The five best rap instrumentals have all become popular tracks for their respective artists. Some of the rap instrumentals are re-makes or samples or older songs, while others have been re-made into rock songs. All have diversity which shows during collaboration with rap lyrics as the base, and R&B singing as the chorus. If you are looking for a rap instrumental to practice rhymes over, or just one to jam out too, these are the five best.
- "Come With Me" by Puff Daddy. Combining a famous rock instrumental with rap is why "Come With Me" is one of the five best rap instrumentals. Released in 1998 on the "Godzilla" soundtrack, the rap song uses Led Zeppelin's 1975 instrumental for "Kashmir" as the backdrop. Adding to the instrumental, Puff Daddy brought in an orchestra to go along with the memorable guitar backing. Jimmy Page, the former guitar player for Led Zeppelin, performed this with Diddy on a 1998 episode of "Saturday Night Live."
- "Heartless" by Kanye West. Released in 2008 on the album "808's & Heartbreak" the song reached number two on Billboard thanks to the great rap instrumental behind the lyrics. In 2009 the rock band The Fray took such a liking to the amazing rap instrumental that they took it, and re-made it into an acoustic rock song.
"Big Poppa" by The Notorious B.I.G. At least nine other artists have sampled "Big Poppa" over the years, making it not only one of the best rap instrumentals, but also a widely used instrumental. Other songs that feature "Big Poppa" instrumental include "Lean Back" by Terror Squad, "Excuse Me Miss" by Jay-Z, and "Baby" by Fabolous. The song uses a slow instrumental that is paired well with Notorious' fast rhymes. The rap song samples samples from "Between the Sheets" by The Isley Brothers.
- "My Name Is" by Eminem. Eminem's first single is one of his most memorable, in part to the rap instrumental he uses as the base. The keyboard track was based on a song called "I Got The" by Labi Siffre, who is a gay activist. The song was produced by Dr. Dre who said they finished the song in only an hour or two. The best part of the rap instrumental is the chorus where Eminem raps, "Hi, my name is…hi my name is tick-a tick-a Slim Shady," which the NFL used in commercials.
- "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z. This number one Billboard song features Alicia Keys singing the chorus. When Jay-Z asked her to collaborate, all Keys heard was the rap instrumental, and it sold her on wanting to do the song. She says, "I went by [the studio], took a listen to it. I really felt the energy of New York all through it. It felt classic, it felt so good; the piano obviously was in there. I said, 'I love it, so let's do it.'" Jay-Z describes the instrumental as having a Frank Sinatra feeling, which is why "Empire State of Mind" has one of the best rap instrumentals. The song has classy, and rap going hand in hand.