15 Hip-Hop Dedications You Might Have Never Heard
When a rapper or influential hip-hop leader passes away, it’s more than just a trying moment for their fan base. These people were someone’s child, sibling, spouse, friend—you name it. Over the course of hip-hop history, we’ve had some dedication tracks that continue to rock as classics in our collective rap catalog.
However, with the unfortunate passing of recent rap figureheads, coupled with some slept-on tributes, there are more to be heard. XXL has compiled 15 hip-hop dedication tracks that you might have missed along the way. Check them out here. --KI
“Send Him Our Love” Joe Budden (Dedication to Stack Bundles)
In 2007, when Stack Bundles died, it hit the game hard because here was an artist who didn’t have an ample shot to really shine, much like the late Big L. Joe Budden crafted a touching tribute to his fallen friend with “Send Him Our Love.”
“Lil Nigga Snupe” Meek Mill (Dedication to Lil Snupe)
Lil Snupe was only 18 years old when he was killed this past year. Meek Mill was heavily cosigning his friend/artist and looking to really help him chase his own dreams. Meek added this cut to his Dreamchasers 3 mixtape to remind everyone of Snupe’s legacy.
“Rap Game Stressful” Waka Flocka Flame (Dedication to Slim Dunkin)
In 2011, rapper Slim Dunkin was gunned down in a senseless act of violence. Waka Flocka Flame, known for venting his frustrations on wax, poured out some emotions on “Rap Game Stressful,” discussing how fame has many detrimental symptoms.
“Brand New” Outlawz (Dedication to Pimp C)
The Outlawz were Tupac’s infamous crew, and upon Pac’s passing, the group made sure to honor their leader’s passing (including the rumored smoking of his ashes). However, the Outlawz also made a Pimp C tribute a while back that’s worth checking out.
“R.I.P.” Migos (Dedication to Pimp C)
Despite being new to the game, rap group Migos took some time to show their appreciation for Pimp C’s legacy on “R.I.P.” While they travel through the traditional rap banter, each bar closes with a reminder to show love for the artist who died in 2007.
“Numb” Copywrite (Dedication to Eyedea)
In 2010, Minnesota rapper Eyedea passed away in his sleep. Copywrite put together a very poignant track, which paid proper homage to an artist that Copy never met in person, but very much respected.
“Ain’t No Future 2011” Jon Connor (Dedication to MC Breed)
Michigan rhymespitter MC Breed passed away in 2008 and was known for the catch phrase/track “Ain’t No Future In Yo Frontin.” Burgeoning Flint, MI artist Jon Connor created his own dedication to MC Breed with a spin on the classic cut.
“Thizz In Peace” Mistah F.A.B., Yukmouth & J.D. Diggs (Dedication to Mac Dre)
Bay Area rapper Mac Dre passed away in 2004 and is best known for creating the Hyphy Movement in hip-hop. “Thizz In Peace” is a dedication to him, with “thizz” being a reference to taking ecstasy/MDMA. Is that called a “Molly” face now?
“R.I.P. Screw” Lil Flip (Dedication to DJ Screw)
DJ Screw may not have been a rapper per se, but the Houston DJ was responsible for an entire movement. You listen to Chopped N’ Screwed music because of him, so Lil Flip felt compelled to honor Screw’s legacy.
“Like Water” Pro Era (Dedication to Capital STEEZ)
In 2012, Joey Bada$$’s partner in rhyme Capital STEEZ took his own life on Christmas Eve. It was truly a tragedy, since STEEZ had the potential to do some really great things within hip-hop. His Pro Era crew made this track in honor of their dear friend.
“You’re Never Over” Eminem (Dedication to Proof)
While Eminem’s rhymes seem to always have tons of emotion behind them, they’re never as vulnerable as on this song. Proof died in 2006 and he was Eminem’s best friend. Here we witness a new side to Eminem with “You’re Never Over.”
“R.I.P. Soulja Slim” B.G. (Dedication Soulja Slim)
No Limit Records left a huge footprint in hip-hop that lives on to this day, with every rapper signed being equally important in the label’s success. Soulja Slim was killed in 2003, and label mate B.G. recorded this semi-rare track in his honor.
“New Orleans” Lil B (Dedication to Soulja Slim)
Say what you will about Lil B, but he knows when to respect his heroes. On “New Orleans,” he goes through a considerable amount of NOLA’s rap history in his typical Lil B way, but sends a nod to the late Soulja Slim on the cut.
“La La La” De La Soul (Dedication to Dilla)
On one of De La Soul’s more recent tracks, they seal the chilled out cut with a heartfelt ode to Dilla as Trugoy a.k.a. says, “We should have a lunch-in, cold cuts, servin’ these donuts,” a clear nod to Dilla before closing with, “Dilla, if you hear me we are missin’ you so much.”
“G.U.R.U.” Marco Polo f. Talib Kweli & DJ Premier (Dedication to Guru)
When Guru passed away in 2010, it hit hip-hop hard, as the idea of never getting another Gang Starr project will forever haunt us. The beauty of “G.U.R.U.” is that DJ Premier is part of the track, proving that friendship can be unbreakable.