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Hip-hop is the latest in a long legacy of American musical invention. The latest in a long line of musical brethren (Jazz, Blues, Rock 'n' Roll...), hip-hop has dominated the charts and our hearts for going on 30 years. 

Hip-hop is also an awesome genre to explore on vinyl! So what would your hip-hop playlist look like?

View our custom vinyl options here: https://www.freestyle-vinyl.com/collections

Side A

Eminem and Lil Wayne - No Love

If you think Eminem is one of the greatest lyricists of all time, this song might be Exhibit A. Lil Wayne kills it… and can’t even hold a candle to the GOAT.

Hottest Bar: I'm standing on my Monopoly board / That means I'm on top of my game and it don't stop / Til my hip don't hop anymore / When you're so good that you can't say it / 'Cause it ain't even cool for you to sound cocky anymore

Tupac – Hit Em Up

Okay, maybe I got a little carried away with that GOAT talk on track 1… because track 2 might be the angriest, gnarliest, greatest offering ever from a father of foundational 90s hip-hop (RIP).

Hottest Bar: First off, f*** your b**** / And the clique you claim / West side when we ride / Come equipped with game / You claim to be a player But I f****d your wife / We bust on Bad Boys / N****s, f*** for life (I told you it was angry)

K-Os - I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman

Don’t we all? This funky actress-inspired song is a straight summer jam if I ever heard one. Bummer it never got the mainstream love it deserved.

Hottest Bar: Back from the future donned in Japanese kimonos / Even though the streets show love, try to see me grow / I often see me floatin', but my shadow it weighs a ton / Call it baggage, I use it all to advantage

Snoop Dogg - Gin and Juice

How does this song hold up so well?! I don’t know, but it does, and I ain’t mad about it.

Hottest Bar: You all know it and sing along with it every time you hear it. Rollin down the street, smokin indo, sippin on gin and juice / Laid back (with my mind on my money and my money on my mind)

Cardi B and Bruno Mars – Please Me

Cardi B is one of the hottest names in the game. And Bruno Mars does nothing but pump out hits. This one is hot and heavy from the jump: 

Hottest Bar: Well... most lyrics can't be printed on this family-friendly website!

Side B

K’Naan – What’s Hardcore

Side B is going to get a little Indie, a little World, and a lot awesome. K’naan is perhaps Africa’s greatest hip-hop resource, mixing deeply personal and political lyrics with sick minimalist beats. Here's just one example:

Hottest Bar: Journalists hire gunmen there’s violent women / Kids trust no one cause fire burnt them / Refugees die in boats, headed for peace / is anyone scared of death here? Not in the least

Sage Francis – Love the Lie

A godfather of indie hip-hop, Sage Francis is a world renowned lyricist that creates vivid stories that jump off the vinyl. Here's just one of many, many heartfelt and insanely catchy tracks he's put out over his 20+ year career:

Hottest Bar: Pedestals for the parents medicine is on the shelf / Put the trophy in the spotlight watch as it melts / Metal would've survived plastic is cheaper / Ran into the fire she asked me to leave her

Kanye West – Jesus Walks

So this isn’t indie, but it is the first huge mega-hit that has been the huge mega-hit career of Kanye West. Compared to his current work, it does feel pretty indie, doesn't it?

Hottest Bar: My mamma used to say only Jesus can save us / Well mamma I know I act a fool / But I’ll be gone ‘til November I got packs to move I hope / (Jesus Walks)

House of Pain – Jump Around

The OG Hispanic hip-hop crew that paved the way for generations of party animals serve up their biggest hit, which is still bumping in sports arenas around the country.

Hottest Bar: You know its on as soon as you hear: Pack it up, pack it in / Let me begin / I came to win / Battle me that’s a sin

Jurassic 5 – What’s Golden

Raise your hand if you remember listening to Jurassic 5 in your friend’s basement at 12 years old, amazed at what you were hearing because it was so fresh, so real, so unlike anything else out there...

Hottest Bar: Well it’s the verbal Herman Munster / the word enhancer, sick of phony mobsters controllin’ the dance floor. / I been in dark places, catch you when you stark naked / your heart races as we pump you for your chart spaces

Jay-Z – Run This Town

We can’t have an ultimate hip-hop playlist without the Kind of New York telling us about his city.

Hottest Bar: And our girls are blackbirds / riding with they Dillingers / I get more in depth if you boys really real enough / This is la Familia, I’ll explain later / But for now, let me get back to this paper

There you have it! We hope you have enjoyed our playlist, and gotten some inspiration. Now go, build your own hip-hop (or rock, or country, or...) mixtape!

View our custom vinyl options here: https://www.freestyle-vinyl.com/collections