Here is an interesting fact, rap music is the genre that got me hooked to music. It was rap that made me spend countless nights listening to music on my phone with mediocre earphones. Fast forward to today, it’s not the same anymore. I certainly have issues with today’s iteration of rap, i.e., trap music.
This, however, is not another rant; this is a list of the rap songs that I can never stop listening to. Some of them have aged like fine wine and recent ones are worthy of being mentioned. As I mentioned in the EDM playlist, don’t blame me for being a nostalgic guy. With that out of the way, let the listing begin.
50 Cent – In Da Club
There is a general consensus that this song is the ultimate club hit of the 21st Century, especially in birthday celebrations. What isn’t there to like about this song? The beats are awesome; 50’s rapping in the song shows how hungry he was to take over the rap industry; and the general vibe of the song makes it one of the best songs of the century. It’s funny how it’s a club hit and we can still appreciate 50’s rapping at the same time. We rarely get that nowadays.
Rick Ross feat Lil Wayne – 9 Piece
Most of my friends love the duo’s collaboration in the song John but this is my favorite song from them. There is nothing much to it, if you ignore them talking about drug dealing using their iPhones. Random question; how many people owned iPhones in 2011? They were a precious commodity back then. Today, however, they are just expensive.
Anyway, what I love about this song is how the beats complements Ross’ rapping. It’s a smooth listening experience. How can we forget Lil Wayne’s clever lines? Here are just some of them:
Automatic leave ‘em dead in the living room
Get it? Leave ‘em dead in the living room
And my favorite line:
Fuck all these niggas and them bitches to kiss my ass
I put that pistol to his head and tell the nigga to have a blast
Lil Wayne, ladies and gentlemen. What a rapper.
ASAP Ferg – Plain Jane (Remix) (feat Nicki Minaj)
Now this is what I would call brag-rapping at its best. Ferg killed his verses in the original song but the remix was escalated to a higher level with Nicki’s presence. I’ll go ahead and consider it as one of her best rap verses of her career. Even better than her feature in Kanye West’s Monster.
Come at me bros. I still stand by my words.
Dr Dre feat Snoop Dogg – Kush
Before you get outraged by my pick, hear me out. Dr. Dre and Snoop have released many songs together. One of my favorites has to be The Next Episode which is a great club hit. The reason why I picked Kush is because of the statement it makes. This song was released in 2010, nine years later after Dr. Dre’s last album.
We all know the success Dre had with his Beats sound company in between the years. You can imagine how awesome it was to see him back to making music with his long-time friend and still showed the new rappers that they never lost their touch. What’s not to like? The beats, Akon’s feature, and the rapping is just old school schooling the new age rappers. That’s why I love this song.
The funny thing is that we saw it last year with Lil Wayne and Eminem releasing their critically acclaimed albums. Never say an old rapper is washed up. They can bury you any time of the day.
Snoop Dogg – I wanna Rock (G-mix) (feat Jay-Z)
Here is a collaboration we rarely see. Snoop and Hov in one track. West Coast meets East Coast. At this point, you already have an idea of the kind of rap music I’m into. It’s no different in this track. What I love about this song is the vibe it gives you. You definitely want to rock to this song. I won’t waste my time trying to explain why it’s great, just listen to it.
Kanye West – Can’t tell me nothing
I don’t think this list would be complete without mentioning Kanye. Love him or hate him, he is the reason why modern rap is in the place where it is right now. Can you remember the Curtis vs Graduation album release? Critics have considered it as one of the best moments for Hip Hop. It marked the end of gangsta rap and infused a new kind of rap where you can still be arrogant and still be in your feelings. Sounds familiar?
The lead single from the wonderful album was Can’t tell me nothing and Kanye doesn’t disappoint. This song is Kanye at his full element. That’s the best way I can describe it. Again, just listen to it and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
J Cole – Wet Dreamz
From the feature-less album that went double platinum, Forest Hill Drive, we got this song. It certainly isn’t my favorite song from Cole but I do love the story being told. What’s even better is that it is aging like fine wine. See? You don’t need to be rapping about how good you are in bed so as to be taken seriously.
So, Wet Dreamz is a story of Cole hitting on a lady but he is nervous about him getting intimate with her because he has never done it before. Such a compelling story it tells that you’ll find yourself repeating it like ten times. Again, we are blessed with great rappers this century and we still make half-baked rappers famous. I just don’t get it.
Jay Z – On to the next one
Here is a song that I love so much but I can’t listen to because it is locked somewhere in the vault of Tidal. Thanks a lot Hov. I’m not taking that free trial. No, sir. Back to the song, this is probably the best song Swiss Beats has ever produced. It fucks with your mind. The beats are so trippy that you’ll find yourself bopping to it.
I’ll admit, Hov’s rapping in the song isn’t exceptional but the production is excellent. Normally, I put my attention to the beats rather than his rapping. Unfortunately, I can’t leave a link to the song because, Tidal. Damn it, Hov.
Eminem feat Lil Wayne – No Love
I fucking love this song. This, ladies and gents, is the best collaboration of the decade. Come at me but you know it is true. You’ll never find a song so powerful being executed by the very best the industry has gifted us with.
The song, especially the video, talks about bullying. Everything from the rapping to the beats just make this an unforgettable song. Which makes me point out something that people seem not to understand. Quality always outshines quantity. A point which the Migos need to learn.
2Pac Shakur feat Dr Dre – California Love
Another song which I love. Probably the second most recognized song by 2Pac after Hit ‘em Up. It is a club hit in which the two rappers appreciate the state in which they grew up in. Don’t get me started on those beats; my word they will keep you dancing all night. The song was produced by Dr. Dre himself. At this point, you cannot overlook the impact he has had on the rap industry. Man’s a legend.
Please understand that these are my picks. They certainly aren’t the best songs out there but you’ll definitely have a good time listening to them. And sorry to all Drake fans; I got nothing for you guys. I like Miss Me though but not as much as these songs.
What are your favorite rap songs? Let me know. 😊