In Hip Hop History Today: Nas released the single If I Ruled The World June 4, 1996
“If I Ruled the World” is a 1996 hit hip hop single by Nas featuring Lauryn Hill of The Fugees. It is based on the 1985 hit of the same name by rapper Kurtis Blow and samples the beat of “Friends” by Whodini. The single was Nas’s first Top 20 R&B hit, and was also nominated for a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance. Lauryn Hill’s verse interpolates the song “Walk Right Up To The Sun” by The Delfonics. The song’s lyrics feature Nas discussing the various things he would do if he “ruled the world and everything in it”. It is considered one of the best rap songs ever by many publications. Including being ranked 88 on XXL’s Best Songs of the 90’s. “If I Ruled the World”, bolstered by a high-budget music video directed by Hype Williams, became Nas’s first single to gain mainstream notice. The single reached number 53 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, number 17 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, and number 15 on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart. Listen to “If I Ruled The World” below.