Hip-Hop’s 20 Best Hometown Anthems

deja vu

There ain’t no place like home, and if there’s one thing rappers have in common, that’s their love for their home cities.

Let’s look at 20 of the most memorable tracks that rep for their respective cities. Sometimes they’re fun, sometimes they’re brutally honest — and sometimes, they’re even written by an out-of-towner. In any case, they’ll make you nostalgic for home.

North Carolina

Petey Pablo, “Raise Up”

State of affairs: You remember them days y’all, we used to play y’all
The radio and put our own lil’ part in the song y’all
We used to (Rep our city!)
Running through the school halls
Just before our basketball pep-rally jumped off

Washington DC

Wale, “DC or Nothing”

State of affairs: I know Howard that college, but uptown has some problems
I done seen embalming fluid ruin a n**** promise
Little women be mommas, little n****s ain’t fathers
Ain’t nobody here leading, it’s way too easy to follow

Virginia

Clipse, “Virginia”

State of affairs: Virginia’s for lovers, but trust there’s hate here
For out-of-towners, who think that they gonna move weight here
Ironic, the same same place I’m makin’ figures at
That there’s the same land they used to hang n****s at, in Virginia

Atlanta

Jermaine Dupri featuring Ludacris, “Welcome to Atlanta”

State of affairs: Welcome to Atlanta, jackin’ hammers and vogues
Back to the mackin’ and jackin the clothes, adolescent packin a fo’
A knock on the do’, who is it? I would happen to know
The one with the flow – Who did it?, it was me I suppose

Savannah

Outkast, “West Savannah”

State of affairs: You might slang a rock or two just to pay the rent
Five dollars for a table dance so now your money’s spent
You listen to that booty shake music in your trunk
As long as there’s that “tic tic” followed by that bump

Georgia

Field Mob featuring Ludacris and Jamie Foxx, “Georgia”

State of affairs: Where Gladys Knight took the “Midnight Train,” The birthplace of Martin Luther King
With a** so plump, lips so thick, With ‘Lac trucks sittin’ on 26s
Know where you goin’ or you’ll get lost, Found in these plumb trees in the South
Choppers’ll tomahawk your top, down here in (Georgia)

Detroit

Royce da 5’9 featuring Eminem, “Rock City”

State of affairs: Drop the mics, everything’s on cock
From the shots to the dice, we are not into hype
You can’t say we can’t work
Either we some plant workers or we some n****s that plant work

Pittsburg

Wiz Khalifa, “Black & Yellow”

State of affairs: Yeah uh huh, screamin that’s nothin’
When I pulled off the lot, that’s stuntin’
Reppin in my town, when you see me you know everything
Black and yellow, black and yellow

Philadelphia

Jakk Frost, “Philly  Love”

State of affairs: I’m from a place where all we wear is white tees
baggy jeans and dickies and gold swede trees

Miami

Will Smith, “Miami”

State of affairs: Can y’all feel me, all ages and races
Real sweet faces
Every different nation, Spanish, Hatian, Indian, Jamaican
Black, White, Cuban, and Asian

Compton

DJ Quik, Born and Raised in Compton

State of affairs: Cause way back in the day somebody musta wanted me to quit
Because they broke in my house and cold stole my s***
They musta thought that I was gonna play the punk role
Just because my equipment got stole
But I ain’t goin out like no sucker-a**clown
They found they couldn’t keep a dope n**** down

California

2pac featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman, “California Love”

State of affairs: Only in Cali where we riot not rally to live and die
In L.A. we wearing Chucks not Ballys (yeah, that’s right)
Dressed in Locs and Khaki suits, and ride is what we do
Flossing, but have caution – we collide with other crews

Houston

Lil Keke, “Southside”

State of affairs: Mobbin’ heavy in a Chevy
Breaking concrete, Polo on my body and Nikes on my feet
Hold ya horses these is choices in the presence of a playa
Buckle up the belt through the Southern Himalayas

New Orleans

Juvenile featuring Skip and Wacko, “Nolia Clap Remix”

State of affairs: We from the dirty dirty, ya heard me; Ya shoot and get shot
From where the unemployment line be ’bout as long as ya block
I travel all over the states, been in some serious spots
Crazy not knowing if them people gon’ kill me or not

Chicago

Kanye West featuring John Legend, “Home”

State of affairs: In the interviews I’m representin you, makin you proud
Shoot for the stars so if you fall you land on the clouds
Jump in the crowds
Spark ya lighters and wave ’em around
If you don’t know by now I’m talkin about Chi-town

Bronx

Lord Tariq featuring Peter Gunz, “Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)”

State of affairs: New York to the heart, but got love for all
Lie and die in the fire, where I learned to ball
Uptown is the place where I lay my dome
On the streets of the Bronx where my family roam

Queensbridge

MC Shan “The Bridge”

State of affairs: They used to jam in the center
You had to pay so you could enter
Go to the door get frisked, just in order to get in
And if you wasn’t from this town then you couldn’t fight and win

Brooklyn

Mos Def, “Brooklyn”

State of affairs: I’m from the slums that created the bass that thump back
This ain’t a game clown, play ya James Brown and jump back
What you want, Jack? Young cats stash they jums at
Draw they guns back, momma screams where she sons at?

Harlem

Cam’ron, “Harlem Streets”

State of affairs: And I get it cheaper, I cop bricks like sneakers
And if the cops come, I just hit amnesia
But I give you an earful, it’s tearful
Told my mother I hustle and she said “Be careful”

New York

Jay Z featuring Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind”

State of affairs: Welcome to the melting pot, corners where we selling rocks
Afrika Bambaataa s***, home of the hip-hop
Yellow cab, gypsy cab, dollar cab, holla back
For foreigners it ain’t fair, they act like they forgot how to add

Did I neglect to highlight your hometown? Share your favorites in the comments below.

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1 Comments

  1. Every Ghetto, Every City…Lauryn Hill…Newark, NJ

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