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Top 10 Rap Songs About Grief and Loss


Music often wields a strong connection with our feelings, and there's no doubt that it can be therapeutic in stressful situations. I know first hand that certain songs set our moods or activate specific memories as soon as we hear them.

Whether you're bereaved or connected to someone who's currently mourning a loss, you'll find the following 10 Rap Songs About Grief & Loss powerful and emotional.

1. Nas - "Dance"

© Ill Will Records
[ Download ]

On "Dance," Nas imagines one last tango with his mother Anne Jones, rhyming "Mom, you could never be replaced. I'd give it all up just to have one more dance."

Jones lost her battle to cancer on April 7th, 2002.
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2. Scarface - "I Seen a Man Die"

Scarface - I Seen a Man Die
© Rap-A-Lot
[Watch the Video] [Download]

Scarface offers a riveting hip-hop ballad on "I Seen a Man Die." Assuming the role of a somber street prophet, 'Face delivers cautionary tales about the remorseless violence that has become commonplace in our society.

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3. Pete Rock & CL Smooth - "They Reminisce Over You"

© Elektra

[Watch the Video] [Download


"They Reminisce Over You" was inspired by the death of Troy Dixon (aka Trouble T-Roy), a close friend to Pete Rock & CL Smooth. It's an sentimental mélange of grief, uncertainty, and hope.

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4. 2Pac - "Life Goes On"

2Pac - All Eyez on Me
© Interscope

A bottle of Hennessy in hand, Pac celebrates the life of his deceased loved ones before setting the scene for his own funeral: "Bury me smilin' with G's in my pocket/Have a party at my funeral Let every rapper rock it."

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5. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony - "Tha Crossroads"

© Ruthless

[ Watch the Video ] [Download]

Following Eazy-E's demise in March of 1995, his disciples Bone Thugs-N-Harmony unraveled this moody masterpiece in honor of the late N.W.A vet and other fallen soldiers.

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6. The Notorious B.I.G. ft. 112 - "Miss U"


"Miss U" is one of the rare moments of warmth on Life After Death. Here, Biggie grieves the loss of a close friend and asks why he had to go. Ironically, Big himself would become the subject of several tributes and unanswered questions the same year.

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7. Puff Daddy ft. Faith Evans & 112 - "I'll Be Missin' You"

[Watch the Video] [Download]

Thanks to a Sauce Money-penned rhyme and a sample lifted from The Police's "Every Breath You Take," "I'll Be Missing You" captured the compelling sense of loss that eclipsed Biggie's murder in 1997.

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8. Dr. Dre ft. Mary J Blige - "The Message"


"I'm feeling like my whole world is blinded, Wondering why, crying, pouring out my heart."
With a little help from Rell and Mary J Blige, Dre shed some gangsta tears for his deceased brother on this album closer from 2001.

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9. T.I. ft. Jamie Foxx - "Live in the Sky"

T.I. - Live in the Sky
© Atlantic

[Watch the Video] [Download]

"Live in the Sky," one of the highlights of T.I.'s King LP, is a heartwrenching dedication to deceased friends and family. ( "My cousin Toot aint have to die right in front of his son and his wife He lost his life struggling over a gun.")

About two months after King hit stores, T.I.'s personal assistant and childhood friend Philant Johnson was fatally gunned down.

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10. Gangstarr - "Eulogy"


"Eulogy" is a hip-hop funeral with Guru as the officiating clergy: "Mothers losing sons; Improper use of guns." Premo draws the procession to an end by running down a list of deceased notables and prays for the fallen soldiers to "rest in peace."

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