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Top 10 Rap Rock Songs

Top 10 Rap Rock Songs
VOICE OVER: Rudolph Strong WRITTEN BY: Mimi Kenny
Rap and Rock are very different genres, but some artists have combined them for some great songs! For this list, we'll be looking at the best songs that fuse together elements of rock and hip-hop. Our countdown includes “In the End” (2001) by Linkin Park, “Walk This Way” (1986) by Run-DMC & Aerosmith, “99 Problems” (2004) by Jay-Z, and more!

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Rap-Rock Songs. For this list, we’ll be looking at the best songs that fuse together elements of rock and hip-hop. What’s your favorite rap-rock song? Let us know in the comments!

#10: “Walk This Way” (1986)

Run-DMC & Aerosmith

A watershed moment for both rock and hip-hop was when Run-DMC recorded a cover of Aerosmith’s funky hard rock classic, “Walk This Way.” Aerosmith members Steven Tyler and Joe Perry contributed vocals and guitar, and not only did it help to revive the band’s then-struggling career, but it also brought a new subgenre to the mainstream. But “Walk This Way” was never considered a sure thing. Run-DMC members Joseph Simmons and Darryl McDaniels weren't particularly enthusiastic about the idea, and producer Rick Rubin, who suggested the cover, was skeptical about its single potential. But "Walk This Way" became a top 10 hit that showed the pure power of crossover potential.

#9: “Survival” (2013)

Eminem

His genre might be hip-hop, but Eminem has all of the qualities of the true rock star: charisma, presence, and unrelenting energy. The rap superstar displays all of these on this song from 2013’s “The Marshall Mathers LP 2.” Over explosive guitars and drums, Eminem uses his well-established rapping skills to talk about how he made it to the top and is still fighting. You might think, after so much success, he’d want to just take it easy. But longtime fans know that Eminem’s M.O. is to prove that he’s the best and then prove it time and time again. As he says on “Survival,” he’s not a rapper; he’s an adapter.

#8: “Party Like a Rockstar” (2007)

Shop Boyz

Think back to 2007, when you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing Shop Boyz’s irresistible anthem about enjoying the spoils of the rockstar lifestyle. And like true rockstars, Shop Boyz know the importance of bringing in and destroying electric guitars. Hip-hop purists who believe rap should be focused on serious topics might have turned their noses up at "Party Like a Rockstar" when it first dropped. But more than a decade later, it holds up as one of the best celebratory songs of the 2000s. Want to make your next party a great one? Drop this song on the playlist.

#7: “Rock the House” (2001)

Gorillaz feat. Del the Funky Homosapien

Virtual band Gorillaz became a global sensation with their song “Clint Eastwood.” But there’s another song featuring rapper Del the Funky Homosapien on their self-titled debut album that also deserves love. On “Rock the House,” Del handles all vocal duties on this track and proves himself to be a lyrical and technical genius. The horn sample, from British saxophonist John Dankworth, keeps things impossibly smooth. There's also the music video, which, in pure Gorillaz fashion, is wonderfully surreal. "Rock the House" established one firm truth about Gorillaz: you never know what exactly they'll do next.

#6: “Body Count” (1992)

Body Count

Before he was helping to solve crimes on “Law & Order: SVU”, rapper Ice-T was the frontman of metal group Body Count. The title track off of their self-titled debut album, “Body Count” combines the political rage of hip-hop with the sonic fury of metal. Lyrically, Ice-T is full of righteous indignation about systematic racism. And elements like Ernie C's guitar and Beatmaster V's drums amplify this anger beautifully. “Body Count’s” message is still, sadly, as relevant as ever nearly 30 years later. And their music holds up as a prime example of how to successfully combine two very distinct styles of music.

#5: “99 Problems” (2004)

Jay-Z

Ice-T also inspired one of the best rap-rock songs by another artist. The classic hook to Jay-Z's "99 Problems" came from Ice's song of the same name. On this iconic song, produced by Rick Rubin, Jay-Z is running through a gauntlet of issues, ones that can’t be solved through success alone. But he’s not backing down, displaying confidence at every turn, in both his words and his tone. The guitar-driven beat makes it the perfect song for anyone trying to get themselves pumped up to do something great. Don’t like this song? We feel bad for you.

#4: “Nookie” (1999)

Limp Bizkit

Some musicians write about relationship problems with tender ballads sung over acoustic guitar or piano. That’s not Fred Durst’s style, however. On Limp Bizkit’s signature song, “Nookie,” Durst raps about a toxic relationship that he was in for all the wrong reasons. It's not the most sensitive way to address such matters, but who needs sensitivity when you have such a great beat and so much energy ripping through every second of this song? “Nookie’s” influence also spread to seemingly unlikely places. Pharrell Williams said the song helped take N.E.R.D.'s music into a more energized direction for their album “Seeing Sounds.”

#3: “In the End” (2001)

Linkin Park

One of the best piano riffs of the 2000s came on a nu-metal song. “In the End” was the beginning of millions falling in love with Linkin Park and their mixing of hip-hop, rock riffs, and pop hooks. "In the End" is a song that's equal parts heartfelt and empowering, with Chester Bennington's singing and Mike Shinoda's rapping each supporting the song's message of looking inward and making it through hard times. It’s a song for anyone who’s ever felt lost and uncertain. While there’s plenty of pain expressed in “It the End,” Linkin Park’s emotional honesty still provides hope in troubled times.

#2: “Sabotage” (1994)

Beastie Boys

The Beastie Boys originated as a hardcore punk band before focusing on hip-hop, but they never completely forgot their rock roots. A prime example of Ad-Rock, Mike D, and MCA delivering on both the rock and rap side of things is “Sabotage.” It's hard to not get hyped as soon as that guitar riff starts and the momentum never lets up as the vocals kick in. There's also the 70s TV-inspired music video, helmed by acclaimed director Spike Jonze. Somehow, "Sabotage" didn't win any of the five awards it was nominated for at the 1994 VMAs. MTV corrected this in 2009, awarding it the "Best Video (That Should Have Won a Moonman)" award.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Last Resort” (2000), Papa Roach


Cut Our Life Into Pieces, This Is an Awesome Song

“Falling Away from Me” (1999), Korn


A Powerful Song That Hits an Emotional Nerve

“Best Rapper Alive” (2005), Lil Wayne


Weezy Showed Us He Could Rock & Rap with the Best of Them

“(Rock) Superstar” (Live) (2003), Cypress Hill & Slash


An Incredible Performance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

#1: “Killing in the Name” (1992)

Rage Against the Machine

The powers that be are condemned and then some on Rage Against the Machine’s still-incendiary debut single. “Killing in the Name’s” political message is as concise as it is impactful. Zach De La Rocha’s high-energy rapping and Tom Morello’s incredible guitar work helped Rage earn their name and reputation for speaking out against oppression. “Killing in the Name” continues to be a potent song, a reminder that there’s power in numbers when it comes to revolutions. Both hip-hop and rock thrive off of rebellion and defiance, and no song combines the two styles better than this one. It’s angry, profane, and utterly necessary all at once.
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