Hip Hop/Rap Artists Using Real Live Drummers/Percussionists


Junior Member
What are some Hip Hop/Rap artists that use real live drummers/percussionists. I know ?uestlove from the Roots but not really familiar with music hip hop/r&b but I am working on a paper for one of my classes and need to be able to listen to some tracks by artists that use live drummers on albums and in performance.


Senior Member
Snoop Dogg does every now and then (he had a pretty good one at North Sea Jazz 2008, but I'm not sure who it was), Usher does (Aaron Spears), Me'shell Ndgeocello (mostly Gene Lake), that's what I know off the top of my head...


Junior Member
N*E*R*D : They have a cool band. On their last Europe tour, they had two drummers on stage. Some songs of their albums were recorded with live drums, too.

Lil'Wayne just released "Re-Birth". About half of the songs were recorded with a live drummer I believe...

I've seen Lupe Fiasco with a live band. His new songs should be very "rockish"...

Jay-Z (?uestlove) Also he did that project with Linkin Park

Die Fantastischen 4 (German HipHop Crew). They have a great live band

Automato, they have an album which was recorded with real instruments/drums.

K-OS has a live band on stage (veeery cool guy and great music btw)

Mos Def is doing shows with a live band

That's all I can think of at the mo'


Junior Member
So, if you search for some good hip-hop live bands i have 3 to recommend.
Dujeous. I don't know who plays the drums, but the band is nice. Video:
Artofficial. Another cool band which is going to release a new album soon. You should check out their clip as well as their whole channel: Clip.
Heiruspecs. I know nothing about them but you should check them out:
They all have their albums released.


Pioneer Member
jay z has been using Tony Royster Jr.

also you could just youtube some well known hip hop drummers and just see who they are playing with at any given time.

I know Gerald Heyward has done work with Mary J Blige, and Nisan Stewart is all over the place with a bunch of different artists that are rap and hip hop related. And dont forget Teddy Campbell

Travis Barker is also heavy in the hip hop scene.


Silver Member
Oddly enough, before playing with the Mars Volta, Thomas Pridgen did a lot of hip hop/RnB/Gospel stuff. I know he used to play for Keyshia Cole.

Bennie Rodgers plays for Mariah Carey.

This is from a cat name Stalley, not sure who the drummer is, but DAMN he is holding it down.

Drummer by the name of Camau Bernstine backing Estelle.

Definitely Gerald, Aaron, and Teddy, those guys are jaw dropping. Cora Dunham also plays for Prince.

There's a bit of two headed beast thing going on with hip hop and RnB music. You've got to be kind of an established artist and be able to pull enough people in for live shows so you can pay musicians. As opposed to a Lil Jon and that caliber of "artist" that actually have to pay their posse, which probably doesn't leave much for live musicians.


Senior Member
Snoop Dogg does every now and then (he had a pretty good one at North Sea Jazz 2008, but I'm not sure who it was), Usher does (Aaron Spears), Me'shell Ndgeocello (mostly Gene Lake), that's what I know off the top of my head...

Ohhh man, Aaron Spears. You can't NOT talk about him when mentioning hip hop drummers...

Edit: 100th post! I feel less like a newbie around here now :)


Junior Member
Drummer wanted for 1 yr old band with genuine label interest from several record companies.

Tours and festivals dates booked for summer and beyond.

The style is a mixture of drum n bass, hip hop, reggae, soul and rock. Basically mixing the rhythmic intensity of modern urban music with the more melodic features of other genres.

Only the very best need apply. This is a fulltime position in an extremely hard working and ambitious band. The group is currently based in manchester, but spends most of it's time on the road.

Check our websites for more info: