Do you want to try something totally new at your next karaoke performance? Are you looking to challenge yourself as a karaoke singer? If your track list usually includes a lot of pop, country, or classic rock hits, it may be time for a change of pace that only rap songs can offer.
Rap as a genre offers a unique sound and interesting themes that can’t be compared to other musical genres. How can you choose the best rap karaoke songs for your next gig? Not to worry—I’ve picked out some of the best rap songs of all time to help you prepare for your karaoke night as quickly and confidently as possible, whether you plan to sing at home for friends or in public where strangers may be witnessing your performance.
Why Should You Sing Rap Songs?
Why should you choose to sing rap songs? Well, if you’re a fan of rap artists, the answer may be obvious. However, if you typically sing songs from a different genre, you may be wondering if it makes sense for you to branch out. Doesn’t it make sense to stick with what you know? I’m here to tell you that leaving your comfort zone is definitely worth a try.
One of my earliest karaoke performances was of “Stereo Hearts,” which contains a significant amount of rap verses. I was nervous to try out rap as a classically trained singer who was more used to singing songs like “Memory” from Cats than something along the lines of “Ice Ice Baby.” However, by trying an unfamiliar genre, I found out that I liked the challenge and putting myself out there in a new way.
Nowadays, I enjoy adding rap songs to my karaoke roster every so often to relive that fun and challenge myself all over again. I would even name several rap songs among my favorites for karaoke and listening pleasure.
Some people may want to try out rap songs because they think their singing voices aren’t great, and rap often requires less “melodic” singing chops. While I wouldn’t recommend avoiding having fun on the karaoke stage because your voice isn’t perfect—I think music in all its forms should be enjoyed by anyone who wants to enjoy it—you may want to try out rap if different genres haven’t been working for you. That’s not to say that I agree that rap doesn’t require the same type of singing skill as other genres; it just requires a different sound and technique that may or may not be what works for you.
If you feel tired of trying the same old karaoke songs or just need to try a different genre in order to really enjoy singing, rap may be the way to go. We’ll review some of the best rap songs for karaoke in a few minutes so you can prepare for your next gig with confidence.
Prepping for Karaoke
Now that you know why it can be a good choice to sing some rap songs at your karaoke event, it’s time to look at some tips that can help you have the best singing experience possible. Read these tips and remember them at every performance so you don’t have to face any mishaps. I follow this advice every time I sing to avoid disappointment, embarrassment, and frustration.
- Stay hydrated. Having a dry throat or feeling dehydrated can ruin what should be a fun time singing karaoke. Keep a bottle of water nearby during your performance so you remember to sip it while you’re singing. It’s also a good idea to avoid alcoholic beverages at all costs.
- Sing songs you enjoy. You can’t always sing your favorite songs, but if a song is too complicated or falls outside of your vocal range, it’s going to be too challenging to sing it with any confidence. Stick to tracks you know, enjoy, and can sing well.
- Step outside your comfort zone. Keeping the last point in mind, it’s important to remember that you don’t want to get into a rut with your songs. If you typically sing songs by your favorite artist, try something from a new singer or on a topic you don’t usually sing about. You might learn something about yourself while having fun with a new “adventure.”
- Look at different artists. It also doesn’t hurt to sing songs by artists of a different gender if you are having trouble finding songs in your vocal range. You can always change words that don’t make sense for you to personalize your performance.
Did you read through the karaoke preparation tips? Great! Now it’s time to review some of the best rap karaoke songs for your next performance so you can have a fun and memorable experience.
The Best Rap Karaoke Songs
Are you worried about what strategy to use to pick out the best songs for your karaoke performance? If so, you’ll be happy to learn that I’ve gathered a list of the best rap songs for karaoke so you don’t have to spend hours picking out the perfect playlist.
Remember that some songs may be inappropriate for family-friendly events or hard to find at a public venue. As a result, preparation is key so you don’t run into an embarrassing situation or face any frustration.
It’s also important to note that some options on this list are rap/hip-hop combination tracks or ones that fuse pop and rap, so you may want to choose or avoid certain songs depending on your tastes and your audience’s tastes. Let’s take a look at some of the best rap karaoke songs for your home or public performance:
1. “Always on Time” — Ja Rule feat. Ashanti
This is one of the most popular rap songs for karaoke. Your audience is likely to want to sing along if there are rap enthusiasts in the crowd, as this is a go-to for rap fans and karaoke lovers alike.
2. “Get Ya Freak On” — Missy Elliott
This is a popular one that’s easy for newbie singers and fun for seasoned performers. Your audience should enjoy this track. If you are a woman, you may appreciate a rap song by a female artist.
3. “Ice Ice Baby” — Vanilla Ice
This is a rap classic that just about everyone knows. It’s fun to perform and can bring on some serious nostalgia. I’ve always listed it among my favorite rap songs of all time.
Related: 20 Best 80’s Karaoke Songs for Women
4. “Hey Ya!” — OutKast
If you want to add some fun hip-hop vibes to your rap karaoke performance, you can’t go wrong with this classic. I always remember dancing to this hit at my sister’s wedding; your audience is sure to feel that same kind of happiness when you belt this one out.
5. “It Wasn’t Me” — Shaggy and Rik Rok
You can have a lot of fun with this somewhat tongue-in-cheek classic. It’s one of my favorites in the rap category due to its cleverness and catchy sound. It puts me in a good mood, even if it feels a bit depressing at times.
6. “U Can’t Touch This” — MC Hammer
This early 90s rap classic is sure to be a hit with audiences of all ages. I first heard it in middle school when preparing for a choir performance of the Evolution Of Dance and enjoyed its infectious sound. Bring out that enthusiasm in the karaoke crowd with this MC Hammer classic.
Related List: Top 12 Eminem Karaoke Songs
7. “Thrift Shop” — Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
This is a fun modern rap-pop choice that listeners young and old will enjoy. It was one of my favorite songs when it was released due to its humorous theme. You can put a smile on your audience members’ faces with this staple.
8. “This Is How We Do It” — Montell Jordan
This is another classic that audiences love. It’s got some repeating lines, so it’s a good choice for new or nervous singers (or anyone who has trouble remembering complicated lyrics) while still being enjoyable for seasoned performers.
9. “Stereo Hearts” — Gym Class Heroes feat. Adam Levine
If you want to add interest to your tracklist with a pop-rap duet, you can’t go wrong with this hit. This was one of the first songs that turned me into a Maroon 5 fan and, as mentioned above, the first song with a rap section that I ever attempted to sing for karaoke.
10. “No Diggity” — Blackstreet
This is another ultra-famous 90s classic that many listeners in your audience will recognize. The lyrics change up a lot, so you may want to make sure you know the song and the karaoke environment well before attempting to sing it.
Related: The Best 90’s Karaoke Songs for Women
11. “Hotline Bling” — Drake
“Hotline Bling” had major crossover success with pop audiences. That makes it a great choice if you’re looking for a crowd-pleaser for karaoke night. It’s also a great choice for hip-hop fans.
12. “Locked Away” — R.City feat. Adam Levine
If you are looking for some melodic variation in your rap tracklist, “Locked Away” is a good choice. It has those rap vibes mixed with an Adam Levine pop chorus and reggae beats. It also has an interesting theme. It’s one of my go-to karaoke choices that can please a diverse crowd.
13. “Be Nice” — Black Eyed Peas feat. Snoop Dogg
This is one of my go-to recognitions for a pop-influenced rap song and my favorite karaoke song for those days when I want a challenge. I may be a bit biased toward it because it was originally written by one of my all-time favorite songwriters, but it has a nice positive theme that could benefit your audience during your performance.
14. “Men In Black” — Will Smith
Who doesn’t like Will Smith? “Men In Black” is a fun track that even movie buffs will appreciate. It’s also another great track if you want to evoke nostalgia in listeners, especially ones that enjoyed the Men In Black era.
15. “Dennis Rodman” — Mansionz
This is a fun choice that’s great if you know you’re performing for fans of Mansionz, Mike Posner, Blackbear, or all three. I couldn’t get enough of this song when it came out to the point that I was singing it everywhere I went.
I should add that hearing it performed live at a Mike Posner concert with other enthusiastic fans created an entirely different level of energy. You can recreate that type of energy with this fun track; just make sure that you’re familiar with its clever lyrics before belting it out on stage.
16. “Whistle” — Flo Rida
This is one of those ultra-famous crossover hits that many listeners know as soon as they hear its opening notes. If you know it pretty well, it shouldn’t be hard to sing, even if you’re new to karaoke. The fact that it’s widely popular should help you feel less nervous in the spotlight.
17. “Price Tag” — Jessie J feat. B.o.B.
Here’s another choice that’s great if you want to do a pop-rap duet with another karaoke enthusiast. This is one of my go-to karaoke tracks as a B.o.B. fan because it has a positive theme and is a lot of fun to sing, whether you go for the pop verses or the rap section. It’s also wildly popular and sure to be a crowd favorite.
18. “Airplanes” — B.o.B. feat. Hayley Williams
“Airplanes” is another excellent B.o.B. option if you want the pop-rap duet vibes of “Price Tag” with a slightly more mellow and serious theme. This is another one of my early-2010s favorites—I loved it as my airplane riding theme—and is a longstanding go-to for my karaoke sets. Even the rap sections are easy to master once you get a handle on the memorable lyrics and infectious beat.
19. “Wild Ones” — Flo Rida feat. Sia
With “Wild Ones,” we have another crowd-favorite track that mixes pop and rap to perfection. Sing this as a duet or make it your own in a unique solo for a one-of-a-kind performance.
20. “Where Is The Love?” — Black Eyed Peas
This is a famous Black Eyed Peas hit with a serious but important theme. If you want to make a powerful statement during your karaoke performance, this is a great track to help you do so.
21. “Timber” — Pitbull feat. Kesha
If you’re a Pitbull fan, you may already have “Timber” on your tracklist. This is yet another great, wildly famous option that could be great to sing as a pop-rap duet. It’s sure to get your crowd dancing and singing along, as well.
22. “Popular Song” — MIKA feat. Priscilla Renae
This is an interesting, off-the-beaten-path choice for a rap playlist. As a proud MIKA Freak, I count “Popular Song” among my go-to tracks when I need a different sound for karaoke performances.
While the most well-known version of this tune featuring Ariana Grande is much more pop than rap, the original recording featured on MIKA’s third album The Origin of Love and inspired by Wicked‘s “Popular” has a unique and underappreciated rap sound that’s hard to match.
It may be difficult or impossible to find this British Pop track as a standard karaoke track. However, you can always sing along to the vocals on YouTube if needed, as long as you are in the right environment. Wicked fans, rap enthusiasts, and pop lovers alike should enjoy this fun MIKA staple.
23. “Can’t Hold Us” — Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
“Can’t Hold Us” was one of my favorite songs when it was released due to its motivating, uplifting sound. It’s a great choice if you want to get the crowd dancing to a fun tune that raises spirits every time it’s sung.
Related: 30 Best Upbeat Karaoke Songs
24. “Ultralight Beam” — Kanye West feat. Chance The Rapper and Kirk Franklin
If you are alright with spiritual themes in your karaoke tracks, “Ultralight Beam” is a great choice with uplifting lyrics. You can sing it as a solo, duet, or with a group. Fans of Kanye West and songs with a positive theme should appreciate this hit at your karaoke night or party.
25. “Keep Ya Head Up” — Tupac
If you want classic rap with a serious and important theme, “Keep Ya Head Up” is a great choice. If you know it well it should make for an easy performance at any experience level. You can expect a positive reaction from your audience, which is always good to experience.
26. “My House” — Flo Rida
Here’s another rap hit that fans of pop will enjoy just as much as rap enthusiasts. It’s easy to sing if you know the tune and lyrics well, making it a great choice for beginners or nervous performers. It’s almost impossible not to move your head to the beat with this track.
27. “Buried in Detroit (Lucas Lowe Remix)” — Mike Posner feat. Big Sean
If you want a unique pop-rap fusion song, this remix from Mike Posner’s sophomore album At Night, Alone. is a great choice. It’s amazing catchy with an unforgettable rap feature from Posner’s friend and collaborator Big Sean. Make sure you know the lyrics to this fast-paced, interesting remixed track before hitting the stage.
28. “Feel This Moment” — Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera
Add “Feel This Moment” to your tracklist for some more pop-rap fusion. This track borrows inspiration from the 80s classic “Take On Me” with a hook interpolation that I’ve always found enjoyable. I’ve been listening to this hit since its release due to its unique use of the A-ha staple and would love to hear or sing it on the karaoke stage.
Related: 26 of the Best Karaoke Songs for Couples
29. “Good Feeling” — Flo Rida
I originally heard “Good Feeling” during my first large-scale trip in college, and it’s always evoked a feeling of adventure for me. If you like its feel-good vibes and want a pop-rap staple on your karaoke tracklist, give it a go at your next performance.
30. “Top Of The World” — Mike Posner feat. Big Sean
If you want another underrated option, go with this Mike Posner staple. It’s one of my favorite songs and offers a lot of fun that is sure to get your audience up and dancing. It’s just pure rap/hip-hop fun.
Now that you know what some of the best rap karaoke songs are and how to prepare for your performance, you’re ready to prepare your one-of-a-kind tracklist for karaoke night and get out on the stage with confidence. Try a few of these songs at your next karaoke event and add some new ones as you get comfortable with singing different rap tracks. You may surprise yourself by finding you enjoy singing songs you didn’t think were your style, or learn about a new way that you can get your audience involved in your performance. As long as you’re having fun and feeling confident, you can’t go wrong on the karaoke stage.