I wrote about some of the most kickass rock workout songs here, but now you know I have to give hip-hop some love.
These are some of the most badass songs that I can’t wait to throw on when pumping the iron.
I really think you’ll like this list, which features a ton of hype, a fair bit of bravado, and a pinch of swagger mixed with a dash of inspiration 🙂
I’d also like to point out that this list is in no particular order, and I’m not attempting to rank these songs, it’s really just a list of kick ass hip-hop songs for the gym.
I recommend you take action and put these on your gym playlist and go get those gains.
Warning: most of these songs contain explicit content.
Nas (featuring Puff Daddy) – Hate Me Now (1999)
Nas is one of the greatest MC’s of all time, and he shows off how hard lyrically he can go in this song.
The beat is bar none, and has a ton of urgency.
If you can’t smash out a PR to this track, then something’s wrong my friend.
Fun Fact: Inspired by a New York City play, the music video for the song features Nas getting “crucified” which caused a ton of controversy at the time of its release.
2Pac and Dr. Dre – California Love (1996)
A classic by two hip-hop legends, this song is fast-paced and sure to help you get the job done.
The rolling uptempo beat and the raw lyrics by Pac and Dre will have you nodding your head between sets.
This song is pure energy, and it’s also great for intense cardio sessions.
Fun Fact: California Love is one of 2Pac’s biggest singles, hitting number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks (7/13/96 – 7/30/96).
JT Money – Hi-Lo (2001)
This track was a modest hit back in the early 2000’s and it’s a bit underrated as far as songs that pump you up go.
Try doing some shadow boxing or heavy bag work to this one, it’ll have you going for the KO!
Fun Fact: JT Money was discovered by a member of the 2 Live Crew at a talent show in Miami in the late 80’s.
Eminem (featuring Nate Dogg) – ‘Till I Collapse (2002)
Man, I tell ya, this one goes hard!
It’s truly a gym classic.
Eminem’s insane lyrics paired with Nate’s melodic chorus will having you jumping up and down, pumping your fists in the air.
Be careful with this one, you don’t want to get kicked out of the gym for going too hard! (if you do, though, just build your own gym)
Fun Fact: The basis for the beat of the song features a sample (the classic stomp-clap) from Queen’s We Will Rock You (1977).
Eminem – Lose Yourself (2002)
Another Eminem song???
Why the hell not!
Em has always had quit an inspirational story, and he brings the inspiration with this track.
If you remember, this was the hit that went along with Em’s movie, 8 Mile, you know, the one that made every kid want to be a rapper.
Fun Fact: The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, was nominated for and won several awards, and has went platinum several times over. It’s also perennially rated as one of the best hip-hop songs of all time.
LL Cool J – I’m Bad (1987)
The true anthem of the badass, this track came out in ’87, and still tears it up today.
LL Cool J brings the attitude in this track, and no doubt it’ll have you walking around like you’re ten feet tall and yelling out how bad you are.
Fun Fact: I’m Bad marked LL Cool J’s first foray into the Billboard Hot 100.
Alley Life (featuring Black Planet) – Out With The Old (2001)
This is a fun one, and if you played Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 back in the day, you probably know this track!
Featuring a heavy rock influence and a fast tempo, this one should get you hyped up and ready to throw some weight on the bar (just don’t try to lift said weight while on a skateboard, trust me on this!).
Fun Fact: Alley Life hails from Detroit, Michigan, the the same city that gave us another guy on this list, Eminem.
Fort Minor (Featuring Styles of The Beyond) – Remember The Name (2005)
This track is super inspirational, with strong verses and a killer chorus, and it’s a sure bet to get you all fired up!
A bumping beat completed with cello strings rounds this one out, I like to play this one at least a couple times during a hard workout.
Fun Fact: Fort Minor is a side project of Mike Shinoda, of Linkin Park fame.
Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch – Good Vibrations (1991)
I’ll probably catch some sh*t for this one, and I’ll admit, it’s a little more “pop” than hip-hop, but this song is so damn catchy!
It’s upbeat with a fast tempo, which is excellent for a hard workout.
Fun Fact: Boxer “Irish” Micky Ward helped “Marky” Mark Wahlberg train for the boxing scenes in the video. Wahlberg subsequently played Ward in the 2010 film The Fighter.
Trick Daddy (featuring Lil’ Jon and Twista) – Let’s Go (2004)
Another fast paced early 2000’s hit, this one is sure to get you pumped.
The track expertly blends rap with rock to create a hardcore hybrid sound.
The song features Lil’ Jon, who is known for tracks that get you pumped up. It might even be a good idea to check out his whole catalogue for more gym bangers.
Fun Fact: This track samples Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train, using the main guitar loop and some sound effects from the rock song.
There you go.
Ten (more) songs to add to your workout playlist.
We all know how important music is for pumping us up, so throw something on and get after it!
Tell me your favorite hip-hop workout songs in the comments.