Some of the best TV shows have nothing to do with rap plotwise, but use dope hip hop for their theme music and other music.
These are the best examples of TV rap, or the best shows with hip hop that aren’t necessarily about hip hop.
If you haven’t scoped any of the Boondocks yet, go do so right now and then keep reading (first 2 seasons are on Netflix.) It started off as the bravest and most funny comic strip in the paper, then became the bravest and most funny show on TV. It’s basically about 2 black kids from Chicago who are moved out to the very white suburbs when their grandpa retires. It’s not only the best TV show that deals with race, the theme song is a mad dope rap and the ending theme is a great instrumental. If you haven’t already, watch The Boondocks for the hip hop theme song, stay for the jokes and commentary.
Afro Samurai started as a dope manga before being adapted to a short anime (5 episodes.) The main dude (a man of few words, voiced by Samuel L. Jackson) is constantly followed around by his sidekick (a man of many words, voiced by Samuel L. Jackson.) That alone should be enough to make you want to check it out. If you need more though, and if you’re wondering why I’m writing about it, then you should hear the soundtrack, which is done by RZA. In case you’re not convinced from the Wu’s many albums (including some solo concept albums which are basically movies) that RZA is the right man for the job, he also did the soundtrack for Kill Bill and The Man with the Iron Fists.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force
You probably already know Master Shake, Frylock, Meatwad and Carl, but if you don’t, you should. ATHF is mad funny, but they also have one of the best them songs of all time, with the main characters introducing themselves. It’s one of the best rap theme songs of all time. Of all time! Again, the ending theme and transitions are also dope, so not only is it funny but the general vibe’s mad chill. Scope Aqua Teen Hunger Force, in case for some reason you don’t already spend most of your time watching Adult Swim.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
You know I had to put this on the list. Will Smith is not a famous rapper or anything in The Fresh Prince, but it was pretty much made for him to star in. It got kind of popular, and Will Smith is now known as a rapper second (after most bankable movie star of all time, maybe) I think mostly because of it. But the theme song is well known by pretty much anyone who’s ever seen an episode. It’s a great show about growing up, whether you identify more with Will or Carlton. Watch it for the opening rap, stay for Carlton’s dancing and Jazz (AKA DJ Jazzy Jeff.) Oh and RIP James Avery (Uncle Phil!)
Which of these is your favorite?
Which haven’t you seen? If I’m missing something, which ones haven’t I seen? As usual, let me know in the comments.