Ten Rap-Rock Songs That Are Actually Awesome
Rap-rock remains the coolest idea ever. You've just been scared off of it by the mountain of terrible rap-rock in existence. Here are ten songs that prove the Woodstock '99-tainted genre could have a hell of a future if the right people resurrected it.
The lovable Cypress Hill always had a lot more in common with alt- and punk-rockers than their fellow rappers; with their squeal-y guitar samples they proved a perfect foil for Sonic Youth when they were paired on the Judgment Night soundtrack. On the nu-metal cash-in "(Rock) Superstar," they build tension a lot better than most of the genuine article, with eerie glockenspiels and violins setting the stage before the riffs take over. They rap better than real bands too.
Part of the reason Linkin Park outsold and outlasted most of their peers is because their taste was a cut above, aping Nine Inch Nails and Aphex Twin for their glitchy studio tricks and scoring the likes of Black Thought and Pharoahe Monch for remixes. So it was inevitable they'd pop out an actual irresistible song eventually, and that was "Faint," with its fantastic, cut-up sample of string exotica and unusually tense double-time rapping from the not-awful Mike Shinoda. Lil Wayne
"Best Rapper Alive"
Weezy's much-hated rock experiment Rebirth wasn't a total waste; the Eminem collab "Drop the World" and springy, No Doubt-like Nicki Minaj duet "Knockout" were certainly a lot better than the awful single "Prom Queen." But he never utilized a rock track better than this over-the-top Carter II symphonic-metal epic where he crowned himself. Sum 41
These dweebs were impossibly fun for all of 3:21 on this insane Beasties-Blink hybrid (and don't forget the sensitive bridge!), amplified by one of the most visionary party vids of all time: robots skateboarding, freestyling in 7-11 and head-shaving. It also helped that the singer's a dead ringer for Calvin of Calvin & Hobbes.