Hip hop beats are beautiful, no doubt. But the most superb ones are done by going back to the basics by using an age-old instrument integral to the evolution of not just Hip Hop, but of all music in general: the piano. Though the piano started off being equated with classically-trained musicians, it soon found its way to jazz, which used the instrument in a more progressive manner, and subsequently, it found its way to hip hop.

Beats that incorporate the piano deliver tranquil, melodic backgrounds for emcees to spit their soulful, profound lyrics on to, whether they be about social equality, slaying past demons or deep personal issues, such as the death of a loved one.

This list explores 10 songs that incorporate the piano as a canvas, whether they be sampled from a past artist or originally created by a producer. There are plenty more piano-driven beats to choose from, so this serves as a small selection of the best.