Top Ten Conscious Hip Hop Songs

Conscious hip hop describes hip hop music that adresses social issues. This can be done in any subgenre and with a variety of topics, from big political problems to criticizing modern society's attitudes and personalities. There are rappers whose discography consists mostly of conscious hip hop songs, while others only have one or two conscious hip hop songs between several easy digestible ones. While most conscious hip hop songs have a serious tone, some rappers like the German Blumio or the American Macklemore have also tried out adressing sociocritical content in a more comic way (both artists also have serious conscious hip hop as well as pure fun songs).

The Top Ten

1 Stan - Eminem

It might be debatable if this counts as a conscious or simply a storytelling hip hop song, but by telling the story of Stan it definitely also tells something about people with troubled back stories that seek identification in music and take it much too seriously. - Martin_Canine

2 Unforgivable Youth - Lupe Fiasco

Lupe Fiasco tells the story of the two holocausts in American history, the killings of the Native Americabs and the enslaving of the Africans. The third verse... nah, I won't spoil the experience. - Martin_Canine

3 Sing for the Moment - Eminem

Eminem talks about the effects hip hop had on the mainstream audiences, and how its reputation and meaning changed when the genre became more popular with middle class white people. I must say that this is a very American topic (German hip hop has ENTIRELY different backgrounds) and that you are free to correct me if I misinterpreted it. - Martin_Canine

4 Wing$ - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

While "Thrift Shop" made fun of the brand craze in a funny light-hearted way, here it is told extremely intensely. The narrator's addiction for expensive shoes turns into a drug-like addiction, and he becomes more and more obsessive throughout the song. - Martin_Canine

5 Sanageyama - Dat Adam

Much like Tech N9ne's "Aw Yeah? (Intervention)", DatAdam not address a single topic, but jot down several issues that make them upset (half of the song is screamed), ranging from how democracy fails to the superficiality of many people to the excessive consume of meat. Taddl also criticizes himself, it makes him upset that he smokes weed whenever he is upset because he simply couldn't handle it otherwise. - Martin_Canine

6 Köln Kalk Ehrenmord - Eko Fresh

This song is an exposure of honor killings that happen in the German slums where different cultures clash. Eko Fresh, one of the greatest and most intelligent open minded celebrities I know, has always been on the edge of the German and Turkish culture himself and understands both societies. The song tells the tragic love story between a German boy and a Turkish girl (no age is told, but I guess teenagers bordering on becoming adults), who fall in love and sleep with each other. She comes from a conservative Turkish family and so it all takes a bloody end.
I wrote a translation of the song that can be found in my posts on my profile. - Martin_Canine

7 Bitch Bad - Lupe Fiasco

This song tells the story of two young kids and how the term "bad bitch" affects their view on the world in different ways until they meet each other. - Martin_Canine

8 Swimming Pools (Drank) - Kendrick Lamar

This is a song about alcohol addiction, what leads to it and how it affects you. It gets more surreal throughout, probably simulating the feeling of being on alcohol. - Martin_Canine

9 Dance with the Devil - Immortal Technique
10 Aw Yeah? (Intervention) - Tech N9ne

This song is an itervention with god in which Tech N9ne tells him all the things that are wrong in the world at the moment by jotting them down. The very last line is one of the most intense moments I ever experienced in any song of any genre. - Martin_Canine

The Contenders

11 Alright - Kendrick Lamar
12 Das Öl wurde zu Blut - Kay One

Kay One, who is actually known for brag rap, got off his chest what he hates that the people of the world drive apart, because of religion, wealth and origin - amd he especially attacks how all of this is tolerated by politicians because it is of advantage for them. The song title translates to "The oil has turned to blood". - Martin_Canine

13 Die Welt Ist Schwul - Blumio

This is a more humorous take on a social issue, but it still qualifies as conscious hip hop because it adresses a serious topic.
Blumio portrays a man who doesn't like homosexuals because he regards it as against his beliefs. He is in a relationship with a woman. One day he wakes up only to find himself in a world where being homosexual is considered normal, and he is frequently made fun of and looked at strangely because he is with a woman. He tries to say that he just happens to be attracted to women, that's just how he is born. He starts researching and finds out that in other countries heterosexuality is even illegal and chased, that he can't marry in Germany (that was before homosexual marriage was legalized in Germany in 2017), that "hetero" is used as a curse word, and that his own religion is against him - and eventually starts pridefully carrying the rainbow flag. Then he wakes up - it was just a dream, but it had such a huge impact on him that he now understands what ...more - Martin_Canine

14 Bitte Küss Mich Nicht - Tic Tac Toe

Tells the story of a young girl who gets repeatedly raped by someone she loves (probably her father), and loses her will to live. Only after years she opens up about it and can ring herself to tell what happened. - Martin_Canine

15 Hey Mr. Nazi - Blumio

Blumio (a German rapper of Japanese descent) talks to a Nazi and tries to convince him to overthink his attitude by inviting him to spend the night with him and his friends. This is more pacifistic and friendly in tone than other German Anti-Naziism songs such as Die Ärzte's "Schrei nach Liebe" (which is often regarded as the best German language song of all time, but is a very loud and aggressive protest song).
The topic is well executed with an optimistic and uplifting style, but it only kind of works because Eastern Asian people like Japanese or Chinese are only a little minority and get little to no hate in Germany, they are actually considered cool. In that regard, the equivalent of African Americans in the US would be migrants from Muslim countries such as Turkey, which are a big part of German and Austrian population. This is what German Nazis are against. But nevertheless: Nazis suck. Racism sucks. And this song is cool. - Martin_Canine

16 Changes - Tupac
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