The 10 best hard rap songs are not party songs, they are fight songs. Though rap started out as a purely fun medium, it has expanded to include all kinds of emotions. The 10 best hard rap songs combine relentless beats and lyrical fury to create paeans to the id, destructive impulses are the only natural result. If these songs don't get you ready to knock someone over, you probably don't have a pulse. Here are the 10 best hard rap songs, the hardest of the hard.
- "Natural Born Killaz" by Ice Cube and Dr. Dre. Songs glorifying murder became commonplace as gangsta rap became prevalent, but few relished murder as gleefully as "Natural Born Killaz," a collaboration between former NWA pals Dre and Cube. Like a horror film set to G-funk beats, it tops the list of 10 best hard rap songs.
- "White America" by Eminem. Em's fury comes across through his voice and words on many tracks. On "White America," the rock-oriented beat enhances it perfectly.
- "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" by Geto Boys. The power of psychosis comes through on this classic from the Texas Boys, easily one of the 10 best hard rap songs from the pioneers of tough, street-level hip-hop. Never has a midget (rapper Bushwick Bill) sounded so terrifying.
- "Thuggish Ruggish Bone" by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Like a barbershop doo-wop group from the hardest projects, Bone Thugs brought beauty to the vocals of hard rap songs. That takes nothing away from the sense of menace in this, one of their most punishing tracks.
- "99 Problems" by Jay-Z. The guitar-driven beat by Rick Rubin lends Jay-Z's words an added menace. The infectious chorus only adds to the power of this, one of the 10 best hard rap songs ever.
- "Ether" by Nas. Fellow New Yorker Nas' diss track against the Jiggaman claimed victory in one of the biggest rap battles of the past twenty years. Even Jay-Z had to admit this was one of the 10 best hard rap songs of all time.
- "Throw It Up" by Lil Jon & Tha East Side Boyz featuring Pastor Troy. The masters of crunk tear the club up in grand, epic style on this album-opener from "Kings of Crunk." Fellow Atlantean Pastor Troy adds gritty menace with his tough verse.
- "White Tee" by Dem Franchize Boyz. Another crunk classic, "White Tee" is definitely one of the best hard rap songs ever about clothing. That's because what it's really about is what they do: "I bang in my white tee, slang in my white tee."
- "Stay Fly" by Three-6-Mafia. The gothic sizzurp-rap masters make even bragging songs sound terrifying. "Stay Fly" is one of the best hard rap songs of all time because, though it is about partying, it's not a party many would dare attend.
- "Ruff Ryders Anthem" by DMX. The "Anthem" closes out our list of the 10 best hard rap songs. With a punishing beat and the Dogman's angry bark, it challenges all comers.
Summer is coming soon. The sky is clear, the days stretch long and the prospect of setting out on a meandering road trip ...
Add these excellent hip-hop artists to your personal playlists ASAP. Check them out and listen to their best tracks here ...
What inspires the world's best culinary artists? For NYC chef and entrepreneur Dale Talde, it's hip-hop. Check out Talde ...