Top 90 Hip Hop Songs of the 1990s: Nos. 20-11

The Top 20 has arrived in my personal Top 90 hip hop singles of the great 1990s decade! Please feel free to peruse my other entries by scrolling through the blog or clicking the Music tab to review numbers 90-21. We’ll get to the Top 10 tomorrow (!), but here are the fabulous tracks comprising nos. 20-11:

20. “Tha Crossroads” by Bone Thugs n Harmony (1996)

The Cleveland rap group’s tribute to their founder, Eazy-E, was a soulful summer anthem of 1996.

19. “Now That We Found Love” by Heavy D and the Boyz  featuring Aaron Hall (1991)

This Teddy Riley produced dance hit marked a career highlight from the late Heavy D… and his Boyz.

18. “Scenario” by A Tribe Called Quest (1992)

The brilliant hip hop group had their best known track with this banger that featured an amazing verse from one Busta Rhymes.

17. “Regulate” by Warren G. featuring Nate Dogg (1994)

Fantastically sampling Michael McDonald’s “I Keep Forgettin'”, Warren G and Nate Dogg burst onto the west coast scene with this classic from the Above the Rim soundtrack.

16. “Hypnotize” by The Notorious B.I.G. (1997)

The first single off 1997’s Life After Death found Biggie rapping over a sample from Herb Alpert’s groovy “Rise”.

15. “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See” by Busta Rhymes (1997)

Mr. Rhymes has given us plenty of terrific rap tunes, but this first single of his When Disaster Strikes album is his finest hour.

14. “Hard Knock Life” by Jay-Z (1998)

Shawn Carter is one of the few MC’s alive who could take a sample from Annie and make it relevant to his music. And did he ever!

13. “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” by Missy Elliot (1997)

Our first taste of the incredible collaboration between Missy and producer Timbaland, this is an impossibly infectious groove from the best female rapper we’ve likely ever seen.

12. “So What’cha Want” by the Beastie Boys (1992)

So many unforgettable tracks, yet the Boys second single from their Check Your Head project is perfect.

11. “What’s My Name?” by Snoop Dogg (1993)

Mix Dre’s production with Snoop’s natural flow and this first single from his debut smash Doggystyle has everything you’d want.

Top Ten tomorrow, friends! Until then…

Top 90 Hip Hop Songs of the 1990s: Nos. 30-21

We’re into the Top 30 of my personal top 90 hip hop singles of the 90s decades! If you’ve missed any of the entries covering numbers 90-31, you can peruse them by clicking the Music tab on the blog or simply scrolling through.

Let’s bring it:

30. “Big Poppa” by The Notorious B.I.G. (1995)

One of Biggie’s signature tunes from his Ready to Die debut album, this gave the brilliant rapper his most prominent nickname.

29. “Bring the Pain” by Method Man (1994)

One of the stars of Wu-Tang Clan, this was Meth’s first single from his acclaimed Tical album.

28. “Insane in the Brain” by Cypress Hill (1993)

Cops come and try to snatch Cypress Hill’s crops (likely marijuana) in the group’s best known hit.

27. “Fu-Gee-La” by Fugees (1996)

The lead single from Wyclef, Lauryn, and Pras’s landmark album The Score.

26. “The Choice Is Yours” by Black Sheep (1991)

Engine engine… number 9… Black Sheep had an amazingly catchy smash with this release.

25. “The Humpty Dance” by Digital Underground (1990)

Digital Underground released their signature tune that memorably described lead rapper Shock G’s proclivity to do things at Burger King that didn’t involve typical menu ordering.

24. “Triumph” by Wu-Tang Clan (1997)

The RZA led hip hop super group showcased the talents of all its rappers on the first single off their Wu-Tang Forever album.

23. “Rosa Parks” by Outkast (1998)

The lead single off Aquemini offered one of the most commercial and catchy tracks from Andre 3000 and Big Boi.

22. “Can’t Truss It” by Public Enemy (1991)

Many PE fanatics might rank other songs higher, but this has always remained my personal favorite track from the iconic group.

21. “Deep Cover” by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (1992)

The world got its first taste of the Dre/Snoop combo in this title song from a 1992 Laurence Fishburne crime thriller. Rap would never be the same.

And that’ll do it for now! We’ll enter the top 20 tomorrow…


The Superhero Movie Onslaught

From the release of Guardians of the Galaxy in August until the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron in May 2015, there will be nine months that pass between superhero/comic book based pictures. Starting next year and especially in 2016 and beyond, that’s going to change.

It’s almost hard to believe, but there are currently 30 – yes, 30 – superhero pics scheduled to debut between 2015 and 2020. Some – though likely not many at all – could fall to the wayside. And certainly more could be added to the calendar over the next six years.

Today, Marvel Studios announced “Phase 3” of their slate of films scheduled to be released until 2019 – culminating with the third and fourth Avengers pictures. Besides the Disney/Marvel releases, Warner Bros. and Fox have their own ambitious slates.

The 21st century has been absolutely dominated by the comic book adaptation in movie world. It started in 2000 with X-Men and has continued with the Dark Knight franchise, The Avengers, Guardians, two Superman reboots, two Spider-Man franchises, and various stand-alone features and their sequels and reboots focused on Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Daredevil, Hellboy, and others. And it’s only accelerating.

This is going to be tough to keep all these Iron Men, Guardians, Caped Crusaders, and newbies like Ant-Man, Wonder Woman, and Doctor Strange straight, so this movie blogger is providing you a handy guide for all of them coming out over the next few years – in order of currently scheduled release.

Here we go:

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Release Date: May 1, 2015

Joss Whedon returns to direct as Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye, and Black Widow all return in the sequel to the #3 highest grossing film of all time. This will almost surely set a new record for all-time opening weekend, therefore defeating its predecessor.


Release Date: July 17, 2015

Paul Rudd takes on the role of the title character with Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly costarring. Expect Ant-Man to find his way into later Disney/Marvel projects, possibly including later Avengers sequels.

The Fantastic Four

Released Date: August 7, 2015

After two successful but critically panned Fantastic Four pics earlier this century, director Josh Trank (Chronicle) takes over the reins of a budding new franchise for 20th Century Fox. The cast includes Miles Teller as Mr. Fantastic, Kate Mara as the Invisible Woman, Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch, and Jamie Bell as The Thing.


Release Date: February 12, 2016

A spinoff of the X-Men series, Ryan Reynolds is likely to play the character (he played him in the poorly received original 2009 Wolverine stand-alone flick).

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Released Date: March 25, 2016

Man of Steel director Zack Snyder returns with Henry Cavill’s Superman battling Ben Affleck’s Batman. Gal Gadot will make her debut as Wonder Woman before a later stand-alone pic and Jesse Eisenberg joins the mix as Lex Luthor.

Captain America: Civil War

Release Date: May 6, 2016

The third America flick will feature a prominent role for Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man with The Winter Soldier‘s Anthony and Joe Russo returning to direct.

X-Men: Apocalypse

Release Date: May 27, 2016

Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer is back (he also directed the first two installments of the original trilogy) as is the cast from 2011’s First Class, including James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence.

Suicide Squad

Release Date: August 5, 2016

This team of DC villains will be incorporated in the Warner Bros. movie universe that will eventually lead to the Justice League pics. Jesse Eisenberg is rumored to appear in this as well in his Lex Luthor role. David Ayer, director of Fury, is behind the camera.

Doctor Strange

Release Date: November 4, 2016

Sinister director Scott Derickson helms the adaptation of the Marvel comic with Benedict Cumberbatch just having signed to play the title character after negotiations with Joaquin Phoenix stalled.

Sinister Six

Release Date: November 11, 2016

A spin-off of the current Spider-Man franchise, this will focus on supervillains in the Spidey universe, reportedly including Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, and Rhino. Cabin in the Woods director Drew Goddard is on board.


Release Date: 2017

A stand-alone pic for the Spidey villain, it’s uncertain at this point whether Sony Pictures ends up going forward with this one.

Untitled Wolverine Picture

Release Date: March 3, 2017

The third stand-alone Wolverine flick will have Hugh Jackman clawing his way on screen and James Mangold, who directed 2013’s The Wolverine, returning.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Release Date: May 5, 2017

Star Lord and company are back with James Gunn back in the director’s chair. The original from this summer grossed an astonishing $752 million worldwide (at press time).

Wonder Woman

Release Date: June 23, 2017

It’s about time a woman headlined one of these things! Gal Gadot will star after appearing as the title character in Batman v. Superman. No director attached at press time.

The Fantastic Four 2

Release Date: July 14, 2017

Fox is confident as they’ve scheduled this to follow-up summer 2015’s release.

Thor: Ragnorak

Release Date: July 28, 2017

The third entry in the franchise, Chris Hemsworth will reprise his role in between Avengers filming duties. No director attached yet.

Black Panther

Release Date: November 3, 2017

Disney/Marvel gives their first headlining feature to an African-American superhero. 42 and Get On Up star Chadwick Boseman was cast as the Panther today. The character will reportedly first appear in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War.

Justice League Part One

Release Date: November 17, 2017

Essentially Warner Bros. version of Avengers, expect to see Cavill’s Superman, Affleck’s Batman, Gadot’s Wonder Woman, and likely Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg in the mix. Zack Snyder will direct.

The Amazing Spider-Man 3

Release Date: 2018

No specific release date yet, other than sometime in 2018 and you have to wonder. Each Spidey flick has grossed less than its predecessor and this summer’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a commercial and critical letdown. It’s not known for sure yet, but Andrew Garfield is likely to return as the title character.

The Flash

Release Date: March 23, 2018

After a probable debut in Justice League, The Flash gets his own stand-alone pic with Ezra Miller in the title role.

Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1

Release Date: May 4, 2018

This is where the Marvel universe is likely to go bananas – with rumors of your typical Avengers (Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk) possibly mixing it up with Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, and the Guardians of the Galaxy, among others. This is gonna be huge.

Captain Marvel

Release Date: July 6, 2018

Details are scarce, but this will be Disney/Marvel Studios first stand-alone featuring a title character who is a female. Expect an A list actress to join at some point.

Untitled Fox Marvel Movie

Release Date: July 13, 2018

Once again – details are very scarce. However, there are rumors that this could be Fox’s “Avengers” type pic, incorporating the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and Deadpool.


Release Date: July 27, 2018

After an expected debut in Justice League, “Games of Thrones” star Jason Momoa will portray the title character.


Release Date: November 2, 2018

Marvel/Disney will attempt and almost assuredly succeed with this development of a new Guardians/Avengers type franchise. Director/actor announcements will come later.


Release Date: April 5, 2019

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will play the title character in this DC Comic adaptation.

Avengers: Infinity Wars, Part 2

Release Date: May 3, 2019

The continuation of the previous summer’s Marvel blowout – don’t be surprised if this marks the final appearances of Downey Jr’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’s Captain America, and Chris Hemsworth’s Thor. This will be the end of Phase 3 for Disney/Marvel and we’ll have to wait and see what Phase 4 brings.

Justice League, Part 2

Release Date: June 13, 2019

The Batman/Superman/Green Lantern/Flash/Wonder Woman/Aquaman saga rolls on…


Release Date: April 3, 2020

Originating from DC, Warner Bros. will adapt this character with Ray Fisher in the title role. It’s rumored he’ll begin his appearances beginning with 2016’s Batman v. Superman and later Justice League flicks.

Green Lantern

Release Date: June 19, 2020

There was a badly received version starring Ryan Reynolds in 2011. Expect Warner Bros. to ignore that flick while reintroducing the character in Justice League prior to this stand-alone.

And there you have it – that’s a whole lotta superhero action scheduled to come your way over the rest of this decade.

Top 90 Hip Hop Songs of the 1990s: Nos. 40-31

We’ve reached the top 40 of my personal favorite 90 hip hop singles of the 1990s decade! If you missed my posts covering numbers 90-41, you can scroll through the blog or click the music tab to find them (and feel free to look back at my series on top 90 1990s R&B tracks while you’re at it)…

Let’s get rolling:

40. “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” by DMX (1998)

DMX had a signature hit from his debut album with this hard hitting anthem.

39. “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)” by Digable Planets (1992)

This Grammy winning, jazz fused track gave Digable Planets a mainstream smash.

38. “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio (1995)

By far the greatest hip hop song that featured Michelle Pfeiffer in its video, Coolio scored his biggest success with this track from the Dangerous Minds soundtrack.

37. “Shook Ones (Part II)” by Mobb Deep (1994)

The lead single from the duo’s The Infamous album is a career highlight. The beat was later used in the climactic rap battle scene in Eminem’s 8 Mile movie.

36. “One More Chance” by The Notorious B.I.G. (1995)

The Biggie hit actually knocked Michael Jackson from the #1 singles chart. It features both Faith Evans and Mary J. Blige on backing vocals.

35. “I Get Around” by 2Pac (1993)

‘Pac had a playa’s anthem for the ages with assists from Shock G and Money-B from Digital Underground.

34. “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” by Ol Dirty Bastard (1995)

ODB had his greatest track with this entry from his debut solo album. Years later, it would play over the opening credits to Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up.

33. “Tennessee” by Arrested Development (1992)

The eclectic hip hop group had a classic here which crossed over to massive mainstream airplay.

32. “Elevators (Me & You)” by Outkast (1996)

Probably the best rap duo of all time, this is the Atlanta’s group’s first single off their second LP ATLiens.

31. “Gin and Juice” by Snoop Dogg (1994)

The Dogg’s second single from Doggystyle informed the universe that his mind was on his money and… you know the rest.

We’ll have a break in the action and resume my top 3rd of the list later this week. Until then!

Top 90 Hip Hop Songs of the 1990s: Nos. 50-41

This evening on the blog, we’re breaking into the Top 50 of my personal favorite 90 singles of the 90s decade. If you missed my first four entries of this blog series, simply go to the Music tab category and use your incredible scrolling abilities to track them down.

Let’s get to it!

50. “Mo Money Mo Problems” by the Notorious B.I.G. featuring Puff Daddy and Mase (1997)

The second single from Biggie’s posthumous Life After Death project, this is one of the brilliant rapper’s most mainstream tracks with its sample of Diana Ross’s “I’m Coming Out” and its assists from Puff and Mase.

49. “Shoop” by Salt-n-Pepa (1993)

One of the most infectious singles from the greatest rap girl group in history.

48. “N.Y. State of Mind” by Nas (1994)

With its propulsive DJ Premier beat, this is a highlight of Nas’s terrific debut album Illmatic.

47. “New Jack Hustler” by Ice-T (1991)

Ice-T hit a home run with his single off the New Jack City soundtrack, which he also costarred in.

46. “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice (1991)

So… yeah… if you don’t this should be on the list – I will ask: do you know all the lyrics? Thought so.

45. “C.R.E.A.M.” by Wu-Tang Clan (1994)

This pioneering and very large hip hop group had one of their best with this single from their Enter the 36 Chambers debut album.

44. “Award Tour” by A Tribe Called Quest (1993)

One of the most innovative rap groups ever, this is Tribe’s first single off their Midnight Marauders album.

43. “I Got 5 On It” by Luniz (1995)

A green anthem for the ages, Luniz staked their place in rap history with this jam.

42. “All About the Benjamins (remix)” by Puff Daddy featuring The Notorious B.I.G. and Lil Kim (1997)

The creme de la creme of Bad Boy got together on this banger from Puff’s debut solo album.

41. “Still Not a Player” by Big Pun featuring Joe (1998)

The late Pun has his signature hit with this party starter featuring R&B singer Joe.

And that’ll do it for now! We’ll enter the Top 40 tomorrow.


Oscar Watch: Interstellar

A very large and important piece of the Oscar puzzle came into focus today as Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar had its review embargo lifted. It opens next Friday (November 7), but the critics are having their say, which obviously impacts its standing in the Academy Awards races.

The verdict? Somewhat mixed. While some reviewers have been over the moon on it (forgive the pun), others are having issues with its screenplay. It’s the same issue that hindered Gravity‘s chances of a win last year. Currently it stands at a respectable though unspectacular 69% on Rotten Tomatoes (though that number is bound to change as more notices roll in).

The acting has been pretty much praised up and down beginning with Matthew McConaughey’s lead role. However, it’s unlikely he’ll figure into the Best Actor race due to how crowded it is and the fact that he won just last year. Of all the performers, Jessica Chastain probably stands the best chance at a Supporting Actor nod, though that’s far from certain and even she is likely on the outside looking in.

It will certainly be a major factor in the technical categories, from Cinematography to Editing to the two Sound categories to Visual Effects. Hans Zimmer may also be recognized for his Original Score.

As for Screenplay, that remains a big question mark considering it seems to be what some critics are leveling their complaints about.

I still believe Nolan stands a good shot at a Directing nomination considering the lauded visual scope of the picture. And with the possibility of up to ten movies being nominated, Interstellar still should make the cut. Yet one nearly assured declarative statement can be made today that we didn’t know yesterday: Interstellar is extremely unlikely to win Best Picture.

Box Office Predictions: October 31-November 2

The Halloween weekend is shaping up to be a tepid yet unpredictable one at the box office. There are three new entries: the Jake Gyllenhall crime pic Nightcrawler, Nicole Kidman/Colin Firth thriller Before I Go to Sleep, and the 10th anniversary re-release of Saw. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each here:

None of these newbies is expected to scare up much business. Added to the misery: all holdovers should dip below double digits, assuming current champ Ouija suffers the typical horror flick big drop. That means that my estimates reflect the #1 movie for this weekend will fail to reach past $10M for the first time since September 2012 when horror pic The Possession managed to open first with just over $9 million. Simply put, this is a dull weekend at the multiplex until November heavy hitters Interstellar, Big Hero 6, Dumb and Dumber To, and Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 open.

Depending on what happens, it could be a free for all for the #1 position as the difference between my #1 and #6 are a mere $1.7M apart. For this weekend, I’ll do a rare top ten predictions and we’ll see how it all shakes out:

1. Ouija

Predicted Gross: $8.8 million (representing a drop of 56%)

2. Nightcrawler

Predicted Gross: $8.1 million

3. Fury

Predicted Gross: $7.7 million (representing a drop of 42%)

4. Gone Girl

Predicted Gross: $7.4 million (representing a drop of 34%)

5. John Wick

Predicted Gross: $7.3 million (representing a drop of 49%)

6. The Book of Life

Predicted Gross: $7.1 million (representing a drop of 38%)

7. St. Vincent

Predicted Gross: $4.6 million (representing a drop of 39%)

8. Alexander and the Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Predicted Gross: $4.4 million (representing a drop of 38%)

9. Saw 10th Anniversary

Predicted Gross: $4.1 million

10. Before I Go to Sleep 

Predicted Gross: $3.5 million

Box Office Results (October 24-26)

As expected, the pre-Halloween weekend allowed critically reviled Ouija took open #1 with $19.8 million, under my $24.9M projection. With a tiny budget, however, this will reap a nice cash flow for its studio.

Keanu Reeves saw a better than expected opening for his critically acclaimed actioner John Wick, which debuted second with $14.4 million (above my $11M estimate). The lackluster Cinemascore grade of B, though, portends it probably will fade rather quickly.

Brad Pitt’s Fury dropped to third with $13.3 million in weekend two, under my $14.8M estimate. It’s earned $46M in 10 days.

Gone Girl was fourth in its fourth weekend with $11 million, in line with my $11.6M projection. The hit has earned $124M so far.

The animated feature The Book of Life was fifth in its sophomore frame with $10 million, just below my $11.3M prediction. It’s two week total stands at $30M.

Finally, Bill Murray’s St. Vincent expanded nationwide and took in a respectable $7.7 million, not matching my $8.6M estimate.

That’s all for now!

Top 90 Hip Hop Songs of the 1990s: Nos. 60-51

Today we roll into part 4 of my personal top 90 hip hop singles of the 1990s. If you missed the first three parts covering numbers 90-61, you can check them out here:

Alright, onto the next ones!

60. “Dre Day” by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (1993)

The second single off Dre’s brilliant Chronic album also featured a very memorable video dissing former NWA partner Eazy-E.

59. “Money, Power, Respect” by The Lox featuring DMX and Lil Kim (1998)

This Bad Boy label group had their signature tune with this banger with assists from DMX and Lil Kim.

58. “Gimme Some More” by Busta Rhymes (1998)

Mr. Rhymes can usually be counted on for great beats (this one samples the Psycho theme) and imaginative videos. This one has both and then some.

57. “Passin’ Me By” by The Pharcyde (1993)

This rap foursome hit #1 on the charts with this groove.

56. “Warning” by The Notorious B.I.G. (1994)

One of Biggie’s most hard hitting and creative tracks from his debut Ready to Die album.

55. “1st of tha Month” by Bone Thugs n Harmony (1995)

The Cleveland group had one of their giant singles with this unforgettable ode to welfare checks.

54. “Natural Born Killaz” by Dr. Dre and Ice Cube (1994)

Dre and Cube reunited for the first time since NWA for this fantastic song from the Murder Was the Case soundtrack.

53. “Ditty” by Paperboy (1993)

It may have been his only big hit, but Paperboy delivered a wonderful one with this catchy tune… or ditty, if you will.

52. “Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch (1991)

The second best song with the name “Good Vibrations”, it’s still awesome and it’s definitely Marky’s finest hour at the mic. He would go onto a storied movie career. The Funky Bunch did not.

51. “Cell Therapy” by Goodie Mob (1995)

This Atlanta based group (which includes Cee-Lo) created a masterpiece here. This is Mob’s only single that cracked the top 40.

And that’ll do it for now, friends! We’ll get into the top 50 tomorrow…

Saw 10th Anniversary Box Office Prediction

It’s been ten years since Saw became a major cult hit that spawned six sequels and kick started the directorial career of James Wan. He would move onto The Conjuring and will soon helm the seventh Fast and Furious picture. Lionsgate is celebrating this milestone by re-releasing the original Saw in theaters for Halloween and hoping audiences make a return trip to the theater to watch Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, and Tobin Bell as Jigsaw.

There’s no doubt that the Halloween timing could help, but I’m rather skeptical crowds will turn out for a film they can easily cue up on cable or on their DVD/Blu Ray player. There is also horror competition with Ouija in its second weekend, even though that title is likely to suffer a large drop.

Rolling out on approximately 1850 screens, I’ll predict Saw fails to gross over $5M in its re-release and that many genre fans will stay at home.

Saw 10th Anniversary opening weekend prediction: $4.1 million

For my Nightcrawler prediction, click here:

For my Before I Go to Sleep prediction, click here:

Before I Go to Sleep Box Office Prediction

It may star a pair of Oscar winners in Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth, but the thriller Before I Go to Sleep seems likely to be a snoozer at the box office when it opens Friday.

The pic is receiving mixed reviews, but more importantly, it’s received little TV advertisement at all stateside. I’m frankly a little surprised this didn’t go direct to VOD instead of a 1700 screen theatrical debut. If this managed to make over $5 million out of the gate, its production company should consider that a small victory. I’ll predict it doesn’t even get that far.

Before I Go to Sleep opening weekend prediction: $3.5 million

For my Nightcrawler prediction, click here:

For my Saw 10th Anniversary prediction, click here: