Soundtracks don’t outperform their accompanying films that often, but in 1998, Def Jam’s Rush Hour soundtrack came close. A classic blend of hip hop and R&B, the album climbed to 5 on the Billboard 200 and number 2 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. It’s best remembered for Dru Hill’s monster hit, How Deep Is Your Love, but even leaving aside the obvious hits, it’s still a must-listen for anyone with a taste for ’90s hip hop. Here’s how we rank all the songs on the Rush Hour soundtrack.
16. Disco – Grenique
Grenique’s time in the spotlight began in 1998 and ended in 1999, but even if her success was short-lived, she still managed to leave her mark with this song from her debut album Black Butterfly.
15. If I Die Tonight – Montell Jordan, Monifah & Flesh-n-Bone
On this next track, we get three maestros of ’90s hip hop for the price of one.
14. Terror Squadians – Terror Squad
Terror Squad weren’t around for long, but thanks to little gems like Terror Squadians, they’re still essential listening for old-school hip-hop fans.
13. Way Too Crazy – Tray Deee, Jayo Felony & Daz Dillinger
Over 20 years after its release, this collaboration between Tray Deee, Jayo Felony & Daz Dillinger is still as epic as ever.
12. Glad That We Loved – Jon B.
Before 1997, Jon B. worked as a songwriter for hire for artists such as Toni Braxton, Michael Jackson, Color Me Badd, and the Spice Girls. Then he released his debut album – the album went platinum, the awards started rolling in, and Jon B.’s career went stratospheric. It was all over by the early 2000s, but at the time Rush Hour came out in 1998, he was one of the soundtrack’s main attractions.
11. N.B.C. – Charli Baltimore, Cam’ron & Noreaga
Back in the mid to late ’90s, Charli Baltimore, Cam’ron & Noreaga were all starting to make big waves on the hip hop scene. Getting them all together on the same track was pure genius.
10. You’ll Never Miss Me (‘Til I’m Gone) – Terry Dexter
Terry Dexter has lent her voice to numerous movies and Tv shows over the years, includingThe L Word, Not Easily Broken, Kings and Queens, The Game, Deliver Us From Eva, Family Guy, and of course, Rush Hour.
9. No Love – Imajin
R&B group Imajin only had a few hits, but even if they disappeared before their time was up, they still left behind some sweet moments like No Love to remember them by.
8. Nasty Girl – Kasino feat. Nite & Day
’90s hip hop meets ’70s funk on Nasty Girl from the criminally underrated Kasino.
7. Rush Hour (Main Title Theme) – Lalo Schifrin
We don’t get to hear much of Lalo Schifrin’s score on the soundtrack, but we do at least get one snippet in the shape of the main title theme.
6. Tell the Feds – Too $hort
A lot of the artists on the Rush Hour soundtrack were still wet behind the ears in 1998, but Too $hort was the exception. By the time the film came out, he’d actually been in retirement for two years, only to come out the following year with his gold-selling eighth album, the appropriately titled Can’t Stay Away.
5. Impress the Kid – Slick Rick
Even if you’re not familiar with his name, there’s a very good chance you’ll have heard Slick Ricks’s music – he’s been sampled by hundreds of artists over the years, from Beyonce to Kanye West, Miley Cyrus to the Beastie Boys. On Impress the Kid, he gives us a masterclass in why he’s considered one of the best MCs of all time.
4. Bitch Betta Have My Money – Ja Rule
By 1998, Ja Rule was on the cusp of making it big. By the time his debut album, Venni Vetti Vecci, came out the following year, expectations were running sky-high – thanks in no small part to songs like Bitch Betta Have My Money.
3. And You Don’t Stop – Wu-Tang Clan
If you need any help figuring out why About has ranked Wu-Tang Clan “the No. 1 greatest hip hop group of all time” and Rolling Stone has called them “the best rap group ever,” And You Don’t Stop from the Rush Hour soundtrack should give you a pretty good idea.
2. Can I Get A… – Jay-Z, Amil & Ja Rule
Can I Get A… first appeared on Jay-Z’s third album Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life. At the time, both Amil and Ja Rule were practically unknown. After this, they were stars. The song became one of Jay-Z’s most commercially successful singles of all time, taking him to number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100.
1. How Deep Is Your Love – Dru Hill & Redman
If there’s one song that Dru Hill are remembered for above all others, it’s How Deep Is Your Love from their second album, Enter the Dru. Released as a single in September 1998, the song topped the R&B charts for three weeks and peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming their highest charting single of all time.