If you are looking for the ten best indie rap songs, then look no further then this particular compilation. The criteria for these indie rap songs to make this list was, obviously that they were released by independently-owned companies, or the artists themselves, and that they are artists with a prolific history, that have released a multitude of material. Other than that, these ten hip hop songs are from credible indie artists, that made these rap songs without sounding like complete carbon copies of their mainstream counterparts.
- Jay-Z – "In My Lifetime". Every great empire must start somewhere, and this Ski Beatz-produced tale of chasing the good life, from a street prospective, brought about the rise of Jay-Z. This indie rap song was released by a small record called Payday, and led to funding for a music video shot in the Virgin Island of St. Thomas.
- Royce Da 5'9 – "Boom". Whenever you mix the incredible production of DJ Premier with an incredible wordsmith, like Royce Da 5'9" you get an action-packed jam like "Boom". Royce rides this indie rap song's dramatic strings right off the cliff of your imagination, with strong, poetic venting.
- MF Doom – "Gazillion Ear" (Thom Yorke remix). Thom Yorke, from indie rock group Radiohead, creates a indie rap remix eery and unpredictable enough to fully capture MF Doom's witty verbal stream of consciousness. Be prepared to listen to this one a "gazillion" times.
- Hieroglyphics – "You Never Knew". This Oakland, California-based prolific collective: including rappers Del the Funkee Homosapien, Souls of Mischief, Casual, and Pep Love truly shine here. This mellow dedication to their combined work ethic on the mic can bring a "summer feel" to any season.
- Camp Lo – "Glow". Although this duo had previous mainstream hits such as "Luchini" and "Coolie High", they released this single and it's music video independently years after leaving their record company Profile. This catchy, danceable jam is filled with countless clever lyrics from Geechie Suede and Sonny Cheeba.
- Showbiz and A.G. – "Soul Clap". This DJ and rapper duo who both rhyme, literally put this indie rap song out themselves, on vinyl record, years before the Internet was an available solution for distribution. This funky track with jazzy horns is perfect for this pair's devastating lyrics to pierce your ears.
- Cormega – "Fallen Soldiers". The Queens, NY producer, rapper, and DJ, J-Love produced this gritty, yet heartfelt ode to dead friends. Cormega's urgent depictions of street life, and it's often unfortunate results, is always relevant.
- Jaylib – "McNasty Filth" (featuring Frank 'N Dank). Yes, this uptempo indie rap song is filled with nothing a child should hear – plenty of profanity and explicit sexual depictions – but it just sounds like they are having so much fun making it, and the vibe is contagious. The late legendary hip hop producer and rapper J-Dilla hops all over this Madlib-produced track with his close friends, Frank 'N Dank.
- Company Flow – "8 Steps To Perfection". The creepy beat sounds like the score to a detective mystery. Company Flow offers enough glimpses of NYC's hip hop scene to transport you there without leaving your home stereo.
- Diamond D – "Da Magnificent". Diamond is the total package here, producing this club track and providing the rapping as well. It is another simply fun indie rap song that doesn't get boring, even years after it's release.
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