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20 Newer Rappers Freestyling Over Classic Beats

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Dimitrios Kambouris / Theo Warg / Brad Barket, Getty Images (3)

Hip-hop has a deep, rich history. However, unlike other genres, such as rock and roll, hip-hop’s history has a way of being forgotten with the rise of a preceding generation. This can be seen in younger artists like Lil Yachty who—unapologetically—proclaimed Biggie was overrated, much to the shock and dismay of millions of fans who lived through the height of his career. Then there’s Vince Staples who defiantly stated that the 1990s were boring and over-hyped. It’s annoying to heads who came up dubbing Stretch & Bobbito’s show, but understandable; it wasn’t their era.

That’s not to say that all younger artists feel that the OGs who made the game what it is today don’t deserve praise. Rappers like Joey Bada$$ and Dave East show the utmost respect for the foundation laid within their hometown—and have been recognized as a result by the likes of DJ Premier and Nas, respectively. Interestingly, it seems that artists focused on their bars and the craft of hip-hop itself—and not rap—have been shown lots of love from legends in the game. From J. Cole to Kendrick Lamar, there is a new breed of hip-hop superstar that will undoubtedly be the ones to eventually pass torches to the next leaders of a new incarnation of the culture a decade or two from now. Guess what? They came up listening to the greats.

Whether or not they can hold their own in barbershop talk about the “glory days” of the hip-hop, many young superstars are giving not so subtle nods to older artists by hopping on their beats. Regardless if they truly grasp the history of the originals, it demonstrates an open-mindedness to learning the history of a game that openly embraces new voices into the fold. To show you what we mean, we’ve put together a great playlist of new school MCs spitting on classic instrumentals. Respect the architects.


Young M.A Smashes Mobb Deep’s “Quiet Storm”

 
 
 

Wale’s Remixes Nas’ “Nas Is Like”

 
 
 

Lil Yachty Freestyles Over Craig Mack’s “Flava in Ya Ear”

 
 
 

Kendrick Lamar Freestyles to Biggie’s “Warning” and More

 
 
 

Smoke DZA Freestyles Over Biggie’s “Who Shot Ya” and More

 
 
 

King Los Bodies Boogie Down Productions’ “Criminal Minded” and More

 
 
 

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie Spits on Mobb Deep’s “Quiet Storm”

 
 
 

Logic Rips for 10 Minutes Over 1990’s Classic Beats

 
 
 

A$AP Ferg Freestyles Over Wu-Tang Clan’s “Triumph”

 
 
 

Belly Freestyles Over Beanie Sigel’s “The Truth”

 
 
 

Mac Miller Freestyles on Biggie’s “Kick in the Door” And More

 
 
 

J. Cole Drops Bars on Nas’ “New York State of Mind”

 
 
 

Vic Mensa Freestyles Over a Melody of Old Ice Cube Beats

 
 
 

Joey Bada$$ Pays Tribute to 2Pac Over “I Get Around” and More

 
 
 

Chris Rivers and Termanology Remix Big Daddy Kane’s “Ain’t No Half Steppin'”

 
 
 

Tory Lanez Freestyles on Raekwon’s “10 Brickz”

 
 
 

Stro Freestyles on A Tribe Called Quest’s “Excursions” and More

 
 
 

Mick Jenkins Goes In on Common’s “Sixth Sense”

 
 
 

Childish Gambino Spits a Verse Over Biggie’s “10 Crack Commandments”

 
 
 

Meek Mill Gets Real Over Mobb Deep’s “Quiet Storm”

 
 
 

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