Hip-hop gets a bad rap for not having any substance, but that’s not a fair assessment. There are songs that’ll speak to your soul.
Whether you’re listening to help you escape what’s going on in the real world or to help you let go of some pain – music is the universal language.
We’ve put together a list of nine deep songs that you should definitely have on your playlist.
1. “Mocking Bird” – Eminem
If you know anything about Eminem you know that he is full of emotional issues. One of the reasons people love him is because he’s able to express feelings in ways that most of us would never say out loud.
“Mocking Bird” is no different, it’s a heartfelt apology to his daughter about how her mother and he have messed up. Anyone who has let down someone they truly care about can relate to this song.
2. “I Feel Like Dying” – Lil Wayne
Lil Wayne is arguably one of the best rappers of our time. Dying doesn’t disappoint. It speaks right into the heart of anyone who has felt like their life is a stream of drugs, sadness, and extended stays.
He does it in a way that pulls you in and makes you feel lost all at the same time.
3. “The Drugs Don’t Work” – The Verve
While this song doesn’t exactly fall into the hip-hop/rap genre – it’s one that can’t be left off of any list about deep songs that make you feel.
The lead singer, Richard Ashcroft’s, father was dying and he wrote the song at his bedside. His grief was so strong that it resonates throughout the whole song.
So much so that your body is physically affected by listening to the song. Your heart and breathing slow down; the way the song is arranged emulates sadness.
4. “Gin and Juice” – Snoop Dogg
“Gin and Juice” makes you feel – just not sad. This song will make you want to sit back and chill with friends. It brings you back to a simpler time where all you had to worry about was having a good time and cleaning up the house before your parents got home.
This song was so popular when it first came out that the day after Snoop Dogg performed it on SNL Tommy Hilfiger sold out of the shirt that he was wearing on stage.
5. “Lost Ones” – J.Cole
J. Cole is an artist that is an actual lyricist. Most of his songs have some depth to them. “Lost Ones” is an emotion listen for just about everyone.
The song is centered around him getting a woman pregnant and trying to figure out whether to keep the baby. It does a good job showing us the difficulties on both of the parent’s sides and the pain that is involved when making that sort of choice.
As the chorus repeats “I ain’t too proud to tell ya that I cry sometimes, I cry sometimes about it,” you can feel the pain in the words. Even if you haven’t been through a situation like that, you can feel the raw emotion of losing someone.
6. “Someone Like You” – Adele
This song is more genre adjacent, but anyone who has gone through a break up with someone who was almost perfect can easily relate.
It won’t work with him and she knows it because he’s moved on, but she still loves him. She can’t completely move on, but she wants to try by finding someone like him.
No one said finding a good rebound is easy and with her sweet soulful voice, it’s easy to sing the pain away.
7. “Brenda’s Got A Baby” – 2Pac
2Pac was always good at expressing deep inner thoughts through his music. He might not be everyone’s favorite but there’s no arguing that he was talented.
“Brenda’s Got a Baby” doesn’t come from his personal experience, but it did come from a real-life story he saw in a newspaper. It was written to be for the everyday man within the urban community.
8. “Dance with the Devil” – Immortal Technique
This song has many deep layers. While it’s about 6 mins long it’s full of complicated feelings. A kid growing up in the inner city fights to become part of a gang. Doing small tasks that get bigger and bigger all while his mother breaks her back to make sure that he doesn’t have to be on the streets.
The song ends with him doing something horrific to a woman that the other guys kidnap, which then turns out to be his mother. From then on he’s in a dance with the devil. Showing that even though you can reget something, there are some things that you can’t make up for.
9. “I’ll Be Missing You” – Puff Daddy ft Faith Evans
Remade from the song “Every Breath You Take” as a tribute to Notorious B.I.G, brings out the feeling of losing someone too early. After B.I.G was murdered there was a big hole left in the music industry and in the hearts of the people who cared about him.
They took a song originally made about stalking someone and turned it into a beautiful memorial for their friend that will live on forever. It helps people learn more about living life to the fullest – a lesson most of us could use.
Every Genre Has Deep Songs
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking hip-hop and rap is all about – well trap music. There are plenty of examples of deep songs, these just scratch the surface.
Everyone goes through painful things, and artists find ways to express hard feelings through their music. They put it all on the page then bring it alive in the booth, not just to help themselves cope but to help us as well.
What are your favorite songs to listen to when you need to release? Hit the forums and let us know.