2017 is halfway done, which means hip-hop has been blessing us with bangers for six months straight. Rappers are having a great year, coming up off a single track more than ever. Artists big and small are staking their claim at having the best song of the year, but only a few tracks will be remembered as the greatest.
Future started 2017 strong with not one but two back-to-back albums full of chart-topping heat. On Feb. 16, Fewtch shared his self-titled LP Future and a week later, he gave us Hndrxx. Together, the two LP’s spawned singles like “Draco,” “Mask Off” and “Selfish” featuring Rihanna.
ATL newcomer and 2017 XXL Freshman Playboi Carti is holding his own among the vets thanks to his breakout single “Magnolia,” off his self-titled debut mixtape. The track has been used in commercials, remixed by the likes of Lil Wayne and landed Carti his first national TV performance.
The same day Carti dropped his debut tape, Kendrick Lamar wowed fans with his third album, DAMN. The Compton, Calif. MC solidified his place on the rap throne, introduced us to his new alter ego (Kun-Fu Kenny) and created singles like “HUMBLE.” “DNA.” and “ELEMENT.”
With little notice, hip-hop giant JAY-Z delivered his first full-length album in four years with 4:44 in June. Turning the rap world on its head, Jay shared some uncharacteristic honesty about his relationship with wife Beyoncé and attempted to school young rappers and faux moguls about how to really build up worth in this industry. “The Story of O.J.,” along with its brilliant music video, stands out as the benchmark of the album. When it comes to the lyrics, one part of the song in which Hov mentions the money phone even got a few rappers riled up.
Some bangers like GoldLink’s “Crew,” French Montana’s “Unforgettable” and XXXTentacion’s “Look At Me” have bubbled online and are making their way to airwaves now, but actually dropped in 2016, which is why you won’t see them on this list.
In no particular order, here are 25 of the best hip-hop songs that have dropped since the year started.
“XO Tour Lif3″
“The Story of O.J.”
“Everday We Lit”
“Land of the Free”
“Idols Become Rivals”