Top 25 Personified Rap Songs

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  • nas1conceptsong
    Top 25 Personified Concept Songs
    In 1994, Common’s ode to hip-hop “I Used to Love H.E.R.” sparked so many emotions, even a pre-family-friendly Ice Cube caught feelings. Common yearned for the innocent days of hip-hop rather than the dissipated commercial genre it had become. Yet, “H.E.R.” didn’t only become the preeminent love letter to hip-hop; it was a stellar display at hip-hop at its finest—concept songs. It spawned a litany of concept songs dedicated to hip-hop, guns, drugs, and, yes even, online porno (thanks MF Doom). XXLMag.com presents the Top 25 Personified Concept Songs. Take a look and a listen and tell us if your favorite song made the cut. —<em>Jesús Triviño Alarcón</em>
  • stylespconceptsong
    25. Styles P "Nobody Believes Me," <em>A Gangster and a Gentleman</em> (2002)
    It’s five-way conversation between Styles, his knife, his gun, his weed, and his money. Someone needs to lay off the pipe. <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/h_4CHqDa4E4?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/h_4CHqDa4E4?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • nas-2
    24. NaS "Money Is My Bitch," I Am… (1999)
    Nasir marries his money stacks. No wonder Kelis left him. <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/0WhlhmhIYis?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/0WhlhmhIYis?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • pharoahemonchconceptsong3
    23. Pharoahe Monch "When the Gun Draw," <em>Desire</em> (2007)
    Monch reprises his "Stray Bullet" concept with an updated twist.<object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/fV6zsrhjheU?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/fV6zsrhjheU?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • nas1
    22. NaS "Project Roach," <em>Untitled</em> (2008)
    NaS compares insects to “niggas.” Are both pests? Discuss amongst yourselves. <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/nPCXvCUebO4?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/nPCXvCUebO4?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • 50centfeature
    21. 50 Cent "Baltimore Love Thing," <em>The Massacre</em> (2005)
    This is perhaps Fiddy’s most creative song: a story of addiction and heroin. <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/0a94yfb3QK0?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/0a94yfb3QK0?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • Jay-Z
    20. Jay-Z "Girl’s Best Friend," <em>Blue Streak</em> Soundtrack (1999)
    Who can make a pop hit about diamonds? Only Jigga.<object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/TcgMMlJcWRQ?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/TcgMMlJcWRQ?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • waleandjcolefeature
    19. Wale & 9th Wonder feat. J. Cole & Curren$y "Rather Be With You (Vagina Is for Lovers)," <em>Back to the Feature</em> (2009)
    Wale and company give a new meaning to suckers for love. <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/lzgFnoADa24?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/lzgFnoADa24?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • stickyfingazconceptsong
    18. Sticky Fingaz feat. Raekwon "Money Talks," <em>Blacktrash: The Autobiography of Kirk Jones</em> (2001)
    Onyx's standout traces currency's trajectory through crime, wars and business. <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Cw6sHYzBQsA?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Cw6sHYzBQsA?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • nasconceptsongs
    17. NaS feat. Busta Rhymes "Fried Chicken,” <em>Untitled</em> (2008)
    High cholesterol. Heart disease. Obesity. Thank you, fried chicken. <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/z6eErYzSG1Y?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/z6eErYzSG1Y?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • Eminem
    16. Eminem “25 to Life,” <em>Recovery</em> (2010)
    Em writes a Dear John letter to his most embattled mistress — hip-hop. <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/h2_8lHFrEMs?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/h2_8lHFrEMs?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • TheRoots
    15. The Roots f/ Common “Act Too…The Love of My Life,” <em>Things Fall Apart</em> (1999)
    Essentially, “I Used to Love H.E.R.” Part II. <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/tjIcga4Afrg?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/tjIcga4Afrg?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • MF-DOOM
    14. MF Doom "My Favorite Ladies," <em>High Times Presents The Hip-Hop Collection Vo1. 1</em> (2005)
    Doom references every drug (marijuana, alcohol, ecstasy, cocaine, crystal meth) he possibly can in less than three minutes. <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/G-r96ln_1s4?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/G-r96ln_1s4?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • mf_doom
    13. MF Doom “Kookies,” <em>Mm…Food</em> (2004)
    Online porn has never sounded funnier…or yummier? <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/4RYCLfGE-_Q?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/4RYCLfGE-_Q?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • kanyewest
    12. Kanye West "Homecoming," <em>Graduation</em> (2007)
    Ye’s love song for Chicago.<object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/FdAIMCKK_-w?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/FdAIMCKK_-w?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • ghostfacegreatestgirlsongsfeature
    11. Ghostface f/ Raekwon, Slick Rick and The RZA “The Sun,” Bulletproof Wallets (2001)
    Ghost, Rae, RZA and MC Ricky D enjoy a day in the Sun. <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/x9tDQdxvK1k?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/x9tDQdxvK1k?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • mastaaceconceptsong
    10. Masta Ace feat. Jean Grae "Hold U," <em>Disposable Arts</em> (2001)
    Ace spits about his tumultuous relationship with his microphone (Jean Grae). <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/VCqdXdEk8J4?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/VCqdXdEk8J4?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • pharoahemonchconceptsong
    9. Pharoahe Monch "Rape," <em>Internal Affairs</em> (1999)
    Monch rapes rap and rides the beat like a porn star. No Vaseline. <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/quGmicytsF0?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/quGmicytsF0?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • Papooseconceptfeature
    8. Papoose "Sharades," <em>Sharades Mixtape</em> (2005)
    Pap goes undercover as the hip-hop police. <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/B5864i3jNMU?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/B5864i3jNMU?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • KRSone
    6. KRS-One “I Can’t Wake Up,” <em>Return of the Boom Bap</em> (1993)
    KRS is a fat blunt being passed around by De La Soul, Cypress Hill, Redman, Bill Clinton, among others. <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/l_HWLslfmJI?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/l_HWLslfmJI?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • mobbdeepconceptsong
    5. Mobb Deep f/ Q-Tip "Drink Away the Pain (Situations)," <em>Infamous</em> (1995)
    Hav and P devote their bars to spirits while Tip pulls a bank job with designer clothing labels. <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/T_PANWkHTT8?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/T_PANWkHTT8?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • jeruthedamajaconceptsong
    Jeru The Damaja "You Can't Stop the Prophet," <em>The Sun Rises in the East</em> (1994)
    Jeru battles the inner city’s main antagonist — Ignorance. <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/nrDgMp4BS5Q?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/nrDgMp4BS5Q?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • 2pacconceptsong
    4. 2Pac "Me and My Girlfriend," <em>Makaveli—Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory</em> (1996)
    Pac’s obsessed with his gun. How do you “finger fuck” a gun? <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/koadxdDv-i8?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/koadxdDv-i8?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • OrganizedConfusion
    3. Organized Konfusion "Stray Bullet," <em>Stress: Extinction Agenda</em> (1994)
    A stray bullet is one of the coldest killers in the inner city. <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/TNcS5Wl2qlo?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/TNcS5Wl2qlo?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • nas2conceptsong
    2. NaS "I Gave You Power," <em>It Was Written</em> (1996)
    The master lyricist describes the bloody trail left by a gun. <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/eUwJ8WcZ6RY?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/eUwJ8WcZ6RY?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • commonconceptsong
    1. Common Sense "I Used to Love H.E.R.," <em>Resurrection</em> (1994)
    The Chi-town legend serenades his long lost love — hip-hop. <object width="620" height="25"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/C99iG4HoO1c?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/C99iG4HoO1c?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="25" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  • Lance

    dope list…that Roots song is one of my faves of alltime

  • sug

    cmon you left out tech n9ne’s “this ring”…smh

  • jaydeefromthedeeSVFAMILY

    couldn’t agree with the the top 2 more. my two favourite emcees in Common and Nasty Nas.

  • Donte

    coming from someone who thinks nas is the goat…… money is my bitch sucks period

  • kidnothing1

    NO MENTION OF LUPE???? Anybody heard “Gotta Eat” or “Put You On Game”???? so dumb

    • zameltzer

      Yea right there with you. Lupe not being on the list is insane. Too many songs to list. Half his catalogue is high concept like this

  • Rich-Porter

    Jay-Z I know was way better than girls best friend

  • liftthat

    papoose, thugga!!
    shoulda put law library or you cant murder me, good list tho

  • francis nasim

    thank you sir

  • get it

    they should throw some immortal technique on this list, man

  • http://www.justice.gov.za Rama22

    Raw article…………………………………….!!!!

    Can XXL plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz open the comment section on Amber Rose so i can cum all over the commenters box.

  • Infamous_R_

    i think they just picked their favorite mc’s eminem stan lupe the cool c’mon those are legendary concepts

  • Dead President

    nice article but xxl u left out a ton of dope ass personified hip-hop tracks, step out the office where u stay biased & into the record room with an open mind .

  • Andrew

    Love the Pac

  • tumi

    damn Fried Chicken should’ve been in top 10 and where is Stan?

  • oskamadison

    Nas-I Gave You Power was obvious but what about Fetus, the joint from The Lost Tapes where he’s an embryo?

  • MrA

    Yhh truss papoose law library parts 1 to 7 should have all been there!

  • east from tha west

    true list from a true head..who ever put this 2gether!reminded me of some great tracks

  • Enlightened

    WHAT THE FUCK???

    Y’all left out Spice-1…187 Proof

    He did that liquor shit before Mobb Deep and did it way better.

    Ya’ll bogus as hell for that

  • Slick Vic

    Lupe Fiasco’s “Intruder” is fire, shoulda been on the list… Ghostface Killah’s “The Watch” was bangin too… Nas’ “I gave you power” is my favorite personified song… I think hip-hop still has creativity but it’s being used wrong.. Let HIP-HOP LIVE!!

  • humanature

    This list sucks minus the obvious NAS, Common etc… MC story tellers for that time. But Wale really. They really didn’t do any diggin in the crates old or new.
    If your going to pencil in Wale and Papoose, why not give these a listen…

    Eternia -Bacardi

    Median – Brenda’s baby and personified

    Murs – nina ross

    pharcyde – passin me by

    just to name a few

  • Michael

    Did you really ask how can you finger fuck a gun? SMH, you know this is a hip hop music site, correct?

  • sickwititflo

    where is this ring by tech n9ne? that song is perfect for this list…gotta be adding it

    t9 all day

  • Dope

    It’s clear that they can’t include everyone’s favorite concept tracks, but there should been dope ass tracks you guys left out.
    Just some examples:

    Elzhi – Colors
    Elzhi – Guessing Game
    Nas – Undying Love (instead of Money Is My Bitch)
    Cormega – American Beauty
    Immortal Technique – Peruvian Cocaine
    Reks – Kill ‘Em
    Vakill – Fallen
    Vakill – Acts Of Vengeance
    One Be Lo – Evil Of Self
    One Be Lo – Hip Hop Heaven
    O.C. – The Crow
    And tons of Lupe Fiasco and Killah Priest tracks.

  • http://WWW.VERITASMUSICGROUP.COM DJ TIGER

    CMON YALL DAMN, THEY CANT SATISFY EVERY FKIN BODY GIVE ME A BREAK, ONLY THING XXL COULD HAVE DONE WAS MAKE THE LIST LONGER, IF YOU ASK WHOS THE TOP TEN EMCEES YOU KNOW EVEYONE HAS THEIR OWN OPINION ON IT SO STOP BITCHIN ABOUT A LIST FROM A MAINSTREAM MAGAZINE.

  • Nainocheri

    order an for less suprisely

  • someoneuknow

    This Shit is fucked up really yall