2020 has been filled with great music. From well known artists to up and coming acts, there has been no shortage of songs with re-play value. This article is specific to the month of May. Whether you were looking back at the month to see which songs dropped or are comparing which month had the best Hip Hop releases, this article has you covered. During May, music fans were provided with a plentitude of new songs to serve as the soundtrack to their quarantine. This month’s list includes new music from Polo G, Lil Baby, YG and more.
HipHopDX is putting a spotlight on the tracks that stand out from the overabundance of releases throughout the year, highlighting everything from Billboard chart-friendly singles to essential album cuts. Check out our full lists below:
Make sure to scroll all the way down to the bottom and find HipHopDX’s playlist of the best songs of 2020. And don’t forget to follow us on Spotify!
The Best Hip Hop Songs of May 2020
“Wishing For A Hero” – Polo G f. BJ The Chicago Kid
The climax of Polo G’s sophomore effort feels analogous to a song that precedes it by 22 years. “Wishing For A Hero” takes on the same tenor and piano loop that made Tupac’s “Changes” a resonating reminder of how much truly hasn’t changed even in the face of optimism. “Cops kill us and we protest, what type of shit is that?” Polo asks before settling underneath BJ The Chicago Kid’s own hymnals, “I’m from where we unheard but we can’t speak.” He may be referencing Chicago, but in America, he’s referring to millions of people who want basic decency and respect.
“1985” – Freddie Gibbs
After conquering 2019 on the album front, Freddie Gibbs has found a new producer co-pilot in The Alchemist, who has iron clad bars he can brutalize. On “1985,” the first appetizer from their full-course album Alfredo, Freddie treats his words like a steak knife, bluntly cutting through the track’s electric synergy like a top-level MC.
“Laugh Now Kry Later!” – YG
Compton-bred rapper YG returned with a video for “Laugh Now, Kry Later!,” another bravado-filled ride bursting at the seams with YG’s unabashed confidence. The song marks YG’s first offering since his February duet “Konclusions” with his now ex-girlfriend Kehlani. Produced by Pasqué, FranchiseDidIt and Iceberg, “Laugh Now, Kry Later!” is slow enough for a summer jam but still bumps.
“BALD! REMIX” – JPEGMAFIA f. Denzel Curry
JPEGMAFIA bolstered his already impressive cut “BALD!” by enlisting the help of Denzel Curry for the track’s remix. Peggy’s new version maintains the original production but replaces his second verse with an excellent effort from Zeltron. Curry fits seamlessly on the track, particularly while rapping on the sparse section of the beat featuring nothing but hand claps.
“495” – IDK f. Rico Nasty, YungManny, Big Flock, Big JAM & Weensey
IDK served as the music supervisor on Kevin Durant’s Showtime documentary Basketball County: In the Water and slipped a new song, “495,” into the film. The posse cut features Juicy J’s production, which proves he’s still a master of the vintage Three 6 Mafia sound. But with IDK and Acyde also contributing to the beat, the song morphs at one point from menacing banger into a breezy anthem by the time Rico Nasty starts rapping.
“Savage (Remix)” – Megan Thee Stallion f. Beyoncé
Megan Thee Stallion has been building her Hot Girl brand over the past couple of years and continues to grow into one of the most prominent new artists in the game. If her status wasn’t already cemented before, a fellow Houston native sealed the deal for Meg. Beyoncé not only hopped on the remix, she also provided multiple rap verses, adlibs over the hook and new melodies to take the song to the next level. “Savage (Remix)” reached No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100, giving Megan her first ever No. 1 song.
“Social Distancing” – Lil Baby
Many rappers incorporated the coronavirus’ forced reality into their music, but none did it with the grace of Lil Baby. Backed by a beat that feels six feet away from Section 8 and Chi Chi, Baby raps with precision, using the social distancing term as a metaphor for carving out his lane and cutting off all that oppose him. Baby understands with great wealth comes intense jealousy and fake admiration; his distrust building. It’s the type of song built for isolation as we tune out our grim reality, hoping for the day when we can escape with the ones we love and just go away.
“Need It” – Migos f. Youngboy
All Instagram followers of Migos and Youngboy Never Broke Again know they love their big toys, so it comes no surprise they joined forces for some 2020 “ryder music.” Enter “Need It,” which owes its production touch to the 50 Cent sample of 2005’s “Get In My Car.” Over the high-powered Buddah Bless beat, the four Southerners let their diamond-encrusted lyrical flexes hit just as hard as the track’s thumping bass guitar.
“Body Count” f. G Herbo & King Von – Mozzy
Over the past decade, Mozzy has become one of the best rappers at portraying the grim circumstances of street life. “Body Count” off his Beyond Bulletproof album is another example of his proficiency in this area as he displays on the hook and first verse. The West Coast MC gets assists from Chicago’s G Herbo and King Von, the latter of whom delivers one of his finest performances to date, proving he shouldn’t be stuck in the shadow of his OTF boss Lil Durk.
“Will (Remix)” – Joyner Lucas f. Will Smith
After releasing the music video for his single “Will,” which finds Joyner professing his admiration for actor/MC Will Smith and comparing his own journey to Smith’s celebrated career, the man who inspired the song jumped on the remix. The Fresh Prince tells his story over the beat while shouting out all of the people who inspired him along the way, from Muhammad Ali to his wife Jada.
“H.A.R.D.” – Joell Ortiz & KXNG Crooked
The demise of Slaughterhouse was unfortunate for Hip Hop, but Joell Ortiz and KXNG Crooked reminded fans of why the supergroup was special with the release of their “H.A.R.D.” single. The two have always been elite lyricists yet what really makes The Heatmakerz-produced cut shine is Ortiz and Crook’s chemistry. These veteran MCs arguably compliment each other better as a duo than they did within the four-man lineup of Slaughterhouse with the track emphasizing their strengths. Still, both artists have great fondness for their days rapping alongside Royce Da 5’9 and Joe Budden and make sure that’s known on the single.
“Summerhouse” – Kota The Friend
“Up Or Down” – E-40 f. Wiz Khalifa
“FYTB” – Key Glock
Have you ever spent the night up in the trap house? Key Glock has. He lives that life, no matter how successful he becomes. Glizock’s authenticity is one key to his rise; the other coming from how lively he makes his grim tales of detachment sound. “FYTB” isn’t ominous like many of his other cuts. The flex lines fire off like a Mac-11. He cops a Benz and Rolls truck: paid in cash, of course. And can make your girl faint just by walking into the room. This is Key Glock at his most boisterous without compromising himself. But this was all predestined — He was born to ball.
“And I Still” – Rod Wave
Below is a list of more songs that we loved and still have on repeat. You can also check out the Spotify playlist below that includes all of the songs mentioned in this article. Both the playlist and this articles will be updated weekly. Check back so that you don’t miss the best songs of 2020!
- “DEALER” (Remix) – RMR f. Future & Lil Baby
- “Me Vs. Me” – Moneybagg Yo
- “Nominated” – Hit-Boy f. Dom Kennedy (Eric Diep)
- “Lost” – Tha Chill f. MC Ren
- “Dollaz On My Head” – Gunna f. Young Thug
As promised, for your listening pleasure, here is HipHopDX’s The Best Hip Hop Songs of 2020 … so far.
If you want to see our lists from past months, here they are: