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Rap songs aren't generally musical or tonally advanced. Majority of them only have booming bass and aren't good to demo or test speakers. However, there are some, and a very few of them do sound really great and good enough to test a speaker or headphone system with.
It's understood that everyone has their list of what and why they play what they do when the demo and audition speakers. This is just a personal list as a suggestion. Feel free to use this when you audition your speakers or headphones.
And, if you want to test the quality of your speakers and headphones with music other than rap, take a look at this list of best songs to test speakers.
"Juicy" - Notorious BIG
While not heavy on bass, this track is great to demonstrate the clarity of the speaker. The chorus sang by the female should be crisp as well as the shimmering synthesizer in the background.
"Six Foot, Seven Foot" - Lil Wayne
This track has a constant booming bass-line. You'll want to check for its prominence here. Lil Wayne's voice while rapping should sound crisp, also.
The Best Rap and R&B Song List to test speakers
- "I'm on one" - DJ Khaled, Drake, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross: This track should have a nice and prominent bass line in the chorus of the song. All rappers voices should sound crisp.
- "Aston Martin Music" - Rick Ross: A rare musical rap track. Sounds great with the right system. Not overpowering bass, but you'll hear it there. The chorus sung by the female should be clear and crisp. Rick Ross' vocals should also sound crisp. Drake should also sound crisp.
- "Youth" - Dean's List: This track has some great mid-bass. Also some tweaked out vocals that should be crisp and clear.
- "Crickets" - Drop City Yacht Club: Very musical track. Nice mid-bass throughout. Listen for clear vocals and also listen for the crisp cricket sound. If you can hear it and it's crisp, you know your speakers are good!
- "Baby Got Back" - Sir Mix A Lot: Yes, THAT song! Bass should be prominent and boom. Sir Mix A Lot's voice should be crisp. Here you're only looking for the bass line and vocal clarity.
- "Posse on Broadway" - Sir Mix A Lot: Bass should be very prominent and constant on this track. You're only looking to test bass on this track. Not all systems can produce the bass with clarity and impact. Look for a system that can handle.
- "F**kin' Problems" - A$AP Rocky: Vocals should sound crisp. The bass line shouldn't sound overpowering, but it should be there. The background music should also be clear. This is a great go to track for me, among a bunch of others.
- "Beep" - Bobby Valentino ft. Yung Joc: This track should produce some great lows for bass as well as Bobby Valentino's vocals being crisp and clear. This track also has a constant "ticking" sound and a "tapping" of a cymbal. You want to hear this. Shouldn't be overpowering, but you want to hear it there to hear the clarity of the speakers.
- "Boomshake!" - Far East Movement: All you're looking for on this track is to hear if the drum line and constant bass is clear and crisp. The bass should sound boomy, and this is the way it was meant to be heard. If the speakers cannot produce the bass, you'll know and hear if it's straining.
- "I Like The Way (the Kissing Game)" - Hi Five: An older track, but really good to test a system. Vocals should sound crisp and the background music should sound equally as crisp and musical.
- "I Party" - Far East Movement: The system should be able to handle the sub bass on this track well. A speaker system not that great wont' be able to reproduce the lows. The vocals in the rap should be clear and crisp. The background vocals by the female should sound very airy and echo. If you close your eyes, this track should sound like you're in an open area.
- "I Want to Know What Love Is" - Mariah Carey: In this remake, you'll want to wait until about 1:02 into the song and see if the system can produce the lows with clarity and power. Also to note is that Carey's vocals should very crisp.
- "International Love" - Pitbull ft. Chris Brown: This track should sound overall excellent in clarity and musically. It's important to note Brown's airy vocal and to see if there's clarity.
- "Make It Nasty" - Tyga: Low bass is what this track is all about. Tyga's vocals should sound extremely clear and have clarity. You'll know if the speakers can handle the lows as well as the treble with the vocals.
- "My Life You're Entertainment"- T.I. ft. Usher: In this musical track, you'll want to hear the background music with clarity. Most speakers will not be able to handle this. The bass line is also prominent throughout, which you'll want to note.
- "My, my, my" - Johnny Gill: This track is old, but I still love to play it to test a system. The horn in the beginning should sound excellent. Gill's vocals should sound very clear. The background music should sound equally as good. Don't look for heavy bass on this track, just look for musicality and how smooth the speakers response is.
- "Pass That Dutch" - Missy Elliott: The constant bass drum in the background is what you'll want to hear with clarity. Musically, this track isn't much, but the bass and the vocals should be crisp.
- "Rockin' that Thing" - The Dream: This is a musical track. The Dream should sound very clear and crisp through the system. Bass should not be overpowering, but should be clear and there to hear. Avoid a system that will just blend it. You will want to hear the bass line, but it should not be overpowering. Hearing nothing is bad. It means the speakers are not up to par.
- "Slow Love" - Doc Box & B. Fresh: If you can find this track, you'll be rewarded with this old school 80's beat. The bass track on this should boom and should have clarity. the background chorus vocals and "ticking" sound should be clear. Vocals should be very clear.
- "So Dedicated" - Lil Wayne ft. Birdman: This track is my go to track to test the clarity of vocals. Wayne's vocals should be very clear. The background music should be very clear.
- "Successful" - Drake: The bass line on this track should sound deep and hit hard. Vocals should be equally crisp.
- "Take it to the head" - DJ Khaled ft. Chris Brown: Bass line should be prominent in this track. The vocals and the background music should be crisp. On occasions the bass will drop low and slam hard. This is what you will want to hear. If you can't hear it, the speakers aren't able to reproduce the lows. This track is my go to track as well.
- "Wet the Bed" - Chris Brown ft. Ludacris: Everything in this track is great. The beginning clock ticking should be clear and go from left to right in stereo. The beginning bass intro at 0:20 should produce some impact. Both Brown and Ludacris' vocals should be clear.
- "Dance (A$$)" - Big Sean: This track tests mainly the bass quality of the headphones. When playing the song, you'll hear a low bass hit. It should be prominent with good headphones. If it sounds muddled or muddy, the phones or speakers aren't able to handle.
- "Mask Off" - Future: This track has some awesome lows between Future's flow. You'll want to hear the lows between the flute, which also should come in at a slightly muted treble, but still be there.
N.E.R.D. - "Lemon"
From the very beginning you hear the slamming beat with the different frequency tones/levels. This track hits low and hard! Beginning at :39, you'll hear a nice low bass hit. Rihanna's voice should be clear, but not too overpowering. There are nice lows that are spread out through this track, so you should be hearing that. The different bass tones is the main feature of this song, so you should be hearing that tone separation. If you don't, it's not the correct headphone / speaker.
Some suggested headphones...
So you have a list of tracks to demo/audition. But you don't have headphones? Look no further than these two suggestions. If you favor general overall sound, the Audio Technica will keep you happily listening. If you crave bass and want to feel the bass, then the V-Moda earphones will be the best for you! But again, earphones are subjective. Your ears are the most important ones to judge. The demo material should consist of music you are familiar with. Play the songs listed for an enjoyable experience.
Audio Technica ATH-M50X
If you favor general overall sound quality, without overpowering of one or the other (bass and treble), then the Audio Technica ATH-M50X's are the suggested headphone for you. It's overall sound quality performs very well with a wide variety of music as well as movies. It's not entry level, nor is it high end. This headphone is proven with tons of sales and has been in production for a very long time. You know that Audio Technica is well aware of the fit and finish of the product.
V-MODA Crossfade M-100
If you're looking for awesome bass, look no further. The V-Moda Crossfade provides massive bass. You'll be delighted using these over the ear headphones and playing this suggested playlist of songs. The Crossfade's bass is brutal. It'll crave to you if you're a bass-head or enjoy that extra oomph and boom in your music. You'll want to re-demo all of your listening material again, just to see how much bass is hidden beneath. These V-Moda's do an awesome job of bringing out the bass.
© 2013 jaydawg808
b golden on April 19, 2019:
This article is bunk. The way these are described are by those tuning to the track and not the system. If you don't know what laying the noodle is or having a balanced ear is, for get these, focus on time tested pieces. Even if they aren't what you want to hear. Even then, learn a piece inside and out and use that. NEVER tune to a specific song that IT sounds good.
Jason J Bojdak on July 07, 2018:
How is there no Dr. Dre production on this list?
lil on August 05, 2016:
A milli by Lil wayne has an amazing bass drop
Firoz from India on June 17, 2013:
Interesting Article. Voted up.