Alterna-Rap Jack

Remember I told you I’m a music dude. Guess what, music dude’s like alterna-rap. (So do white guys, I’m one of those, too—a jewish one if you haven’t heard you anti-semitic bastards, HA HA). Anyway when it comes to alterna-rap—probably one of the corniest classifications ever—there’s been a lot of options lately. And for the most part, they’re pretty mainstream.

Ok, lemme get this out of the way first. When I say alterna-rap—again I apologize, don’t know what else to call it—I’m talking about that music made by rappers that’s doesn’t fall into the traditional boom bap or trap rap category, you dig? I’m talking about say 808s and Heartbreak, Gnarles Barkley and Dan the Automator (Gorillaz, Dr Ocotogan, etc)… capiche.

Well in the last several months several well known artists have jumped into the game, adding their contributions. I thought it was only right that I put together a lil collection of my favorites. Enjoy.

Lupe Fiasco “Solar Midnite”


Lu channels his inner Anthony Kiedis on this bonus cut from the New Moon Soundtrack. While I’m not the biggest fan of the Chicago cool kid, this joint bangs. Where’s Flea at? Let’s get these two in the stu…

Kid Cudi “Enter Galactic (Love Connection Part 1)”

Is this Hip-Hop? Not exactly, but my personal favorite song from Cudder’s G.O.O.D. music debut, is this bouncy, trippy, pill popping anthem, perfect for the clubs and the bedroom, if you know what I mean.

Drake “Let’s Call it Off” Featuring Peter Bjorn & John

Come on, don’t front.. you’re tapping your feet right now. This shit is catchy as hell. I hope Drake gets more into this type of shit on Thank Me Later. Let us not forget, before he was doing songs with Soulja Boy and Baby, your man was on the cover of The Fader.

Lil Wayne “Fix My Hat”

I’m not really feeling the rock stuff, but I could listen to Weezy F. Baby over this Beastie Boys inspired ish all day. And for the record, if you ain’t never heard Check Your Head, you better go cop that. Alterna-rap at its finest.

And last but not least, this song hasn’t dropped yet, but a clip for the making of was posted online last month. It’s for Dame Dash of all people’s upcoming Blackroc project featuring The Black Keys and Rza, and I can’t wait. Peep the Abbott get his Jimi Hendrix on below (a preview of the actual track is towards the end)…

What are some of your favorite alterna-rap joints as of late? —Jesse Gissen

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  • GO-Getta’

    Wack list ever ={Kid Cudi,Drake,Lil Wayne}

    Lupe Fiasco = only 1 i respect with tight pants

    • Brahsef

      Huge Lupe fan, but that song sucks ass. Overproduced shit if you ask me. God I just listened to it again. It’s awful!

      Drake’s song is that ish. Shows how versatile he is and Cudi’s song is one of the better cuts off his album.

      You should have posted that “Stay off the fuckin flowers” joint by Blacroc with Raekwon. Fuckin flame.

      • $ykotic/Don McCaine

        “You should have posted that “Stay off the fuckin flowers” joint by Blacroc with Raekwon.”


        And if I’m not mistaken, that “Wu Chambers” album was all a band with music like this…

  • Detroit P

    Yea that Drake song Goes…I swear So Far Gone is a masterpiece

    “You look for reasons for us to argue, I swear everytime I call you, [you]just tell me how I don’t call you”

    ^Thats some real shit

    • Mika

      for real for real !! i guess thats what all of us non homesexuals feel….

  • Luc

    Did anyone notice what RZA just did. He made sure that he got more than just writing credit on the song by just adding a few guitar notes. Now that is real biz man.

    • BIGNAT

      i also noticed he made the song just a little bit more bolder in sound.

    • $ykotic/Don McCaine

      Word is bond.

      Bobby just came in & Deebo-ed his royalty credits. People can’t say the man ain’t nice in the studio.

  • nellz

    i like drake, but all he did on that mixtape was fuck up the original track…little bit/ call it off/ unstoppable

  • thoreauly77

    the “yoome” project by serengeti, tony trimm, and renee louise carafice came out last year and is excellent. check out the tracks “whiskey and peppermints”, “amsterdamn”, and “blueberry breath”.

    another new serengeti project with producer polyphonic is called “terradactyl”. this album, along with 2007 precursor “dont give up” should be the true template for modern alternative hiphop, not drake using auto-tune over an excellent peter bjorn and john song, and ruining it. i have been telling xxl for years to cover serengeti, be ahead of the curve for once, but you have not yet listened. LISTEN!

    four tet: this guy is a producer, whose remix/reimagining of madvillainy was amazing. new album coming out in january.

    there are more, but why should we do your research for you.

    dont you get paid to go digging?

  • DV8

    does Linkin Park count? Mike Shinoda can spit.

    Oh yeah there is a group out there called The Roots that are pretty good, you might want to check them out.

    What ever happened to Black Jack Johnson?

    I think Dame Dash is about to make a huge comeback. This BlackRoc Project is just a test run for him.

    • thoreauly77

      you know what happened to black jack johnson? it was a horrible idea and the music they made sucks dick.

      thats what happened.

      and why do you guys equate “alternative rap” with having guitars in it? it makes me question your hiphop knowledge. also, how does anyone take wayne seriously? the song posted is complete and utter garbage and is a see-through attempt at being “weird” or from “space” (as ALL of the above artists have alluded to when doing their “weird” songs). its fucking retarded.

      you want “alternative” hiphop, go out and get the new antipop consortium, which is actual, real, genuinely unique, avant-garde hiphop.

      jesus christ!

  • Tony Grands

    I dabble in a little Gym Class Heroes.

    & I’m digging ‘Fix My Hat’ & ‘Hot Revolver’. ‘The Rebirth’ may be the first Lil Wayne album I’ve bought in awhile.

  • capcobra

    last time i listened to alternative rap might’ve been arrested development..anybody remember justin warfield?

    • $ykotic/Don McCaine

      “anybody remember justin warfield?”

      Wow. You just reminded me.

  • JohnnyCohones

    RZA said “Hol up hol up, gotta smoke my weed to get in my spiritual zone” Lmao. Real dude.

  • Federal Ranga

    Outkast be on some alternarap shit sometimes… 3Stacks especially… Spread from the Love Below, anyone?

    • BIGNAT

      almost the whole album would be considered alternarap. i just wished 3 stacks went in on she lives in my lap that beat is crazy.

  • Mr. North

    “Enter Galactic (Love Connection Part 1)”

    This is the most amateur song I ever heard. If this is the shit to you than you know nothing about alternative anything.

  • louie mo

    wow ……… that lil wayne track is alt-rap now ……….. how is that …… do you understand the meaning of that song ….. do you know were that song is from ???????

    it is off the made in america mixtape/soundtrack ……. a movie about la gang life …… he is referring to the way that gangmemebers break their hat or other articles of clothing to represent their gang ties ……. how is that fuckin alternative ……really man…. ya’ll need to do your fuckin reserch ……this shit is gettin real bad …….

  • fat loss

    Extremely well written blog post!!!