Hip-hop and rock are like two peas in a pod. Although sonically, they are two very different genres, they share one thing in common: the aura of rebellion. Whether it’s punk or heavy metal, the genre of rock has many highly anti-establishment and non-conformist derivatives regarding their lyrics and delivery.
The same can be said for hip-hop. It is innately rebellious by nature. Whether it’s graffiti art or rap, the genre can be used as a vehicle for social change. With the two having so much in common, it is no surprise that there have been some rap-rock tracks over the years. A term was coined to describe a hip-hop track that draws heavily on the rock genre.
While rock is a wide-ranging genre with many sub-cultures, hip-hop has always gelled well with punk and heavy metal. This is most probably because a lot of the other subgenres of rock are less aggressive and perhaps are a bit more feeble, and although hip-hop can be introspective and mellow, it was born out of frustration and anger. It consequentially exudes feelings of passion and raw emotion.
Rap-rock can be done well and not so well. However, it is sometimes hard to identify rap-rock when you hear it because (especially now) the lines between genres are becoming more blurred. When it is done well, you can listen to that equal dose of rock and rap working in tandem, which is beautiful.
Below we have compiled the essentials— the 25 greatest rock-rap songs ever.
The 25 greatest rock-rap tracks of all time:
- ‘Walk This Way’ – Run-DMC
- ‘Rock Box’ – Run-DMC
- ‘King of Rock’ – Run-DMC
- ‘Can You Rock It Like This’ – Run-DMC
- ‘Bezerk’ – Eminem
- ‘Numb Encore’ – Jay-Z ft Linkin Park
- ‘(Rock) Superstar’ – Cypress Hill
- Can’t Get The Best Of Me – Cypress Hill
- ‘Anti Matter’ – N.E.R.D
- ‘Spaz’ – N.E.R.D
- ‘Kill Joy’ – N.E.R.D
- ‘Lap Dance’ – N.E.R.D
- ‘Rock Star’ – N.E.R.D
- ‘Fight For Your Right’ – Beastie Boys
- Rhymin & Stealin’ – Beastie Boys
- ‘No Sleep Till Brooklyn’ – Beastie Boys
- ‘Gorgeous’ – Kanye West
- ‘One Minute’ – XXXTENTACION ft Kanye West
- ‘POWER’ – Kanye West
- ‘Black Skinhead’ – Kanye West
- ‘Prom Queen’ – Lil Wayne
- ‘Knockout’ – Lil Wayne ft Nicki Minaj
- ‘Rock Star’ – Chamillionaire
- ‘It’s All About The Benjamins (Rock Remix)’ – Diddy ft Lil’ Kim and The LOX
- ‘Crazy Legs’ – (Hed) P.E