In honor of Halloween, I present to you all a compilation of hip-hop songs that I believe have different instrumentals and tones. This list is mainly focusing on the instrumental itself, however I will be including the full song itself, for all of these songs are good listens.
The beats I scoured my library for are dark, hollow, heavy, deep, sometimes slow, sometimes fast but most importantly, spooky.
To kick off the list, Young Money.
9. Senile – Young Money (Tyga, Nicki Minaj & Lil Wayne)
Tyga, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne all go unbelievably hard on this track. Tyga brings the flow, Nicki hits everyone with A$AP Rocky level cockiness and bravado and Lil Wayne is just insane. “Super-soaker chopper.” C’mon that’s funny.
The instrumental itself is just dark, slow paced and the main part that stands out to me is the sound effect I affectionately refer to as the “alien-piano.” Plunky, hard and generally creepy sounding, especially around Lil Wayne’s verse where the instrumental is gasping other worldly breaths from some musical void. The video also adds to the weird atmosphere.
8. Chrysalis – The Underachievers (Issa Gold & AK)
Those who haven’t listened to the The Underachievers latest project are definitely missing out. There were plenty of ethereal and spacey instrumentals under these guys’ discography, but none do it as creepily as Chrysalis. More fast paced than other entries in this list, mainly due to the beat pattern, this is still an eerie single for The Underachievers. Added with moaning sample and the erratic flows, this is a really great song.
7. Hive – Earl Sweatshirt ft. Casey Veggies & Vince Staples
It’s probably no surprise that an Odd Future song would make it onto a list like this, they could fill up an entire article on creepy instrumentals (There’s a future list). Anyways, Earl’s lethargic flow rides the beat impeccably. This is a very OF style instrumental. I’m particularly into of the additions of the warped piano key strokes during the chorus and the continuous hellish choir harmonizing throughout the track.
6. II. No Exit – Childish Gambino
Everything that I could say about how twisted this song is is self evident. Brown recluses on the ceiling, manic singing and cackling, whisper-rapping, a really tough and dreary, but frantic, instrumental. Gambino knows how to drop an alarming and gloomy song.
5. Parents – Denzel Curry
Denzel Curry, of Raider Klan association, is a young dude with a fresh style. None of his music is particularly happy. He likes his lyrics dark and gritty and his beats just the same. Parents is a really fast paced song with his killer flow, feeling like it ends awfully short, it tortures me cause I always wanna hear more of those rapid fire lyrics. The instrumental is frenzied with it’s layers of buzzing and clicks, among those are the nearly indescribable beat “scratching” and electronic groans. One of my favorite songs off Curry’s full length album, Nostalgic 64.
4. Polo Jeans – Mac Miller ft. Earl Sweatshirt
Similarly to the previous entry, Mac Miller kicks off this song with an impressive flow. This instrumental is a bit more flat sounding than other songs on this list, by that I mean it’s not a banger, it’s not something that’s gonna rattle your brain listening to it in a souped up car. It’s a bit more tame but it’s hollow and ghostly. It’s a different vibe, however it’s a nice one, a sinister one.
3. What They Want – Schoolboy Q ft. 2 Chainz
A lot of people say that What They Want is a filler track in Q’s Oxymoron album. A lot of people say that 2 Chainz crippled the song. A lot of people in general very much disliked this song. I for one don’t understand the hate. This song is straight up grimy. MikeWiLL Made-IT produced beat really compliments the two rappers and their flow, cadence and lyrics. A bucket hat and camouflage trench coat clad Q rapping about drugs, guns, violence and a general degenerate lifestyle, riding around with 2 Chainz and their skeleton crew to strips clubs and having a night on the town, it’s a pretty chilling video and groove.
2. Wonderbread – Danny Brown
One of more lyrically darker and personal tracks on this list, Danny Brown raps about the daily struggles of going to get bread and a drink at the local store. Drug addicts outside of his house, guns going off down the block, drug addicted prostitutes are all things Danny Brown recounts just on the way to the store going up in Detroit. Ending the song with him being jumped and stomped on, this is not a pleasant song to listen to to say the least. All of this is put together over a really disturbing pan flute, giving this a childhood fairy tale vibe, this song is overwhelmingly unsettling.
1. aTENTtion – M.I.A.
aTENTtion is something I’d imagine bumping in some underground futuristic techno-villain lair. Maybe pulsating through the walls at a bleak dystopian club in a sci-fi film. This song has a very interesting rhyme scheme, as you’d imagine from M.I.A. The way “TENT” emphasized on the words, the distorted vocals from not only M.I.A. but the samples of people screaming and groaning mixed with that instrumental, this is definitely my personal choice for creepiest song on the list.
So there you go my friends, 9 songs that’ll likely improve your Halloween spirit. We covered some crazy music videos, impressive lyrical abilities, eerie instrumentals and just generally excellent songs.
Have a great Halloween and stay spooky y’all.
dozens of Schoolboy Q instrumentals.
any number of Odd Future instrumentals.
everything Death Grips.
Bones & X. Wulf.