2016 was politically and socially gut-wrenching, but the soundtrack to this turbulent year was superb. Whether you’re a crate-digging backpacker or a mumble-rap aficionado, there was plenty of ear candy from 2016’s Pez dispensary.

This year, HipHopDX is distinguishing between the best rap songs (a.k.a. the most lyrically and sonically potent) and the ones that had the most impact culturally. That’s why we’ve made two lists: the 50 Best Hip Hop & Rap Songs Of 2016 and the Top 50 Most Lit Songs of 2016. The goal here is not to widen the divide between purist and partier but to give excellence its due. Peep game.

Hip Hop remains the dominant form of music on the airwaves. Its influence is heard in R&B, pop, and dance music, and rappers like Drake, Kanye West and Young Thug made sure the year’s hits remained as genre fluid as ever. Turn up.



50. 50 Cent f. Chris Brown – “I’m The Man (Remix)”

Producer: Sonny Digital
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: N/A (It was hot in those streets, son!)

49. Wiz Khalifa f. Lil Uzi Vert – “Pull Up”

Producer: Ricky P & TM88
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: N/A (Fuck all that, he had the kids singing it.)

48. French Montana & Drake – “No Shopping”

Producer: Murda Beatz & Cubeatz
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 36

47. DJ Drama f. Chris Brown, Skeme & LyQuin – “Wishing”

Producer: J Nat Beats
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 77

46. Fetty Wap – “Wake Up”

Producer: Frenzy
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 50

45. Desiigner – “Tiimmy Turner”

Producer: Mike Dean & Deraj
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 98

44. A$AP Mob f. Tyler, The Creator, Yung Gleesh, Playboi Carti – “Telephone Calls”

Producer: Plu2o Nash
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: N/A (Everybody streamed it on their mobile, though!)

43. Dreezy f. T-Pain – “Close To You”

Producer: Rance of 1500 or Nothin’ & Terrace Martin
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: N/A (It was busy having the sheets on lock.)

42. Kaytranada f. Anderson .Paak – “Glowed Up”

Producer: Kaytranada
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: N/A (Refinery, never sweatin’ the mind.)

41. NBA YoungBoy – “38 Baby”

Producer: Li Tourie
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: N/A (Much too gangsta for the charts.)

40. Dae Dae – “Spend It”

Producer: Young Trill Beatz
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: N/A (Tamar Braxton loved it!)

39. Meek Mill f. Tory Lanez – “Litty”

Producer: Sound M.O.B.
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: N/A (Still fire.)

38. DJ Khaled – f. Nas – “Nas Album Done”

Producer: DJ Khaled, 808-Ray, Cool & Dre
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: N/A (The album is finished. Let’s count our blessings.)

37. Kanye West – “I Love Kanye”

Producer: Kanye West
Billboard 100 Peak: N/A (Not a single, but don’t tell us you didn’t hear a dope remix.)

36. Drake & 21 Savage – “Sneakin’”

Producer: London on da Track
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 28

35. Young Thug – “Memo”

Producer: London on da Track
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: N/A (He got 7.5 million on YouTube. He good.)

34. Aminé – “Caroline”

Producer: Aminé & Pasqué
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 11

33. Kap G – “Girlfriend”

Producer: Squat Beats
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: N/A (Ask your main chick what it charted.)

32. 21 Savage – “No Heart”

Producer: Metro Boomin, Southside & Cubeatz
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 53

31. Future f. The Weeknd – “Low Life”

Producer: Metro Boomin, DaHeala, Ben Billions & The Weeknd
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 18

30. Migos f. Lil Uzi Vert – “Bad and Boujee”

Producer: Metro Boomin & G Koop
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 13

29. DJ Khaled f. Jay Z & Future – “I Got The Keys”

Producer: Southside, Jake One & G Koop
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 30

28. Kodak Black f. Gucci Mane – “Vibin In This Bih”

Producer: Dubba-AA
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: N/A (Mixtape cut.)

27. Lil Yachty – “1Night”

Producer: Burberry Perry/TheGoodPerry
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 49

26. Lil Uzi Vert – “Money Longer”

Producer: Don Cannon & Maaly Raw
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 54

25. Kevin Gates – “2 Phones”

Producer: Mad Max
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 17

24. 21 Savage & Metro Boomin f. Future – “X”

Producer: Metro Boomin
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 36

23. YG f. Drake & Kamaiyah – “Why You Always Hatin?”

Producer: CT Beats
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 62

22. DJ Khaled f. Drake – “For Free”

Producer: Nineteen85 & Jordan Ullman
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 13

21. A Tribe Called Quest – “We The People”

Producer: Q-Tip & Blair Wells
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 77

20. Kanye West f. Post Malone & Ty Dolla $ign – “Fade”

Producer: Kanye West, Anthony Kilhoffer, Benji B, Mike Dean, Charlie Handsome, DJ Dodger Stadium, Noah Goldstein
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 47

19. Future & DJ Esco f. Lil Uzi Vert – “Too Much Sauce”

Producer: Zaytoven
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 61

18. French Montana f. Kodak Black – “Lockjaw”

Producer: Ben Billions
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 73

17. MadeinTYO – “Uber Everywhere”

Producer: K Swisha
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 51

16. Kent Jones – “Don’t Mind”

Producer: Kent Jones, Cool & Dre
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 8

15. Drake – “Childs Play”

Producer: Noah “40” Shebib, Metro Boomin, Jordan Ullman, Nineteen85
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 49

14. Future – “Wicked”

Producer: Metro Boomin & Southside
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 41

13. Gucci Mane – “1st Day Out Tha Feds”

Producer: Mike WiLL Made-It
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: N/A (But it nabbed a million SoundCloud streams in its first 24 hours.)

12. D.R.A.M. f. Lil Yachty – “Broccoli”

Producer: J Gramm, Rogét Chahayed & Karl Rubin
Billboard Hit 100 Peak: 5

11. ScHoolboy Q f. Kanye West – “THat Part”

Producer: Cardo, Yung Exclusive, Sounwave, Cubeatz
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 40

10. A$AP Ferg f. Future – “New Level”

Producer: Honorable C.N.O.T.E.
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 90

If the strings don’t give you goosebumps, the bass will. Call it Four-Minute Energy.



09. Young M.A – “OOOUUU”

Producer: U-Dub of NY Bangers
Billboard 100 Peak: 19

The Brooklyn rapper’s breakout track has been remixed more times than she said “OOOUUU” on the hook. It’s stripped down, simplistic, raunchy and 2016’s “Hot Nigga.”



08. Rae Sremmurd f. Gucci Mane – “Black Beatles”

Producer: Mike WiLL Made-It
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 1

This track is a real crowd pleaser. Quick release the beat, they lose it when the DJ drops the needle.



07. Kanye West f. Chance The Rapper, Kirk Franklin, The-Dream & Kelly Price – “Ultralight Beam”

Producer: Kanye West, Mike Dean, Chance The Rapper, Swizz Beatz, Rick Rubin, Plain Pat, DJ Dodger Stadium, Noah Goldstein, Derek Watkins
Billboard 100 Peak: 67

The “old” Kanye created a masterpiece, from Yeezy’s spiritual conviction to Chance’s show-stealing verse. This is a God dream.



06. YG f. Nipsey Hussle – “FDT”

Producer: Swish
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: N/A (You kidding?)

Neither YG nor Nipsey hold back their feelings toward the President-elect on the rowdy, “fuck-the-world,” anti-Trump anthem, which easily ignites a fire within. “Fuck Donald Trump” indeed.



05. Travis Scott f. Quavo & Young Thug – “Pick Up The Phone”

Producer: Vinylz, Frank Dukes, Mike Dean, Allen Ritter
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 43

Hello? That’s the sound of the tenacious trifecta totally in the zone as they voraciously rap to a Caribbean-flavored attempt at a love song.



04. Kanye West f. Kid Cudi & Kelly Price – “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1”

Producer: Kanye West, Mike Dean, Rick Rubin, Metro Boomin, Allen Ritter & Noah Goldstein
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 37

It’s very liberating to know that we’re not alone with our concerns of having sex with “bleached-asshole models” behind the heavenly vocals of Kelly Price. That said, we shamelessly sang along for much of the year.



03. Desiigner – “Panda”

Producer: Menace
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 1

You may not understand what he’s saying or have even been to Atlanta yourself, but admit it: you blasted this one on repeat while losing your shit in your living room with the shades closed.



02. Fat Joe & Remy Ma f. French Montana & Infared – “All The Way Up”

Producer: Edsclusive and Cool & Dre
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 27

Grammy nomination aside, Fat Joe, Remy and French go in on their verses as the build-up explodes into a hard-hitting banger. Stadium status.



DX’s Most Lit Song Of 2016: Chance The Rapper f. 2 Chainz & Lil Wayne – “No Problem”

Producer: Brasstracks
Billboard Hot 100 Peak: 43

Lil Chano from 79th mixed gospel and hype for 2016’s biggest lituation. Huh, huh!




Check out more of DX’s year-end content below.

The 2016 HipHopDX Year-End Awards



The 20 Best Rap Albums Of 2016

The Best R&B Of 2016

The Best Mixtapes Of 2016



The Most Slept-On Rap Albums Of 2016

The 50 Best Songs Of 2016

The 50 Most Lit Songs Of 2016



The Steve Lobel “We Working” Artist Of The Year

The Worst Rap Albums Of 2016

Remembering Those We Lost In 2016