(PG-13: Lyrics) “Keanu Reeves, cyber arm under my sleeve… I blast ’em all, watch ’em fall like autumn leaves.” Hip hop masters Run the Jewels contributed a song to the soundtrack of Cyberpunk 2077 under the pseudonym “Yankee and the Brave,” which happens to be the title of one of Killer Mike and EL-P’s other recent tracks.
THE BEST Rap
(PG-13: Language) Freestyle rapper Harry Mack likes to hang out on video chat platform Omegle, where he asks the people it pairs him up with to give him three words to incorporate into his rap. This clip includes a few of his sessions, but if you’re short on time, skip to 12:36.
“Suddenly, I’m not half the man I used to be.” UK rapper slowthai’s smooth and emotive ballad borrows a line from The Beatles’ Yesterday, but its accompanying one-shot music video by Oscar Hudson is anything but derivative, as it follows the story of a man experiencing one very strange fever dream.
(PG-13: Gore) The video for Siberian rapper Dmitry “Husky” Kuznetsov’s track Never Ever is a bloody journey into the world of a janitor who is tasked with cleaning up the aftermath of deadly gang battles. It’s a macabre subject handled with visual aplomb by writer/director Evgenii Bakirov and cinematographer Kirill Groshev.
It’s impossible to listen to the Young MC track Bust a Move without doing exactly what its title says. Remixer Bill McClintock combined MC’s infectious rhythms with Buffalo Springfield’s timeless protest song For What It’s Worth, giving it a groovy new sound. Listen close, and you’ll catch some Def Leppard, GN’R, and Van Halen too.
With the NPR offices temporarily off-limits, they’re continuing the Tiny Desk series with new episodes recorded at musicians’ homes. Here, MC Sa-Roc brings her smooth blend of hip hop, soul, social commentary, and spiritualism to bear, with a set of four poetic tracks loaded with meaningful messages. That’s Sol Messiah on DJ duties.
(PG-13: Language) Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia melds pop, disco, and funk into a chart-topping dancefloor banger. But Kyle Brauch gave the album a whole new sound by deftly remixing every track with 1990s hip-hop. The mashup includes raps from DOA, Xzibit, DMX, Dre, 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, and more.
(PG-13: Lyrics) With the NPR offices closed for now, their Tiny Desk Concert series is soldiering on without a live audience. In this intimate concert from The Roots’ singer and lyricist Black Thought, as he performs and tells stories about three new songs: Thought Vs. Everybody, Yellow, and Nature of the Beast f/Portugal. The Man.
With a little help from some beats by Dr. Dre, actor and comedian Wes Tank proves that Dr. Seuss books work exceptionally well as rap songs. His “Fox in Sox” rap is our favorite, but his versions of “Green Eggs and Ham” and “The Lorax” are pretty damned entertaining too.
De La Soul’s “3 Feet High And Rising” is one of our favorite albums of all time. It simultaneously melded infection grooves and lyrics with esoteric breaks that defied conventions. Now, learn about (almost) every sample that was used on the record in this great clip from nama hecc.
The Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique is one of the greatest rap albums of all time. As was the case with most of their tunes, they relied heavily on samples to create their beats. In this clip from Nama Hecc, they provide a comparison of each track with the samples they so brilliantly incorporated.
Musician Luca Stricagnoli continues to wow us with his fingerstyle arrangements of popular songs, this time taking on Eminem’s rap anthem Lose Yourself from the movie 8 Mile, giving it a whole new sound and texture that still had us moving our arm to the beat when the rhythm kicked in.
“Now I slay beats… ‘member when I would slay freaks.” Houston rapper Tobe Nwigwe’s smooth sound and positive vibes are a breath of fresh air, complemented by soulful backing vocals and jazzy instrumentals as he performs Houston Tribute, Caged Birds, Against the Grain, Shine, and I’m Dope. at the NPR offices.
The 1979 Sugar Hill Gang track Rapper’s Delight put hip hop on the map for many of us. Now enjoy a cover of the seminal rap track, as performed by the trio of Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, courtesy of YouTuber Steven Rosenthal. It seems like Siri has the best sense of rhythm.
(PG-13: Language) Musician Cove AKA Covergeist is a master at creating acoustic versions of rap music. His interpretation of Eminem… er The Real Slim Shady’s Without Me is our favorite, but his versions of Lose Yourself and Snoop Dogg and Pharrell’s Drop It Like It’s Hot are also worth a listen.
“I’m a pro when I bone but I do it pro-bono.” Oakland A’s fans The Lonely Island pay tribute to baseball players (and steroid abusers) Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, and their after-dark antics with the ladies. From the Netflix special The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience.
We love a good musical mashup, and this is one of the best we’ve heard in a while. 888sentz posted this track by Bass211, which perfectly combines Stevie Wonder’s Superstition, Cypress Hill’s Insane in the Brain, Run-DMC’s My adidas, and a dash of Beastie Boys’ an open letter to new york.
(PG-13: Language) Musician and producer O’hene Savànt just dropped what might be the most epic rap ever released, a 30-minute long autobiographical song comprised of “scenes” about a man whose love of music drives his life, and the struggles he faces along his path.
(PG-13: Language) “Steak. Affirmative rare. From a bear.” Musician and madman Stepasaur performs a kind of bad lip reading of his own, as he raps poetic about what the crew of the Starship Enterprise is having for dinner, and the aftermath of Captain Kirk’s poor choice.
(PG-13: Language) “I ain’t walking in a trap with a crowd of mobsters, this is a comprehensive rap all about lobsters.” Mac Lethal is sick and tired of played-out rap themes, so he’s decided to do something about it. In his new series, he’ll rap about anything but the usual tropes.
Videogamedunkey takes a moment away from his usual snarky video game reviews to give us a little rap tune about a bunch of random stuff that proves you can rap about just anything, and with a good beat and smooth flow, it’ll work. Also we are now really hungry for wings.
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