5. Express Yourself
Sure, there might not be many rap songs like this on the radio anymore. I mean, there’s not one curse in its three verses, which includes Dr. Dre (the artists behind The Chronic album) denouncing marijuana. Though, it’s not the track's cleanliness that makes “Express Yourself” influential. Instead, it's what the cleanliness represented amidst the songs historical context.
Off of Straight Outta Compton, which set the music media on fire with rash opinions in regards to N.W.A.’s titular attitude, “Express Yourself” proves that the group (and, in turn, rap music as a whole) cannot be pigeonholed. The positively funky track, which features only Dr. Dre, stands out on the record, not as a palate cleanser, for the more aggressive tracks on it, rather, it stands out as an evasion of being pigeonholed.
It’s songs like “Express Yourself” that opened the door for the countless diverse artists and albums that the hip-hop community turned out since.