People often associate rap music with lewd lyrics and explicit content, which has sometimes slowed its growth as a popular art form. However, not all rap songs contain profanity. Many songs in this genre don’t have swearing, making them appropriate for listeners of any age.
Here are some rap songs without swearing in them.
“See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth
Song Year: 2015
“See You Again” was the fourth release from the Furious 7 movie soundtrack. Despite other songs on the album having earlier release dates, the song emerged as the biggest hit from the soundtrack.
The song is a tribute to actor Paul Walker who played the character Brian O’Conner in the Fast and Furious film franchise and died in a car accident while filming Furious 7.
It is one of the most watched YouTube videos, with over 5.6 billion views. The song also received three Grammy nominations for Song of the Year, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, and Best Song Written for Visual Media.
“God’s Plan” by Drake
Song Year: 2018
“God’s Plan” is the lead single for Drake’s fifth studio album, “Scorpion.” The song debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 list, becoming Drake’s fourth chart-topper at the time.
In the song, Drake addresses some of the issues he has overcome in his artistic journey, including people who did not wish him well. He also concedes he would not have achieved his level of success, fame, and fortune without it being God’s will.
“Airplanes” by B.o.B ft. Hayley Williams
Song Year: 2010
“Airplanes” was the third release from B.o.B’s first studio album, “B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray.”
B.o.B uses the song to reflect on times he wishes he could go back to simpler times before becoming famous and experiencing all the trappings and disadvantages of fame. This was a time when rapping was all about passion and content without tailoring art to the trends of the day to achieve more success, and the nostalgia B.o.B. has for this time is clear in this song.
“Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Ray Dalton
Song Year: 2011
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis released “Can’t Hold Us” as the second single for their debut album “The Heist.” The song is notable for its catchy and easy-to-sing-along lyrics, which propelled it to the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 songs, cementing its spot among the best 2010s hip hop songs.
The artists use the song to state that nothing can stop them from reaching the top of the rap industry. They believe in their craft, and they are confident that whatever they bring to the table artistically is enough to become music stars, especially in a genre that has predominantly black stars.
“Express Yourself” by N.W.A
Song Year: 1988
“Express Yourself” is a single in the N.W.A debut album “Straight Outta Compton.” Though N.W.A was a group that included Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, MC Ren, Dj Yella, and Arabian Prince; the song only features vocals from Dr. Dre.
The song is a protest song against the group’s experiences with radio censorship due to their songs containing profanity and explicit content. Dr. Dre insists on the need for musicians to freely express themselves without restraints, just like other forms of art, like painting, experience zero censorship.
“Chicken Noodle Soup” by J-Hope (feat. Becky G)
Sing Year: 2019
American rap music has become popular worldwide, and rappers are now collaborating with each other in order to bring cultures together through music. “Chicken Noodle Soup,” which was a feature track on the album “Hope World,” is just one example of this type of partnership that J-Hope, one of the members of BTS, and Becky G, a Latina rap star, came together to create.
“Chicken Noodle Soup” talks about the pride each of the singers has for their native countries, rapped in their native languages. They create a sense of community and commonality by talking about each of their homes and tying it together with chicken noodle soup, a dish that can be found in many cultures around the world.
“The Search” by NF
Song Year: 2019
“The Search” is the titular title of NF’s album “The Search.” In the song, NF highlights the toll success has had on his life.
Though the song highlights numerous negative aspects of his life, it also looks forward to a better future. NF insists on the need not to let negativity and tough circumstances cloud one’s ability to keep working towards a more positive outcome.
“Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio ft L.V.
Song Year: 1995
“Gangsta’s Paradise” is a song from Coolio’s album of the same name and the soundtrack to the movie “Dangerous Minds”. Critics consider the song one of the greatest rap songs of the 1990s. The song won a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance, among other awards.
Coolio uses the song to highlight the lifestyle of an individual who grows up in a crime-riddled environment. He points out the negativity associated with living around crime and the effect it has on the mentality of a young man.
“Matrimony” by Wale ft. Usher
Song Year: 2015
“Matrimony” is a single from Wale’s album, “The Album About Nothing.” The song is Wale’s take on why his relationships have failed. He relates the issue to his career path, lifestyle, and experiences in previous relationships.
The song also mirrors society and the current generation that has a complicated relationship with matters of the heart. For instance, the fear of commitment younger generations have despite clearly having an interest in their partners, which Usher highlights in the song’s chorus.
“True Love” by XXXTentacion ft. Ye
Song Year: 2022
“True Love” is a song in the albums of both XXXTentacion and Ye. It is in Ye’s album “Donda 2” and XXXtentacion’s album “Look at Me: The Album.” The release of the latter album occurred after the death of the artist.
The duo uses the song to highlight their struggles with love and relationships. They also address the toll that heartbreak can have on someone’s psyche.
“Panini” by Lil Nas X
Song Year: 2019
Panini is one of the best clean rap songs from the Old Town Road hitmaker. Contrary to your possible opinion, the song isn’t about a sandwich.
The song’s basis is the cartoon character Panini from the animated series ‘Chowder’ which aired on Cartoon Network over a decade ago. On the show, Panini has a huge crush and is obsessed and possessive with the titular character, Chowder, who doesn’t share in the feelings.
Nas equates Panini to fans who loved him when he was an underground artist but were upset when he blew up.
“Hide” by Juice WRLD ft. Seezyn
Song Year: 2018
Juice WRLD is famous for the emotional tone and lyrics he delivers in a unique flow; this collaborative piece with Seezyn is no different.
The song is about the singer’s newfound love and the positive effect his lover has created since they came into his life. He is willing to let go of all his bad habits, and everything is better when they are around each other.
It’s a great song to listen to on a relaxing night with your significant other as you watch the stars.
“Butterfly Effect” by Travis Scott
Song Year: 2017
“Butterfly Effect” was the first release from Travis Scott’s popular album “Astroworld.” The songs on the album were equally great, but this one stands out. It is a play on the butterfly effect concept that explains how small actions have far-reaching consequences and tremendous outcomes.
Unlike other rappers who use vulgar language to sing about their wealth and fame, Travis does so subtly in this song. He describes how his life changed, how great it is, and that he would never go back to his old lifestyle without cursing as he raps over a chill beat.
‘Hey Ya!” by Outkast
Song Year: 2003
“Hey Ya!” by Outkast is a classic song that defined the music scene in the early 2000s. The hit song dominated the charts for most of the decade and is still popular today. So, you’ve probably heard it; if you haven’t, you should!
“Hey Ya!” has a melodic tune, flow, and festive beat you just can’t resist. However, there are sad lyrics hidden behind the jolly dancefloor filler. The iconic rap duo sings about how dysfunctional modern-day relationships are and how heartbreaking being in one can get. All in all, it’s a bop!
“I Can” by Nas
Song Year: 2002
Not all clean rap songs have to be from Kidz Bop! “I Can” by Nas was released at his mother’s request for the rapper to inspire children, so you can be sure it does not include vulgar language.
With his textbook flow, Nas warns his audience of the excruciating realities in urban communities, such as illiteracy and drug abuse. He appeals to the young generation to stay in school and stay away from drugs and encourages them to work hard to achieve whatever they want in the future.
“One Man Can Change the World” by Big Sean ft. Kanye West & John Legend
Song Year: 2015
You know a song will be a masterpiece when two of the greatest rappers and one of the world’s best vocalists collaborate to create music. As expected, this talented trio did not disappoint with this track. “One Man Can Change the World” is an iconic, inspiring song that illustrates our potential to make positive changes in our lives and society.
Big Sean raps over the soulful ballad as he describes the struggles of his childhood and the influence his late grandmother had on his life. The excellently written lyrics and the chorus alternating between Kanye and John may be just what you need for some motivation.
“Home Coming” by Kanye ft. Chris Martin
Song Year: 2007
No matter where you go, you’re bound to feel nostalgic about your hometown. You miss the people, the places you used to go to, and your friends and family. This track by Kanye West and Chris Martin is a classic song about that nostalgic feeling.
The song is Kanye’s tribute to his hometown of Chicago. He remembers how it was growing up there and how he strives to represent the city and make it proud. The rapper's metaphor as he alludes to the town as his childhood love and the dominant piano tunes combine perfectly with other instruments, making the song a great listen.
“Day ‘N’ Nite” by Kid Cudi
Song Year: 2008
Kid Cudi’s “Day ‘N’ Nite” is the artist's first and most commercially successful rap song despite not having the heavy curse words common in contemporary rap music.
Cudi introduces an impressive vocal melody to the laid-back, pop-like beat as he raps about his psychological distress. He talks of how he struggles to cope with people and stress during the day but can finally unwind alone at night. It’s a fantastic song to listen to when chilling after a long day.
“Lose Yourself” by Eminem
Song Year: 2002
If you want a clean rap song to psyche you up for the day or inspire you to undertake a task, ‘Lose Yourself’ by Eminem will do the trick.
The song has an energetic beat, and as always, Eminem doesn’t disappoint with his flow and rhyme as he raps about seizing any given opportunity you get. It is based on Jimmy Smith from the movie 8-Mile as he struggles to make it out of poverty as an underground artist.
The song is arguably the rap version of “Eye of the Tiger,” so you know that it will get your blood pumping. And while there is an explicit version of “Lose Yourself” out there, Eminem released the clean one as well so that everyone could enjoy his song.
“Empire State of Mind” by Jay Z ft. Alicia Keys
Song Year: 2009
You probably live under a rock if you’ve never heard this New York City anthem. But don’t worry; it’s never too late to give this classic a try.
In the song, Jay-Z references monuments, places, and personal memories that make the Big Apple dear to his heart. On the other hand, Alicia Keys sings her heart out in the chorus as she paints a picture of how everyone can make their dreams come true in New York.
“Sunflower” by Post Malone ft. Swae Lee
Song Year: 2018
This collaborative piece between Swae Lee and Post Malone is just one of those songs you won’t get tired of replaying. As a popular hit on the Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse soundtrack, “Sunflower” has captured the ears of adults and kids alike.
It has a catchy tune, and both the artists deliver incredible verses to create a masterpiece without swearing. The song is about a love that stands the test of time and trials as the lovebirds always choose each other and work out their differences no matter what.
Best Rap Songs Without Swearing, Final Thoughts
Rap music always puts forward dynamic and memorable content in a multitude of ways. It is challenging to characterize all rap songs. Therefore, you cannot state that every rap song contains profane lyrics. There are plenty of rap songs without swearing in them; you just need to find them.