THE BEST Rap

Sa-Roc: Tiny Desk Concert

Sa-Roc: Tiny Desk Concert

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.

Dua Liphop: Tracks of Future Past

Dua Liphop: Tracks of Future Past

(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.

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Black Thought: Tiny Desk Concert

Black Thought: Tiny Desk Concert

(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.

Rapping Dr. Seuss

Rapping Dr. Seuss

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.

3 Feet High And Rising: The Samples

3 Feet High And Rising: The Samples

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.

Paul’s Boutique: The Samples

Paul’s Boutique: The Samples

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.

Lose Yourself on Guitar

Lose Yourself on Guitar

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.

Tobe Nwigwe: Tiny Desk Concert

Tobe Nwigwe: Tiny Desk Concert

“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.

Rapper’s Delight: Digital Edition

Rapper’s Delight: Digital Edition

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.

Acoustic Rap Covers

Acoustic Rap Covers

(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.

Hip-Hop Piano Medley

Hip-Hop Piano Medley

From Dr. Dre to Eminem to Biz Markie, here are 40 popular rap and hip hop songs as you’ve never heard them before. Listen as musician Florian Mohr tickles the ivories in this toned-down, one-take piano medley of these classics.

The Lonely Island: Oakland Nights

The Lonely Island: Oakland Nights

“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.

My Superstitious Brain

My Superstitious Brain

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.

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O’hene Savant: Rap Opera

O’hene Savant: Rap Opera

(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.

Wu-Tang Super Friends

Wu-Tang Super Friends

(PG-13: Language) Mylo the Cat is back with an epic new edit, re-voicing the 1970s Saturday morning classic with the sounds of ODB, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, Capadonna, U-God, The RZA, The GZA, Masta Killa, Ghostface Killah, and Raekwon.

Phone Wallet Keys

Phone Wallet Keys

(PG-13: Language) Adam Sandler returns to what made us love him in the first place with his Netflix standup special 100% Fresh. This digital exclusive clip offers a taste of what to expect, a gem of a rap about a man just living an ordinary life like the rest of us.

Stepasaur x Star Trek

Stepasaur x Star Trek

(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.

Rapping About Lobsters

Rapping About Lobsters

(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.

Veggie Tales: Rap Edition

Veggie Tales: Rap Edition

Rapper, actor, and comedian Shama “Llama” Mrema teams up with Andrew “drû” Simmons for the best remake of the theme song from the kids series Veggie Tales ever. Add it to your playlist on Apple Music or Spotify to keep it in heavy rotation.

Mac Miller: Tiny Desk Concert

Mac Miller: Tiny Desk Concert

(PG-13: Language) Mac Miller shows how much he’s grown both as a rapper and as a person in his sweet visit to NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert. He performed Small Worlds, What’s the Use and 2009, the latter two from his new album Swimming.

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This Is a Chicken Wing

This Is a Chicken Wing

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.

Whack World

Whack World

(PG-13: Language) Filmmakers Thibaut Duverneix and Mathieu Léger take us on a wild ride through the disjointed mind of rapper Tierra Whack, playing out as 15 one-minute mini movies, each shot on a different set. The scenes are loaded with style, humor, and attitude.

Die Antwoord: Alien

Die Antwoord: Alien

(PG-13: Lyrics) “I don’t wanna fit in anyway, I’d rather be a misfit.” South Africa’s enigmatic duo teamed up with The Black Goat on this track that will hit close to home for anyone ever bullied, taunted, or harassed for standing out from the crowd.

Tree World (We Go Hard)

Tree World (We Go Hard)

The end of Return of the Jedi saw its original Yub Nub song wiped out in one of George Lucas’ awful “special editions.” Auralnauts give the Ewoks the anthem they deserve with this rap track from their alt-Star Wars episode VI The Last Laser Master.

Dr. Seuss Rap

Dr. Seuss Rap

Long before rap music existed, Theodore Geisel (aka “Dr. Seuss”) was a true master of rhymes. But could his words be used in a rap? Win Nevaluze proves just that, as he recites There’s a Wocket in My Pocket to the tune of Walk It Talk It by Migos f/Drake.

Happy Cat Disco: No Jumping Around

Happy Cat Disco: No Jumping Around

Mashup maker Happy Cat Disco brilliantly combined House of Pain’s Jump Around with Meghan Trainor’s No Excuses, resulting in a track that will have you dancing right there in your office chair. The trippy imagery was plucked from the Disney classic Dumbo.

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