11 Best TV Hip Hop Theme Songs

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Many iconic '90s and '00s programs opted for catchy rap theme songs, from "Living Single," to "The Boondocks."

Old-time fans of TV shows know that Hip Hop theme songs have left an indelible mark on television culture. Only people who don’t watch much TV or pay attention to theme songs would debate this statement. As a matter of fact, many iconic shows over the years have employed hip hop theme songs, and it pays off nicely most of the time.

From groundbreaking comedy shows to iconic animated shows, many beloved series have had Hip Hop themes. Altogether, this has elevated the overall viewing experience of these shows, and helped make them more memorable. Here’s a look at some of the most unforgettable Hip Hop theme songs that have ever graced our screens.

In Living Color

Undoubtedly one of the most influential sketch comedy shows of the 90s, In Living Color ran for five unforgettable seasons. It aired on Fox from 1990 to 1994 and featured a stellar cast, including Jim Carrey, members of the Wayans family, and Tommy Davidson, among others. Throughout its five seasons, the show had two theme songs, both performed by the Hip Hop group Heavy D & The Boyz. The first theme, “In Living Color,” was used in the first, second, and fifth seasons of the show. “Cause That’s the Way You Livin’ When You’re In Living Color,” the second theme, was used in Seasons 3 and 4.

The Wayans Bros

Another hilarious ‘90s show, The Wayans Bros aired for five seasons between 1995 and 1999. Featuring Shawn and Marlon Wayans in lead roles, it is one of the most memorable shows in the brothers’ catalogs. For the first two seasons of The Wayans Bros, the theme song was “Electric Relaxation” by A Tribe Called Quest. Although the theme was changed from the third season onward, “Electric Relaxation” was never forgotten. It remains the favorite theme song of many viewers of the show.

Keenan & Kel

Set in Chicago, Keenan & Kel is a sitcom that aired on Nickelodeon for four seasons (1996 — 2001). Like the theme songs of the aforementioned shows, Keenan & Kel’s opening theme was also of the Hip Hop genre. The fun track, “Aw, Here It Goes,” was performed by the late West Coast rapper Coolio. The MC delivered a catchy and upbeat tune that perfectly fit the show's vibe. Very often, theme songs are skipped. However, with Keenan & Kel, most viewers were glued to their screens throughout the show’s opening theme.

Romeo!

From 2003 to 2006, the sitcom Romeo! aired on Nickelodeon. It lasted for three seasons and has 53 episodes altogether. It starred Romeo Miller as the titular character, playing a fictional version of himself. At the time, Romeo was a big child star, and he had even appeared on Billboard charts with his music. With this in mind, it’s no surprise he performed the theme song for Romeo! The show might not have been one of Nickelodeon’s major hits, but its theme song should certainly be somewhere in the network’s Hall of Fame. 

Just Jordan

Another Nickelodeon show, Just Jordan premiered in 2007 and sadly only aired for two seasons. Altogether, it has 29 episodes in total, littered with many hilarious and unforgettable moments. However, the most memorable thing about Just Jordan is arguably its theme song. Hip Hop theme songs are not always done right, but the theme for Just Jordan was superb. It was catchy and hip, and all the kids loved it. 

Living Single

Queen Latifah has taken on many notable roles throughout her career, and they are all great. However, her performance on Living Single is certainly one for the books and should never be forgotten. Every other member of the cast also delivered stellar performances on the show, so it was easy for it to be a favorite. Another contributing factor to the show’s overall appeal was its beloved opening theme. “We Are Living Single” was composed and performed by Queen Latifah herself, which is the icing on the cake. Without a doubt, Living Single contains one of the best Hip Hop theme songs out there.

Samurai Champloo

It’s not very often one gets to see Japanese shows with Hip Hop theme songs. However, on Samurai Champloo, viewers got to experience one of the very best Hip Hop theme songs ever. Yes, not just in the Japanese media. “Battlecry” was produced by the renowned Japanese Hip Hop producer Nujabes and performed by Shing02. The song’s instrumentation features modern Hip Hop beats with spacey alternative elements. Although many viewers are initially caught by surprise, most come to love this theme song after a couple episodes of Samurai Champloo. It may have been a gamble to have “Battlecry” as the show’s opening theme, but it certainly paid off.

The Boondocks

The Boondocks is loved by many, and its impact cannot be denied. The groundbreaking adult animated sitcom ran for four seasons, which aired from 2005 to 2014. There are many iconic things about this show, but its theme song rightfully stands out. It is inarguably one of the best Hip Hop theme songs of all time. The short track, simply titled “The Boondocks Main Title,” was performed by Asheru. Despite sounding calm, the song’s soulful groove and powerful lyrics pack a heavy punch.

The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air

Before becoming a movie star and one of Hollywood’s bankable stars, Will Smith was a prominent rapper. As a matter of fact, he received the first Grammy award for Best Rap Performance as one half of DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. As an actor, Smith’s role on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was his breakout role. The beloved show has one of the most iconic Hip Hop theme songs of all time. “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” was performed by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. With its catchy beat and memorable lyrics, it perfectly sets the tone for the show in each episode.

Monster Rancher

The anime adaptation of Monster Rancher originally aired in Japan from 1999 to 2000. Subsequently, it was broadcast in the United States, and its theme song was one of its most memorable parts. Many of the show’s young viewers absolutely loved its opening theme, especially because it was easy to rap along while it played. Not many anime theme songs are of the Hip-Hop genre. In that regard, Monster Rancher is certainly special.

The Super Mario Bros. Super Show

Although The Super Mario Bros. Super Show didn’t make it past season one, it wasn’t a bad show. However, one of the absolute best things about the series was its theme song. The iconic “Mario Brothers Rap” is certainly one of the goofiest Hip Hop theme songs out there. However, it was a perfect fit for the show, and was definitely not meant to be skipped. Unfortunately, the song's performers are unknown, but whoever they are, they should be proud of themselves.

About The Author
Demilade Phillips has been a Features Writer for HotNewHipHop since 2023. The self-proclaimed music fanatic deals with most things Hip Hop and R&B, while also covering film, television, and the entertainment industry at large. When he’s not working, the International Relations graduate is either binging anime, immersing himself in the underground EDM scene, or crafting up original pieces.