The 10 rap songs with good beats are hits from both the underground and mainstream. Some more famous names make the list with the songs that raised their profiles, such as Gang Starr, Snoop Dogg, and Xzibit. Others are established underground emcees or groups who's contributions should not be overlooked, while others are old school emcees who made their mark with smash hits, like Black Sheep. There are also veterans who have been in the game for decades but who have been out of the spotlight, like Rakim. There is no denying, however, that the common trait shared by all these emcees is that they laid verses down over some tight beats that won't soon be forgotten.
- “Just To Get a Rep” – Gang Starr. This song’s beat is so transcendent, there’s no good way to describe it. There’s no denying that it’s infectious, however, and is the perfect backdrop to the story of the lengths young hustlers will go to make a name for themselves.
- “X” – Xzibit. From his first major label release, “X” bears all the trademarks of Dr. Dre’s signature G-funk vibe. “X” is a rap song with a good beat that booms bass to get heads nodding in unison. The perfect song to blast from your car speakers.
- “What’s My Name?” – Snoop Dogg. A classic rap song with a good beat and arguably Snoop’s most famous song. Borrowing a George Clinton sample, Dr. Dre infused Snoop’s first mainstream release with funk and soul and gave it an edge so hard that you could cut yourself just by listening.
- “B***h Please II” – Eminem. Known more for his lyrics than his standout beats, “Please” is a welcome exception to Eminem’s customary style. A sequel to Snoop Dogg’s “B***h Please” featuring Xzibit, this cut from “The Marshall Mathers LP” shows off cameos by Snoop, Dr. Dre, and Xzibit.
- “Da Rockwilder” – Redman & Method Man. At two and a half minutes, “Rockwilder” is way too short given that it has one of the best beats in all of hip hop. Hear it once and you’ll be hitting the replay button for hours to come.
- “Machine Gun Funk” – Notorious B.I.G. From Biggie’s “Ready to Die”, his first major label album. True to its name, this tune has more funk in its four minutes of play time than most albums do in their entire playlist. Overlooked for the more popular “Juicy” and “Big Poppa”, among others, “Funk” is just what you’re looking for in a rap song with a good beat.
- “You Can Do It (Put Your Back Into It)” – Ice Cube. Of Cube’s entire discography, it is this collaboration with Mack 10 and Ms. Toi that’s most liable to get spins on mainstream stations. The reason? That unforgettable beat. Good for listening to in the car or on the dance floor.
- “Iceman” – Snowgoons. Probably the most underground of the rap songs with good beats. “Iceman” highlights the Snowgoons’ and Cymarshall Law’s superb rhyme-writing skills over a feverish drum beat laced with a haunting backdrop.
- “How to Emcee” – Rakim. One of the fastest-paced and most frenetic of the ten rap songs with good beats, “How to Emcee” is Rakim in full wordsmith mode rhyming over a jumpy, hard-hitting beat. What can this song do for you? It can make you dance. It can get you nodding your head at Rakim’s complex verses. And it can make you sing along to its catchy chorus.
- “The Choice is Yours” – Black Sheep. The ultimate rap song with a good beat. Well-known in hip hop circles during their heyday of the early ‘90’s, Mista Lawnge and Dres hit a grand slam out of the park with this tune. So popular is this song and its infectious, New York-style beat, that it still finds love on the dance floor, in movies, and in commercials.
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