10 Best Rap Songs About New York City
What are the 10 best rap songs about New York City? Well, with New York City being the home of hip-hop culture, specifically born in the Bronx, it is only logical that there would be an incredible wealth of rap songs about New York City and its effect on hip-hop artists to choose from. Enjoy these classic rap songs about a classic city: New York City.
- Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys "Empire State of Mind" This may be the youngest rap song about New York City on this list, but it is the timeless anthem to judge all NYC anthems by. Jay-Z gives listeners an intimate tour through the city that inspired and molded his instincts and he does it from his distinctive point of view.
- The Crooklyn Dodgers (Special Ed, Masta Ace, Buckshot Shorty) "Crooklyn" This rap song that originally landed on the soundtrack for Spike Lee's film, "Crooklyn" unites a unique collection of artists for this audio dedication to not just New York City, but their beloved borough of Brooklyn. Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest adds the soulful, hypnotic head-nod production to the equation.
- Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz "Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)" The Bronx/Harlem region of New York City, known as Uptown, gets its own anthem via the Bronx Bombers known as Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz. This catchy, irresistible club classic makes any listener feel attached to "Uptown Baby."
- Kool G Rapp & DJ Polo "Streets of New York" This melancholy, grizzly, yet vivid and honest account of urban suffering is easily the New York City rap song that is the equivalent of a Martin Scorsese-directed cinematic crime epic. You will not find any generic glorification of violence here, only dozens of mini tales of heartbreak out of the eight million stories in the city of New York.
- Gang Starr "The Place Where We Dwell" This raw rap song brings Brooklyn right to your doorstep, laying out the survival tactics and characteristics that make this New York City section completely distinctive.
- Rakim "New York (Ya Out there?)" Rakim, one of the most mesmerizing lyricists over to speak into a microphone, gives New York City a rap song that depicts the aspects that make it one of the most interesting cities in the world. Hi-hop culture is highlighted and delivered from the vantage point of a man who has seen it all first hand.
- Mos Def "Brooklyn" Brooklyn pride seems to be a common source of inspiration for many hip-hop songs, Mos Def's extremely clever "Brooklyn" track is no exception. The beat changes three times, but his love for BK does not.
- Crooklyn Dodgers '95 (Chubb Rock, O.C. and Jeru the Damaja) "Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers" To promote the movie "Clockers," film director Spike Lee recruits another trio of Brooklyn rappers, as well as Brooklyn-based producer DJ Premier, to give "Crooklyn" another memorable salute. Mike Tyson and Michael Jordan also praise their place of birth in the song's music video.
- Boogie Down Productions "South Bronx" The masterful element behind this New York City rap song is that KRS-ONE practically unravels the history of hip-hop from its earliest beginnings effortlessly. The true home of hip-hop gets the ultimate homage paid to it by one of its most notable representatives.
- Nas "The World is Yours" Many would argue that Nas' "New York State of Mind" would be the obvious choice for mentioning among the best rap songs about New York City. But the Pete Rock-produced "The World is Yours" may not have New York in its title, but it provides fellow New Yorkers with pride and momentum to overcome obstacles and live to their potential. Nas even shouts out each borough at the end as a special dedication.