The Guide to Hip Hop for Metalheads


The late 90s were a rough time for music. Nü-metal left a bad taste in all of our mouths. Floridian rednecks rhyming over mook rock ruined rap and metal for a lot of people. That’s a shame because hip hop and metal have so much in common:

  • Aggressive, testosterone-driven tunes that enrage parents and politicians.
  • Old heads that won’t let go of past and dismiss all new music.
  • Bloated albums stuffed with unnecessary filler tracks.
  • Internet dorks who constantly argue with each other.

But most importantly, they’re both fun.

There are so many rappers to listen to. Where do you start? If there’s one thing I know metal heads love, it’s genres and classification so let’s find your new favorite rapper based on your favorite sub-genre of metal. I don’t claim to be a hip hop expert, but I do have a Wu-Tang tattoo, so you should probably take all of this with a giant grain of salt.


You like Slayer, Lamb of God and Machine Head. You don’t really identify with any weird sub-genres; you just wanna head bang.

Listen to: Jedi Mind Tricks 

Jedi Mind Tricks have been making dark, underground rap since the 90s. Self-professed metal fans and HUGE dudes, JMT perform with such intensity that they kinda scared me when I first saw them as a skinny, stoned teenager.

Also Try: Dead Prez, SpaceGhostPurrp, Waka Flocka Flame


You get wild for bands like Municipal Waste, Power Trip and Steel Panther. You like shotgunning beers, partying with your bros and taking drugs. Lots of drugs.

Listen to: Project Pat

The older brother to Juicy J of the Academy Award-winning Three Six Mafia, Project Pat has made a long career with subtlety-free tracks about fucking and getting fucked up. Crank this and #turnup.

Also Try: Gucci Mane, Mr Muthafuckin’ eXquire, Chief Keef


You vibe out to Eyehategod, Nuerosis and Pallbearer. You like it slow, low and banging.

Listen to: DJ Screw

DJ Screw invented the Screw style of chopping up and slowing down beats to create the audio equivalent of sipping codeine syrup. He released mixtape after mixtape of slow, sticky jams before suffering a fatal heart attack at the age of 30; an unfortunate  consequence of too much lean. Also Try: Scarface, Z-Ro, Big Moe


You rep Suffocation, Devourment and Morbid Angel. You want no-frills brutality from artists that consistently bring the goods.

LISTEN TO: Sean Price 

Sean P, one half of 90s east coast rap duo Heltah Skeltah, does nothing but deliver hard-as-fuck rhymes. Philly hardcore legends Cold World and Sean collaborated on the awesomely-titled nu-nu-metal jam “How the Gods Chill”.

Also Try: Pusha-T, Beanie Sigel, Mobb Deep


You listen to Cynic, Atheist, and The Faceless. You want dense, complex riffs that take time to unpack and digest.

Listen to: Jay Electronica

Tech death rap beats don’t exist (yet), but Jay Electronica delivers the next best thing with incredibly deep, knotted lines that still bang. Since launching his career in 2009 Jay has released just a few songs and guested on a handful of tracks. His debut album has been promised for years and we’re still waiting. Sounds familiar.

Also Try: Pharoahe Monche, GZA, Rakim


You listen to Kayo Dot, Mr, Bungle and a bunch of other weird shit that I probably don’t know about.

Listen to: Kool Keith (Dr Octagon, Dr Dooom, Black Elvis)

Kool Keith has recorded roughly one billion songs under his many monikers and alter egos. He’s known for delivering abstract lines that come out bizarre and sometimes… just wrong, man. His retirement status is up in the air at the moment.

Also Try: Lil B, RiFF RAFF, MF Doom


You zone out to Sleep, Electric Wizard and Bongripper. Your interests include reefer, chronic and kush.

LISTEN TO: Action Bronson

With a flow reminiscent of Ghostface Killah, the subjects of Bronson’s bars are most commonly high-quality cannabis and fine dining. It’s a match made in stoner heaven. Unlike Burning Man, there’s a lot here for non-stoners to love.

Also Try: Devin the Dude, Curren$y, Cypress Hill


You somehow enjoy Cemetery Rapist, Meat Shits and Torsofuck. You are gross and you like gross things.


I first heard this track at the worst “gentleman’s” club in town. It was loud and I couldn’t decipher the lyrics but the beat was sick so I went home and downloaded it. After hearing the second verse I took a shower, cleared my hard drive and found Jesus.

Also Try: Getting your GED, Being a better person, Not being so gross


Your favorite artist’s best days are far behind them. What remains is a cruel parody of the talent that once existed. You can’t stay on top of the world forever.

Listen to:

Ice Cube


I’m not sure how you got here. Enjoy this video.


Did I miss something? Am I a poser in MULTIPLE genres? Top 5 dead or alive? Let’s talk about it below. I see you. Hi Haters.

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