Look, everyone knows that Thanksgiving is all about stuffing your face with turkey, drinking gravy all day and shooting the feces with people you haven't seen in months. But it's also important to pause and quietly acknowledge all the wonderful things around us, like the gift of life and love and peach glazed ham. Gotta have peach glazed ham. That's what these songs (well, half of them) are about. Here's your Top 10 Thanksgiving Rap Songs.
Before he hit puberty and dropped the "lil" from his moniker, Bow Wow once thanked his fans on this Cars-sampling jawn from 2000's Beware of Dog. Laugh now if you want but "Thank You" did reach No. 1 on the Hot Rap/R&B Charts.
9. Blood Type Feat. Kendrick Lamar & Ghostwridah - "Thanksgiving"
"Thanksgiving" is a posse cut done right. Everyone brings their A-game, especially Kendrick Lamar with the song's best guest turn ("My shine is bright enough to make a dead flower bloom in a room full of curtains"). The hook is less than memorable but that's a minor blotch that evaporates in the midst of ice cold verses.
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Some thank their fans. Some thank their family. Others thank their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That's cool and all, but Z-Ro moves to the beat of his own drummer and sometimes that drummer is playing the trombone on tenor. Take the sarcastic "Thank You," for instance. Here, Ro thanks his critics for always keeping him on his toes. "I really like to thank you, even though I'm not on TV, I'm just another CD," he rhymes. You gotta love this guy.
7. Malcolm & Martin - "Thank God"
You've probably never heard of Malcolm & Martin, so here's a brief bio: Malcolm & Martin is a trio. The group consists of DJ Revolution, Styliztik Jones, and KB Imean. Inspired by the icons who fought for the ordinary men, the group adopted the moniker Malcolm & Martin. On "Thank God," taken from their debut Life Doesn't Frighten Me, they salute those icons and many others across the spectrum of arts, entertainment, and just life in general. They even thank you, and you've never heard of them.
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Jay-Z opened Blueprint III with an attitude of gratitude. "Thank you, thank you, thank you, please hold your applause," he proclaimed before acknowledging that he does, in fact, deserve a standing ovation.
5. Nas Feat. Chrisette Michele - "Can't Forget About You"
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"Wow, I need a moment y'all. Almost fell a tear drop." That's one of the first lines on Nas' most reflective track. Thanksgiving is a time of reflection and Nas shines when he lets his deepest thoughts fly. Each verse is an ode to a different era or facet of history--at least that ones that hold personal meaning to Nas. Chrisette Michele's sweet melody is just cherry on top of a great tune.
You don't need a million words to express gratitude. Hell, you don't even need words sometimes. DOOM is a sophisticated man and sometimes a simple thing like gratitude can be difficult to articulate for a man of his sophistication. So he does it the way I expect DOOM to do everything: let the music do the talking. The masked villain thanks his legions of disciples on this 75-second instrumental from Born Like This. By excluding actual rhymes, he ensures that no one gets left out. Everybody wins. DOOMgenius.
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X to the Z offers a heartfelt ode to his son and late friend Proof on this standout cut from Full Circle. But above all, he thanks his fans for "being around/ And patiently waiting and holding me down."
2. Danny Brown - "Thank God"
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Danny Brown's Detroit childhood has inspired a large dose of the gloomy narratives in his music. While most MCs brag about fine steak, Brown reminds us that it's still hard out there in the streets of Linwood. "Thank God for a bridge card," he says on his way to a shopping spree. Still, he finds a way to acknowledge the little things, like salty wings and hood BBQs.
1. Kanye West - "Family Business"
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"Now that you're gone it hit us super hard on Thanksgiving and Christmas," Kanye raps while reminiscing about his loved ones on the brilliant "Family Business." This one has all the ingredients of a classic family gathering: good food, awkward photo ops, impromptu dancing, and even a bit of tension. And when things go sour, as they're bound to once in a while, Mr. West offers golden advice: "Act like everything is fine, and if it isn't we ain't lettin' anybody in our family business." I miss this guy.