Music: it awakens the soul; it’s nostalgic. Music can cure a broken heart or break it. Music also motivates. Motivation is something we all need at times.
I decided to pair two things I like to talk most about (music and motivation), and make a list of 25 rap songs that should be played first thing in the morning. It was difficult for me to compile just 25. I also had trouble diversifying my artist. But I figured this is my list and I have to stay authentic. I chose these songs because they not only give you energy, but will motivate you throughout your day to accomplish your goals, dreams, and stay on your intended path in life.
With that said, these are the top rap songs that get me going through the day.
Nas – “You’re The Man”
If you know me, you know that Nas is my favorite rapper. So no list is complete if he isn’t named there. “You’re The Man” by Nas will uplift and motivate any person no matter what they are going through in life (high and lows). Nas opens the song with the powerful lyrics “They plan was to knock me out the top of the game…” How many of us have felt people were against us and are trying to stop our progress?
Nas has a powerful comeback for those trying to stop his reign, which we could also use as motivation. “But I overstand they truth is all lame, I hold cannons that shoot balls of flames, Right in they fat mouths then I carve my name, Nas- too real, Nas- true King..” At this point I substitute Nas’s name for my own as I am looking in the mirror envisioning proving my Naysayers.
The chorus echoes the song’s title, “You’re the Man, You’re the Man, You’re the Man”. The chorus is something everyone should carry with them throughout their day, no – throughout their life. I dare you to add this to your playlist of rap songs and see how much motivation you will receive.
Kanye West – “Jesus Walks”
“Jesus Walks” isn’t just a song for Christians or people who are religious. This is one of the best rap songs for anyone and everyone who is battling things internally and externally. This is about having faith, hope, and understanding that everything will be alright if you keep faith. I listen to this song in the morning to motivate me and to keep in mind that I am my worst enemy. But if I keep the faith, everything will work in my favor.
Kanye West – “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”
I am always motivated when I hear this song. “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” is a favorite to listen to in the morning, because I am motivated to focus on my priorities throughout the day when I hear the chorus, “Wait I get my money right”. I imagine nothing standing in my way of business and personal goals, and Kanye adds more fuel to my fire with the line, “And you can live through anything if Magic made it”.
What more inspiration do you need than to look at what Magic Johnson has accomplished in his life even though he was living with HIV? If he can keep on his mission to succeed in life after facing tragedy, you can too.
Lupe Fiasco – “The Show Goes On”
An inspirational song for people of all walks of life. “The Show Goes On” starts off with a chorus that is very energetic. The first verse is dedicated to the haters in your life. The second verse is what will truly motivate all who listens to this song.
“One in the air for the people that ain’t here
Two in the air for the father that’s there
Three in the air for the kids in the ghetto
Four for the kids who don’t what to be there
None for the people trying to hold them back
Five in the air for the teacher not scared to tell those kids living in the ghetto that the world is theirs
Yeah, Yeah, The World is Yours; I was once that little boy,
Terrified of the world, Now I’m on a World Tour……”
Verse three is the perfect motivational kick in the butt to assist you in accomplishing your goals and starting your day.
“So no matter what you been through
No matter what you into
No matter what you see when you look outside your window
Brown grass or green grass
Picket fence or barb wire
Never every put them down
Lift your arms higher
Let em’ know you’re there
That you struggling and survivin’ that you gonna persevere…”
Lupe Fiasco – “I’m Beamin‘”
We all have naysayers in our lives. “I’m Beamin’” is a clever response to those haters, yet Lupe Fiasco keeps it classy and motivational throughout the song. I listen to this in the morning to add extra fuel to my motivation of accomplishing things that others say are “impossible”. Lines like “I’m on a losing strike, I’m on a winning streak” or “Failure is my last name, Never is my first one”, are great for positive affirmations.
If there is ever a period in your life where you future looks dark, turn this song on and you will realize that no matter what, YOU are beaming. Definitely a great addition to your list of rap songs.
Big Sean – “Skyscrapers”
“Skycrapers” by Big Sean made my rap songs list because this always motivates me to strive for more. Dispute its explicit content, Big Sean’s energy and passion behind his words make you feel his hunger for success, to reach the skyscrapers. Successful people and those who want to be one can relate to the opening lines of the song, “If I ain’t going to get it, that day is going to waste”.
Don’t let your day go to a waste by not listening to this song in the morning and getting motivated.
Lupe Fiasco – “Superstar”
“If you are what you say you are, a Superstar, then have no fear the camera’s here”.
With an opening like this, you all should understand why this song should be listened to every morning before you start your day. This song is full of hope, determination, and passion. Lupe’s lyrics gives off energy that makes us feel confident, motivated, and empowered. Be the Superstar that you were designed to be, “And everyone claps, ‘cause everyone is pleased”.
Eminem feat. Nate Dogg – “‘Til I Collapse”
Eminem is a rapper that brings energy in every song he performs. What he doesn’t get credit for is his ability to positively motivate people through his music. One song of his that I play in the morning, in the gym, and before games is, “‘Til I Collapse”. Em starts the song off by talking. His words are words we often tell ourselves or need to tell ourselves when we are being challenged:
“Cause sometimes you just feel tired, feel weak
And when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna give up.
But you gotta search within you, you got find that inner strength.
And just pull that out of you and get that motivation to not give up.
And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on
your face and collapse.”
If this isn’t enough to get you motivated to conquer your daily challenges, then Nat Dogg’s chorus is sure to charge you up. Who needs coffee after hearing this song?
Eminem – “Lose Yourself”
This is a song based loosely on Eminem’s life. This is something we can all relate to. At one time or another, we have all been an underdog, and we had to fight for respect. We must stay hungry and remember that no matter what, we only have ONE opportunity to make an impression; one opportunity to make our dreams a reality. “Lose Yourself”, tells us how to get out of our way and seize the moment.
Eminem – “Not Afraid”
“Not Afraid” by Eminem, is one of my morning go-to rap songs when I am nervous about a project, a situation, or an event. This song helps me put into perspective everything I have been through to get to this point in my life. The highs and lows, and how I overcame them to accomplish my goals and dreams. In life we face many obstacles and new events. However, we should never be afraid of change or challenges.
Kanye West feat. Beyoncé, Charlie Wilson, Big Sean – “See Me Now”
“See Me Now”, is in my morning motivational playlist because of its energy. The chorus, sung by Charlie Wilson, and the bridge sung by Beyoncé, also makes this song a definite motivational hit; however, Big Sean definitely steals the spotlight with his tale of how he turned heartbreak into success.
Outkast feat. Goodie Mobb – “Git Out, Git Up”
“Git Out, Git Up”, is a song for everyone who feels like giving up, lacks ambition, or feels lazy. This has been one of my favorite motivatinal rap songs since I was in the 8th grade. The chorus is perfect for athletes, entrepreneurs, entertainers – breathing souls, period!
“You need to git up, git out, and git something,
Don’t let the days of your life pass by
You need to git up, git out, and git something,
Don’t spend all of your time trying to get high,
You need to git up, git out, and git something,
How are you going to make it if you don’t even try?
You need to git up, git out, and git something,
Cause you and I got to do for You and I.”
Jay Z – “I Did It My Way”
The path to success is often a lonely road. Often you must make sacrifices, and ignore the advice and opinions of others. Jay Z’s, “I Did It My Way”, allows me to reflect on the sacrifices made and needed for me to be successful. With so many things pulling at us throughout our lives, it’s good to have reminders that doing things YOUR way will work out.
Jay Z – “U Don’t Know”
Playing “U Don’t Know” by Jay Z in the morning will make you feel invincible throughout your day. This is the epic grind song. I will just let the chorus of this song persuade you.
“I tell you the difference between me and them,
They trying to get they ones, I’m trying to get them M’s
One Million, Two Million, Three Million, Four,
In just Five years, Forty Million More…….
Put Me Anyway on God’s Green Earth, I’ll Triple My Worth…..”
50 Cent – “I Get Money”
In “I Get Money”, 50 Cent brags about his business smarts; however, instead of this song being an obnoxious tell, it is quite motivational. The words and the energy of this song helps all who are in business or are a brand (everyone) get charged up to battle and destroy any and every obstacle before them. I recommend listening to this song right after Jay Z’s “U Don’t Know”.
Jay Z feat. Rihanna and Kanye West – “Run This Town”
“Run This Town”, makes my list of 25 rap songs to listen to in the morning because it is a song about conquering everything that stands in your way. Are you a leader or a follower? Leaders play the game, but they define their own rules on their way to the top. Are you going to Run This Town, Your Empire?
Zaki Shabazz – “Mission”
A powerful motivating rap song with a soulful chorus; “Mission” by my best friend and musician Zaki Shabazz, has been in my morning playlist since 2003. This is often the first song I listen to when I start my day.
Fort Minor – “Remember The Name”
“Remember The Name” should be listened to first thing in the morning, at the gym, before a game, or before a presentation. It’s an inspiring song about how much hard work a person must put in to become successful and noticed.
“This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain
And a hundred percent reason to remember the name!”
Nas – “Hate Me Now”
“Hate Me Now” is the ultimate response to all the haters in your life. We all have them, but it is important to remember that no matter what others think or say, you must focus on your mission in life. As the lyrics in this song sums it up: let your accomplishments do the talking, keep setting goals, and live your life.
Drake – “Started from the Bottom”
How can this song NOT be in your 25 rap songs that you listen to in the morning? This song is fun, energetic, and inspiring.
Big Sean feat. Drake – “Blessings”
In order to have success, one must appreciate the things they have in the present as well as what they went through in the past. What better way to start your morning than playing a song about blessings.
“I live the life I deserve, blessed,
Forgot a vacay I feel better at work,
I mean whatever its worth, I give whatever I’m worth.
For my friends who going go to Hell and back for me,
I’mma give them Heaven on Earth,
Or a hell of a check, yeah, whichever comes first,
Blessings on Blessings on Blessings,
Look at my life man, that’s Lessons on Lessons on Lessons”
Big Sean –“Nothing is Stopping You”
“Nothing is Stopping You” is a must for all motivational playlists. This is a tale of how Big Sean achieved the success he has today. It is the chorus that makes this a must listen to in the morning, or when you need to accomplish something that seems impossible.
“Nothing is Stopping You
Is Stopping You, Is Stopping You,
Nothing Is Stopping You”
Lil Wayne feat. Drake – “Right Above It”
I admit I didn’t know what Lil Wayne was saying in “Right Above It” for years. This didn’t stop me from adding this to my morning and gym playlists. It’s something about the energy in the song that makes you feel like you can destroy anything that stands in your way. Who needs coffee or a pre-workout energy drink? Just pop this song on and you are sure to get charged up.
Chris Brown feat. Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne – “Look at Me Now”
“Look at Me Now” is a song that should be listened to every morning because of its energy and message. This is the perfect answer to those who always have something negative to say about you or the moves you are making.
“Look at me now, look at me now
Oh, I’m getting paper
Look at me now
Oh, look at me now
Yeah, fresher than a mother”
Jay Z and Kanye West – “H.A.M.”
It’s hard to argue that any song on this list goes harder than “H.A.M.”, but then again it goes “Hard as Mother”. This is the exact reason this song is a morning playlist gem. Sometimes you have to “Go H.A.M and let this people know who I am”, when doing business or on your path to accomplishing your goals.
Which of these rap songs will you be listening to in the morning?
I hope you enjoyed this list. If you have another song to add, just list them in the comments section below.