The 10 best sad hip hop songs cover a variety of topics including death, drugs, lost love and poverty. Many are rapped by males, but have a female singing the hook to make the song softer. The hip hop genre has experienced murders from top artists, and some of the saddest hip hop songs are written for them.
- "Brenda's Got a Baby" by 2Pac. Tupac Shakur's debut single is one of the saddest hip hop songs because he wrote lyrics about a true life news article. The song is about teenager Brenda that gets pregnant from her cousin, hides it from her family, gives birth in a bathroom and throws the baby in the trash. The song depicts Brenda turning to prostitution, and eventually gets murdered.
- "I'll Be Missing You" by P. Diddy, Faith Evans and 112. Written as a tribute to Notorious B.I.G., this was about a rapper that was murdered when P. Diddy was with him. Wife of Notorious B.I.G., Faith Evans, sings the chorus. Sampling the sorrowful beats of "Every Breath You Take" by The Police puts another touch of sadness to the hip hop song.
- "The Crossroads" by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. "The Crossroads" is one of the best sad hip hop songs because it is about, and is dedicated to, rapper Eazy-E (Eric Wright) who was a member of NWA. In 1995, Eazy-E died of AIDS and in 1996, the song was written and released by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony on the album "E 1999 Eternal." The sad hip hop song reached #1 on Billboard charts, and won the the 1996 Grammy for Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group.
- "I Miss My Homies" by Master P. Featuring Pimp C Silkk The Shocker, this sad hip hop song is about all the friends Master P has lost due to murder. The opening lyrics are, "I want ya'll to play this at funerals in the hood, til all this black on black crime stop." This hip hop song is set to a slower beat making it more sorrowful sounding.
- "Stan" by Eminem. The lyrics are coming from Stan's perspective, and then from Eminem's in the last verse. The lyrics are about Eminem's fan letters from Stan, who writes to the hip hop artist. It turns from an angry to sad hip hop song when Eminem realizes the news story of a man killing himself and his wife was about Stan, his obsessed fan.
- "All That I Got Is You" by Ghostface Killah. Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ghostface Killah released a solo album "Ironman," and one of the best sad hip hop songs is his single, "All That I Got Is You." The chorus is sung by Mary J. Blige, which is a nice touch to the song that is written as a tribute to his mother. The lyrics are written about the harsh upbringing they had to endure.
- "Song Cry" by Jay-Z. The sad hip hop ballad is about how Jay-Z regrets being responsible for a breakup. In the lyrics, Jay-Z expresses how even though he is sad, he cannot cry, so he will write a sad song. "I can't see 'em comin down my eyes, so I gotta make the song cry."
- "Hope" by Twista feat. Faith Evans. The song was put on the "Coach Carter" soundtrack, and features the chorus by Faith Evans. The sad hip hop song has deep lyrics outlining stereotypical ghetto life. It even has references to hip hop artists Biggie and Tupac, who passed away.
- "Love the Way You Lie" by Eminem ft Rihanna. Eminem raps the verses, while Rihanna sings the hook that depicts Eminem's troublesome and damaging relationship with his ex wife. This is one of the best sad hip hop songs because the lyrics depict a story that people in abusive relationships can relate to. The emotion both Em and Rihanna bring to the song is beautiful, because they both publicly faced abusive relationships.
- "So Sick" by Ne-Yo. The song is about a guy that broke up with his girlfriend, and now every song reminds him of her. The sad love song is Ne-Yo's first #1 song, and it was released in 2006 on the album "In My Own Words."
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