Best Rap Beats: All Time (Part 2)

A lot goes into crafting the perfect hip hop beat.

Let’s go through some of the best in history. Some of the best are mad chill, but some of them just go hard. From boom bap and beyond, these are the best rap beats: all time.

Scope part 1 here.

Scope part 3 here.

GZA – 4th Chamber

GZA - Liquid SwordsThis is a classic off of Liquid Swords. As usual, the GZA brings the lyrical heat, and the RZA drops the fire beat. The intro pops it off with a sound that can only be described as electric. Like most great classic beats (and most classic RZA beats), the melody’s fire but the overall beat is simple and basically just loops, kindly leaving room for GZA to go hard. RZA’s beats are one of a kind for that grimy but somehow inviting atmosphere, and the 4th Chamber backing is no exception to the rule.

Freddie Gibbs and Madlib – Shitsville

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - PiñataThis beat by Madlib sounds like it was made for Freddie Gibbs, cause I don’t think anyone else could do anything on such a fast beat. It’s manic but consistent, and like the best of Madlib’s beats it doesn’t really sound like all the sounds can come together for a hip hop beat. Also like most of Madlib’s shit, it does all come together and it’s fire. Come for the dope ass beat, stay when you’re blown by how Freddie Gibbs somehow manages to spit fire over it.

Black Star – Respiration

Black Star - Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black StarLike the other songs on this list, the rap from Mos Def and Talib Kweli also happens to be mad dope. Hi-Tek handled the production, and it’s pretty minimalistic during verses, so you can rap in a few different ways on it. It’s not the chillest beat, but it’s still a damn good one to smoke to (and as Mos Def says, “breathe out, weed smoke retrace the skyline.”) This is an excellent example of how a subtle beat with a killer hook can go far.

 Blackalicious – Release (Parts 1, 2 and 3)

Blackalicious - Blazing ArrowThis is really more like 3 beats in one dope track by the production side of Blackalicious, Chief Xcel. One of them is a slow haunting backing for spoken word featuring Saul Williams the legend. That one’s sandwiched between two high-tempo, high-energy beats, one of them featuring Zack de la Rocha (of Rage Against the Machine fame) yelling the same word over and over (for a reason.) It’s a ten minute track off Blazing Arrow, and it’s one of my favorite tracks of all time, for reasons that are equal part lyrically and production based.

 Big K.R.I.T.  – Talkin Bout Nothing

Big K.R.I.T. - King Remembered in TimeThis is a self-produced gem off King Remembered in Time, KRIT’s brilliant free mixtape. The track isn’t even 3 minutes long, which is a damn national tragedy. Something about its pacing just feels like it keeps you on your toes at all time. The same thing can be said for Big K.R.I.T.’s rap (on any track including this one.) The beat somehow sounds luxurious and fit for a king, and sets the stage for fire lines from KRIT, like, “I was born in the country, I ain’t trippin’ on snakes.” No you ain’t, KRIT.

Now you know what the greatest hip hop beats of all time are…

Or at least you’re a little closer to knowing. As usual, if you think I forgot any, hit me with em. I definitely haven’t covered everything, so except more coming soon.

Scope part 1 here.

Scope part 3 here.

Spit Talking

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