor, N.W.A’s Eazy E, who had succumbed to AIDS.
Carl Thomas – I Wish (2000)
Chicago native Carl Thomas hit #1 straight out of the box with his single “I Wish,” released in 2000, helping his debut album Emotional go platinum in 2000.