My Top 15 Hip-Hop Songs of 2016
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My Top 15 Hip-Hop Songs of 2016

2016 was a fantastic year for hip-hop and now that it has come to a close, I felt it was time to compile and share my thoughts on some of my favorites from the year.

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My Top 15 Hip-Hop Songs of 2016

Taking a quick break from the draft projections to crank out a post I've been waiting to get out for a bit now, one that has a different feel from my usual sport domain. 2016 was, excuse my language, a hell of a year for hip-hop, which as many of you know has become a particularly keen interest of mine over the last few years.

Last week, I found myself taking inventory of my music library from the last year and I realized just how spoiled hip-hop fans were in 2016. From "Views," to "4 Your Eyez Only," to "DC4," there were quite a few high-profile tapes released this year, so I thought I would go ahead and quantify a list of my 15 favorite songs from the year to share. Of course, feel free to comment your favorites as well.

Also, I should mention these are not in order, asking me to do that would be a futile exercise as my selection of these 15 for the list was quite a hair-splitting exercise in and of itself.

Lil Uzi Vert - Do What I Want - The Perfect LUV Tape

He's new on the scene and while many people really love him already, I'm certainly not there quite yet. He is growing on me some, however, and a lot of that is due to this song which is a great listen for me when I'm feeling carefree.

Favorite Line(s) :

All these girls, yeah they ride with us
I don't pay em' no mind, because I just want the bucks

Post Malone - White Iverson - Stoney

It's terribly difficult for me to not just make this list the entire album, but there are few things I enjoy more than blasting this song in my car with the windows down. I liked A.I. as a player, but not enough to justify being as obsessed with the song as I am. Post's 2016 coming out party was truly great and I hope he can follow it up with something great, though that will be really tough as "Stoney" is one of my favorite albums of all time.

Favorite Line(s) :

Double OT like I'm KD, smokin' OG
And you know me, in my 2-3s and my gold teeth
Bitch, I'm smiling, bet you see me from the nosebleeds
I'm a new three and I change out to my new 3s


J. Cole - Deja Vu - 4 Your Eyez Only

Cole is my favorite artist in the game right now, but I am not a fan at all of him "stealing"/sampling Bryson Tiller's beat for this track. That being said, the track is amazing, and, in my opinion, one of Cole's strongest lyrical performances ever.

Favorite Line(s) :

I'm staring at you from afar, I'm wondering about you
Like, where you from and who you are?
'Cause you a star—no, not the type that snort the white lines
I mean the type to light the night time, I heard you got a man
But who in their right mind letting you out the house alone?
Tell me is your house a home?
Why you in the club looking like you out your zone?
Now be discreet and pull out your phone and put my number in it

Chance the Rapper - Summer Friends - Coloring Book

I am not a terribly religious individual, nor do I claim to be, but there is just something about Chance's gospel sound that gets me. In addition, this song's message is incredibly moving as Chance pays tribute to his days as a youth growing up on the south side of Chicago, where he saw many of his childhood friends fall victim to the city's ongoing problem with guns and gang violence. Furthermore, he calls for the senseless killings to stop, and he lets the city know that he has intentions of being proactive in his approach to stop the violence. If you are not moved by this song, I would suggest you have your pulse checked immediately.

Favorite Line(s) :

Summer school get to losing students
But the CPD getting new recruitment
Our summer don't, our summer
Our summer don't get no shine no more
Our summer die, our summer time don't got no time no more


Desiigner - Panda - New English

Technically the single was put out in 2015, but it was re-released in 2016 with the album, so I'm counting it. Yes, it's super repetitive, and the lyrical value leaves some to be desired, but if this song isn't on the playlist for your party, I don't want to come.

Favorite Line(s) :

Black X6, Phantom
White X6, panda
Pockets swole, Danny
Selling bar, candy

J. Cole - Neighbors - 4 Your Eyez Only

Cole's flow on this one is just unparalleled. The first time I listened to this song, I had my head in my hands with my mouth wide open, that's the kind of performance Cole put up on it. If you can consciously listen to the lyrics, the story he is telling is actually pretty funny, and in the process of telling that story, he also raises an important question to society, one involving personal prejudices and biases and how the presence of those beliefs are holding our society back.

Favorite Line(s) :

Took a little break just to annotate
How I feel, damn, it's late
I can't sleep cause I'm paranoid
Black in a white man territory
Cops bust in with the army guns
No evidence of the harm we done
Just a couple neighbors that assume we slang
Only time they see us we be on the news, in chains, damn


Drake - Controlla - Views

I'll admit, I thought Views was a little disappointing given all the hype and the nearly year-long delay in its release, but Controlla is one of those songs you just can't sit down for. Club banger of the year for 2016.

Favorite Line(s) :

Yeah, and that's why I need
All the energy that you bring to me
My last girl would tear me apart
But she'd never wanna split a ting with me

PartyNextDoor - 1942 - PartyNextDoor 3

Name one thing you don't like about this song, and I'll tell you why you're wrong. Don Julio should be on his hands and knees thanking PND for all the free advertising. Unfortunately, a bottle of real 1942 tequila goes for about $100. I know because I wanted to buy a bottle after hearing this song for the first time. It's the perfect song to listen to on the way to the night's main event.

Favorite Line(s) :

1942 Tequila, that's all we need right now
There's only two shot glasses babe
And I know what we need right now

Mac Miller - Soulmate - The Divine Feminine

This is without a doubt my favorite love song of all time. Sounds sappy, but this is the song that I would envision my future wife and I singing to each other in the car to each other with the speakers blasting. You know those guys that try to act tough and hide their feelings? Speaking from first-hand experience, this is the type of song that cracks them.

Favorite Line(s) :

Too high, slow pace
My eyes closed, your body all I see
I think you're too divine for my human mind
When I'm with you, what do you do? Bring me to life


Meek Mill - Litty - DC4

I have to admit, I used to love Meek, but lately he just hasn't been cutting it for me. "DC4," though, has been easily my favorite tape of his since "DC1." This song is another one that has to be on the playlist for the party to really be "litty."

Favorite Line(s) :

Keeping it G-rated, take a look at the lyrics yourself

Juice - On a Mission - Single

Juice, of course, is the stage name for Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell, who, when he's not making defenders look silly, spends a lot of time in the studio and while not all of his tracks are tremendous, he does lay down some pretty good work on quite a few, and this one is definitely one of them. It's straight bars with no hook, but this season-teaser from summer 2016 really gets a heat check.

Favorite Line(s) :

They like "Yo Juice you gotta go"
They want Juice to be adios
I think y'all so comical
My team we got a common goal
That's somethin' that you gotta know
Our common goal a Super Bowl

Fat Joe & Remy Ma - All the Way Up - Plata O Plomo

The same crew that did "Lean Back" also laid down this track. That should be all you need to know.

Favorite Line(s) :

And if you ask anybody where I live
They'll point to the hills and say
Go all the way up
Go all the way up


Aesop Rock - Rings - The Impossible Kid

This is the anthem of winning Super Bowl after Super Bowl with the Steelers on Madden 17 connected franchise mode. Well done, EA. Nothing says "Rings" like 300 yard, 4 touchdown games from Big Ben.

Favorite Line(s) :

Shapes falling out of the fringe
All heart, though we would've made cowardly kings
They will chop you down just to count your rings
Just to count your rings, just to count your rings

Post Malone - Congratulations - Stoney

Hearing the story of Post's path to success is extremely uplifting, and the lyrics can be applied to pretty much any success story. Definitely a feel-good song that you want to listen to in order to help you increase your self-confidence.

Favorite Line(s) :

Everyone wanna act like they important
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
But all that mean nothing when I saw my dough, yeah
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Everyone countin' on me, drop the ball, yeah
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Everything custom like I'm at the border, yeah, yeah

Rae Sremmurd - Black Beatles - SremmLife 2

True story, I knew about this song before the mannequin challenge was a hit, but only as the song by "that dude that sang 'I Ain't Got No Type.'" It's way more popular now.

Favorite Line(s) :

Took a b*** to the club and let her party on the table
Screamin', "Everybody's famous!"
Like clockwork, I blow it all
And get some more
Get you somebody that can do both


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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