55 Sad Rap Songs

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Sad Rap Songs

Sometimes when you’re feeling down the best pick-me-up is listening to music that matches your feelings. There are plenty of moving rap songs out there to help you out when you’re feeling sad.

In this guide, we’ve chosen some of the best sad rap songs that are incredible to listen to no matter how you’re feeling!

Contents

“You Never Know” by Immortal Technique

Song Year: 2003

Immortal Technique’s classic rap song about time, love, and loss utilizes Tech’s cadence and flow to give an extra edge of sadness.

The song centers around Tech’s relationship with a woman he ultimately breaks it off with. When he returns to his hometown, his sadness continues when he realizes he has a terminal disease.

“Holy Holy” by Vic Mensa

Song Year: 2013

Vic Mensa isn’t the most well-known rapper, but he produces chilling tracks with an air of sadness. “Holy Holy” is a great example of that as it's about thinking about a friend who’s passed.

Mensa compares his luck in music with his friend’s death. He raps about how he lived out his future, but his friend was never able to have those experiences. 

“Heartbeat” by Childish Gambino

Song Year: 2011

Childish Gambino has been lauded for his acting and comedy, but his rap skills are his best feature. “Heartbeat” is about Gambino longing for an ex he wishes he was still with.

It begins by outlining how she chose the wrong guy. In response, Gambino finds a new girl to make her jealous, but he realizes nothing will compare to his ex.

“Book of Soul” by Ab-Soul

Song Year: 2012

Ab-Soul uses a beautiful allegory to the Bible to compare his lot in life to that of the biblical figure Job. “Book of Soul” outlines the impact suicide has on the living.

His real-life girlfriend, Alori Joh, tragically committed suicide in 2012. Ab-Soul wrote “Book of Soul” to express his feelings towards her and the tragic world that hurt her. 

“Runaway” by Kanye West

Song Year: 2010

“Runaway” is perhaps Kanye’s most famous song. Most of the lyrics have two meanings— an expression of romance and a critique of the media.

Kanye reflects on the fraught relationships with the women in his life. He doesn’t hold back in criticizing his behavior and the way he acts by encouraging women to run away from him, only leaving him lonelier.

“Stan” by Eminem

Song Year: 2000

“Stan” opens with a chilling sample from Dido that sets the tone for the rest of the song. The lyrics center around a fan of Eminem who becomes obsessed.

Eminem’s rap is a visceral example of extreme mental illness. It also sheds light on the bright lights of fame and how they can affect everyone.

“03’ Adolescence” by J Cole  

Song Year: 2014

J Cole has many songs about his childhood struggles, but “03’ Adolescence” displays this attitude best. In the song, he raps about the struggles of growing up without a father.

But J Cole also comments on the challenges Black people routinely face in the United States. Cole talks about how crime can lead to easy money, but more streetwise friends convince him to pursue a better life.

“U” by Kendrick Lamar

Song Year: 2015

Kendrick Lamar’s “U” is about self-hatred and feelings of inadequacy. When he speaks of loving being complicated, he’s talking about loving himself.

Society places many expectations on people. Not living up to those can cause people to think of themselves as less than or not worthy.

“Righteous” by Juice Wrld

Song Year: 2020

“Righteous” discusses inner turmoil and the use of drugs to deal with that. Sadly, before Juice Wrld could release this song, he died of a drug overdose.

Juice raps about his anxiety and stress. His lyrics are haunting, and they reveal that he felt like he was drowning in his feelings.

“Flight of the Navigator” by Childish Gambino

Song Year: 2013

Gambino’s song details the struggles of a man thinking about his childhood dreams. In this song, he raps about finding a partner but not knowing what to do.

He doesn’t know what to do because society has a certain image of a couple, something he doesn’t agree with. So, Gambino feels lost because society has no answers to his questions.

“Clout Cobain” by Denzel Curry

Song Year: 2018

One of Denzel Curry’s most depressing rap songs, “Clout Cobain” focuses on the relationship Denzel has with his fans and the music industry.

He believes that his fans only appreciate him for his music, while the music industry is looking to extract as much money as it can from performers. Denzel feels like this is inescapable because of the pressures of fame and clout.

“911/Mr. Lonely” by Tyler the Creator

Song Year: 2017

More than anything, this Tyler song gives a deep insight into loneliness. A common problem in modern life, Tyler explores loneliness through two unique beats.

In the second part of the song, Tyler describes how he hides his loneliness. Even among friends he can speak freely in front of, he feels alone.

“Dear Mama” by Tupac

Song Year: 1995

Made as a tribute to his mom, Tupac uses “Dear Mama” to outline how he treated his mom and how he feels about her now that he’s grown up.

Tupac comments on the struggle his mom had when he was growing up, including poverty, drug addiction, and racism. Now, Tupac understands how irreplaceable his mom was.

“Keisha’s Song” by Kendrick Lamar

Song Year: 2011

Some aspects of life are difficult to deal with. “Keisha’s Song” touches on a challenging subject: how some women turn to sex work to survive.

This song was inspired by a girl Kendrick knew that took this path to make money. She is ultimately killed by a man who picked her up. In the end, Kendrick uses this story as an example to help his sister avoid this life.

“Suicidal thoughts” by Notorious B.I.G.

Song Year: 1994

Biggie’s song uses the format of a phone call to recreate the feeling someone would get if their friend called to express having suicidal thoughts.

The song delves into why the caller feels like he’s the worst, from committing crimes to mistreating his mom. It ends with a loud gunshot that signifies the caller’s suicide.

“Jocelyn Flores” by Xxxtentacion

Song Year: 2017

Perhaps the late rapper Xxxtentacion’s most well-known song, “Jocelyn Flores” revolves around the suicide of a girl in 2017 and how it impacted his life.

Xxxtentacion looks back on how he heard the news of her death, which caused his suicidal feelings. The song has a somber beat that corresponds well to the gloomy lyrics.

“Heartless” by Kanye West

Song Year: 2008

Kanye’s song is an anthem for anyone experiencing a break-up or rough patch in their relationship. He describes how a woman he had a relationship with treats him like he doesn’t exist anymore.

Although Kanye raps about his issues, he ultimately blames her by calling her heartless for quickly moving on with a new man.

“I Fall Apart” by Post Malone

Song Year: 2016

“I Fall Apart” is a song about the feelings Post had when his girlfriend broke up with him. He makes multiple references to alcohol and drugs he used to suppress his emotions.

Post Malone blames his ex and says the relationship caused him scars that everyone could see, referencing how he withdrew from the world after the break-up. 

“This Can’t Be Life” by Jay-Z

Song Year: 2000

Jay-Z’s song explores the struggles of people stuck in the hood. He outlines gang and drug-related issues but also personal struggles like stillbirths.

Jay raps about how his partner endured a stillbirth. But, due to the nature of the world, he was forced to keep moving forward.

“Mockingbird” by Eminem

Song Year: 2004

Eminem’s two daughters, Hailie and Alaina, are bright spots in his life. But for a few years, their family was in rough shape, which Eminen delves into with “Mockingbird.”

Whether it’s about their mother’s instability or Eminem’s lack of money, he describes why he couldn’t provide the best life for his daughters when they were children.

“I Can’t Go to Sleep” by Wu-Tang Clan

Song Year: 2000

Wu-Tang’s song about the struggles of Black men on the streets is a classic. The group chronicles what many must do to get by, but they want change.

In particular, they want people to stop killing each other over money. Wu-Tang considers it more cowardly to use violence when other options are available.

“Life Changes” by Wu-Tang Clan

Song Year: 2007

Another song by Wu-Tang, “Life Changes” describes the pain someone feels when their family member gets killed by violence.

When a family member dies, it can feel like the whole world stops. Wu-Tang says that although time changes things, it can’t return what was taken away.

“Long Gone” by $uicideBoy$

Song Year: 2018

“Long Gone” is about the feelings a drug user has when they think about their life and the friends they’ve lost.

The narrator raps about their struggles, saying they want to be saved. In the end, they think that death will be the only way they can rest in peace.

“4 Your Eyes Only” by J Cole

Song Year: 2016

Written as an ode to a late friend, “4 Your Eyes Only” is a note to his dead friend’s children. It explains his life and how it resulted in an untimely death.

Cole talks about how his friend’s greatest fear was that his daughter would come home only to find out her father had died. As J Cole says, that image sadly became a reality.

“13lack 13alloons” by Denzel Curry

Song Year: 2018

“13lack 13alloons” is a track about the struggles of Denzel Curry’s life. These struggles are partly due to the structural obstacles faced by the Black community, but for Denzel, his struggles with mental health have also been a factor. 

The song uses the imagery of black balloons popping to compare the mental strength of Denzel. All it takes is a small impact for the balloons to explode.

“Feel” by Kendrick Lamar

Song Year: 2017

Kendrick is probably the most famous rapper alive, so it’s understandable he would have a unique perspective on fame. In “Feel,” Kendrick discusses the loneliness inherent in fame.

He focuses on how his relationships with friends and family have changed since he became rich and famous. The last verse shows the anger Kendrick has towards the people he feels abandoned him.

“I Feel Like Dying” by Lil Wayne

Song Year: 2007

Touching on themes of drug use and death, Lil Wayne uses his lyrical skills to express the thoughts of someone who abuses substances.

The first half of each verse comes from the perspective of someone high, and they sound positive. But the second half is about the withdrawal phase, which feels like dying. 

“Dead Homiez” by Ice Cube

“Dead Homiez” by Ice Cube

Song Year: 1990

“Dead Homiez” begins with an ominous bell tolling. It centers around a funeral for a friend of Ice Cube who died on the streets.

Ice Cube raps about the pain the victim’s family and friends feel while also expressing how the uncertain nature of street life makes everyone feel unsafe. He wishes that he could’ve told his dead friends how he felt.

“Dance With the Devil” by Immortal Technique

Song Year: 2001

Almost universally recognized as one of the saddest rap songs, Immortal Technique’s ballad is about the pain and suffering we cause each other.

The song outlines the life of a man with a troubled childhood who ends up joining a gang. Not only does he sell crack, but he is forced to commit violence to stay in the gang. He ultimately ends up assaulting his mother, who has begun using crack again.

“Acid Rain” by Chance the Rapper

Song Year: 2013

“Acid Rain” is a look back through Chance’s life. It talks about the good parts that he misses, like friends, shows, and the type of food he ate.

But he also talks about grimmer experiences, like friends who died and the time his parents didn’t believe in him.

“So Many Tears” by Tupac

Song Year: 1995

Even before his untimely death, Tupac seemed to understand he would have a short life. In this track, Tupac asks for forgiveness for the things he did while alive.

He outlines the ways he hurt people, but he also raps about how he was forced to do those things due to his position.

“Dance” by Nas

Song Year: 2002

“Dance” is an ode to Nas’s mother who died of breast cancer in 2002. His lyrics declare how he sees his mother as perfect.

Nas expresses that he would do anything for one more day with her, who he misses with all his heart.

“Retrospect For Life” by Common

Song Year: 1997

Common outlines the distress caused by an unplanned pregnancy. He and Lauryn Hill combine to play both sides of the relationship.

The song outlines the many choices a couple has to navigate, including debating getting an abortion.

“Tha Crossroads” by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

Song Year: 1995

Written as a dedication to Eazy-E, who died of HIV in 1995, the song is a deep expression of the sadness friends and family feel when someone dies suddenly.

“The Crossroads” concludes by asking why death happens, a desperate expression of the unfair nature of death on the living.

“8 Million Stories” by A Tribe Called Quest

Song Year: 1993

A Tribe Called Quest has always had a reputation for its lyrical skills, which are on full display on this track.

“8 Million Stories” takes a look at the daily troubles of someone in the 1990s. It doesn’t discuss the hardcore issues of other songs, but it does give the listener an insight into the mundane and sometimes depressing nature of life.

“6 Feet Deep” by Geto Boys

Song Year: 1993

“6 Feet Deep” describes a funeral for a friend. Its lyrics delve into how the friend’s mother is deeply saddened, but they see it as no surprise.

Deaths like these were all too common in the 1990s. Still, The Geto Boys vividly capture the utter senselessness of these deaths.

“Come Back to Earth” by Mac Miller

Song Year: 2018

Mac Miller’s 2018 song is on this list because of his sad death later that year. The song essentially predicted his early death.

The song focuses on a man who struggles with the thoughts in his head, begging for a way out.

“YouAreMySunShine” by Flatbush Zombies

Song Year: 2018

Written in the aftermath of ASAP Yams’ death, “YouAreMySunShine” reflects on the waves his death caused in the New York rap community.

They rap about how they know Yams is up above, looking down on the rest of New York. Zombies hope they can make him proud.

“Apparently” by J Cole

Song Year: 2014

J Cole wrote “Apparently” to examine the mistakes he made in his past. Some of these mistakes cause his most prized relationships to fail.

Cole looks back at these with a critical eye. He describes the ways he went wrong and he could’ve been better, especially towards his mother.

“Good Kid” by Kendrick Lamar

Song Year: 2012

“Good Kid” touches on many topics, ranging from drug dealing, death, and police brutality.

Kendrick discusses how each of these topics adds to the struggles in Black communities across the country. He talks about how street life brings out the worst in people.

“Sick and Tired” by Denzel Curry

Song Year: 2016

This track from Denzel Curry talks about criminal activity but contrasts that with domestic life with his girlfriend.

The lyrics show the dual nature of life. In one sense, it’s beautiful but can also lead to terrible decisions.

“We Ball” by Meek Mill

Song Year: 2017

Written as an ode to his dead friends, Meek Mill’s track looks at the despair people experience when their friends pass.

Mill raps about the constant fear he lives with because he doesn’t want to die, leaving his friends and family to despair.

“Brenda’s Got a Baby” by Tupac

Song Year: 1991

Tupac’s famous 1991 track is dedicated to the destructive nature of poverty. His rap takes an uncompromising look at a woman forced into prostitution by her education and economic position.

The lyrics are intense, as it progressively reveals the girl does so after she gets pregnant. Tupac observes that some people who grow up in poverty never realize they can escape it.

“Look What You’ve Done” by Drake

Song Year: 2011

Drake wrote a touching tribute to the family members that believed in him. He focuses on his exes and his mother.

People like Drake’s mother supported him unconditionally, even if he didn’t always believe in himself.

“Paranoia” by Chance the Rapper

Song Year: 2013

“Paranoia” is about the ever-present danger of violence on the streets of Chicago. Chance is from Chicago, which explains his focus on the city.

He talks about how too many children are dying, both from street violence and police brutality. His lyrics are full of frustration and anguish, and reveal that Chance feels abandoned by the authorities.

“Everyday Struggle” by Notorious B.I.G.

Song Year: 1994

Biggie’s song described the repetitive nature of dealing drugs. He reminisces about the times when he had fewer responsibilities. 

He repeats that he doesn’t want to live anymore because he feels he’s destroying lives by dealing drugs. But he continues to support his daughter. 

“Life’s a Mess” by Juice Wrld

Song Year: 2020

“Life’s a Mess” is a duet that discusses the various issues in life and how love can help overcome those issues.

Both Juice and Halsey sing about the way they feel about their lover. They need their lover to continue living because they would be devoid of happiness without them.

“Dysfunctional” by Tech N9ne

Song Year: 2009

“Dysfunctional” is a song about the anger that can consume someone. Its lyrics reveal how you can be filled with so much anger but struggle to find a healthy outlet for those emotions.

As the song progresses, Tech N9ne concludes he’s dysfunctional, emotional, and in need of help.

“All Along” by Kid Cudi

Song Year: 2010

Kid Cudi’s “All Along” explores the harsh realities of heartbreak. He sees love as a kind of high and considers himself addicted to it. In doing so, Cudi alludes to the fact that he used to have problems abusing drugs.

He adds that he knows he needs to be alone to figure things out.

“The Message” by Dr. Dre

Song Year: 1999

Written as an ode to a dead friend, this Dr. Dre song expresses emotions that aren’t common for Dre.

He raps about how he misses his friend. Dre reflects on the relationships he had with friends and how each impacted his life in different ways.

“I’ll Be Missing You” by Puff Daddy

Song Year: 1997

Written in the aftermath of Biggie’s death, this Puff Daddy song poignantly captures the emotional toll death brings to any surviving friends.

He raps about the consoling image of Biggie smiling down from heaven, proud of his friend’s accomplishments.

“Live in the Sky” by TI

Song Year: 2006

TI wrote this song to honor two of his friends who died. One died before he could see him and the other died after the two had a major fight.

“Live in the Sky” gives the listener a glimpse into TI’s sadness and anger at not patching things up with them before their deaths.

“Good News” by Mac Miller

Song Year: 2020

Released after his death, this Mac Miller song doesn’t hold back its punches. It reveals the problems with drugs the rapper endures. Sadly, they would end up taking his life.

“Good News” describes the pain Mac was in before his death. He raps about the suffering he has and has caused others, which leaves him in despair.

“Purity” by ASAP Rocky

Song Year: 2018

“Purity” was inspired by ASAP Rocky’s relationship with loss, especially concerning those affiliated with ASAP Mob.

Rocky raps about the grief he feels for ASAP Yams and Press, both of whom died. In addition, he touches on not seeing his family in a long time due to rifts he can’t close.

“Strange Ways” by MF Doom

Song Year: 2004

“Strange Ways” has two primary themes—police brutality and a “war economy.” Both of these structures have historically exploited African-Americans.

MF Doom is known for his deep lyrics that feature critiques of society. In “Strange Ways,” he lambasts the institutions he sees as impacting his loved ones.

“Climax” by Young Thug

Song Year: 2018

“Climax” by Young Thug is all about losing your lover to a rival. Although the other man uses his wealth to impress the woman, that doesn’t mean he’s a better fit.

Through the lyrics, Young Thug delivers a message to his ex-lover, telling her how he feels abandoned and betrayed.

Best Sad Rap Songs, Final Thoughts

So, did you find any sad rap songs that you didn’t know? Perhaps you enjoyed one of the classics or a newer track. Either way, you’re sure to find some solid tunes in this guide.

Are you looking for other sad songs? You can find many others on our site, including happier songs that might boost your mood!

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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