Rap that'd sound good even if you didn't understand a word?

My favorite rap song by far is Outkast’s Rosa Parks, which I would probably find to be really engaging even if the words were hummed or skatted (hell, I didn’t understand half of it the first few listens, anyway). Most other rap songs I’ve heard just don’t strike me as being all that interesting musically; the lyrics are vital to the enjoyment of the song.

Are there any other rap songs/albums/artists that are nice listens even sans lyrics?

Dream Warriors, My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style. The instrumental track was rearranged into the Austin Powers theme.

I like Lucas with the Lid Off, Bone Thugs n Harmony The Crossroads, and Outkast’s B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad).

ultrafilter- that is an awesome song and vid. Thanks for posting!

MC Solaar, from the early '90s.

100% in French, and brilliant.

Digable Planets - “Cool Like That” and “Jettin’”(or for that matter, anything by them)

most of Giant Panda’s stuff (check out “With It” and “Classic Rock” especially)

a lot of People Under the Stairs’ stuff (excluding their most recent album, which I thought was pretty weak)

a lot of A Tribe Called Quest’s stuff

a few songs here and there by Foreign Legion, my favorites being “People Round Town” and “Voodoo Star”

2Pac - “I Get Around”, “Do For Love”

Cypress Hill - “Tequila Sunrise”

and I could go on a good long time. Some rap I find the lyrics interesting/funny and the music tolerable; most of the stuff I like is the other way around.

I was gonna suggest MC Solaar. He’s still knocking about. He has a great tune called Samedi Soir on the Le Cinquieme As LP.

Blackalicious & Latyrx - Deep In The Jungle
I primarily listen to rap for the beats and the flow, if the lyrics are good, it’s just a bonus. Check out Organized Konfusion, it at least sounds like they write their lyrics solely with the flow in mind, the rhymes and delivery is perfect, but the text is usually too abstract to make any sense. And as mentioned, A Tribe Called Quest is great (The Chase, pt II and Scenario, especially). Quasimoto has great jazzy beats and sounds like a malicious alien.

I’d almost go so far as to say, rap may have been invented by English-speaking Americans, but the French language lends itself to it far better than English. It sounds so good!

OMG, lifetime top ten, seriously. A secret masterpiece.

Also, a lot of foreign language rap is cool: Menelik comes to mind, and Aisha Kandisha’s Jarring effects . . . maybe more when I’m able to think.

MC Solaar - Solaar Pleure I haven’t been so in love with a song in a couple years- I loooooove this.

Big Pimpin’ by Jay-Z does it for me. I know most of the words now, but even when I didn’t it was impossible not to completely jam out to that driving hook.

I will jump on the band wagon with French rap. IAM is on regular rotation on my Ipod right now…don’t understand a word, but love it still.

A lot of old school break beats sound great. I have a mixed cd that is old school hip hop for one half, intrumentals on the next. Eric B., Cut Creator, Jazzy Jeff. Really good stuff.

M.I.A. - an artistic British/Sri Lankan rapper with a political message. And, she’s really, really hot. Bucky Dun Gun, Sunshowers, Galang (might recognize this from a Honda commercial)

Pretty much anything from the first three Public Enemy albums. It’s old, but just so sonically satisfying.

Yet one more vote for Solaar. However, I think credit should be given where it’s due: his partner Jimmy Jay was responsible for a lot of the creative accompaniments. I think it’s the early tracks that stand out more:
Nouveau western

In English:

Aftermath (Ah, hell, all of Maxinquaye…)

Massive Attack - Karamcoma (Yeah, Tricky again…)

Bomb the Bass - Bug Powder Dust

Why yes, the songs are interesting and she is mighty easy on the eyes.

Another good Brit rapper to look out for is Dizzee Rascal. No idea what he’s saying, but he’s very talented (he does most of the production and arrangements himself).

I love that song, but I recognized the beat 20 seconds in- that be Donnie Iris Love is Like a Rock (1981) and one of my favorite songs. Here is Love is Like a Rock (song backs some video game sequence; not the original Iris video)

ain’t she, though? Her new song Bird Flu is accidentally hilarious. (Still cool, though) Not even Puffy has sampled a chicken before.

I stand corrected- the drum and vocal sample on the Dizzee Rascal song is Billy Squier I’ve Got the Big Beat.