The Guide to Hip Hop for Metalheads


The late 90s were a rough time for music. Nü-metal left a bad taste in all of our mouths. Floridian rednecks rhyming over mook rock ruined rap and metal for a lot of people. That’s a shame because hip hop and metal have so much in common:

  • Aggressive, testosterone-driven tunes that enrage parents and politicians.
  • Old heads that won’t let go of past and dismiss all new music.
  • Bloated albums stuffed with unnecessary filler tracks.
  • Internet dorks who constantly argue with each other.

But most importantly, they’re both fun.

There are so many rappers to listen to. Where do you start? If there’s one thing I know metal heads love, it’s genres and classification so let’s find your new favorite rapper based on your favorite sub-genre of metal. I don’t claim to be a hip hop expert, but I do have a Wu-Tang tattoo, so you should probably take all of this with a giant grain of salt.


You like Slayer, Lamb of God and Machine Head. You don’t really identify with any weird sub-genres; you just wanna head bang.

Listen to: Jedi Mind Tricks 

Jedi Mind Tricks have been making dark, underground rap since the 90s. Self-professed metal fans and HUGE dudes, JMT perform with such intensity that they kinda scared me when I first saw them as a skinny, stoned teenager.

Also Try: Dead Prez, SpaceGhostPurrp, Waka Flocka Flame


You get wild for bands like Municipal Waste, Power Trip and Steel Panther. You like shotgunning beers, partying with your bros and taking drugs. Lots of drugs.

Listen to: Project Pat

The older brother to Juicy J of the Academy Award-winning Three Six Mafia, Project Pat has made a long career with subtlety-free tracks about fucking and getting fucked up. Crank this and #turnup.

Also Try: Gucci Mane, Mr Muthafuckin’ eXquire, Chief Keef


You vibe out to Eyehategod, Nuerosis and Pallbearer. You like it slow, low and banging.

Listen to: DJ Screw

DJ Screw invented the Screw style of chopping up and slowing down beats to create the audio equivalent of sipping codeine syrup. He released mixtape after mixtape of slow, sticky jams before suffering a fatal heart attack at the age of 30; an unfortunate  consequence of too much lean. Also Try: Scarface, Z-Ro, Big Moe


You rep Suffocation, Devourment and Morbid Angel. You want no-frills brutality from artists that consistently bring the goods.

LISTEN TO: Sean Price 

Sean P, one half of 90s east coast rap duo Heltah Skeltah, does nothing but deliver hard-as-fuck rhymes. Philly hardcore legends Cold World and Sean collaborated on the awesomely-titled nu-nu-metal jam “How the Gods Chill”.

Also Try: Pusha-T, Beanie Sigel, Mobb Deep


You listen to Cynic, Atheist, and The Faceless. You want dense, complex riffs that take time to unpack and digest.

Listen to: Jay Electronica

Tech death rap beats don’t exist (yet), but Jay Electronica delivers the next best thing with incredibly deep, knotted lines that still bang. Since launching his career in 2009 Jay has released just a few songs and guested on a handful of tracks. His debut album has been promised for years and we’re still waiting. Sounds familiar.

Also Try: Pharoahe Monche, GZA, Rakim


You listen to Kayo Dot, Mr, Bungle and a bunch of other weird shit that I probably don’t know about.

Listen to: Kool Keith (Dr Octagon, Dr Dooom, Black Elvis)

Kool Keith has recorded roughly one billion songs under his many monikers and alter egos. He’s known for delivering abstract lines that come out bizarre and sometimes… just wrong, man. His retirement status is up in the air at the moment.

Also Try: Lil B, RiFF RAFF, MF Doom


You zone out to Sleep, Electric Wizard and Bongripper. Your interests include reefer, chronic and kush.

LISTEN TO: Action Bronson

With a flow reminiscent of Ghostface Killah, the subjects of Bronson’s bars are most commonly high-quality cannabis and fine dining. It’s a match made in stoner heaven. Unlike Burning Man, there’s a lot here for non-stoners to love.

Also Try: Devin the Dude, Curren$y, Cypress Hill


You somehow enjoy Cemetery Rapist, Meat Shits and Torsofuck. You are gross and you like gross things.


I first heard this track at the worst “gentleman’s” club in town. It was loud and I couldn’t decipher the lyrics but the beat was sick so I went home and downloaded it. After hearing the second verse I took a shower, cleared my hard drive and found Jesus.

Also Try: Getting your GED, Being a better person, Not being so gross


Your favorite artist’s best days are far behind them. What remains is a cruel parody of the talent that once existed. You can’t stay on top of the world forever.

Listen to:

Ice Cube


I’m not sure how you got here. Enjoy this video.


Did I miss something? Am I a poser in MULTIPLE genres? Top 5 dead or alive? Let’s talk about it below. I see you. Hi Haters.

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  • I’m gonna go get a sandwich.

    • Negrodamus

      I think this is great cause I love both genres of music, plus this covers a lot of ground!

  • W.

    SpaceGhostPurrp is a known Meshuggah fan. Also, for those of you wanting to hear some hip hop albums featuring guest spots by metal musicians, check out Ill Bill’s “Hour of Reprisal” and Necro’s “Death Rap.”

    • SpaceGhostPurrp is also at the forefront of the movement to put Mortal Kombat sound effects in music which I back 100%

    • Christian Molenaar

      I briefly mentioned it in my post, but for a metal album featuring a dude with some semblance of hip-hop cred, listen to Black Sabbath’s Illusion of Power featuring Ice-T and produced by Ernie C.

  • Don’t really know how to tie them to metal, but I’m a huge fan of Saul Williams, Aesop Rock, El-P, and the Roots.

    • W.

      You’re speaking Negrodamus’ language, as El-P is his favorite hip-hop artist. I’m a fan of the Run the Jewels project.

      • Negrodamus

        Correct! I have seen him live twice, technically three times if you count Run The Jewels. His show for ISWYD was epic it was so much fun. I’ve also seen Despot open for him twice, and that dude might eventually put out the last hip hop album I am truly waiting to hear.

        EDIT: additional thought, I may want to work on a metal posting cause as much as I love this, I’m not sure hip hop and TOH are excellent bedfellows. I also came up with an awesome idea for a pen name which I may use…

    • Gurp

      Oddly enough I’m also a fan of Aesop Rock and El-P.

    • KJM

      You can tie some of them to The Mars Volta, not quite the same thing but still cool.

      • CX Kidtronik, who is often a part of Saul Williams’ DJ/backing band played a DJ set I saw once where he melded a random mix of pop, hip hop with Slayer and the Mar Volta songs.

        • KJM

          Saul Williams is who I was thinking of. He also did a cool track with Buckethead a while ago.


            what about paul williams ? ahhahah
            Phantom of the paradise is a great movie by the way. Pretty out there but a really great treatise on the record/movie industry stabbing artists in the back. Of course in the 70’s de palma could do no wrong.

          • KJM

            Peter Grant(Zep’s manager) wanted that movie taken out of circulation because the onstage electrocution scene reminded him of his friend Les Harvey’s death, or so the story goes.


            they also had to obsure any reference to swan song that was visible in the film even though this movie was released well before Zeppelin created their swan song record label.

      • Negrodamus

        The Mars Volta lent music and vocals to the opening track on El-P’s ISWYD!

    • Christian Molenaar

      Trent Reznor produced one of Saul Williams’s albums, if that counts.

      • Yeah, it’s good too. Saul isn’t even really hip hop anymore actually; that album was basically a rock album with hip hop lyrics. And his last one was a straight up pop record, but also excellent. I’m interested to see where he’s going–his recent appearance on Colbert was promoting his stage show about Tupac music, and he performed a slam poem, so I’m wondering if he’s headed back to hip hop?

        • Christian Molenaar

          After the show ends its run he’ll put out that soundtrack album and then either put out a more straight-up hip-hop album to “get in touch with his classic roots” or continue his weird trajectory now that he’s gotten his Tupac worship phase out of his system.

    • Mr. Bozflusher

      You know whats up

  • Metaphysical Anus

    Best things that the 90’s had were thunder perfect mind and soundtracks for the blind.

    • Negrodamus

      Ever heard of Movies For The Blind?

      • Metaphysical Anus

        I don’t think I have. What is it?

        • Negrodamus

          It’s a hip hop album but this dude Cage, horrorcore pretty much. Solid album!

          • Metaphysical Anus

            I could check that one. Thank you good sir.


            and i thought pauly shore looked bad.
            Hopefully this is a photo of the one and only encino man, i think it is in spite of his horrible visage, which may be obsuring his true identity.


            make what you will of this ………….does this help the paulsters case or kill it ?

  • This is pretty fun! Thanks, Joe!
    *Also – my wife is hilariously confused as to why hip-hop is coming out of my speakers.

  • George Lynch

    The only thing I think hip hop/rap is good for is practicing my improv/soloing. The beats are easy, consistant, very few chord changes. I find it the best tool for really practicing some burning leads.

    Nelly Furtado happens to be my favorite to jam along with. Guilty….


    • I am like a bird.

      • George Lynch

        I am not going to take it back Joe. Not-never-ever.


        • I really liked her album that was huge in 2006-ish(?). There were some choice jams there. Trust me, GL, I’m the last person to judge someone for pop.

    • KJM

      Here’s a Necro instrumental track which I imagine would be good to solo over.

    • W.
    • Fromwisdomtohate29

      Side note: I would absolutely do Nelly Furtado.

      She gets no flushes from me.

      • I feel compelled to post this.


        I have a cousin who looks like her , only better. Plus my cuz is 30 and could pass for 16, is always getting carded. My dilemma is quite profound. I am in love with my cousin, i have to follow her to all the parties she goes to, to keep the guys in check. Everyone who sees her is in love within minutes.

        • Between The Buried & Smee

          Is this the same cousin who bought you a drink at a wedding?


            hahahha, no, the at the wedding actually WAS 15 but looked more like 20. This cousin who is 30 is a different one. She actually started dating this guy (he is rich, so i am happy for her) who is 35 and some of his friends thought he was going out with a high school girl. Crazy. I also have a second cousin in British Columbia who came down for the wedding and she is a knockout as well ! Luckily i don’t find my sister attractive at all. hahhahahhahha. The twisted mind of CONAN. Seriously though i would never act on any of my bad thoughts…………..?………i wouldn’t man, i like to joke about tabboo subjects.

  • Pagliacci is Kvlt

      Hey @Pagliacci is Kvlt what’s going on over at MS? Pretty lonely over there huh?

      • Negrodamus

        I browsed the main page again today, DEAD-ville.

        • Metaphysical Anus

          Trickle is still there. Has conan come here yet?

          • He dropped by last night in the Dinosaur Metal post.

          • Negrodamus

            Conan The Motherfucking King?


            are you going to try and line up some advertisers and take this site all the way or is that more work than you have time for. Seriously, axl and vince must be having coronaries & ulcers over this ! hahahhahhah, oh how the hammer has swung down on those joykillers !

          • I dunno! It was hard enough just getting this thing off the ground!

            We’ve only been fully operational for 3 days and I think we’ve already got one of the best damn metal blogs around.


            Joe let me know on the advertising! It’s my day job. Just give me some banner space, and a paypal or something to have money sent to. Adsense too!

          • Yessir. This weekend I will get more stuff sorted (Adding Google Analytics tracking, fixing commenting bugs, trying to fix the forum). I will add some space and hit you with an email.

          • Paris Hilton

            When do you think the contact would be up? I’d do a post for Sunday but I’d just need an email to send it to

          • I’m emailing you right now with my creepy mod powers.

          • if this thing costs money (and i assumate that it does), i’ll be happy to pitch in!

        • considering the last few months i only visited the site to hang with my fwiends, it makes sense…

          @guitarzan2112:disqus, gecherass over here!

      • Pagliacci is Kvlt

        I’m like the coolest guy over there today, which is sort of like being the smartest kid on the short bus.

      • Paul Will.I.Am.s

        It’s pretty damn sad and lonely over there.

    • KJM

      +1 for Doctor Number 10

  • Gurp

    Hey now. Ice Cube can still put out some good stuff, unlike Metallica.

  • KJM

    Excellent fuckin’ article. I’ll peruse the comments and then go find some Hip-Hop shit others might not know about.

  • KJM

    Necro has an album called “Circle Of Tyrants”. What’s not to love?

    • Rocky Gray (Soul Embraced, Living Sacrifice) has/had a project with his brother called Fatal Thirteen that’s kinda like Necro. It’s basically rap-metal based on horror movies and serial killers IIRC.

    • Fromwisdomtohate29

      He and his brother Ill Bill used to play in a metal band back in the early 90’s, so yeah.

  • Steve Smithwick

    Great post!

    I came here to voice a few minor complaints. The biggest:
    Everyone knows Exhibit A is the real mack-daddy Jay Elec track. Exhibit A for life. Here ya go, with a new lease on life like Andy Dufresne:

    And no Black Star!
    Black Star:
    For the philosophical, introspective metalhead that likes thoughtful material like Isis, Jesu and Pelican.

    Related artists: Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common. Note: Kweli and Mos are the two members of Black Star, and Common guests on this track. So there’s a sample from each here.

    On the compliment side, props for including Action Bronson and Gucci among those on your list. You forgot my dog Chief Keef though, this single is my jam, I don’t even care that Kief is a little dickhead:

    • Exhibit A is awesome, no doubt. I just prefer Exhibit C is all.

      I really can’t believe how much shit this guy kicked up after like 3 songs.

      • Steve Smithwick

        Peeps who prefer Exhibit C, that’s that shit I don’t like
        Remove MS embedding, that’s that shit I don’t like
        Police, that’s that shit I don’t like
        Flush you motherfuckers, that’s that shit I DO like!

        • Chose this version cuz Pusha T.

          • Steve Smithwick

            (I think those are the same versions!)

          • I mean not the Kanye remix version. The original was just Chief Keef.

          • Between The Buried & Smee

            Chief Keef just got evicted from a house in my home town.

          • I really like his music but he seems like a bad person.

          • Between The Buried & Smee

            People were dissing him awhile back on MS saying what he does doesn’t take any talent, but I just assumed that was metal ignorance.

  • KJM

    From 2000, here’s a track from my Twitter friend Akrobatik, a 14 year old tune that skewers those who talk shit online and don’t back it up IRL.

    • Fromwisdomtohate29

      Akrobatik is the truth. Balance was such a great album. Also my favorite song on that EP is the wrestling themed collabo between him and Esoteric “Battle Royale”

      I wish dude would make a new album already.

      • KJM

        He has! It’s called ‘Built To Last’ and you can go to his Bandcamp right now and hear some tracks and hopefully buy it, as I have.

        • Fromwisdomtohate29

          Sweet. I’m going to have to get on that right away.

          Now if only Last Emperor would make a new album that isn’t a damn mixtape.

      • KJM
  • KJM

    From Ice-T’s 1st disc. You might recognize these riffs.

  • KJM

    Another dark, scary Ice-T track

  • Christian Molenaar

    Hey Joe, pretty good writeup but in my opinion you’re missing a pretty key element. Just like I wouldn’t tell a Jay-Z fan to jump write into Menace Ruine, what you need are the gateway acts.

    To start, I’d recommend Mike Smith’s Grimm Real project. It’s basically him rapping over looped Suffocation riffs and is pretty much 100% terribad but what the heck.

    Next I’d recommend some of Xzibit’s harder material. Everyone knows him as a bit of a joke via Pimp My Ride, but this song might as well be by Devourment or something. That riffing…So much better than that song he did with Within Temptation, or anything else by them for that matter.

    • Amazing. Completely amazing.

      • Christian Molenaar

        You’ve probably heard it but what about the Judgment Night soundtrack? Mind-boggling combos like Living Colour+Run DMC, Slayer+Ice-T, Sonic Youth+Cypress Hill, Faith No More+Boo Yaa Tribe and holy shit, that Helmet+House of Pain songs has probably the greatest snare of all time. In addition to John Stanier’s perfect cracking tone they layered in some high pitched third-bridge guitar sound. Sounds like a Today is the Day b-side circa Kiss the Pig.

        • Oh yes. I’m expecting the new Cold World album to revitalize interest in this. Things are going to be weird.

          • Christian Molenaar

            For real though, in a few short years all rap’s going to sound like this. Death Grips really pushed that heavy, weird rap aesthetic into the limelight with their take on what Moodie Black have been doing for years. Expect Dalek to put out a slightly more accessible album and have a minor hit which will garner him serious fellatio on Pitchfork (that last sentence was the only exaggeration in this comment, by the way). Noisey will write several thinkpieces on the new noise-rap “movement” and the whole thing will look much bigger than it actually is.

        • KJM


  • KJM

    A track that set off one of the earliest major rivalries in Rap/Hip-Hop

  • excellent article! i’ve never completely written off hip-hop, because i know that all i hear on the radio is corporate shit.
    excited to discover some hip-hop with talent and soul!


      I have to take the old CIMMERIAN stand on this, with another of my controversial edicts. Rap and hip hop are really terrible forms of music (?) and have no business in gods music (metal). I have forgiven Anthrax for the Public enema collaboration but that was really bad. It just shows what a good band they are that they could survive that and that ridiculous i’m the man business. SIlliness has its place but that was just stupid.

      Body count is removed from this equation because CROM likes them, who am i to argue with that ?

      • I’m The Man was indeed silly, but Anthrax was always fairly silly. Like I said above about Judgement Night though, their collab with Public Enemy for Bring The Noise was awesome; a good example of how to do it right, but unfortunately probably helped usher in the era of bad nu-metal a few years later.


          yea at that point they were pretty light hearted with the jam shorts and shit. I like them more today, more centered, i actually enjoy WM as much as Euphoria & POT.

          • Between The Buried & Smee

            Among The Living > any other album by a different “big 4 band”

      • whaddup, boosh? welcome!


          yea, i dropped in last night to see and it’s wayyyy bette than i thought. I was just talking to joe to see if he can get some advertisers and take this site right to the top. I would even contribute a few dollars a month to get this going full blast. My hearts desire is to put vince and axl out of business. They are going to have to build a new audience because you & others have been going there for 5 years or more ( i think i asked you once). It’s time for them to pay the piper.
          I hope we don’t have the caption contests here. The one this week is just tasteless. It’s no doubt a set up photo, but a metal head laying in the street passed out from drugs and alcohol isn’t funny. A lot of veterans are living in the streets as well. Ever since the cliff/lars shirt MS posts have been getting more and more meanspirited which doesn’t make me laugh. It makes me depressed. I never did mind their constant bullshit articles , the articles today are some of the most piss poor i have ever seen on there. I think they are distracted and scrambling. And i can’t say i feel sorry for them. The chickens have come home to roost and are shitting on them in the form of lost profits.


            I feel sorry for sabbath who spent money to advertise on their sites to all of us who aren’t even there! I too talked to joe about ads last week.

            I agree that the MS suck shtick is old hat. The content is lazy. It’s almost like they know that the fork has been stuck and they’re checkin out. They have no one to blame but themselves.

            Long live the Order of the Flush!

          • Between The Buried & Smee

            I get all the dumb and/or angry shit I post out of the way on MS, then come here for thoughtful conversations.

  • KJM

    The other half of that rivalry. Y’all might be more familiar with this.

  • KJM

    How about some tunes from the “Judgment Night” soundtrack?

    • Christian Molenaar

      Ah, you read my mind! Or my comment. Either way, thumbs up.

      • KJM

        GMTA and all that.

    • This is one of the few examples of mixing rock and hip hop that mostly works; unfortunately it is also probably responsible for starting nu-metal. But that Faith No More & Boo-Yaa Tribe track kills, as does the Helmet & House of Pain one.

      • KJM

        Great music/bands always end up spawning inferior imitations.

    • Mr. Bozflusher

      love the Helmet track

  • Fromwisdomtohate29

    I think Outkast should be included in the tech nerds section. They hide under a veneer of Southern gangsta, but are actually more complex. They are also heavily polarizing.

    All I know is Aquemini is a hip hop masterpiece.

    • Backed!

      • Lacertilian

        Anyone here get on last year’s Czarface record?
        Inspectah Deck +7L & Esoteric. Comic book references with great production. Heaps of guests, some from Wu Tang etc. DJ Premier too.

        • Negrodamus

          Action Bronson had a great guest spot on Czarface.

    • Mr. Bozflusher
  • Fromwisdomtohate29

    Also for a female touch there’s Eternia. I guess you could equate her to Arch Enemy. Straight lyrics though.

  • Mr. Bojangles
    • Mr. Bozflusher


  • JWG

    Sweatshop Union. Really not sure how to tie them to metal of any kind, yet they seem like exactly the sort of hip-hop artists that socially conscious laid-back metalheads would enjoy.

    Couple of older low-res uploads. Audio’s fine though.

  • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis


    • Glad to have you/your name is fucking hilarious!

    • KJM

      Indeed, love the username. The judges would’ve also accepted “Ann Coulter’s Trachea Shave” as a good name.

    • A Feed From Cloud Mountain

      Your username.

      It’s awesome.

      ‘Nuff said.

      • Ann Coulter’s Flaccid Penis

        Thank you kindly, good sir and/or madam.

  • KJM

    More of that hard hitting shit

  • KJM

    This track, especially the video, would give our old buddy ZZzzzz fits.


      has zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz been on here to add his conspiratorial rantings yet ?

      • KJM

        He has not been here to piss on us “libtards”.

  • Cock of Steele Ill Bill’s solo stuff also goes pretty damn hard.

  • Further Down the Metal Hole

    I think I probably just don’t “get” rap and hip hop, never could get into it. Then again, I’m sure it goes the other way round too, I know many people who think metal (in all its forms) is silly. I like to broaden my horizon, but I’ll still stay in a somewhat metal/rock world, hehe.

  • Mr. Bozflusher
  • love me some old project pat

  • Guest

    Public fucking Enemy dude, they rule if you’re into metal. Any of the bomb squad produced stuff is really the best, but Fear of a Black Planet is incredible, numerous songs are so fast paced or have weird instrumentation behind them that they appeal to my prog/tech and just general metal sensibilities.

  • crazytaco_12
  • crazytaco_12

    I’m into metal in general, but usually more down for prog/tech/avant garde etc stuff, anyhow, my favorite hip hop bands that appeal to my metal sensibilities are Public Enemy, GZA, Wu Tang Clan, MF Doom, Fu Schnickens, Death Grips, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Gravediggaz, and a bunch more, wish I could go into more detail of why I like these bands but you should check them out if you’re curious about hip hop.

  • crazytaco_12

    GZA – 4th chamber (vid below is Public Enemy – Brothers Gonna Work it Out)

  • crazytaco_12

    And Fu Shnickens – True Fuschnick (fast vocal shit)

  • Poop Mango

    Gotta throw out a recommendation for Antwon for party rap. All the dude raps about is pussy and fuckin, and he does it in such a crass and vulgar way that my wife couldn’t even handle listening to it.

  • NDNOvHell
  • Dez Pornojesus

    No Non-Phixion, Cyrcle Of The Tyrants, La Coka Nostra, Psycho Realm, Jedi Mind Tricks, Army Of The Pharoes?! That stuff’s more Metal than Metal