23 Rap Songs About Outer Space

With the lifestyles rappers purport to live, it only makes sense that they would be interested in space.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Marques Houston...we have a problem.

Mankind has been fascinated and obsessed with space since our ancestors developed eyes and could gaze up to the heavens. We've wanted to explore it, understand it, tame it.

Rappers are no different. Some pretend to be aliens. Some believe they are aliens. Some just appreciate the wondrous near-vacuum that is the final frontier.

With the lifestyles rappers purport to live, it only makes sense that they would be interested in space. Being able to get away from "it all." No groupies. No paparazzi. No oxygen. No new friends. It's an unobtainable destination and the most exclusive vacation. Conversely, space is a pretty cool place, so they could just love nebulae, cosmic dust and stars. Quite frankly, it befuddles us that no rapper has attempted to purchase their own planetarium yet.

We've compiled a list of rap songs that feature outer space as a prominent motif, from whole funky planets to tiny stars. Here are 23 Rap Songs About Outer Space.

Written by Justin Roberson (@BauceSauce)

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Danny Renee and the Charisma Crew "Space Rap" (1980)

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Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force "Planet Rock" (1982)

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Album: Planet Rock: The Album
Label: Tommy Boy, Warner Bros. Records
Producer: Arthur Baker, John Robie

The cover art for Planet Rock: The Album is Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force looking down on earth like a funky, space-age version of the Village People if you swapped the police officer for Galactus. They are hurling vinyl like Frisbees, which not-coincidentally resemble the typical saucer/disc shapes we associate with UFOs. They are our Funk Overlords, and they are going to invade. However, unlike the martians in Aesop Rock's "Mars Attacks," they mean us no harm. We've already been enslaved by their cosmic electro funk assault without even noticing it.

The supernatural synths and cosmic boops of "Planet Rock" are unmistakable and miasmic. "Planet Rock" isn't about space, per se. But it certainly is its own planet—and not some nonsense dwarf planet, a full-fledged stellar remnant.

Oh yeah, and "Planet Rock" pretty much shaped the foundation of hip hop. That's why we've selected it for the list.

Newcleus "Space Is the Place" (1985)

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Album: Space is the Place
Label: Sunnyview
Producer: Frank Fair and Joe Webb

If you really think about it, space is the place. It's quiet, free of gravity, and there are no nine-to-five office jobs. That alone sounds like heaven on just-above-earth. Newcleus, mainly known for their dance rap classic "Jam On It," knew what was up. Combining traditional hip-hop elements with electro, they created some of the best interstellar jams this side of the troposhere. "Space is the Place" incorporates alien vocals, spaceship sounds, and warbly synths to transport you 410km above the earth. Toss this on the International Space Station stereo and it will transform into a discotheque. Good luck not tapping your feet or throwing a body shimmy or two while listening.

Jimmy Spicer "Adventures of Super Rhymes" (1988)

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Digable Planets "It's Good to Be Here" (1993)

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Album: Reachin' (A New Refutation Of Time And Space)
Label: Pendulum, Elektra Records
Producer: Butterfly, Shane Faber, Mike Mangini

"It's Good to Be Here" outlines the trio's excursion from their home planet in Sector 6 to New York as they attempt to bring funky music and entertainment to the people. Butterfly's first verse sets up the importance of having the appropriate items for a roadtrip (music, Snapple, and drugs). (Little known fact: Future owns the only intergalactic gas station. Located on Pluto, it is full-service.)

The Digable crew was smart to stop and fill up before their trip, because gas is much more expensive in New York than it is on Pluto. Jazz-influenced instrumentals and laid back flows are typical of the Digable Planets style. Ladybug's "We love it where we from, but we kick it where we at" line is one of the best lines in all of rap. With names like Ladybug, Butterfly, and Doodlebug, it's quite plausible that Digable Planets are actually alien Animorphs.

Redman "Sooperman Luva II" (1994)

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Dr. Octagon "Earth People" (1995)

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Album: Dr. Octagonecologyst
Label: DreamWorks, Geffen, MCA Records
Producer: Dan the Automator

Kool Keith's time-traveling extraterrestrial gynecologist/surgeon Dr. Octagon persona says a lot of strange stuff. It's strange because we are earth people and can't possibly understand his advanced technology and peculiar alien ways. He talks about bionic robots, shape shifting, fire missiles, space doo doo pistols, even something called a fax machine. What the fuck is that? Most of this won't make sense to us earthlings but it does give us a glimpse of a dystopian future where politicians tirelessly debate the importance of space doo doo pistol control.

Eightball & MJG f/ Nina Creque "Space Age Pimpin'" (1995)

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Album: On Top of the World
Label: Suave House Records, Relativity Records
Producer: Eightball, MJG

Regular old-fashion earth pimpin' possesses an inherent smoothness. Space age pimpin' goes above and beyond, rivaling a freshly Zambonied ice field on Pluto. The Memphis duo spit some Southern-drawl soaked slick shit to their romantic interest du jour over laid back guitars and horns. It takes a special kind of otherworldly pimp to switch from gentle bars like "Heat from your feet keep me warm" to more lascivious lines like "Your mouth was fantastic/The fuck test? You passed it" and make it somehow still sound sweet. Listening with eyes closed makes you feel like you're floating through space fingerbanging all the fine lady aliens.

OutKast "E.T." (1996)

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Album: ATLiens
Label: LaFace
Producer: Earthtone Ideas

As majestic and busy as space is, with its dozens of stars, comets, planets, etc., it's also stark and expansive. OutKast opts for a minimalist approach on "E.T.," with a simple gasping instrumental looped with a dash of laser/spaceship beeps to hammer the point home that they are, in fact, out of this world. "E.T." is the farthest thing from busy, allowing the MCs to take their time and talk to the listener about their extraterrestrial dealings. The echo and reverb of the chorus mimic (and reinforce) the singularity of being in space, the loneliness of yelling into the abyss and hearing nothing back.

Beastie Boys "Intergalactic" (1998)

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Album: Hello Nasty
Label: Capitol
Producer: Mario Caldato, Jr.

Few songs are so instantly recognizable or universally loved as "Intergalactic." When that talk-box voice utters "intergalactic planetary," people everywhere look around for a pair of yellow rubber gloves and/or start doing The Robot. Like most of the Beastie Boys catalog, it's a fun record. And though the Beasties "got an A from Moe Dee for sticking to themes"—a reference to Kool Moe Dee's rapper report card ranking system—there isn't much space talk here, other than a mention of Spock. One could argue that the Beasties' reputation for letting the beat um, drop make them a sort of less-insufferable prototypical Skrillex.

Gang Starr "Above The Clouds" (1998)

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Album: Moment of Truth
Label: Noo Trybe, Virgin, EMI Records
Producer: DJ Premier, Guru

Guru and Inspectah Deck float over gorgeous Premier production as they school us on the ten percenters, heaven, God, creationism, spirituality, and more while glorifying the realness that exists in the thermosphere. The whole song is a metaphor for existing above the bullshit and being true to yourself. The MCs also explore how humanity couldn't exist without some Great Creator. Lots of divine space talk happening on this quintessential classic.

Black Star "Astronomy (8th Light)" (1998)

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Album: Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star
Label: Rawkus, Priority, EMI, MCA, Universal
Producer: Da Beatminerz

The Rawkus MCs teamed up to release Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star, one of the most important albums in the hip-hop canon, in 1998. Talib and Mos (No Yasiin) were able to bring underground rap of the era to greater attention. As the first real song on Black Star, "Astronomy (8th Light)" sets the tone for what's to come by examining the idea of "blackness." Unfortunately, Kweli's simple description of stars as "bright, shining, hot balls of air" isn't technically correct since stars are mostly made up of hydrogen and helium. Oh, well. To be fair, we didn't really pay much attention in middle school science either.

Del the Funkee Homosapien "Love Story" (2000)

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Album: Deltron 3030
Label: 75 Ark
Producer: Dan the Automator

Del the Funkee Homosapien gives us a glimpse into the future (the year 3030 to be exact) and the mundanity associated with it. As much as things change, things stay the same. Soul-sucking office space station jobs exist, assholes still exist (though of the galactic kind), and crime still exists. Despite all this awfulness, Del is able to persevere and find love amidst his bleak surroundings.

Love is the second-most beautiful thing in the world, the first being lady booty cheeks. Oh, glorious lady booty cheeks... Personally, we like our lady booty cheeks to be oblate spheroids and not perfectly round because it puts less stress on the wrist when you're cupping. Unfortunately, females only have two booty cheeks for us men to leer at and ogle. Del, on the other hand, hits the motherlode by finding an alien chick with THREE booty cheeks. Granted, she's a cyclops with only one eye, but THREE booty cheeks, bruh. That's 50% more booty cheek. We're happy Del found true love, but we're very jealous of all those haunches keeping him busy.

Devin the Dude "Zeldar" (2002)

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Album: Just Tryin' ta Live
Label: Rap-A-Lot Records
Producer: Domo

No, that's not a new Kendrick Lamar track you're hearing. It's Devin the Dude, rapping as an alien named Zeldar from planet Beldar. Devin Zeldar enthusiastically chronicles his first encounter with a strange plant known as "weed" to other aliens at a show and tell convention. Think of the premise as "Pot-Coneheads." However, Devin is on to something here. If aliens did ever invade we should give them as much weed as possible and hope they forget to destroy our planet. Also, saying "I'm gonna stomp a mudhole in your megaboomp" seems to be a great way to threaten an alien.

Aesop Rock "Mars Attacks" (2003)

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Album: Bazooka Tooth
Label: Definitive Jux
Producer: I. Bavitz

Don't get your hopes up. Aesop's "Mars Attacks" is not him rapping the entire plot of the Tim Burton-directed Mars Attacks movie a la Heems' "Jason Bourne." Sad, we know. However, the narrative does mirror it loosely (so far as both deal with a martian invasion). Unfortunately, Aesop's heroic bravery—he stands up to the invading swarm—results in our protagonist being shot in the face by one those "little fucking martians" he mentions in the intro.

There are certainly enough absurdist metaphors and turns of phrase to keep the RapGenius hivemind busy for a month, but Aesop expresses his disgust at "collective slackership" and nails the point home in the final outro sentence when he says, "Keep talking; [that'll] get you nowhere."

It should be noted for any young'ns out there that Aesop Rock is not to be confused with Harlem personality A$AP Rocky. Hopefully none of you made that mistake.

Monsta Island Czars "MIC Line" (2003)

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Album: Escape from Monsta Island!
Label: Metal Face Records, Rhymesayers Entertainment
Producer: King Geedorah

The Monsta Island Czars collective included, most notably, MF Grimm and MF Doom, and every member took on the name of a Godzilla monster. MF Doom chose the King Geedorah (spelled Ghidra in the early days) moniker. Named after the three-headed, flying dragon from space King Ghidorah, King Ghidra/Geedorah was a three-headed, flying dragon from space. So even when he's not rapping about the nebulae he's still very much outer space, because his raps are coming from the point-of-view of a three-headed, flying dragon from space.

We're not sure why King Ghidra would need a 9mm when he can shoot lightning out of his mouth but perhaps that's simply beyond our comprehension. There is something intoxicating about MF Doom singing off key, like an unplugged Young Thug in desperate need of a neti pot.

The Pack "The Milky Way" (2007)

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Album: Based Boys
Label: Up All Night/Jive
Producer: Mr. Collipark

The Pack's Mr. Collipark-produced banger could easily be the soundtrack to any iteration of Mario Kart's Rainbow Road. How much more enjoyable would whipping around the galaxy and slanging red shells be while Lil B, Young L, Stunnman, and Lil Uno spit based bars? The answer is infinitely. Convert the scraper to a spaceship and cruise outer space in style.

True fact: "The Milky Way" contains one of the earliest instances of Lil Boss's "BRANKADANG" ad lib, which Stephen Hawking hypothesizes to be the sound the Big Bang made.

Lil Wayne "Phone Home" (2008)

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Album: The Carter III
Label: Cash Money Records
Producer: Cool & Dre

In 2013, if one were to "do the Weezy Wee," it would most likely entail having a seizure, ruining a perfect Future song and spouting sub-par coital-centric punchlines.

However, in 2008 to "do the Weezy Wee" had a completely different meaning—domination. Lil Wayne promoted himself as an alien, and none of us could disagree. He operated on an entirely different realm of consciousness, existed on a higher spectral plane. The most quoted and beloved lyrics spouted from his promethazine-coated throat. He was the most irrefutable evidence humankind had of alien life.

No real surprise that he looked to E.T. for inspiration. Plus, if you squint, they look very similar. Safe to assume that if Lil Wayne ever has a movie made about his life a la Get Rich or Die Tryin,' Ridley Scott will direct it.

The-Dream f/ Kanye West "Walking On The Moon" (2009)

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Album: Love vs. Money
Label: Radio Killa/Def Jam
Producer: L.O.S. Da Maestro, Kanye West

We wake up everyday and thank Zoroaster for Terius. No coincidence that a song like "Walkin' On The Moon" has him channeling Michael Jackson ad libs throughout. Here are the space related things The-Dream claims he will do for his lover:

1. Pull down a cloud

2. Bring back a star

3. Walk through the sun

Obviously these statements are hyperbole to prove that The-Dream will do anything for his honeydip. However, these are real terrible feats to prove your love. First off, you can't really rope a cloud because clouds are made up of liquid droplets and ergo not solid. Plus, even if you were able to find a tiny cloud and put it in a mason jar what girl is gonna be excited about a tiny cloud in a mason jar? Not one of them. Stars are really big—nowhere to even store them when company comes over.

The third might be the worst. Walk through the sun. The sun is made up of hot plasma, Terius, and measures 1.571 x 10⁷ Kelvin at its center. You will melt or at the very least (if in 2085 A.D. they have the technology to shield you somewhat from extreme temperatures) permanently disfigure yourself with burns, which will cause your fickle lady to leave you because you no longer have your dashing good looks.

Kanye West comes through with a stellar verse (interstellar?) and gets the distinction of being the only rapper ever to use the term "mackberry."

Danny Brown "Outer Space" (2011)

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Album: XXX
Label: Fool's Gold
Producer: Skywlkr

Danny Brown released "Outer Space" exactly two years ago as a harbinger for XXX. At the time, we had no idea that he would ascend to the level of stardom he currently has, but we did know that "Outer Space" was unique and wild (much like Danny himself). Though the content does not specifically deal with The Final Frontier, the beat and vocal sample make us feel like we're on the set of a cheesy 1950's Sci-Fi Movie. Also, very plausible that Danny Brown is actually an alien, after all, what earthling's dick tastes like Tropical Fruit Skittles?

Eminem "Space Bound" (2011)

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Album: Recovery
Label: Aftermath, Interscope
Producer: Jim Jonsin

Eminem turns into Rap Game Apollo Program on "Space Bound," equating his being to a space shuttle on its way to "the moon" (an unnamed female's heart). Eminem mentions a supernova, though not of the champagne variety, as a metaphor for the endorphin rush he feels whenever he makes physical contact with his bae. Moreover, the chorus line of "250 thousand miles" is factually accurate, since the moon, at its furthest point in its elliptical orbit, is 252,712 miles.

See, parents? When Eminem said "Wanna copy me and do exactly like I did?" on "My Name Is," you were so appalled that your children might try acid and mess their lives up like Slim Shady. But you didn't know that they would also learn important lunar trivia from the man. Life is all about balance.

Future "Gone to the Moon" (2011)

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Future "Astronaut Chick" (2012)

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Album: Pluto
Label: A1, Freebandz, Epic
Producer: Will-A-Fool

Not every friendship Future has is plutonic... Sorry, we couldn't resist. Nayvadius lovingly serenades his galactic gal with the tenderest of emotions. "Astronaut Chick" (or more accurately "Askronaut Chick") makes you feel like you're rocketing around the cosmos with your lady as you dodge comets and picnic amongst the constellations. True story: one of our editors used the lyrics to this song in his wedding vows; he is happily married. Here's hoping you and your boo never come to Earth again.

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