There’s something magical about songs that spell out words. They hook you in, make you sing along, and get stuck in your head. From Hip Hop anthems to pop bangers, these tracks transform the mundane into the memorable. Artists expertly weave letters into their lyrics, turning a simple chorus into an unforgettable earworm.

Think of Aretha Franklin’s iconic "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" or Gwen Stefani’s playful “B-A-N-A-N-A-S” in "Hollaback Girl." These songs do more than just entertain; they create a connection and spark joy that everyone can share.

Let's break down 14 tracks that turn the alphabet into art.

1. “U.N.I.T.Y.” by Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah's "U.N.I.T.Y." is a powerful anthem that champions respect and empowerment. Released in November 1993, the song addresses issues like street harassment, domestic violence and female solidarity. Latifah’s commanding presence and strong lyrics shine as she spells out, "U-N-I-T-Y,” emphasizing the importance of unity and self-respect. With its catchy hook and poignant message, the track remains a timeless call for dignity and strength in the face of adversity. It is a prominent example of Hip Hop's ability to inspire and provoke change.

2. “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” by JAY-Z

From his 2001 album The Blueprint, JAY-Z's "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" is a defining record. The Kanye West-produced song features a sample from The Jackson 5's "I Want You Back," giving it a soulful vibe. JAY-Z uses the song to chronicle his journey to success, spelling out "H-O-V-A" as a nod to his nickname. The blend of sharp lyrics and memorable melodies made it an instant hit, establishing the Brooklyn rapper as a dominant force in Hip Hop.

3. “Independent” by Webbie featuring Boosie Badazz and Lil Phat

Released in 2007, Webbie’s “Independent” is an anthem of self-reliance. With Boosie Badazz and Lil Phat in tow, the track celebrates financially and emotionally self-sufficient women. Boosted by an energetic beat and the memorable chorus spell-out, "I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T," the song resonated with many listeners and remains a standout track in Webbie’s career.

4. “Fergalicious” by Fergie featuring

Sporting a confident delivery from Fergie and's patented production flair, "Fergalicious" provided a proper blend of early electronic Hip Hop and modern pop influences. In the breakdown of the chart-topping 2006 dance hit, the duo playfully spell out "T-A-S-T-Y" and "D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S," showcasing Fergie's charisma and establishing her as a solo artist beyond the Black Eyed Peas. Celebrated for its infectious energy and memorable spelling sequence, the track remains a staple of mid-aughts pop.

5. “Respect” by Aretha Franklin

A timeless classic that became a rallying cry for equality and dignity, “Respect” transformed Otis Redding's 1965 original into a feminist declaration just two years later. Spelling out "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" in the iconic chorus, Franklin’s commanding vocals powerfully pairs with an energetic rhythm, making it both a cultural milestone and a crowning moment for the Queen of Soul.

6. “Wanna Be” by GloRilla featuring Megan Thee Stallion

Released in Spring 2024, GloRilla’s "Wanna Be" showcases Megan Thee Stallion's signature confidence and assertive style. In her verse, Meg spells out "B-A-D-D-E-S-T," emphasizing her assuredness and celebrating her body-positivity. Reminiscent of her electrifying freestyles, the Houston rapper’s charismatic delivery highlights an ability to command attention. It stands out as one of Megan’s best verses, displaying a trademark swagger and unwavering persistence.

7. “St. Louie” by Nelly

"St. Louie" is a quintessential celebration of Nelly's hometown. It features the rapper’s country grammar over a captivating melody that captures the essence of Midwest Hip Hop. In the track, Nelly spells out "M-I-S-S-O-U-R-I," emphasizing his pride in his home state. With a sticky chorus and laid-back vibe, "St. Louie" became a popular hit, contributing to the “Dilemma” artist’s early success in the rap scene. It remains a nostalgic favorite for fans of early-2000s Hip Hop.

8. “Barbie Dangerous” by Nicki Minaj

In the second verse of "Barbie Dangerous," Nicki Minaj brandishes her lyrical dexterity by spelling out various words in the final six bars, including "exit," "bit," "IDC" (I don't care), "big," "sit," and "fit." The wordplay highlights Minaj's skillful command of cadence and rhyme, adding to the track's dynamic and playful energy. "Barbie Dangerous" continues to exemplify the New York rapper’s ability to craft clever, engaging bars that catch and hold her audience.

9. “Nice & Slow” by Usher

On “Nice & Slow,” Usher puts on a masterclass of smooth vocals and R&B skills. In the last verse, the singer adds a rap element, cleverly spelling out his name and personalizing the track's romantic theme. This moment highlights the Dallas singer’s versatility and creativity in blending singing and rapping, making "Nice & Slow" a fan favorite.

10. “SOS” by Rihanna

"SOS" is a high-energy dance-pop hit that marked a transformative point in Rihanna’s early career. It features the Bajan singer’s distinctive vocals over a pulsating beat, which samples Soft Cell's "Tainted Love," giving it a nostalgic, yet modern feel. The track's success catapulted Rihanna to international stardom, establishing her as a powerhouse in pop music across the US and abroad.

11. “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani

In 2005, "Hollaback Girl" became a cultural phenomenon with its criminally catchy chorus and infectious Neptunes-produced beat. One of the most enduring parts of the song is when Stefani spells out "B-A-N-A-N-A-S" in the hook, catering to her playful and rebellious attitude. The song’s success solidified the singer as a solo artist apart from the rock band No Doubt and showcased her ability to blend pop, Hip Hop, and punk, influences into a chart-topping hit.

12. “Damaged” by Danity Kane

Girl group Danity Kane spells out "H-E-A-R-T" and "D-A-M-A-G-E-D" during the breakdown in “Damaged.” This clever use of spelling adds a unique twist to the track's emotional theme of heartbreak and resilience. The song’s pop melody and potent vocals helped propel it to No. 10 on the Billboard charts. "Damaged" still stands out in the group’s discography, known for its heavy hooks and relatable lyrics about love and recovery.

13. “P.I.M.P” by 50 Cent

In 2003, 50 Cent leveled up his status and released "P.I.M.P." The song is a gritty anthem that transparently dives into power, wealth, and street life gospels. Throughout the track, the rapper spells out "P-I-M-P," emphasizing his portrayal of the slicked-back lifestyle. His confident delivery rides over a entrancing beat, painting a vivid picture of his lavish lifestyle and dominance in the rap game. A rhythmic hook and iconic spelling contributed to the record’s widespread popularity, solidifying it as a classic in 50 Cent’s catalog.

14. “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj

"Bang Bang" by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Minaj, seamlessly integrates pop and Hip Hop elements. In her verse, Minaj spells out "B-A-N-G," showing off her dynamic flow and playful lyricism. The track's high energy and addictive melodies highlight each artist’s distinct contributions, creating a standout moment in contemporary music. "Bang Bang" soared to No. 3 on the Billboard chart, cementing its status as an influential hit.