Hip hop music is all about the mighty single, and free hip hop music downloads are a great way to keep your collection current without breaking the bank. Since so much hip hop music crosses over to mainstream pop charts, it is one of the most widely available genres online.
Free Hip Hop Music Downloads
If you are old school, new school or just love everything about hip hop, the following websites will provide enough free beats to keep your subwoofer busy for a long time:
- FMA (Free Music Archive): With over 4,000 free hip hop mp3s, this site could provide enough free content for years. No sign-up is required, and the FMA staff closely curates the music that is offered to ensure high quality production and content.
- DatPiff: DatPiff is a hip hop institution. The site has a large and diverse selection of the latest mixtapes from all your favorite hip hop artists. You can also find free tracks as well as links to obscure but entertaining hip hop videos from indie artists.
- DJBooth: One of the few legal sources of free hip hop, DJBooth not only offers dozens of free tracks from indie artists, but it refreshes its lists with new releases on a frequent basis and provides editorial reviews, ratings, and bios to ensure you are well-informed as you search for new music. It also features mixtapes from established DJs.
- Last.FM: This site offers close to 250 free mp3s of independent hip hop artists. Their download lists often feature full albums, which gives you the chance to thoroughly immerse yourself in each artist. This comprehensive access to an artist's work makes Last.FM unique.
- ReverbNation: This list of hip hop artists with free mp3s totals 500 including Jaden Smith, the son of superstar Will Smith. And, if you sign up for a free profile, you can enjoy more interaction with ReverbNation's mostly independent hip hop artists and even show support for talented but obscure artists by making a donation.
- ArtistDirect: Though only offering a handful of free hip hop downloads, this site's trade-off is that those downloads are typically from some of the biggest names in hip hop such as Eminem, Lil Wayne, and Usher.
- Hot New Hip Hop: Besides dozens of free downloads of tracks and mixtapes from indie hip hop artists who have uploaded their content, Hot New Hip Hop also features articles and videos featuring the biggest acts in hip hop such as Jay Z. Like MadeLoud, it also has a clearly labeled system that gauges the quality of each song based on the number of "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" it has received.
With so many options to choose from, it helps to have a clear idea what content you are looking for and what kind of website experience you prefer; and then, based on the unique character of each site above, you can dive into one or two sites and enjoy browsing for free music.
The Intense Competition of Hip Hop
As evidenced by the unbelievably vast amount of free content, someone embarking on a hip hop career essentially becomes a needle in a haystack. Many of these sites offer ways to show support for each artist, such as writing comments or clicking something akin to "liking" a track. If you find a high quality but obscure artist, be sure to show your support and let them know that their hard work has value.