9 Epic Hip-Hop Songs For Staying Motivated During The Hard Times

Best Inspirational Hip-Hop

In life, only a few things are certain.

You will encounter challenges. You will get hurt. You will pay taxes. Then you will die.

Whether you ever taste the sweet nectar of victory or bask in the glory of triumph – that depends on how much pain you can endure and still stay driven. It’s not fair, but it’s the way it is.

When the motivation has been sapped from your being and your world has turned grey, you must continue to push forward with even greater ferocity.

A wise man once said, “life is going to fuck you up, one way or the other. The great ones take it on the chin and keep going.”

The Strong Will Survive and The Relentless Will Thrive 

Hip-Hop is the purest artistic reflection of modern life. Through the years, it kept me grinding through the rain and the pain.

The anthems of 2pac and DMX blared out of my headphones as I stumbled out of bed in the morning and worked late into the night. They were there for motivation during the good times but also in the darkest hours of my life, fueling my drive to dig deeper for a way to move forward.

Like hidden manna, the following poetic bangers will ignite your passion time and again.

1. “Staring Through My Rearview” by 2pac

“Heavenly father I’m a soldier, I’m getting hotter cause the world’s getting colder.”

2pac’s talent for expressing emotion is one of a kind, and his form is as deadly as ever on this posthumously released masterpiece. The sample from Phil Collins’s “In the Air Tonight” lays the groundwork for an epic song, but Pac’s sharp intellect and undeniable raw talent make it truly legendary.

This song has a deep and reflective vibe. It will get you thinking about overcoming obstacles, transcending limitations, and extracting as much from life as possible.

2. “Lord, Give Me A Sign” by DMX

“I will know no pain from the light to the dark, I will show no shame spit it straight from the heart.”

Legends never die.

DMX’s relentless attitude and aggressive flow are unmatched when it comes to tracks that go hard as fuck. The masterfully produced music and powerful message in this song will get you pumped to embrace pain, get over your shame, and face your battles with maximum intensity.

Whether in God, the universe, karma, or simply your own ability to persevere, faith will always be essential for success. We are all fucked up one way or the other. We try to hide our problems. We put our best face forward and bury our insecurities. We dream of a better future even though we feel woefully inadequate.

Your heroes are no different. Once you realize this, everything will change.

3. “Pain” by 2pac

“What can I do but be a thug until I’m dead and gone? I keep my brain on the game and stay headstrong.”

The third verse on this lethal composition might just contain the hardest set of bars in the history of rap.

The hardcore beat combined with 2Pac’s rugged and impeccable delivery always provides a megadose of motivation for pushing through resistance. Life’s tests are grueling, but misfortune will only make you stronger.

5. “Till I Collapse” by Eminem

“Til the roof comes off, til the lights go out. Til my legs give out, can’t shut my mouth. Til the smoke clears out, am I high? Perhaps. I’m a rip this shit, til my bones collapse.”

Eminem’s magnum opus comes equipped with a ferocious beat and wicked hook courtesy of the one and only Nate Dogg.

If you have ever tried to accomplish something that is outside of your comfort zone, you know the constant feeling of fatigue and exhaustion that comes with hurdling one obstacle after another. Then there are failures, setbacks, heartbreaks, and rejections to contend with – it can be tiring and scary as fuck.

But guess what…

When you want to give up, that is exactly when you need to keep going. Every time you want to quit but keep pressing forward, you are making yourself exponentially stronger.

6.“Jewelry Business” – KXNG Crooked

“Had to take ownership of my many mistakes. Had to realize I was born with my enemy’s face. See I’m at war with myself, need my energy straight. That’s why today I send love to those wishing me hate.”

KXNG Crooked is one of the most talented and prolific rappers alive.

Sampled from an iconic Lil Troy beat, this record details the struggles of forging your own path and absorbing the lessons you encounter along the way. People will do and say a lot of fucked up things to you, but you must always channel your energy into positive thoughts and outcomes and take full responsibility for the goals you want to achieve.

Check out The Weeklys Volume 1 for more of Crook’s scorchers. You won’t be disappointed.

5. “Fame” – DMX

“I’m gon live forever, I’m never gon’ die. Only thing I fear is that I’m never gon’ fly. Carry my weight but I’m never gon’ cry, shit I tell y’all n***** straight cause I’m never gon’ lie.

DMX has enough vintage classics to be on the Hip-Hop Mount Rushmore. The message in his music will endure forever, and this one right here is a slapper of the highest order.

Life can be a cold, hard bitch but whining is never going to get you to where you want to be. One step at a time, you must carry your weight and keep going.

Once you hit your stride, nothing will be able to stop you.

6. “No Matter What” – T.I.

“I was born without a dime, out the gutter, I climbed. Spoke my mind and didn’t stutter one time. Ali said even the greatest gotta suffer sometimes.”

T.I.’s work is a reservoir for some of the best motivational rap songs ever written.

Particularly potent when you are feeling down and out, “No Matter What’ is about dealing with hate, judgment, and adversity – obstacles you are sure to face on your path to victory.

Do not wish for an easier life. Instead, train your mind to become stronger every day.

7. “Ether” – Nas

“Talk about me, laugh behind my back. But in my face, ya’ll some well wishin, envy hiding snakes.”

One of the best hip-hop songs ever written, “Ether” always inspires me to keep fighting and never give up.

Nas unleashes a lethal onslaught of vicious rhymes over an ethereal beat as “I WILL NOT LOSE” repeats in the background. When your back is against the wall, remember that there are people who would hold their breathe to watch you fail.

Take it upon yourself to make sure they suffocate.

8. “Lose Yourself” – Eminem

“I was playin’ in the beginning, the mood all changed, I’ve been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage. But I kept rhymin’ and stepped right in the next cypher.”

This masterstroke has a dope beat and lyrics worthy of being considered amongst the best motivational rap songs of all time.

Eminem reaches deep on this one, recalling being booed off stage and struggling to provide for his family. The chase can be grueling, painful, and humiliating. As former Navy SEAL David Goggins has said, “sooner or later, the dream becomes a nightmare”.

To succeed you must endure the harsh realities of growth. You only lose when you give up.

9. “Blood Thicker Than Water” – The Game

“I know that life ain’t easy, I know death is hard. I know tears can sometimes drown a broken heart. I know it’s hard to make it up when you was down from the start.”

The Game’s advice is right on point.

We are all being tested in life – anxiety, depression, loneliness, illness, persecution, poverty, abuse – but obstacles can be turned into advantages.

Whatever challenges you face, whatever obstacles are in your way, take them on one at a time. Live one day at a time. Stay with your breathe.

Learn how to do your best work even when the odds are stacked against you. 

How To Use The Best Motivational Rap Songs To Persevere (And Win In Life)

The artists on this list have put out enough bangers to form a canon of top-notch motivational rap anthems.

You can use them to your advantage in many ways – to wake up early, push past your limits in the gym, work up the courage to do scary shit, and tell your adversaries to fuck off.

Just remember one thing.

Uncontrolled Aggression Makes You a Slave. Belief Will Make You Unstoppable.

“What you conceive is closer to achieve.” – Tupac Shakur

Aggression and energy are worthless if you don’t believe you can get there.

Self-belief is a superpower that will give you another gear when everyone around you is giving up.

Do everything in your power to acquire authentic confidence. Listen to the best motivational rap songs, read excellent books, and use empowering autosuggestion technology everyday

Revelations From A Cruel Rat Study (You Are More Powerful Than You Know)

There is incredible power in belief.

In the 1950s, Dr. Curt Richter from Harvard University decided to experiment on rats to see how long they could swim before drowning. The test included 12 domesticated rats and 34 wild rats. The wild rats all gave up and died within a couple of minutes. The first few domesticated rats, although less frantic, survived for only a few minutes as well. But for the second part of the experiment, domesticated rats were rescued just as they were about to give up due to exhaustion. Then they were allowed to rest briefly before taking another plunge. The results of the second round were astonishing as the rats were able to swim for upwards of 60 hours. In his notes, Dr. Richter wrote, “after elimination of hopelessness, the rats do not die.”

Like the legends that came before you, find activities that put you in a state of flow every day. Push your mind and body to the brink of exhaustion repeatedly.

In a warrior’s way of life, the obstacle becomes the way.


If you want a list of powerful mind and body hacks that will supercharge your personal growth, head over to my recommended resources page.

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