Substream Magazine: Tommy Lee of Motley Crue Discusses His Ten Favorite Rap Rock Songs

  • June 16, 2020
By Scott Waldman


I had the chance to talk to Tommy Lee of Motley Crue about his two loves: rap and rock. The genre of rap rock, hip-hop influenced by rock, or whatever you want to call it has created a global impact since the two musical forces converged in song years ago. Tommy enthusiastically listed his ten favorite tracks in this world, and you can hear how they influenced his upcoming solo record ANDRO, available on October 16:

1. Beastie Boys – “So What’Cha Want”

TL: Dude.

SW: Dude.

TL: This song is a classic. When I first heard the Hammond B-3 and the super high vocals, I was hooked. I’m still hooked nearly thirty years later.

SW: Same. The song has a big beat, John Bonham feel as well.

TL: Love it! I’m freaked out to this day. RAW. Just raw. And that video!

SW: You can’t front on that.

2. Cypress Hill – “(Rock) Superstar”

TL: Speaking of powerful high-pitched vocals…

SW: Cypress Hill defines distinguishable. If you hear a song by ‘em anywhere, you know who it is the second the vocals come in.

TL: And you know what they stand for too! I’m not a huge weed guy, but I dig their vibe.

SW: I love that the Offspring took Cypress Hill on tour when this song came out.

TL: I know, right? We took (Hed)PE out once. Why should we only tour with bands that sound like us?

SW: Hey Bartender, hit me with a double.

3. Death Grips – “Guillotine”

TL: I saw Death Grips at a really small venue in Silverlake. We were in good company. It was the most destructive thing I’ve ever seen.

SW: The hipsters weren’t ready.

TL: It was a super heavy industrial vibing two-piece.

SW: With DMX-esque rough vocals!

TL: Super distorted. Super aggro. Love it.

SW: It goes, it goes, it goes, it goes.

4. House Of Pain – “Jump Around”

TL: When we decided to write this piece, this song HAD to go on this list.

SW: Agreed. It’s a semi-popular jam.

TL: No matter what room you’re in when you hear “Jump Around,” every time the song comes on and you hear the horns, everyone around you goes, “OH MY GOD!”

SW: Classic by definition. It’s an anthem that feels at home in just about any setting.

TL: And we’ll get to Limp Bizkit later.

SW: I came to win.

5. Jay-Z – “99 Problems”

TL: Jay-Z won with this HEAVY track.

SW: Courtesy of Rick Rubin. RR killed it with Jay and Beastie Boys.

TL: Jay is the best lyricist on the planet. I wish that I wrote this song.

SW: It has something for everyone. Rock kids loved it. Rap kids freaked out.

TL: You’re crazy for this one, Rick. It’s your boy.


6. Korn – “Shoots and Ladders”

TL: The 808 drops and Fieldy’s slapping bass hits you with this one.

SW: A lot of Korn songs have funky left-of-center instrumentation that would do well on a hip-hop track.

TL: The super heavy detuned guitars complement the freak-out deranged nursery rhyme bridge.



SW: Nuts. Speaking of craziness…


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