This is a continuation of a list I produced last year. Enjoy!
[Updated] With all of the craziness going on in the music industry right now I thought I’d take a second to wrangle together a few of my favorite soulful tracks to share with everyone who might not be 100% sold on believing that Future or French Montana is the pinnacle of Hip-Hop or interested in the weakest Hip-Hop beef ever (Drake vs. Meek Mill) at this present time. At the moment fans don’t even understand what they like considering that pop-culture glorifies artists with incoherent and repetitive lyrics, homogenous trap and EDM beats, and heavy advertising thanks to record companies doing anything to survive in a digital world.
Knowing that sampling has converted several music lovers into Hip-Hop advocates. The attention to detail is always appreciated when a song with an ill beat can make your face melt faster than butter on your grandma’s country fried chicken. So I took a moment to share with all of you Champs a collection of soulful Hip-Hop songs that’ll remind you why fell in love with Hip-Hop in the first place.
1. I See Now by Little Brother & Kanye West (Produced by 9th Wonder)
You already know when it comes to soulful beats you can’t pass up on the 9th Wonder of the world. Yes, I’m speaking of Mr. 9th Wonder himself the Jamla Army General. Not only is this beat hella soulful, it’s pretty dope that 9th was able to pull in Kanye West to jump on a track with Little Brother featuring one of my favorite rappers (Phonte) to make this classic possible. If you’d like to see 9th Wonder live this summer definitely make sure you come out to the Jamla Showcase taking place in Annapolis, MD, later this Summer.
2. Voodoo by Action Bronson (Produced by The Alchemist)
Action Bronson might’ve hurt himself lately with his latest comments on Ghostface Killah while on ESPN, but you can’t deny that this track is soulful. Ghostface Killah might be ready to snap Bronson’s neck, but the music don’t lie. Thanks to the big dawg, The Alchemist, for pulling in the ill loop and smooth drums – this track is easily a song you can play on repeat when you’re chilling. Press play and understand that “This shit is voodoo” —Action Bronson
3. GOAT By Isa Muhammad (Produced by Fitz)
Here’s a smooth sick soulful beat by the big homie Fitz. Not to mention that, Maybach Music Group’s, Isa Muhammad laid some ill bars on this track to bring it all together. Press play and vibe out and enjoy the way Isa Muhammad flipped this track.
4. Shot You Down By Isiah Rashad (Produced By Audio Bullys)
Top Dawg Entertainment’s Chattanooga, TN, emcee, Isiah Rashad has a pretty good history when picking good beats but man this is still one of my favorite soulful hip-hop tracks. Put together by the Chris Calor and The Antydote they made sure to lace this track with not just atmosphere but a beautiful sample that’ll send you on a dreamy drift thanks to the pre-work via Tower Of Power’s Sparkling In The Sand. Not to mention the music video is just directed and shot beautifully by Fredo Tovar, Scott Fleishman, and Dave Free. Press play and enjoy.
5. Lemon Grass by Bishop Nehru (Produced by MF Doom)
Having seen Bishop Nehru perform for the first time at The SweetLife Music Festival I was highly impressed with his lyricism and beat selection, especially at his age. Lemon Grass has been one of my favorite tracks from the young artist and he’s been blessed to be able to work with the heavy-hitting producer MF Doom. When listening to this track it makes you travel to an entirely new place altogether and gives off a soulful block party vibe. Not to mention it features a cool sample from the film, Juice.
6. Paid The Price Instrumental by Do Or Die (Produced by Kanye West)
This is one of those songs where I felt a crazy soulful instrumental suffered but that doesn’t take away from the sound and the feeling you get when listening to this track. I honestly wish Kanye West would’ve kept this beat to himself and put it on one of his projects, but I respect him for trying to do a solid for a native Chicago act, Do or Die. If you’d like to check out the song with the lyrics feel free to listen to it here.
7. Cie La Vie (Produced by Alex Goose)
This is still one of the best soulful instrumentals I’ve ever heard especially considering it dates back to Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3. Alex Goose is an insanely talented producer that managed to submit a ton of hot tracks for the Blueprint 3 but did not get any of them placed so he took it into his own hands and gave the outtakes to the good people. Now that’s a true Stereo Champion. More than anything I’ll always be a huge Alex Goose fan and make sure his tracks live on. Def check out more of his tracks here.
8. Ladies Jam (Produced by Young Guru)
You’ll always find a good soulful beat coming out of the living legend Young Guru’s MPC. He’s always equipped and ready to put out a fire beat and in this case he made sure to bless the world with this soulful beat that Little Brother record some fresh lyrics on. This is an oldie but still a classic. Definitely press play and enjoy!
9. Clutch Shoot (Produced by Oddisee)
How could you possibly make a list of hot soulful instrumentals and not mention the DMV native, Oddisee. At the moment, he’s one of the best indie artists out there controlling his own destiny and he’s always equipped and ready to make a heavy-hitting instrumental. “Clutch Shoot” is one of those tracks that you’ll let play on repeat over and over and over again until you just can’t take it anymore. Between the musical arrangement and the wide-open atmosphere that it delivers, Oddisee definitely proved he’s a king at the MPC. That’s Love! —Oddisee
10. Mayweather by Bond St. District (Produced by Paul Hutson)
If you’re not familiar with the dynamic duo, Bond St. District hailing out of Charm City, you definitely want to pull your ear to the ground and check out what they are creating. With the combination of DDm’s great craftsmanship and Paul Hutson’s uncontrollably dope ability to put together awesome tracks, “Mayweather” is definitely a song you want to add to your soulful song collection.
11. PlayDat (Produced by DJ Jazzy Jeff)
DJ Jazzy Jeff is one of my all-time favorite producers in the game and he’s most definitely a living legend when it comes to producing dope arrangements. “PlayDat” is featured on Dayne Jordan’s In Progress EP, where he goes off and onto another planet to deliver this funky soulful masterpiece that’ll make any party jump off. If you’re into streaming TV shows definitely be sure to follow him and his crew as they travel the globe on his reality series Vinyl Destination.
12. Ghostface Killah – Cherchez LaGhost featuring U-God (Produced by Carlos Bess)
Whenever you speak on ill beats you can never leave this classic off the list. I remember hearing this when I was a youngin’ and I just lost my mind! Ghostface Killah has been killing the game for quite some time and I have to say Supreme Clientele has its fair share of awesome tracks that could’ve easily made this list. More than anything, continue to press play on this track and keep it living throughout the generations. Wu-Tang Forever.
13. Terry by Action Bronson (Produced by The Alchemist)
Although the big homie The Alchemist made the list earlier, you can’t deny that this track sends off a dreamy soulful vibe that’ll hypnotize the late Harry Houdini himself. I don’t think I care much for whatever Action Bronson is spitting on this track, but the loop and jazzy soulful sound is undeniably soulful beat to kick back relax and enjoy.
14. C.R.E.A.M. By Wu-Tang (Produced by RZA)
When theres so many good soulful beats out there you can never forget one of the illest ones produced by RZA. Like this man is clearly a genius. I don’t know how he made a simple piano tune sound so good with a huge controlled baseline and dirty drums that sound fresh out a Harlem renaissance performance. I can remember being a young bol listening to this track while playing on the streets and falling in love with hip-hop for the first time. Thanks Wu-Tang!
15. Just Like This By Anderson Paak & Knxwledge (Produced by NxWorries)
Now there’s always a wild card and when I say wild card, it’s always someone or a group that comes out of left field and you fall in love with their sound. That wildcard in this sense is NxWorries, a producer duo consisting of Mr. Yes Lawwd himself, Anderson Paak and Knxwledge. Press play and enjoy.
16. Bad Guy By Kingpen Slim (Produced by J Buttah)
J Buttah’s production sounds just like his name and he laced this track with a dope sample that’ll drive you nuts. Not to mention Kingpen Slim snaps on this beat and brings it all together for a classic hip-hop feel. Press play and enjoy.
17. Shine So Brite (Produced by Nottz)
Here’s a track from one of my favorite producers that’s been producing hits for just about anybody you can think of, since forever. Nottz, has a ton of songs you love he’s touched and you wouldn’t even know it unless you did your research. On this track, Shine So Brite he pulls together a sample that’ll make you just loose your damn mind. Press play and prepare for a ride.
17. Christ Conscious By Joey Bada$$ (Produced by Ba$quiat Beatz)
This is one of those songs that made me be like damn Nas was wrong, hip-hop ain’t dead. Ba$quiat Beatz snapped on this beat and the samples he chose for this track are just fucking unbelievable. Like literally this cat mixed Machine Gun Funk by Notorious B.I.G. and Almost Blue by Chet Baker and made magic. Everytime, this track comes on it hypnotizes you not to mention the big homie Joey Bada$$ smashed this track. Did I need to mention this was destined for greatness when it was titled, Christ Conscious?
18. Ain’t Real Feat. Rapper Big Pooh (Produced by Ben Ford)
Here’s a recent track that’s been capturing me this year. Ben Ford literally just snaps when producing this tracks and it makes you feel like you’re flying through a Mo-town themed space. Not to mention Mark Steele bars makes this track wonderful.
19. Lovin’ It Featuring Joe Scudda By Little Brother (Produced by 9th Wonder)
I’ll never forget the day I heard Lovin’ It for the first time. I was in high school and when this jawn came on I literally lost my damn mind. I’m like this is the sound I’ve been looking for. This is how I’m feeling, this is what music is all about. Thanks, 9th Wonder you made my day and forever made me a loyal fan and Little Brother advocate. This literally made Little Brother my soundtrack throughout college as well.
20. Walk Like God Featuring Rapsody & Propaganda By Murs & 9th Wonder (Produced by 9th Wonder)
Here’s a track that has that dop wop soulful sound you just love hearing in the background of a track. Not to mention all of the rappers on this track came with the brightest and best rhymes to accompany this groove.
20. 3 Kings Featuring Dr. Dre & Jay-Z By Rick Ross (Produced by Jake One)
The first time I played this track in my car I had to keep driving past my destination just to continue hearing the genius behind this track. Jake One has easily been one of my favorite new producers as one might say considering that he’s not in the J Dilla era but he’s definitely got some heatmakers that’ll make you say, how the hell did you do that? Overall, this is a dope track.
21. Moleskin Conclusion (Produced by Just Blaze)
Now we all know that Just Blaze has produced a shit ton of records we all have grown to love but this track here is just says something to your soul. It makes you go to another dimension altogether. Press play and enjoy.
22. Rigamortis By Kendrick Lamar (Produced by Willie B & Sounwave)
This is by far still one of my favorite Kendrick Lamar songs. Of course, he murders his verses but the production on this one captures me every time as Willie B and Sounwave makes sure to give you a nice groove to chill too while tuning into Kendrick’s lyrics. Not to mention, Hol’ Up is also another super soulful track off of section.80 as well.
23. Alright By Kendrick Lamar (Produced by Pharrell Williams, Sounwave, Michael Kuhle)
Thanks to the combination of Pharrell Williams, Sounwave, Michael Kuhle and more this track is just amazing. 2016 was the year of movements and these guys produced a track that allowed that generation to have a soundtrack. This song embodies soulful sampling at it’s best.
24. Fire Featuring Moonchild By Rapsody (Produced by Kash, Khrysis, 9th Wonder)
This is just one of those tracks that’ll make you feel good and start wanting to be somebody. Thanks to Jamla it exist and we at Stereo Champions is forever grateful for this masterpiece. The soul in this track is undeniable.
25. Chasing Amy aka In Your Heart By Von Pea & The Other Guys (Produced by The Other Guys)
Here’s one of those soulful tracks that got the right mix of a soulful beat that’ll make you feel good along with voice samples that’ll make you feel good. The Other Guys also have several other bangers but I’ll leave that research up for you to discover. Press play and enjoy.
26. Scenario By ATCQ (Produced by ATCQ)
Scenario, was just one of those tracks that made you loose your mind. It still does considering that it’s now 2017 and this track still goes hard is an indicator that the samples in this track are soulful and funky. Did I mention that Busta Rhymes and Phife Dawg snapped on this track as well?
27. Get Money By Junior M.A.F.I.A. (Produced by Ez Elpee, Jacob York)
Get Money is one of those songs that captures you the second you hear it come on. Not to mention the way Ez Elpee and Jacob York produced this track is just beautiful. Lil Kim, Biggie Smalls, and Junior M.A.F.I.A. went in on this track too.
Well, that’s all folks! If you have any tracks that you would’ve like to see on the list definitely mention them in the comments below. If you’ve managed to find a cool track on the list be sure to say wassup and dap us up. If you want to try your hand at recreating some of the most notable samples, check out Sample Stitch, as they allow you to become J. Dilla, Kanye West, and 9th Wonder instantly.
Until next time keep the culture alive and as always, keep winning! R.I.P. J Dilla.