Have you ever wanted to get into a certain artist/band/genre of music, but wasn’t sure where to start? In this column series under “Take Note,” I’m going to cover several different genres and give you my personal take on the best three songs and three albums to ease you into this genre. This week, I’m going to cover rap music.


(These are in no particular order)




Best I Ever Had – Drake


A timeless classic from Drake’s debut album So Far Gone. A song about heartbreak and losing someone you love. This is a relatable topic for a countless number of people and Drake covers that with a catchy chorus and 2010s-type instrumental.


Money Trees – Kendrick Lamar


As one of Kendrick Lamar’s most popular songs, this song has a very catchy chorus that you’ll catch yourself singing as you go throughout your day. The ambitious meaning behind the song makes it that much more of a staple in the rap genre. This song is about the desire for wealth as a means to escape violence and poverty, this gets covered more in-depth throughout the entire album and showcases his elite music-creating skills.


Heartless – Kanye West 


As part of an album that revolutionized rap music as we know it, Heartless is another song about heartbreak and sadness. This song changed the standard for rap and normalized vulnerability within lyrics. The unique 808-filled instrumental keeps you guessing throughout the song but the catchiness of the writing keeps you waiting for more.




Illmatic – Nas (1994)


This legendary East Coast Hip-Hop album is a must listen by all rap listeners. The album covers crime, loss, and violence within New York; but also looks forward to a positive future. This is all covered in front of several hardcore instrumentals produced by several staples in the hip-hop producing world.


To Pimp A Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar (2015)


Widely considered as one of the greatest rap albums of all time, To Pimp A Butterfly expresses Kendrick Lamar’s struggle and his claim to fame. He tells the story of himself finding fame and learning how to “pimp” his talent for gain. He also turns to his ancestral roots to try to find guidance throughout this album as well. This is a must-listen album.


2014 Forest Hills Drive – J. Cole (2014)


This is the album that solidified J. Cole’s presence as a significant figure in hip-hop. The title is more than just a random address, it’s his childhood home he moved to when he was 13 years old. The album recounts his transition into life as a young teenager and his growth within the rap game.








Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Tyson Florence is the writer for both Sports with Florence and Take Note columns here on The SIREN. He is a senior from New Brighton, a football player, and has been attending Lincoln Park since seventh grade.

Comments (0)

All THE SIREN Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *