Essential Latin 90s Hip Hop Tracks We Wish Were on the ‘Dope’ Soundtrack

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We’re pretty pumped for the movie Dope. After taking the Sundance Film Festival by storm earlier this year, the comedy about three nerdy, 90s hip hop-obsessed high schoolers trying to survive in the hood, is opening in theaters this month. One of the best things about Dope (besides it starring Grand Budapest Hotel’s Tony Revolori and featuring a cameo from Remezcla favorite Kap G) is the Pharell-produced soundtrack, which leans heavy on nineties staples of the hip hop cannon. With that in mind, we decided to make an alternative soundtrack for the movie with classic Latino rap joints to go along with the Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest and Digital Underground already on its tracklist. Scroll down for a chance to win some Dope headphones.

Dope opens in theaters on June 19. Visit for details.

Big Pun (feat. Wyclef Jean) - "Caribbean Connection"

One of the greatest emcees of all time and one of the first Latinos to go platinum. Although this is not one of his signature songs, it’s one of his best rhyme showcases, with Wyclef matching Pun’s intensity.

Control Machete - "Comprendes Mendes"

One of the first serious hip hop acts to break out in LatAm, this is their signature song, a party stopper full of swagger that will get the crowd bouncing wherever 40s are popped.

Tiro De Gracia - "El Juego Verdadero"

Sampling the beat from a then smash hit and coming out with a single that travelled throughout Latin America is no small feat. The Chilean trio took the schmalzy “Just The Two Of Us” from Will Smith’s hands and turned into a consciousness-inducing storm of lyrics.

Kid Frost - "La Raza"

“La Raza” is likely the first time a rapper talked so proudly about his Mexican heritage with a song that became part of the pantheon of great West Coast jams. The fact that he often faced Ice-T in freestyle battles and counts Dr. Dre and Yella as his first DJs make him a definitive part of gangsta rap history.

Molotov - "Chinga Tu Madre"

If you were a young Latino in the late nineties, Molotov was definitely a group you couldn’t ignore, and might have been your initiation into the world of rap. The irreverent quartet rose to fame with controversy on their side and a heap of swearing as their weapon. If you wanted to impress your buddies and the ladies, you probably busted out one of their rhymes.

Caló - "Ponte Atento"

Mexico’s first rap group was not comprised of the streetwise L.A. cholos one would hope to pioneer the genre, but a dancey outfit that rapped in an almost comical way (shout out to Claudio Yarto!), had dancers plucked straight out of MC Hammer’s posse and diva-voiced sisters. They were a hoot.

Delinquent Habits - "3 Delincuentes"

The quintessential Mexi hip hop track to come out of the U.S.? Check. Mariachi horns? Check. Cholo attire? Check. Spanglish rapping? Check. West Coast swagger? Check. This is a no brainer.

Resorte - "La Mitad Más Uno"

From Run DMC’s “Rock Box” to every block party DJ who ever cut AC/DC’s “Back In Black” for spitters to rhyme over, Resorte used heavy guitars to great effect, without it devolving into nu metal fodder. While Resorte are alumni in the Korn University of Higher Riffage, they show a surprising amount of realness on this song.

Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas - "Abarajame"

Granted, the funk-loving Argentine duo is not a pure rap outfit, and it’s probably their most overt involvement with anything hip hop in their career, but “Abarajame” features some of the sickest spitting in Spanish, like a Cono Sur meeting of Busta Rhymes and ODB.

Mellow Man Ace - "Mentirosa"

This Spanglish single, using a classic rap format, broke frontiers and became a hit worldwide. Spitting over a catchy, irresistible track, the Cuban rapper tells a one-sided story of a relationship gone way way wrong. Although there’s nothing nice the Mellow Man has to say about his girl, he never loses his cool, sonically speaking.

Wilfred y La Ganga - "Mi Abuela"

Okay, this one is cheating a little since it came out in 1989, but it remains one of the funniest Spanish-language hip hop songs of all time. It’s a remarkably quotable, fun and dated piece of rap history. Listen up DJs: you should definitely bust this one out more often.

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