Top 10 Rap Songs From Movie Soundtracks
10. Lose Yourself
Performed by Eminem
- Lose Yourself--6,000,000 Singles Sold
- Lose Yourself reached #1 on Billboard Hot 100 & Top 40 charts
- Academy Award for Best Original Song
- Grammy Award for Best Rap Song
- Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance
- 8 Mile Soundtrack--15,000,000 Albums Sold
- 8 Mile Movie Sales--$242,875,078
It’s interesting that this song made my list, considering I couldn’t stand it at first. It had such a slow build and it drove me crazy. I kept listening to it because I was a big fan of Eminem at the time. Now it's a song that gets me fired up. It has also stood the test of time well. It embodies the struggle that the main character deals with in the movie. Getting his opportunity and seeing it slip away due to his fear and stress of the moment. This may be the only chance he gets to change his fortune in life. You feel the pain and struggle he is going through and they joy when he finally lets it all out at the end of the song. Lose yourself was Eminem's most successful single of his career, which I don't get because he's got much better songs. I think the success of the single had a lot to do with how hot his career was at the time.
Lose Yourself was the first rap song to be nominated for Song of the Year at the Grammy Awards. That fact is criminal in so many ways. This is a good song but its not that good. No disrespect to Eminem but it's not even close to being his best song, plus there are way too many great rap songs that came before this one and it's the first to earn that nomination.
I'd recommend seeing this movie. It's a pretty good film that is loosely based on Eminem's life. It's well done and not cliché or cheesy like most movies about inspiring artists. It was a critical and commercial success. It all took place at the height of Eminem's career. I love when singles mirror the movie they are featured in. The 8 Mile soundtrack has some good tracks, but it as a whole is uneven.
9. Never Had a Friend Like Me
- Gridlock'd Soundtrack--500,000 copies sold
- Gridlock'd Soundtrack reached #1 on Billboard 200 chart
- Gridlock'd Movie Sales--5,573,929
This song is the perfect fit for this movie. The movie chronicles the friendship of two men. They are drug addicts and try to kick their habit after another friend overdoses. The film tracks their journey to attempt to get into rehab and all the hurdles that stand in their way to sobriety. Their friendship is unhealthy for both of them, but they are intensely loyal to each other. Their friendship has been loyal to the end just like the song. It's one of those laid back songs that makes you envy the friendship 2Pac writes about, you know minus the criminal record, prison time and drug overdose.
Gridlock'd is a really good movie. It's a shame that 2Pac didn't get to see how his work turned out. He was extremely good in this movie and I think his performance would have taken him to another level if he hadn't been murdered four months before its release. The soundtrack is uneven. There are a few good tracks, but for the most part it doesn't live up to the movie. I'd recommend the movie, but not the soundtrack.
Gridlock'd takes place in Detroit. 2Pac's character is in a band called Eight Mile Road, which is the area where Eminem's movie 8 Mile takes place. Eminem has a song on the 8 Mile soundtrack called 8 Mile Road. It all comes back around people. You're welcome!
8. Going Back To Cali
L.L. Cool J
- Going Back To Cali--500,000 singles sold
- Less Than Zero Soundtrack reached #31 on the Billboard 200 Chart
- Walking with a Panther reached #6 on the Billboard 200 Chart
- Walking with a Panther--1,000,000 albums sold
- Less Than Zero Movie Sales--$12,396,383
I think this song is underrated. It may be LL Cool J's best music video. I think it's definitely one of his best songs. It's my favorite L.L. Cool J song. It was a departure from the songs L.L. was doing at the time. It seems to catch the essence of the Southern Californian vibe that New Yorkers don't care for. The song was co-written and produced by Rick Rubin. There is a story floating around that the idea for the song is based on Rubin thinking about moving from New York to California.
I remember being really excited to watch this movie and I did and the only feeling I had was, "Is that it?" I don't hate the movie but I feel it's uneven. There are parts that I like and others that I think drag on. I've been curious to read the book but haven't gotten around to it. The soundtrack for the most part stinks. I only like 2 songs on this album and this is my favorite of the two. Going Back To Cali was also used on L.L.'s 3rd album called Walking with a Panther. I'm a fan of this album, but most fans didn't care for it. I never understood that. L.L. was at the top of his game then.
7. Streiht Up Menace
- Menace II Society Soundtrack--1,000,000 copies sold
- Menace II Society Soundtrack reached #11 on the Billboard 200 Chart
- Menace II Society Movie Sales--$27,900,000
Streiht Up Menace chronicles the life of the main character in the movie. It seems like MC Eiht was drawing comparisons from his life, with the outcome being different of course. This song fits the laid back West Coast gang culture that was prevalent in 90's pop culture. MC Eiht was on a bit of a roll here. He had a part in Boyz n the Hood and provided a song on the soundtrack called Growin' Up in the Hood. Which he performed as a member of the hip hop group Compton's Most Wanted. Growin' Up in the Hood just missed out on this list. Streight Up Menace edged it out. I like this one more and think it's Eiht's best song. MC Eiht also landed a role in Menace II Society. Both parts were fairly easy for him to pull off because he pretty much lived these movies growing up. The movie and soundtrack are both excellent. I always love that. It is extremely rare when I like both. The movie was critical and commercial success.
6. Deep Cover
Performed by Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg
- Deep Cover Soundtrack reached #166 on the Billboard 200 chart
- Deep Cover Movie Sales--$16,639,799
The song that introduced Snoop Doggy Dogg to the world. He eventually changed his name to Snoop Dogg and now he's known as Snoop Lion. Maybe he's just Snoop again. All stories for another day. Deep Cover was Dr. Dre's first song since leaving the groundbreaking hip hop ground N.W.A. It was the launch of Dr. Dre as a solo artist. It was also launched Death Row Records as a label. This song was important for so much history in hip hop. Deep Cover is often overlooked track by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. Everyone references Nuthin' But a G' Thang and with good reason it was a monster hit, but Deep Cover is the song that puts that in motion. It's still one of my favorite hip hop songs. The movie is pretty good and gained critical success. The soundtrack is awful.
Performed by Erick Sermon featuring Marvin Gaye
- Music reached #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart
- What's The Worst That Could Happen? Soundtrack reached #38 on the Billboard 200 Chart
- Music (album) reached #33 on the Billboard 200 Chart
- What's The Worst That Could Happen? Movie Sales--$38,464,131
Great blend of music genre's. It's a lovely blend of hip hop and soul. It seems like Erick Sermon and Marvin Gaye were meant to be on a track together. Bonus points for Erick Sermon, he didn't get sued by Marvin Gaye's family. Sermon sampled Marvin Gaye's Turn On Some Music. He took the vocals from Gaye's song and mixed it with him. It was a departure from Erick Sermon's music. Soundtracks normally give artists the freedom to do something different. Since it's not their album they can try new things and possibly gain a new audience. With that said, Music is also the lead single on his 4th album titled Music. Sermon produces his own music so he's not afraid to take risks.
The movie was a commercial and critical flop. I had the unfortunate pleasure of seeing this movie at the theater and it was truly the worst that could happen. There was a happy ending, the movie ticket was free. The soundtrack as a whole is uneven. There are some decent songs on the album, but this is the only song that stands out.
Performed By Warren G featuring Nate Dogg
- Regulate--1,000,000 singles sold
- Regulate reached #2 on the Billboard Top 100 chart
- Regulate...G Funk Era reached #2 on Billboard 200 chart
- Regulate...G Funk Era--3,000,000 albums sold
- Above The Rim Soundtrack--2,000,000 albums sold
- Above The Rim Soundtrack reached #2 on the Billboard Charts
- Above The Rim Movie Sales--$16,192,320
Warren G is a rapper and producer. He had worked on various projects before this single came out. Warren G is the half brother of hip hop legend Dr. Dre. Warren G is a childhood friend of Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg. They were in a group together called 213. Regulate gave birth to Warren G's G Funk Era. Which was very short lived and realistically ended after the initial hype of this song ended.
This song was a runaway hit. Like they say, it's not a hit until Nate Dogg spits. Regulate was one of the hottest songs in the summer of 1994. It reached #2 on the Billboard charts. Regulate causes a riff between Death Row Records and Def Jam Records. The issue was over the rights to the song. Warren G was signed to Def Jam Records but the song was first featured on the Above the Rim soundtrack which was done by Death Row Records. The song was also to be the featured single on his debut album, Regulate...G Funk Era on Def Jam Records. Suge Knight was upset that a New York based record label came in signed a West Coast artist that he considered part of his stable. Warren G had done production on several Death Row projects before this release. The East Coast/West Coast thing was a hot buttoned issue in hip hop at this time.
It's another song on this list that has a really cool intro. The intro contains two samples, The Sign of the Times by Bob James and Regulators from the movie Young Guns. The song contains a total of 5 samples. Most people know the obvious sample of I Keep Forgettin' by Michael McDonald. I Keep Forgettin' is a solid song in its own right. I prefer Regulate more, but I'm a fan of both songs. I Keep Forgettin' was equally successful when it was released in 1982. It reached #4 on the Billboard Charts. Regulate is better than the movie. The soundtrack is better than the movie. This is one of my favorite soundtracks. The movie itself is cliché and forgettable.
3. Days Of Our Livez
Performed by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
- Set It Off Soundtrack--1,000,000 copies sold
- Set It Off Soundtrack reached #4 on the Billboard Chart
- Set It Off Movie Sales--$41,950,886
I think this is one of their best songs. Most people would choose the single The Crossroads as their best song. I think The Crossroads is a big hit and has more commercial appeal, but Days Of Our Livez is a better song. I like both songs but I feel this one gets overlooked. Like many songs on this list it has a great intro. I love the sample of Tender Love by the Force M.D.'s in the intro. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony are really talented and it's a shame that they didn't have more success than they did. They have a unique sound. I haven't seen the movie. It is on my must watch list. The movie was a commercial and critical success. The same can be said for the soundtrack. It reached #3 on the Billboard Charts. It had 7 songs that hit the Billboard charts. All of the songs were accompanied by videos.
2. Crooklyn Dodgers
Performed by the Crooklyn Dodgers
- Crooklyn Movie Sales--$13,642,861
A very underrated rap song in general. The song features 3 artists named Special Ed, Masta Ace and Buckshot. Special Ed is mostly known for his first album called Youngest in Charge, which spawned 3 notable singles called I Got It Made, Think About It and I'm the Magnificent. Masta Ace is an under appreciated underground MC. Buckshot is a member of the group Black Moon. It was brilliant to put these 3 MC's together. They all hail from Brooklyn. The song was produced by Q-Tip. Q-Tip is a member of the legendary hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest as well as a critically acclaimed solo artist and successful producer.
This song describes what living in Brooklyn in the 70's was like. They balance that with the MC's childhood experiences growing up there. It does a great job of setting the stage for the movie and Brooklyn in the 70's as well as an overall history of the city. I love the intro using a sound bite from a Brooklyn Dodgers game. The movie released 2 soundtracks titled Crooklyn Volume 1 and 2. Crooklyn appears in Volume 1 of the soundtrack. Most of the tracks are popular songs from the 70's with the exception of two songs. It's just my belief they wanted a song that was current and hip to draw attention and interest in a movie about a time period that didn't seem that cool in the 90's. The movie is long and has its moments but for the most part its bland. I think it may appeal to those people nostalgic for the 70's or living in the inner city. The song is more appealing than the movie.
1. Fakin The Funk
Performed by Main Source featuring Neek the Exotic
- White Men Can't Rap Soundtrack reached #79 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart
- White Men Can't Jump Soundtrack reached #92 on the Billboard 200 chart
- White Men Can't Jump Movie Sales--$90,753,806
This awesome song almost makes you forget how terrible this movie really is. Nothing screams a hit like a movie built around a stereotype. The movie was a huge hit at the box office. Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson were on fire in their careers around that time.
There are two separate soundtracks with different names for this movie, which is bizarre. One was titled after the movie and the other was called White Men Can't Rap. Fakin the Funk actually appears on the White Men Can't Rap Soundtrack. I can't honestly remember any of the songs from the White Men Can't Jump soundtrack. To be honest, this is the only song I know from either soundtrack. I watched the movie and most of the music during the movie was forgettable. I don't really understand why they decided to make two soundtracks. It just seems like a weird idea. Neither soundtrack was that successful.
Main Source delivers a stellar track. They are often overlooked when talking about the classic days of hip hop. They had some really good singles in the 90's. Nas's first on record appearance came on their first album Breaking Atoms, on the song Live at the Barbeque. Fakin the Funk contains 4 samples. You'd have to do some research to pick up all the samples. I like the fact that you can't easily recognize the samples say when you hear a song by Diddy. I was instantly hooked to this song just solely off the intro. The intro is a sample of a song call Magic Shoes by The Main Ingredient. Main Source is often overlooked, mainly because they weren't together that long or never had a mainstream hit. They will not be overlooked here on this list.
© 2015 Randal Bruce