It's not hard to find 10 rap songs about guns, but what about the best of them? Hip-Hop emerged as a definitive genre of American music in the late 1970's with the 1979 single "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang (among others). Rap songs about guns, however, are generally associated with "gangsta rap", which flourished on the American West-Coast in the early to mid 1990s. Since Tupac's demise, however, gangsta rap has gone down in popularity; rap songs about guns, however, still are alive and well to this day.
- "Home Invasion" by Ice-T. The violent underpinnings of this title track from T's 1993 album of the same name hint toward an armed robbery of a house. Little do the residents know, the group of black men are breaking in to take the kids away from their white supremacist parents so as to avoid their indoctrination.
- "Trapped" by Tupac Shakur. This beautiful piece is one of the best rap songs about guns. A police officer harasses Pac, his partner even going so far as to shoot at him. Shakur shoots back, is eventually cornered, and says he'd rather die than "be trapped in the living hell".
- "It's On" by Ice-T. The second track by Ice-T to appear on this list of the best rap songs about guns, "It's On" features weapons and much more. T is not to be messed with, and it looks like Charlton Heston might have pissed off the wrong man.
- "Who Shot Ya?" by the Notorious B.I.G. Biggie made this track come alive in 1995, a year before Tupac's death. Some, such as the late Pac, always thought this (out of all the rap songs about guns) was a diss to him. B.I.G. publicly denied the single having anything to do with Shakur's first shooting.
- "How to Rob" by 50 Cent. Aside from being the first single released by the up-and-coming Fiddy in 1999, "How to Rob" was one of the rap songs about guns from its day. In it, 50 Cent released a swarm of insults headed to various artists, including Wu-Tang Clan.
- "Mother Fu**in D" by Schooly D. "But I tell ya know, ya better bring ya gun" spat the notorious, long-time rapper/songwriter. Schoolly D's tracks are too good to be true; not to mention he sings the Aqua Teen theme song.
- "Straight Out of Compton" by the N.W.A. One of the quintessential Gangsta rap tracks of all time, "Straight out of Compton" was released on the album that shares its same namesake in 1988. Rap songs about guns are often cliche, albeit not this one. Both West and East Coast groups have looked to N.W.A. to set the trend for gangsta rap, and they have.
- "Do My Thang" by Lil Wayne featuring Juelz Santana. If anyone knows how to "hit 'em with da glock" it's Lil Wayne. Weezy, who had to serve a year for weapon charges, knows how to make the best rap songs about guns.
- "Gun Will Go" by Wu-Tang Clan. Wu-Tang was one of the original pioneers of rapping about guns, the ghetto life, and violence in inner-city streets. "Wu-Tang", as such, has become influential as a hardcore East-Coast hip hop group. Their song "Gun Will Go" features Method Man, so you know its good.
- "We Got" by Ludacris. Better known as Ludacris, Christopher Brian Bridges grew up in Champaign, Illinois and joined the Hip-Hop to make a monumental change. Between I-20 rappin' about being a pistol player and Luda's lines, his track "We Got" is a winner for sure.
So whether it's Weezy or the N.W.A., you can bet that these rap songs about guns are good. Gangsta rap, in general, is an excellent social tool that helps us understand the ever-poorer American underclass.