Metal and hip-hop share many similarities in values, ethics and, increasingly now, overall aesthetic of the artists, but it’s rare when the two genres meet up with each other. From early collaborations between Aerosmith and Run-D.M.C. or Anthrax and Public Enemy, it’s evident that guitars and rap can collide in meaningful ways, and the mix has produced some incredible collabs over the years.
Take a look below for 10 of the best metal and rap collaborations.
1. The Dillinger Escape Plan and Jarren Benton – “Rage”
Listening to the spastic noise created by the Dillinger Escape Plan, it’s hard to imagine how a hip-hop collab could work, but knowing how good they are at matching any genre thrown their way, it makes total sense. The band’s highly technical chaos is on full display on “Rage” while Jarren Benton amps up his loose lyrical flow to match the heavy instrumentals.
2. Trash Talk, Tyler, The Creator and Hodgy Beats – “Blossom & Burn”
Odd Future mastermind Tyler, The Creator is as eccentric as it gets, so it’s a no-brainer that his style matches hardcore so well. Tyler, along with fellow Odd Future member Hodgy Beats, pulled together an incredibly hard-hitting track with California hardcore crew Trash Talk that solidified the collective’s punk status with “Blossom & Burn.”
3. Cold World and Kool G Rap – “Hell’s Direction”
New York City’s music scene boils down to two main genres: hip-hop and hardcore. Bringing in the low rhymes of Queens’ hip-hop OG Kool G Rap with the skate-punk sounds of Cold World was a match made in heaven. Despite their respective sounds being so far from each other, they mesh as if the band were always supposed to sound like this.
4. Linkin Park and Jay-Z – “Numb/Encore”
Linkin Park teaming up with Jay-Z for the Collision Course EP has to be one of the most well-known collaborations between a heavy band and a rapper, with notable names from both sides of the spectrum citing it as a huge moment. Standout “Numb/Encore” still holds up today, and it’s one of the biggest moments of the band’s career, taking home a Grammy award for it in 2006.
5. Obey The Brave and Loud Lary Ajust – “RIP”
French Canadians are mostly known for their love of Celine Dion and death metal, but the more underground acts in the province’s scene are just as worthy of recognition, pulling together some unique sounds. Metalcore act Obey The Brave sit more comfortably among Hatebreed riffs and soaring choruses, but their collab with bilingual Quebecois rap trio Loud Lary Ajust is pretty far off from their typical style and stands out as a highlight of their discography.
6. Stray From The Path and Vinnie Paz – “The House Always Wins”
Stray From The Path have progressively pushed their sound to a hardcore-meets-Rage Against The Machine style, so a rap collaboration doesn’t feel out of place for the band. “The House Always Wins” sees the band working with Jedi Mind Tricks MC Vinnie Paz for a politically charged track that mixes the two styles seamlessly.
7. Injury Reserve, JPEGMAFIA and Code Orange – “HPNGC”
Hip-hop trio Injury Reserve came out with a fantastic collab this year featuring Code Orange and JPEGMAFIA, and while it’s more rap heavy, Code Orange’s jarring metallic sound is thoroughly present. The production and sound samples give the song an unsettling tone that matches the rap element perfectly while still retaining a hefty feel.
8. Run The Jewels and Zack de la Rocha – “Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)”
Rage Against The Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha doesn’t hop into collabs as often as he used to, but when he does, it’s something to celebrate. The musician’s venture with Run The Jewels was a prime fit as they all brought a hard political message along with similar musical styles, making us wonder what a full rap project from Rocha would sound like.
9. Kid Bookie and Corey Taylor – “Stuck In My Ways”
Corey Taylor’s most well-known rapping moment has to be from Slipknot’s self-titled debut with “Spit It Out,” but he’s clearly still got skills in that department with this collab with Kid Bookie. The pair flex their styles, and you can feel both of their presences in the way the instruments change as Taylor’s vocals cut through a metal riff, pulling influence from the instrumentals that came before.
10. Gucci Mane, Marilyn Manson and K-Mac – “Fancy Bitch”
Sure, putting Gucci Mane and Marilyn Manson together seems like a ridiculous pairing, but the two are actually good friends, and “Fancy Bitch” somehow works amazingly. Gucci’s money-making beats match up with Manson’s low-drawling voice in a way we could have never imagined if the collab didn’t exist, but we’re glad to know what the king of shock rock sounds like over a trap beat.