Best 10 Underground Hip Hop Songs

N.W.A members include left to right: MC Ren, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, and DJ Yella
N.W.A members include left to right: MC Ren, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, and DJ Yella( Source : instagram )

Best Underground Hip Hop Songs include rumbustious tracks like 1. If I had 2. Electric Relaxation 3. Fight The Power and among others.

Hip-hop artists from independent labels and socially conscious, positive, or anti-commercial lyrics. There are multiple rappers like N.W.A., Eminem, and Wu-Tang Clan who successfully transformed from underground rappers to commercial artists.

Similarly, there are multiple genres of underground hip-hop which include drill rap, battle rap, and indie rapping style.

Youtube music and Soundcloud have opened a platform for multiple artists like Jack Harlow, Sheff G, Sha Ek, Pasto Flocco, and many more up-and-coming underground artists who were able to gain commercial success.

Best Underground Hip-Hop Songs

Song NameSingers Name
If I HadEminem
Electric RelaxationA Tribe Called Quest
Fight The PowerPublic Enemy
The MessageGrandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
SerenadeJ Cole
Shut UpStromzy
Straight Outta ComptonN.W.A
The WhatNotorious B.I.G
Dear AmericaJoyner Lucas
Everyday Normal GuyJon Lajoie

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1. If I Had By Eminem

Eminem's song If I Had is an underground hip-hop song of the 90s. It was from Slim Shady EP (1997) which led him to sign with the legendary musician Dr. Dre.

The song captivated the audience from the essence of its storytelling. Marshall's track was ways quite ahead of its time as the cadence, flow, and sound of the track were perfect.

The Hall of Famer's song was released from the Web label. It garnered popularity due to its unique production style also the rising fame of Marshall's battle-rapping legend in Detroit.

The 50-year-old artist is still active and is rumored to be working on his new album in 2023.

Song's lyrics go like this:

What Is life?

Life is a like a big obstacle

Put in front of your optical to slow you down

2. Electric Relaxation By A Tribe Called Quest

Electric Relaxation is a song from the underground hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest. The song is from their third album Midnight Marauders released in 1993.

According to XXL, the beat was created by the hip-hop crew's member Q-tip in his grandmother's basement. However, the song blew up despite it being a local production from the British label Jive.

Billboard Dance Singles Sales charted the song in second position. It was two hundred thousand units and was certified silver in the U.K. It is one of the most successful songs in the 90s rap era.

Song's lyrics go like this;

Relax yourself girl, please settle down

Honey, check it out, you got me mesmerized

With your black hair and fat-thighs

3. Fight The Power By Public Enemy

Fight the Power is the top underground rap song from Public Enemy. They are one of the most prolific artists who include political messages in their songs.

According to Rolling Stone, the song was ranked in the second position in "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time." The song anthem for the protest and urging people to do the right thing.

P.E.'s song was listed in the 20th position in Hot R&B Singles (Billboard). The track is from the album "It Takes a Nation of Millions to hold us back (1988)."

In addition, the songwriting credit goes to Chuck D, Eric Sandler, and other members of the crew. It was also honored in National Endowment for the Arts by the Recording Industry Association of America.

That said, the lyrics of the song go like this:

Gotta give us what we need

Our freedom of speech is freedom or death

We got to fight the powers that be

4. The Message By Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five

The Message by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five is an underground rap song about inner-city poverty.

Message was released in 1982 from the album of the same name. According to NME the song was ranked in the number one position as "Track of the Year" in 1982.

According to Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Song list, the hip-hop number was dubbed in 51 positions. They were pioneers in social commentary and political messaging.

Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five were the first groups to be inducted into Rock and Roll of Fame in 2007. Library of Congress choose the song to be added to National Recording Registry including 49 other songs.

Hence, the lyrics of the song are as follows:

It's like a jungle sometimes

It makes me wonder how I keep from goin' under

5. Serenade by J. Cole

Serenade is one of the earlier underground rap songs from the popular rapper J. Cole. It is a special track from his 2014 album "The Blow Up."

The track has eleven singles including "Serenade." Cole showcases his talent and lyrical precision in this mellow track.

However, it is also rumored that it is not the album released by the artist but rather a fan-made version of his old albums.

That might not be true, because the artist himself uploaded the song in his official Youtube channel in 2014. According to Cole, he released the album on 1st January 2014.

Besides, the song's lyrics go like this:

We Strong 'cause the hard times made us into men

Hold up I gotta say that shit again

I said the hard times made us into men

6. Shut Up by Stormzy

Shut Up by Stormzy is one of the most viewed underground rap songs. It is a popular track that is produced, written, and acted by the rapper himself.

The rapper released the song in 2015 on social media which became viral for half a decade due to its rising popularity. It is a freestyle rap which is performed in a light drill beat music.

Moreover, the song takes place in an old school park in Britain with the entourage of Stormzy. At present, the singer has become one of the biggest artists collaborating with singers like Ed Sheeran, Dave, and many more.

Song's lyrics go like this:

Man try say he's better than me

Tell my man, shut up

Mention my name in your tweets

Oi, rudeboy, shut up

7. Straight Outta Compton N.W.A

Straight Outta Compton is a popular underground song by N. W. A. The pioneers of gangsta rap started their rap career from the ground zero and attained a benchmark in the genre. 

According to Rolling Stone's greatest songs of all time list, the track is ranked at #248 position for its influence and popularity in the hip-hop genre. Similarly, the rap song became gained further attention after the release of the 2015 movie of the same name. 

Moreover, the song was produced by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella and supported by Ruthless Label owned by the singer Eazy-E. The writers of the song include Ice Cube, MC Ren, and The D.O.C. 

The song's lyrics go like this;

When I'm called off, I got a sawed off

Squeeze the trigger, and bodies are hauled off

You too, boy, if ya f**k with me 

The police are gonna hafta come and get me

8. Blood Runs Cold By Jedi Mind Tricks

Blood Runs Cold is by the underground hip-hop group Jedi Mind Tricks. It was formed by two high school friends Vinne Paz and Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind.

Jedi Mind Tricks (JMT)'s second album is titled "Violent By Design" and its single is an underground song from Blood Runs Cold. It was one of the successful tracks of the group that sold more than 50 hundred copies.

The rap band has released twelve albums in total including their third studio album. Similarly, the artist's album's songs were also sampled in the movie Planet of the Apes.

Song's lyrics go like this;

Every last cell on fire

Said we couldn't make it right 

So, I'll leave a light on

9. Dear America By Joyner Lucas

Dear America is great underground Hip-Hop music. It is by the rising hip-hop artist Joyner Lucas.

It is a social and political commentary about police brutality, the American rights of black people, and injustice.

The track is from his 2014 project titled "Along Came Joyner" The song was not able to grasp the attention of mainstream attention like Childish Gambino's 2019 song of the year "This Is America."

Joyner's track subtly hints about mass school and concert shootings. Police unlawful arrests and worse treatment of African Americans. The artist himself spent more than 15 hours putting together the music video.

Therefore, the lyrics of the song go like this;

Dear America

By the system I was raised

The same system that enslaved us and took us all away

10. Everyday Normal Guy By Jon Lajoie

Everyday Normal Guy song by Jon Lajoie is one of the best underground rap songs. It goes beyond the stereotypical narrative of a rap song.

It is a satirical hip-hop track that narrates the story of a normal guy. The single is from the rap comedian Jon Lajoie released in 2009.

The singer produced and released the songs by himself. Lajoie is a Canadian artist who has worn multiple hats including actor, record producer, and director.

Hence, his song's lyrics go like this:

I'm just a regular everyday normal guy

Nothin special about me

I'm just a regular everyday normal guy

When I go to the clubs , I wait in line

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