‘The Teflon Don’ John Gotti finally goes down. Bill Clinton was elected President. Mike Tyson is sentenced to six years in prison. The North American Free Trade Agreement is signed. South Africa formally votes an end to Apartheid in elections that are free and open to all citizens. The communist government of Afghanistan falls.

1992 was another monumental year in history, and for me personally it was the first year I was legally able to vote for President. (I chose Slick Willie.) I had a lot of decisions to make in 1992, including where I would go to college next year, and what I’d have to do to be able to afford it. College loans were a fairly crippling prospect even then, and I don’t envy those of you who are faced with the same dilemma now. As it had for the last nine+ years though, hip-hop gave me hope, because everything I thought was wrong with the world was given a voice through rap. Racism, disenfranchisement, poverty, famine, genocide, police brutality, and the systematic denial of basic human rights in countries with oppressive political regimes.

Sadly nothing has changed in some of those countries in the last 20 years, but hip-hop is now as it was then the voice of protest for those who have been denied that voice by other means. I celebrate the best rap videos of 1992 not just as another landmark year in my life but as a reminder that hip-hop will always be here to speak the truth no matter who in power tries to silence the disenfranchised or powerless. Hip-Hop will always be here, as KRS-One famously said, “forever and ever.”

PS: There are WAY more than 20 songs from 1992 worth featuring, but I had to stop somewhere. Check out part two HERE.

1.) EPMD – “Crossover”

2.) Heavy D and Friends – “Don’t Curse”

3.) Dr. Dre – “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang”

4.) Arrested Development – “Tennessee”

5.) DJ Quik – “Jus Lyke Compton”

6.) A Tribe Called Quest – “Hot Sex”

7.) Redman – “Blow Your Mind”

8.) Diamond D – “Best Kept Secret”

9.) Gang Starr – “Ex Girl to Next Girl”

10.) Das EFX – “They Want EFX”

11.) Gang Starr – “Take It Personal”

12.) Grand Puba – “360 (What Goes Around)”

13.) Kool G Rap and DJ Polo – “Ill Street Blues”

14.) House of Pain – “Jump Around”

15.) Geto Boys – “Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta”

16.) Paris – “The Days of Old”

17.) Black Sheep – “Strobelite Honey”

18.) Boogie Down Productions – “Duck Down”

19.) Digable Planets – “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)”

20.) Beastie Boys – “So What’Cha Want”