I’ve been a fan of rap and hip hop for a long time, but it seems like I go through phases where I listen to it more than just about anything else. I love the way hip hop can tell a story or really give you a glimpse into a lifestyle or culture that you might not have otherwise encountered from such a close perspective and help you understand more of the world at large.
Also, there are some songs that just have awesome beats. And you can’t argue with that.
For this week’s list of what I’ve been listening to on repeat, it’s all about the rap and hip hop. Depending on where you work, some of the lyrics in these might be considered NSFW, but I suggest giving them a listen as soon as you get the chance.
1. “Ludaversal Intro” — Ludacris
Every good hip hop album needs a strong intro, and this one from Ludacris’ latest record is one of my favorite I’ve heard in awhile. It gets you pumped up, the lyrics are fresh and crisp, and it really gets you ready to enjoy the rest of the album and sets the stage for what’s to come. While the above video is only about half of the track, the rest of it (which you can find on Spotify, or elsewhere on YouTube) includes one of my favorite lines of all time: They like “Luda why you rapping so fast?” / I’m like “Bitch why you listen too slow?”
2. “Coastin'” — Zion I feat. K.Flay
I’m a huge fan of K.Flay, and even though this is an older track, it remains one of my favorites. I tend to listen to this one a lot when I’m stressed out and trying to remind myself that it’s not the end of the world. Sometimes all you need to sort yourself out is to kick your feet up and just coast for awhile.
3. “FUCK THAT” — The Bridge Committee feat. Rage
Returning readers probably already know that I love Romanian music, and I love rap and hip hop, so when I discovered these guys it didn’t take much to make me fall in love with their sound. Alternating back and forth between English and Romanian, The Bridge Committee hits on a lot of the major points of hip hop lyrics with good rhymes, good beats, and tracks that make you think no matter what language you’re listening in.
4. “Black Skinhead” — Kanye West
As a white girl, no lie, listening to some of the tracks off of Kanye’s album makes me straight up uncomfortable at times…but I think that’s a good thing, based on the way that many of his songs address cultural issues that I wouldn’t otherwise be facing or thinking about. This is my favorite track from Yeezus, though, and I am absolutely in love with the beat.
5. “King Kunta” – Kendrick Lamar
If you want to talk about fresh hip hop beats, artists that really get it, and tracks that get stuck in your head like nobody’s business, look no further than Kendrick Lamar’s “King Kunta.” I am absolutely in love with the rhythm, the verse, everything about this song. I’ll be the first to admit that it took me awhile to get in to Kendrick Lamar’s stuff, but this was the track that really sucked me in and made me a fan.
If you have any favorite rap or hip hop songs, I’d love to hear them! Otherwise, a great resource for really digging into the verse and lyrics of these tracks is RapGenius if you want to take a closer look at the words and get a better idea of what you’re listening to.