Has the greatest lineup of 2017 already been announced? If you're a fan of old school hip hop, you'll probably agree with us in saying yes.

We're talking Vanilla Ice, Salt N Pepa, Color Me Badd, Tone Loc, Coolio and Young MC all in one place.

READ MORE: Vanilla Ice, Salt 'N' Pepa, Coolio and more coming to NZ for 'I love the 90s' Tour

They'll be in New Zealand as part of an "I love the 90s" tour, stopping in at Auckland's Trusts Arena on June 3, and Christchurch's Horncastle Arena on June 4.

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And while you can't deny the classics that are Vanilla Ice's Ice, Ice, Baby and Color me Badd's I Wanna Sex You Up, we've picked our top four artists to tell you exactly why we cannot wait to see them next June.

Salt N Pepa


Oh goodness these gals were the hottest trio out 15 years ago... and it looks like they've still got it!

This hip-hop group from Queens, New York took the scene by storm and were one of the first all-female rap groups when they formed in 1985. And 10 years on, they won a Grammy for the Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in 1995.

There are actually three current members in Salt n Pepa: Cheryl 'Salt' James, Sandra 'Pepa' Denton and Diredra 'DJ Spinderella' Roper and all of them will be performing on the Australia/New Zealand tour.

Many feminists slammed Salt n Pepa's music and videos back in the day saying it objectified women and that they dressed too 'sexy.' But one thing that worked in their favour was that they weren't afraid to speak up (sing up) about sexuality and men which boosted them into hip-hop stardom.

Our personal favourite songs are Whatta Man, Let's Talk About Sex and of course, Shoop.

-Gracie Taylor

Tone Loc


Had things played out a little differently Tone Loc would be considered one of the hip-hop greats. And for a fleeting moment in time he was.

Like all the best rappers Loc's raspy, chillaxed delivery is instantly identifiable and on the mic he's a charismatic presence. His breakthrough debut record, the smoky, street tough Loc-ed After Dark, still stands up as being completely bad-ass, owing more to the rock-influenced Run DMC school than the emerging West Coast G-funk that would soon become all pervasive.

So what happened?

Dunno.

I suspect he just fell victim to hip-hop's changing trends. Loc's gruff storytelling lyricism, utilised to such devastatingly humorous effect on smash hit singles Wild Thing and Funky Cold Medina, sorta just fell outta fashion. See also; Redhead Kingpin, Slick Rick and fellow tour buddy Young MC.

So aside from the excitement of seeing a real life movie star (Loc had a starring role in Jim Carrey's career highlight Ace Ventura: Pet Detective) there's also the buzz of seeing one of the greatest rappers that could have been and very probably should have been.

-Karl Puschmann

Coolio


Growing up, my older sister and cousins were into rap in a big way and I spent a lot of my childhood trying to keep up with them.

I spent way too long learning every single word to (safe) rap songs like Lighter Shade of Brown's Ridin' Low. But Gangster's Paradise - much like anything by Biggie or Pac or any of those guys - seemed too gangster.

It was weirdly reintroduced to me at school, because the teacher wanted to highlight that shot of Coolio "saying prayers in the streetlight" and it became my mission to learn the entire rap. I don't know why. No one cared. Coolio wasn't actually that cool at the time.

But I did it anyway. And I went on to listen to more of Coolio's stuff because I decided he had "a message". I don't know if that's true. What I do know is that being in a crowd of thousands when that song comes on and everyone starts rapping along, that hard work will have paid off.

-Siena Yates

Young MC


I was 12. It was my birthday. I snuck into my parents' room way too early, jumped on the bed and woke them up. I wanted presents but only one stands out from the pile I opened that day. My very first cassette tape.

It was the smallest present in the mix, but it was also the greatest.

It was Young MC. It was Stone Cold Rhymin'. It was 1990 and I loved that album like I loved sherbert, Bata Bullets, The Goonies and Goofy gum. I was obsessed.

I memorised the tracklisting. I learnt the rhymes, and rapped along to Principal's Office, Bust A Move and I Come Off like the wannabe Vanilla Ice I was. Twenty-five years on, I still know all of them.

Later on, I'd move on to Public Enemy, De La Soul and - ugh - MC Hammer. But Stone Cold Rhymin' still holds a special place in my heart. At I Love the 90s, I'll be waving my I Love Young MC flag.

-Chris Schulz