There is nothing that captures the spirit of hip hop more than a good guitar riff. In fact, some of the best rap songs have a guitar sample in them.
The guitars can either be subtle, as in Lil Peep’s “The Way I See Things”, or they can be more prominent, like in Eminem’s “Loose yourself”. Whatever the case, it does gives an edge to the song.
Whether it’s to show off their musical knowledge or just because they’re feeling it, it’s hard to beat the effort rappers put into their guitar game. With that said, here, are 19 of the best rap songs with guitars in them.
Here are 19 Rap Songs with Guitar
1. Loose Yourself by Eminem
Eminem’s biggest hit ‘Loose Yourself’ from ‘8 mile’ is by far the most known rap song that is driven by one of the best guitar riffs ever which is in the key of D minor.
The intensity and energy that this guitar riff brings to this song is just incredible, and the raw nature of the emotion in Eminem’s vocals enhances this even more.
Thanks to producer Jeff Bass for incorporating not only the unrelenting guitar riff but also other instruments such as piano, violin and woodwinds, horns, strings, and many other sound effects.
The blend of all these instruments does make the song sound huge and larger than life.
Song Facts – Diamond certified, ‘Lose Yourself’ is the first Hip-Hop song to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Additionally, it also won the Grammy for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Solo Performance.
2. Rock Box by Run-D.M.C
American Hip Hop group ‘Run DMC’ started it all. They were the first Hip Hop group to incorporate heavy guitar riffs and solos in their raps.
‘Rock Box’ is one of those songs from their debut album that is packed with heavy guitar riffing and sizzling solos by, ‘Eddie Martinez’.
After they released this track, they went on to develop this sound on their later albums with their hit songs like ‘King Of Rock’ and ‘Walk This Way’ featuring ‘Steven Tyler’ and ‘Joe Perry’ from ‘Aerosmith’.
Song Facts – It was Larry Smith ( group producer ) who proposed mixing rock guitar with rap to which the rappers resisted but agreed later.
The group, in fact, produced a version of this song without the guitars but when DJ Red Alert, played the guitar version on his radio it went crazy among the people in the hood.
3. The Way I See Things by LiL Peep
From releasing music in Sound cloud to charting number 4 in Billboard Hot 100, Gustav Elijah aka Lil Peep gave numerous songs to listen to before leaving his fans at the age of 21.
One of his songs is ‘The Way I See Things’ which starts off with an aesthetic, delay-drenched clean guitar intro that catches the listener’s attention immediately.
As the song progresses one can hear Peep talk about things like suffering, heartbreaks, and loneliness, giving the listener that explainable feeling inside, but without leaving that chill vibe of the song.
Often compared to Kurt Cobain, Lil Peep grew up listening to a lot of rock music, which is one of the reasons why we hear some of the tasteful guitar works in most of his raps.
Additionally, there are a few other guitar-fueled tracks by him that you may want to check out such as ‘Benz Truck’ and ‘Save That Shit’ from his debut studio album “Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 1“.
4. She Watch Channel Zero by Public Enemy
Here is another rap song with the guitar ‘She Watch Channel Zero’ by the hip-hop group that needs no introduction.
Driven by Slayer’s ‘Angel Of Death’ breakdown guitar riff sample, this is a badass track by Public Enemy from their “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back” album which talks about television addiction.
Although this song is less popular, it definitely shows how to fuse heavy metal with rap and do a perfect Rap-Metal collaboration.
This is also one of those tracks that got most of the metalheads and rap fans to get along so well together.
Recently, the band ‘Kings of Quarantine’ has shared a full band cover version of this song and the cool thing is, it features iconic rock and hip hop group members from Faith No More, Beastie Boys, 311, 3rd Bass, Sepultura, Cypress Hill, and H20. Here is the link.
Additionally, ‘Public Enemy’ has few other songs with guitar in them like ‘Sophisticated B****’ featuring Vernon Reid on guitars from their debut album and “Bring The Noise” which they rerecorded with ‘Anthrax’ which is a pure thrash metal banger.
5. Hate The Other Side by Juice Wrld & Marshmello ft. The Kid Laroi
One more awesome rap song with guitar by none other than Jarad A. Higgins aka Juice Wrld, who is no more with us but will be always remembered as one of the brightest Hip-Hop stars.
Produced by Marshmello, ‘Hate The Other Side’ is the ninth track from Juice’s third posthumous album, ‘Legends Never Die’, that featured ‘The Kid Laroi’ and ‘Polo G’ on vocals.
The song kicks of with the opening clean guitar sample ( produced by Mello ) which clears the passage for Juice’s intro which then flows to two banger verses by Laroi and Polo G respectively.
Here the line “Hate The Other Side” refers to the female gender as Juice raps “I was taught to love my brothers and to hate the other side”.
Besides, the music video of this track is sitting at 1 billion-plus views on YouTube where you can watch David Garibaldi paints stunning portraits of Juice, Marshmello, the Kid Laroi, and Polo G.
Song Facts – This song charted at number 10 on Billboard Hot 100 and also became the highest-charting single for Laroi and Polo G.
6. The Girl Tried To Kill Me by Ice-T
Packed with ceaseless guitar solos and crunchy rhythm lines by guitarist Ernie C, this is another rap song with guitar by the O.G, Ice-T from his 1989 album Freedom of Speech…Just Watch What You Say.
This is one of the early tracks where Ice-T started experimenting with rock music and would go on further to form a heavy metal band ‘Body Count’ with Ernie C.
In this track, you can hear Ice-T rap about a life-threatening encounter with a beautiful woman who turns out to be a temptress.
7. Bank Account by 21 Savage
Self-produced by 21 Savage himself, ‘Bank Account’ is one more rap song with guitar from his 2017’s debut “Issa Album”. With over 300 million-plus views on the audio version on YouTube, this is undoubtedly one of his best songs that shows the producer side of him.
The melancholic guitar riff (sample) that repeats throughout this song in the background has a very chill vibe to it and is definitely a mood setter, although very easy to play on the guitar.
‘Bank Account’ is also the rapper’s highest-charting single that peaked at number 4 in US Hot Rap Songs (Billboard) and number 12 in US Billboard Hot 100.
8. Go Flex by Post Malone
From being in a heavy metal band to selling 80 million records as a rapper, Post Malone has a lot of songs that have guitar in them.
‘Go Flex’ is one of those songs from his debut album ‘Stoney’ that shows how good a guitarist and musician he is.
Packed with a perfect fusion of irresistible beats, guitar strums, and vocals by Malone, this song should definitely get a place in your playlist if you are looking especially for rap songs with guitar.
The song starts off with him playing a mellow d minor chord progression on his acoustic guitar inside a warehouse which then gets fused with the beats and from there Malone goes on flexing about his jewelry and gold grills.
As said Malone himself, ‘Go Flex’ is just about stuntin, showing you got the sauce.
9. Me and My Guitar by A Boogie wit da Hoodie
With over 23 million views on YouTube, here is another platinum-certified banger ‘Me and My Guitar’ by A Boogie wit da Hoodie that starts off a cool guitar intro.
This song along with 19 other tracks in this album was released on 14 February 2020 ( Valentines Day ) and featured guest artists such as Rick Ross, Ed Sheeran, Khalid, Lil Durk, and more.
Personally, out of all his songs, this one really hits hard not because of its lyrical content or the guitar sample but because of the raw pain he sings with. He feels so deeply and so carefully that you can feel it through the song.
10. Walk This Way by Run-D.M.C.
“Walk This Way” by Run-D.M.C is a hip-hop classic one of the first sampled rap-rock songs which paired Aerosmith’s original sound with some heavy drum beats and rap lyrics. The result was a rap and rock anthem that helped to lay the groundwork for future collaboration in hip hop and rock music.
11. Kill You by Eminem
Eminem has always been one of the best rappers when it comes to guitar riffs in his songs, and this is no exception. His intensity on this track is just as good on this song as it is in “Loose Yourself.” He has some of the hardest-hitting lines in this song that you will ever hear, and the way he delivers them with such force makes for a very memorable listening experience.
12. Yosemite by Travis Scott
Travis Scott has always had an affinity for blending rap with guitar, and he sprinkles it throughout his songs. The guitar riff is the centerpiece of this song, as it brings some intensity that you wouldn’t otherwise expect from a rap instrumental. You can also hear Travis rap over an acoustic guitar riff on the song “Wake Up”, giving a more mellow sound to his music.
13. Revenge by XXXTentacion
You don’t have to be the biggest rapper in the world these days to get your music on the radio. XXXTentacion proves this with his song “Revenge.” His style has the same intensity as most rap songs, but he also brings in an emotional element that can be heard in soft rock songs. This is why it works so well when you hear the subtle acoustic guitar riff in the background of this song.
14. Who Needs Love by Trippie Red
Trippie Red brings the best of rap and guitar together in this song, with a little hint of country. This song is certainly more on the mellow side compared to some others on the list, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t great. Trippie Red has an excellent voice for singing sad songs like this one.
15. Awful Things by Lil Peep
Lil Peep has done many different genres of music, so it’s no surprise that he brings guitar into rap. You can hear how much fun he is having with the riff in this song, as well as his singing during the chorus. His vocals are deep and heavy for all of the songs where he sings, but the guitar riff takes this song to another level.
16. Rock ‘n’ Roll by Mos Def
“Rock ‘n’ Roll” is one of the best rap songs that features guitar, and it was an instant classic when it came out. This song is full of energy, and Mos Def has some great lines in this song to go with the beat. His style is unique with how he switches up his verses, and the guitar riff gives this song an extra kick in intensity.
17. The See 2.0 by The Roots
The Roots are known for lots of different genres, and they also like to experiment with more hip-hop tracks. Their song “The Seed 2.0” is a great example of this, as it features guitars that bring out an intensity that you wouldn’t expect from The Roots. They have used guitars in other songs on their other albums, but they perfected it with this song.
18. Mind Playing Tricks on Me by Geto Boys
This classic Geto Boys track is another song where the guitar acting as a more intense and soulful backdrop to rap. You can hear how much power and emotion there is in this song, and it makes the lyrics even better because of this. It brings an intensity to everything that you wouldn’t expect from rap music.
There are tons of more rap songs that have guitar in them the ones mentioned above are some of the popular ones and to just to name a few. I will be updating this page with more songs in the future so don’t forget to come back and give it a check.