Stress and anxiety are obstacles people from any walk of life can relate to. As hip-hop evolves and conversations about mental health in the Black community become more destigmatized, rap and meditation have gone hand in hand.
The power of music can do wonders for a person’s mood and state of mind, and hip-hop is no different. It's no wonder some of your favorite MCs have incorporated meditation into their lives — and their music.
Although rap is often associated with high-energy beats and intensity, many songs can help us relax and calm our internal stress. Before we get into our playlist, let's dive into how to meditate.
Here's a lesson in Meditation: 101.
Find a quiet space: It is important the place you choose has limited distractions and is comfortable.
Focus on posture: Get seated or lie down in a comfortable position. Keep your back straight but flexible.
Relax: Softly close your eyes and take a few breaths while listening to your meditative song. Make sure to let go of the tension in your body. Unclench that jaw!
Focus on breathing to a rhythm: Invision smelling a field of flowers and then blowing out a candle. Make sure to take deep breaths.
Try to stay as present as possible: It’s normal for your thoughts to wander. Without judgment, just reel your thoughts back in and focus on the flow of your breath. It’s fine to sway and bop to the beat.
Use the songs below to meditate whenever you need a reset.
"Kush and Corinthians" — Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar rides this neo-soul beat with serious questions about violence in society. This song is great after a particularly challenging day where you can be honest with yourself about what’s bothering you. Find peace as Kendrick affirms:
“I'm humble, I'm loud, I'm righteous, I'm a killer / What I'm doing? / I'm saying that I'm human.”
"Mellow My Man" — The Roots
The iconic upbeat jam "My Mellow My Man" is a celebration of friendship. The unconventional affirmation song will help uplift your mood while energizing your spirits with invigorating lyrics like:
“Yo, I got spunk, plus funk / and jump like punks / Yo get beat down, turn that heat down / I'm crazy cool.”
"Vibrate Higher" — Londrelle
Londrelle makes this song easy on the ears and mind with his meditative voice, which offers some insight into his strides and struggles. This song is great for a person who wants to raise their vibration. Londrelle raps:
"Yoga meditation, just sticking to the basics / Living in the matrix is cynical and crazy / But I’ve been swimming in amazement."
"Perfect 10" — Nipsey Hussle
Nipsey Hussle raps like poetry on this low-fi beat that helps you relax your mind after a stressful day. With his self-reflective lyrics, "Perfect 10" is great for a person who wants to refuel in the middle of a draining day. He explains:
"I just didn't quit. That's the only distinguishing quality from me and probably whoever else goin' through this”.
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