Hip Hop Riffs Part 2

After the last hip hop riffs post people seemed keen for a follow up. And I’m more than happy to oblige with five six more.

Same riffs rules as always: it’s not the whole song and not necessarily in the original key.

Kanye West – Touch the Sky


A significantly slowed down sample of Curtis Mayfield’s Move On Up. The track was produced by Just Blaze and you can see him jamming on this song with, unexpectedly, John Mayer.

I’ve changed the key of this one to make it more ukeable. Here it is in the original key.

P.S. They censored “skeeted” in the video?

Beastie Boys – Sure Shot


My fingers kept tripping up over this one so I simplified it by removing the lead in note at the end of the second bar. If you’ve got mad skills you can play it like this:

Public Enemy – Public Enemy No. 1


Okay, so this is an intro more than a riff but it warrants inclusion by being great. It’s based on a 12-bar blues riff which is something you don’t hear a lot of in hip hop.

It’s in B so I’ve moved everything up a fret for the uke version.

BONUS: Killer Mike – Big Beast


I didn’t originally plan on including this one but I had to for three reasons:

– It borrows from the Public Enemy No 1 intro.
– I love Killer Mike.
– The video is completely insane.

Like Public Enemy No 1, it’s in B but I’ve moved it up a fret for the uke version.

Jay Z – Dirt Off Your Shoulders


I included Jay Z twice in the last hip hop post and again in this one. I’m sure this fact will be bragged about in the next song he does about how awesome Jay Z is.

Eminem – The Real Slim Shady


Keep the notes on this one really short by releasing pressure on the strings right after you play them. I’d recommend barring the third fret with your index finger all the way through.

More Hip Hop

Hip Hop Riffs Part 1
Mr B – Chap Hop History
Jay Z – Death of Autotune
Biz Markie – Just a Friend
Outkast – Hey Ya

More riffs for ukulele

View Comments


  1. Jake August 16th, 2012 8:33 pm

    This is awesome (as usual), thanks!

  2. SH36 August 16th, 2012 8:41 pm

    Love them! Thank you!

  3. Woodshed August 17th, 2012 9:26 am

    Jake: Thanks very much!

    SH36: You’re very welcome.

  4. ukuhippo August 19th, 2012 8:56 am

    Great, now my wife really hates me, and my kid is liking me again. I kept struggling with the last notes of my own version of Eminem, thanks for doing my work for me.

  5. ukuhippo August 20th, 2012 7:13 am

    It was too hot to sleep last night, so I got up early, put the radio on and tabbed out the first song I heard for your HipHop riffs part 3 :p
    He’s still not my favorite, but he does have some nice riffs, and this one is just repeated through the whole song.

    Eminem – Without Me


    It’s still a bit so-so, but hey, so am I as a uke-player.

  6. ukuhippo August 20th, 2012 7:14 am

    Darn those layouts, the 1-3 on the e-string are the last two notes, so the last bit is 1-0 on the a-string, 1-3 on the e-string.

  7. iinka August 20th, 2012 7:17 am

    OMG! Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Move On Up’ is my favorite song of all time. You have just made my day :)

  8. Woodshed August 22nd, 2012 9:38 am

    ukuhippo: Thanks very much! I’ll see if I can fix the layout a bit.

    iinka: Glad I could!

  9. carreg wastad August 23rd, 2012 9:14 am

    great –

    – more curtis !

  10. ukuhippo August 23rd, 2012 9:18 am

    You’re welcome. Displaying the tabs correctly requires a monospace font, which screws up the rest of your site. There’s probably a WordPress-plugin/snippet somewhere to allow code-tags in the user comments, which would do the trick to. I don’t no much about WordPress, so it might be working allready out-of-the-box in some way. Let’s try that:


  11. ukuhippo August 23rd, 2012 9:24 am

    OK, that works, allthough I screwed up the tabs, it should be:

    My apologies for all the comments just to get it right, you should/could remove a couple of them.

  12. Woodshed August 24th, 2012 10:38 pm

    carreg: He is great so you never know.

    ukuhippo: Well figured out!

Sorry, Comments Are Broken Right Now