10 Good Rap Songs 2008
For 10 good rap songs 2008, look no further. It was a great year from rap, with such standouts as a new release from the Roots, a comeback album from Q-Tip, and the critically acclaimed debut mix album from Wale. Here we present some of our top picks from the year 2008.
- “Rising Down” by The Roots. Rarely have The Roots gotten as angry and confrontational on their album “Rising Down,” and the title track is the best of the bunch. With blazing guest vocals by Mos Def, this song is about as dark and pessimistic a song you’re likely to find from Jimmy Fallon’s house band.
- “The Kramer” by Wale. Wale’s “Mixtape About Nothing” used samples from popular ‘90s sitcom Seinfeld as its unifying gimmick, but it wasn’t just for novelty. Wale occasionally used the samples as thematic jumping-off points. In this track, he used Michael Richards’ infamous racist on-stage rant as an effective starting point for deconstructing popular notions of racism and political correctness.
- “History” by Jay-Z. There were a lot of people feeling pretty optimistic in November of 2008. Something about some guy named Obama getting elected President of the United States. It turns out Jay-Z was one of those people, and he penned this song about it. It’s hard not to listen to it and crack a smile. Unless you were really into McCain, of course.
- “I Heart Beer” by Physics. Beer is pretty awesome, and our thanks go out to the boys in Physics for getting that message out to the public. This groovy, light-hearted song is a great addition to any party’s playlist and was one of 2008’s most enjoyable rap songs.
- “Royal Flush” by Big Boi feat. Andre 3000 & Raekwon. A legal dispute with their record label may have forced Big Boi to leave Andre 3000 off of his debut solo album, but well before that album was finally released he put out this track featuring his Outkast partner. As an added bonus, we also got the supremely talented master chef, Raekwon. With those three on the mic, it was inevitable this would be one of 2008’s best rap songs.
- “Getting’ Up” by Q-Tip. Q-Tip has never quite recaptured his Tribe Called Quest glory days since that group disbanded. His 2008 album “The Renaissance” was a pretty enjoyable listen, though, and this track was one of its highlights. The optimistic mood of the time shined through on “Getting’ Up” and made it a good rap song for 2008.
- “I Do It for Hip Hop” by Ludacris feat. Nas & Jay-Z. Ludacris doesn’t do it for the money; he does it for the art. Or at least that’s what he claims in this song. We don’t see him turning down the money, though. Don’t get us wrong; we wouldn’t turn down the money either. We also wouldn’t turn down this song. It’s pretty good.
- “Mr. Carter” by Lil Wayne feat. Jay-Z. Yeah, Jay-Z’s fingerprint was on all sorts of songs in 2008. It’s not surprising, then, that that Jay-Z, né Shawn Carter, would show up on this track by Lil Wayne, né Dwayne Carter. They’re not actually related, but the two Carters work pretty well together, making this a particularly good track from 2008.
- “Put On” by Young Jeezy feat. Kanye West. Among our list of good songs from 2008, you may have noticed that a good number of them feature guest rappers. This isn’t surprising given how prevalent guest spots are on modern rap albums. When Kanye West shows up in a track, though, people pay particular attention. That no doubt helped Young Jeezy’s “Put On” gain commercial popularity.
- “Love Lockdown” by Kanye West. Speaking of Kanye, many were disappointed by his 2008 album “808s and Heartbreak.” It was, to put it mildly, a little heavy on the auto-tuning. It did have its moments though, and “Love Lockdown” was chief among them.