Hey, remember the ’90s? Y’know, that time when rap was flourishing, record labels were flush with money and a single song could make a rapper a rich person overnight? Those of us old enough to live through the decade can easily remember how hip-hop made so much noise that radio, awards shows, and even middle America all had to recognize game when they saw it. Once culture at large bought into rap, they helped give rise to the first official crop of rap one-hit wonders.
This list often includes artists that were monumental figures in the genre… but how many people can name a Sugar Hill Gang song besides “Rapper’s Delight”? Especially in the ’90s, plenty of rappers managed one huge song that completely eclipsed their entire rest of their discography. When that happened, it left these artists trying to figure out just how to hell to repeat the feat. Some did, most didn’t. They either continued making music in the shadows or put the mic down once they realized the light had gone off on their 15 minutes of fame, never to be seen again.