The Best (and Worst) Kurt Cobain References in Rap


It's been almost 20 years since Kurt Cobain's death, but he's still the epitome of the modern day rockstar, and even those outside of rock recognize this. On Jay-Z's new album Magna Carta Holy Grail, he name drops and borrows heavily from Kurt in the song "Holy Grail," and he's not alone as a rapper  with an appreciation for Kurt. Throughout the years there has been a continuing trend of dropping Cobain's name, whether it be to claim rockstar status, allude to suicide and drugs, or speak on the difficulties of fame.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but it's clear that something about Kurt's rebellious spirit connected with rappers. Here's a look at some of the best (and worst) Kurt Cobain references in hip-hop.

Click to start the list

  • TheChicksters

    this is disturbing how i was just thinking about Kurt Cobain reference in rap just yesterday…WTF

  • jhkjk

    jay elec ftw

  • saife


  • Nic

    Suffa Mc from the Hilltop Hoods song The Hard Road
    “Finish with a bang like Kurt Cobain’s biography”

  • erbin

    they left off the first lyric that came to mind for me- ‘I don’t give a fuck

    About the set you claim / Xzibit easily dispersed like crack cocaine /

    See I lent my shotgun to Kurt Cobain / And the motherfucker never brought it back / Ahh, that’s wack’ – Xzibit ‘Enemies & Friends’

  • Conal

    no J.Cole? No pain, no gain, I blow brains, Cobain

  • EMSP

    Dope list, left off the best (or worst, in a sense) one though. “We gonna get it crackin’, like The Kraken in Titans when they’re clashin’, get your brains bashed in so bad you gon’ have Kurt Cobain askin’ to autograph a bloodstained napkin.” -Eminem “Untitled.”

  • Jbagels

    No big pun? “blow my own mind like Nirvana”?

  • Confusion

    That one doesn’t even make sense. Kurt Cobain and Nirvana are not synonymous. Sorry Big Pun.

  • PigsAndPlans

    That was actually the first Em one we had, but switched it out. The one we have is so basic on first glance, but I think it communicates a lot. Like, “favorite color” is such a small-talky little tidbit of info, and the fact that Em takes that and dives into talk of bloodshed and suicide is pretty effective.

  • Sallyglasses1

    “Just one bitch don’t feel the same no more

    And Henny don’t really kill the pain no more

    Now I’m Cobain with a shotgun aimed at my brain cause I can’t maintain no more.

    Tad bit extreme I know. Money can’t save your soul.” – J.Cole “Rich Niggaz”

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    Wale had a creative Kurt Cobain line in “Contemplate.”

  • Perverted Alchemist

    Outside of Talib Kweli and Big KRIT’s lines, the rest of them are borderline on being in bad taste…

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  • Selkey

    Lmao at this. These clowns can only dream of being the star and artist Kurt was. Kurt = Legend. Even the eminems and jay-z’s can’t stack up. They will be forgotten, Kurt will never be. He’s like John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison. Legends that are a part of musical history.

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