Rock This Way: Rap-Rock Songs That Don’t Suck

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"Rap-rock."

The very combination of words forces some listeners to recoil in horror, with visions of tasteless backwards baseball caps and echoing sounds of detuned basses haunting the halls of their minds. As with most things that eventually spoil, rap-rock began with good intentions: Combine two of popular music's most vital, youthful, and consistently inventive genres to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts. While this concept spawned the hit (Run-D.M.C. and Aerosmtih's "Walk This Way") that truly spurred rap into the mainstream spotlight, it is also responsible for some of the more heinous collaborations and acts of the last three decades, misguided forays into genre-blending that disregard a simple fact: Sometimes great tastes don't taste great together.

Of course, there are always examples that defy expectation, particularly in the case of rap-rock where an abundance of songs remind us that it doesn't have to be about detuned guitars and screaming (even though in doses those elements can be great). This list is by no mean comprehensive, but it does feature some of rap-rock's cream of the crop–a collection of songs that make the most of their cross-genre ancestry. Enjoy.

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