The Top 5 Hip Hop Songs About the Music Industry

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The music industry is a tough place, and rappers often have a lot to say about it. Here are the top 5 hip hop songs about the music industry.

“Control” by Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” might be the most talked-about rap song in recent memory. The track, which features Kendrick name-checking a multitude of his peers in the hip hop industry, caused quite a stir when it was released in 2013. The rapper took aim at some of the biggest names in the game, including Drake, J. Cole, andBig Sean.

While some people interpreted Kendrick’s verses as a diss track, others saw it as a way to start a discussion about the state of hip hop. Regardless of how you feel about the song, there’s no denying that it got people talking.

“No Hook” by J. Cole

“No Hook” is a song by American hip hop recording artist J. Cole, released on July 2, 2013 as the second single from his second studio album Born Sinner (2013). The song features Cole rapping about the music industry over a soulful beat. The track was produced by Cole himself and contains a sample of “Who Knows” by Nina Simone.

“No Hook” received positive reviews from music critics, who praised its production and Cole’s lyrical ability. The song peaked at number 59 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 18 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. An accompanying music video for “No Hook” was directed by Scott Lazer.

“New Slaves” by Kanye West

“New Slaves” is a song by American hip hop recording artist Kanye West, from his sixth studio album Yeezus (2013). The song produced by West, with additional production by Ben Bronfman, Mike Dean, Travis Scott, Noah Goldstein, Sham Joseph and Che Pope. The song features vocals from American recording artist Frank Ocean, who sings the chorus. “New Slaves” premiered on May 17, 2013 on 106 & Park and was released onto the Internet the following day onto West’s website. The urban contemporary radio airplay chart is where “New Slaves” peaked at number eighty-six in its fourth week. Pitchfork Media marked it as the best song of 2013 and Rolling Stone ranked it at number two on their year-end list of 2013.

The second single from Yeezus was supposed to be “Black Skinhead”, but due to sample clearance issues, “New Slaves” was released as a single instead. West has stated that he was motivated to create “New Slaves” due to seeing how African Americans are still treated as slaves even though slavery was abolished over 150 years ago. He goes on to rap about how he feels like a slave himself because of how executives in the music industry take advantage of artists financially.

“Death of Auto-Tune” by Jay-Z

In “Death of Auto-Tune,” Jay-Z bemoans the overuse of the popular pitch correction software, Auto-Tune. He claims that the reliance on Auto-Tune is causing a decline in the quality of music. This track was produced by Kanye West, who also uses Auto-Tune in his own music.

“They Don’t Love You No More” by DJ Khaled

“They don’t love you no more” is a song by DJ Khaled, released as the lead single from his seventh studio album I Changed a Lot. The song features guest verses from American rappers Jay Z, Meek Mill, Rick Ross and French Montana. The song was produced by Mike WiLL Made-It, Dre Skull and Pluss.

“They don’t love you no more” is a diss track aimed at various members of the music industry that Khaled claims have been disrespectful to him. The song peaked at number 43 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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