Both Nicki and Hip Hop turn 50 in 2023



In 1973, Richard Nixon was President of the United States of America, a gallon of gas was 0.40, the average price for a new home was $32,500.00, the Miami Dolphins won the Super Bowl, Roberta Flack released Killing Me Softly With His Song, and Nicki and Hip Hop were born.

Hip Hop has gone from hidden to iconic, from surviving to thriving, from feared to revered. Hip Hop is mainstream music that is constantly influencing fashion, corporate marketing, movies, and other music genres. Hip Hop is a global change maker.

  • The 2023 Urban One Honors, hosted by Tank, celebrated the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop when it aired on TV One in January 2023.
  • Queen Latifah hosted the 54th NAACP Image Awards which aired on BET in February 2023 and offered a special 50th anniversary tribute to Hip Hop.
  • Essence Festival will also commemorate the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop this summer.

Music is self-care for me and Hip Hop was the soundtrack of my formative teen years. As I consider my own life and legacy during this milestone birthday year, I want to share my 50 favorite Hip Hop songs.

  1. I’m Bad – LL Cool J
  2. Funky Beat – Whodini
  3. Ya Cold Wanna Be With Me – U.T.F.O.
  4. The Show – Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew
  5. Big Stuff – Heavy D. and The Boys
  6. Perfection – Run DMC
  7. My Mic Sounds Nice – Salt-N-Pepa
  8. Posse On Broadway – Sir Mix-A-Lot
  9. Self-Destruction – The Stop the Violence Movement
  10. Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince

After my top 10 songs, I really couldn’t list the remaining 40 songs in order of likeness or preference. Here is the list of my next 40 favorite hip hop songs in no particular order.

  1. Rock The Bells – LL Cool J
  2. Around the Way Girl – LL Cool J
  3. I Need Love – LL Cool J
  4. LL Cool J – I Can’t Live Without My Radio
  5. Fight The Power – Public Enemy
  6. Fight The Power – Public Enemy
  7. 911 Is A Joke – Public Enemy
  8. Push It! – Salt-N-Pepa
  9. La Di Da Di – Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick
  10. Keep Risin’ to the Top – Doug E. Fresh
  11. All The Way to Heaven – Doug E. Fresh
  12. Children’s Story – Slick Rick
  13. Hey Young World – Slick Rick
  14. The Overweight Lover – Heavy D. and The Boyz
  15. Somebody for Me – Heavy D. and The Boyz
  16. Don’t You Know – Heavy D and The Boyz
  17. The Message – Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five
  18. Rapper’s Delight – The Sugarhill Gang
  19. Wild Wild West – Kool Moe Dee
  20. My Philosophy – Boogie Down Productions
  21. I Got It Made – Special Ed
  22. Kurtis Blow – The Breaks
  23. If I Ruled The World – Kurtis Blow
  24. Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full
  25. Buddy – De La Soul
  26. Me, Myself, and I – De La Soul
  27. One Love – Whodini
  28. Freaks Come Out At Night – Whodini
  29. My Adidas – Run DMC
  30. Smooth Operator – Big Daddy Kane
  31. Ain’t No Half Steppin’ – Big Daddy Kane
  32. We’re Only Buggin – Whistle
  33. Just a Friend – Biz Markie
  34. It’s Funky Enough – The D.O.C.
  35. The Symphony – Marly Marl
  36. Scenario – A Tribe Called Quest
  37. Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five – Beat Street (1984)
  38. Fat Boys Are Back – Fat Boys
  39. Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
  40. Get Like Me – David Banner ft. Chris Brown, Young Joc

Clearly, you can see from my list that I love old-school hip hop, but I also randomly love ‘Get Like Me’, LOL. I can’t explain it…and since this is a no-judgment zone, I don’t need to LOL.

In honor of this special 50th year, I have a gift for you. Contact me directly for $50 off any one of my a la carte career services and let’s get your career on a new trajectory. The offer expires April 24, 2023. These services, listed on my STRATEGIZE page on my website, are my:

  1. Career Activation Strategy Session
  2. Interview Preparation Consultation
  3. Career Brainstorming Session
  4. Job Search Audit

Follow my birthday countdown this week with new daily videos on my social media pages highlighting empowerment messages through my t-shirt selections.

Day 3: Educated, Motivated, Elevated, Melanated

Day 4: She Is Me



Nicki Sanders, MSW, supports high-performing women of color in social work leadership in developing careers that feed their hearts, minds, and wallets. As Founder and CEO of Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, her mission is simple – to eliminate toxic workplaces by developing skilled, empathetic, and goal-oriented leaders who have the vision, support, and resources to create a culture where business prospers, and employees thrive individually and collectively. Nicki has an extensive background in nonprofit management leading high-functioning, multi-disciplinary teams, volunteer recruitment and retention, and social impact programming. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life and career aligned with her values and purpose. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.

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