Among the many music genres, few have as much impact as hip hop does. Many music lovers have one favorite rapper or at least one hip-hop song they nod their heads to. Hip hop is also credited with shaping the youth culture from language to clothing.
However, as love for the genre grows, a new kind of hip hop has been discovered, Chillhop. Chill rap songs combine hip hop with low-key, downtempo chill-out music. The new sub-genre first became popular back in 2010.
Chill rap songs are also categorized as conscious music and are used by hip-hop artists to speak about issues they normally don’t discuss. Keep reading to learn about the 21 Best Chill Rap Songs to vibe to of all time.
|1||Love||Kendrick Lamar & Zacari||Learn More|
|2||Neighbors||J. Cole||Learn More|
|3||Lost One||Jay Z & Chrisette Michele||Learn More|
|4||Do For Love||2Pac & Eric Williams||Learn More|
|5||Sky’s The Limit||Notorious B.I.G & 112||Learn More|
|6||Kick, Push||Lupe Fiasco||Learn More|
|7||One Man Can Change the World||Big Sean & Kanye West & John Legend||Learn More|
|8||Successful||Drake & Trey Songz||Learn More|
|9||Frequency||Kid Cudi||Learn More|
|10||Hold On||Pusha T & Rick Ross||Learn More|
|11||To Live & Die in L.A||2Pac||Learn More|
|12||Summertime||DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince||Learn More|
|13||I Wish||Skee Lo||Learn More|
|14||Ambition||Wale & Rick Ross & Meek Mill||Learn More|
|15||Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe||Kendrick Lamar||Learn More|
|16||Just A Moment||Nas & Quan||Learn More|
|17||Hope||Twista & Faith Evans||Learn More|
|18||Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst||Kendrick Lamar||Learn More|
|19||Good Morning||Kanye West||Learn More|
|20||American Dreamin’||Jay Z||Learn More|
|21||Been There Done That||Dr. Dre||Learn More|
21 Chill Rap Songs of All Time
The following is a list of the 21 Chill Rap Songs of all time.
1. Love – Kendrick Lamar & Zacari
The track “Love” is from Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN.” album, released in 2017. The track featured Zacari and was produced by Interscope records. The song has a low-key, mellow feel, and Kendrick personally picked the track.
“Love” is a show of affection from the rapper towards his fiancée, Whitney Alford. Kendrick describes his feelings towards her and borrows a leaf from 50 Cent’s “21 Questions”.
Recommended: 30 Best Hype Rap Songs of the Last Years.
2. Neighbors – J. Cole
American rapper J Cole released the track “Neighbors” off his album “4 Your Eyez Only”. The track was released in 2017 under labels Dreamville and Roc nation. The song is classified as conscious hip hop and has a laid-back feel sampled from his single “forbidden fruit.”
The song describes J Cole’s frustration with African Americans’ racial profiling. The song begins with J Cole complaining that his neighbors think he sells dope due to his lifestyle. The song is based on his experience renting a North Carolina house.
3. Lost One – Jay Z & Chrisette Michele
Regarded as one of the most successful rappers ever, Sean Carter, commonly known as Jay-Z, was the brains behind the track “Lost One.” It was from his comeback album “Kingdom Come,” released in 2006.
The song has a laid-back theme to it and employs the use of the grand piano. Jay-Z talks about his past experiences with former mentors claiming that they made him who he is. He also talks about how busy he’s gotten and how he needs to spend more time with Beyonce.
4. Do For Love – 2Pac & Eric Williams
“Do for Love” is a laid-back chill hip hop track from 2Pac, one of the most respected rappers. The song is from his “R U Still Down?” album and was originally titled “Sucka 4 Love”. It was recorded in 1994 but was released two years after his death.
2Pac describes how blindly falling in love can go wrong. He falls for a certain lady but soon, things between them deteriorate. After a while, he becomes trapped, thus a sucker for love.
5. Sky’s The Limit – Notorious B.I.G & 112
Notorious B.I.G., a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, is behind the track “Sky’s The Limit.” The Brooklyn native collaborated with the R&B group 112 but was released in 1997, months after his death.
The track is from his album “Life after death,” his final album released sixteen days after he died. Much like the phrase, the song describes his rise from grass to grace. It is a testament that his listeners can achieve their dreams if they keep pressing on.
6. Kick, Push – Lupe Fiasco
Lupe Fiasco graces the best chill rap songs list with his track “Kick, Push. “It’s the fourth track from his debut album “Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor,” released in 2006. The song’s intro was sampled from Celeste Legaspi’s “Bolero Medley.”
“Kick, Push” is a love story between a couple who share a love for skateboarding. Despite having challenges, the skater and his girlfriend keep on skating. The lyrics can also be described as a metaphor for going through life’s motions.
7. One Man Can Change the World – Big Sean & Kanye West & John Legend
The track “One man can change the world” is recorded by rapper Big Sean. He features Kanye West and John Legend. The song deviates from Big Sean’s norm and adopts a mellow piano tune.
“One Man Can Change the World” describes a person’s potential to change the world. Sean remembers people who positively influenced his life, like his grandmother. The song was meant to inspire his fans to look at people who change the world in their way.
8. Successful – Drake & Trey Songz
“Successful” is the second single from Canadian rapper Drake’s mixtape “So Far Gone.” The track features Trey Songz and his mentor Lil Wayne who also helped compose the song. It was released in 2009 on both Drake’s and Trey Songz’s albums and was commercially successful.
The track has a slow, dark, and haunting theme discussing the rapper’s ambition to have the finer things in life. Drake stated that Trey Songz’s hook is what the song is about and what people aspire to have. He added that the song was meant to motivate his fans.
Recommended: The 21 Best 3 Minute Songs of All Time.
9. Frequency – Kid Cudi
Kid Cudi’s “Frequency” is the first single off his album “Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin.” It was first released on SoundCloud in 2016 before becoming available for download later in the year. Critics have described the song as a low-key hip-hop ballad.
The track describes his encounters with ladies he meets in the club and asks them to continue partying at his house. The rapper invites his fans to relax and tune to the frequency.
10. Hold On – Pusha T & Rick Ross
“Hold On” is the fourth song of his debut album, “My Name is My Name.” It was released in 2013 and featured fellow rapper Rick Ross. The track was produced by Kanye West and shared the same dark theme Kanye’s songs had at the time.
The song describes the rapper’s past life as a drug dealer, stating that most rappers don’t come from the streets as he did. He also claims he’s made more money selling drugs than he rapped.
11. To Live & Die in L.A – 2Pac
The track “To live and die in L.A” is from 2Pac’s “Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory” album released in 1996. The song featured vocals from Val Young and was produced by Quincy Jones’ son QDIII. 2Pac shot the song’s video the day he recorded its radio edit version.
The song is a tribute to the city he loved and called home; Los Angeles. He states that the city is a great place to live. Although the city has its dangers and challenges, it’s still the place to be.
12. Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
The song “Summertime” is a single by D.J. Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince. You may recognize the latter by his popular name Will Smith from the well-known sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Belair.” The single is from their album Homebase, released in 1991.
Will Smith drew inspiration from his childhood in Philadelphia during summertime. He reminisces how people used to break from their normal routine and relax in the sunshine. Its laid-back theme made critics label it one of the best summer songs.
13. I Wish – Skee Lo
“I wish” was a track written and performed by Antoine Roundtree, popularly known as Skee Lo. The song is from his debut album “I Wish,” and the song was its only hit. “I wish” has a “feel good” vibe and is sampled from “Spinnin” by Bernard Wright.
The song is about the rapper complaining about his shortcomings. He wishes he was taller, a basketball star, a ’64 Impala, among other things. He name-drops locations such as Crenshaw in Los Angeles in his lyrics.
14. Ambition – Wale & Rick Ross & Meek Mill
Wale’s “Ambition” is a chill hip-hop-styled track off his second studio album by the same name. The song was produced in 2011 by T-Minus and features fellow Maybach Music members Meek Mill and Rick Ross. It was described as smooth and low-key by critics.
The track discusses issues Wale never talks about in his other tracks. It testifies to each rapper’s ambition and journey to success despite many challenges.
15. Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe – Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar graces the best chill rap songs list again with the track “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe.” The track was released in 2013 and was supposed to feature Lady Gaga but did not add her vocals in time. However, Jay-Z was featured on its official remix.
The song discusses how different music industry people strive for creative control. Kendrick refers to the clamor for control as a vibe and asks that those in the industry not take it away from him.
Recommended: 21 Songs About Stupid People.
16. Just A Moment – Nas & Quan
“Just a moment” is a single from Nas’ album “Street Disciple,” released in 2005. The song features fellow rapper Quan and is produced by L.E.S. The track samples Chic’s song “Will You Cry” and has a sad theme.
The track is a tribute to those struggling or who have died from situations such as gang violence or fallen soldiers in Iraq. The video carries the theme where different rappers and singers are remembered through liquor pouring.
17. Hope – Twista & Faith Evans
Known for his unique flow style, Twista is regarded as one of the fastest rappers in Hip Hop. His track “Hope” is a wound-down track that features Faith Evans. It was released in 2004 and was a soundtrack from the motion picture “Coach Carter.”
The song is composed of several things Twista wishes were different. For instance, he wishes that the media would report positive stories and that challenges like terrorism and crime would end. Twista invites listeners to make the world a better place.
18. Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst – Kendrick Lamar
The track “Sing about me, I’m dying of thirst” is Kendrick Lamar’s tenth song off his “good kid, m.A.A.d city” album. The track is one of Kendrick’s longest songs, twelve minutes long. It has been classified as mellow, employing instruments such as the piano and the guitar.
The song reflects on Kendrick’s younger years and the different challenges he, and other people went through. He talks about his friends and choosing to walk away from paths that will lead him astray.
19. Good Morning – Kanye West
The track “Good Morning” is Kanye West’s first single off his third album, “Graduation.” The rapper and producer sampled Elton John’s “Someone saved my life tonight.” The track employs new age elements and has Kanye’s famed dark theme.
“Good Morning” is a testament to Kanye’s growth both lyrically and as a hip-hop artist. He also criticizes college education and how he’s succeeded without following the route widely traveled by many.
20. American Dreamin’ – Jay Z
“American Dreamin’” is a single off Jay-Z’s tenth studio album, “American Gangster,” released in 2007. Much like the entire album, the song borrows from 1970s soul music and has that laid-back feel. The album did better than his previous “Kingdom Come.”
The track discusses Jay’s early years as a drug dealer. He also reminisces about his childhood, growing up in New York’s Marcy.
21. Been There Done That – Dr. Dre
Dr. Dre’s “Been There, Done That” was a single of his “Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath.”The song was co-written by Dre and a former Death Row member J-Flexx. The song adopts Dr.Dre’s familiar style incorporating slow, heavy beats.
The song describes Dre’s stepping down from Death Row Records and from the life his former label mates lived. He states that he wants to focus on making more money and living the good life.
Hip-hop songs are known for their loud, aggressive beats and lyrics. However, chill rap songs take a subtle approach and focus on delivering a message rather than hyping the crowd.
With their unique production style, it’s no wonder that the sub-genre is constantly growing, with some mainstream artists switching to it completely.
We hope that you have loved our list of chill rap songs and even added some to your playlist. All the best as you listen to these 21 chill rap songs of all time.