2021 is off to a good start musically with some of the game’s heavy-hitters dropping new songs. This year so far, fans have received new music from Wale, Nas and Lauryn Hill, Benny The Butcher, MO3 and more.
Every month, HipHopDX puts 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 back at the beginning of every month for updates and check out our other lists and our playlist below, which includes all of the songs mentioned in this article and more:
- If looking for a more soothing list: The Best R&B Songs of 2021 …(so far)
- If looking for a more lyrical list: The Best Rap Songs of 2021 …(so far)
- Check out our list of Best Hip Hop Songs of 2020 to catch up on anything you may have missed from last year.
- If looking for this year’s best Hip Hop albums: The Best Hip Hop Albums of 2021…(so far)
Editor’s note: Songs from this list were released between December 2, 2020 – September 1, 2021.
For everyone’s listening pleasure, here’s HipHopDX‘s Best Hip Hop Songs of 2021 … so far.
The Top Hip Hop Songs of 2021 (December – September)
Contributing writers: David Brake, Trent Clark, Kyle Eustice, Jeremy Hecht, Devon Jefferson, Dana Scott, Ben Brutocao, Anthony Malone, Kia Turner, Matthew Ritchie & Josh Svetz.
“family ties” – Baby Keem f. Kendrick Lamar
Baby Keem has had one helluva month. He claimed the best verse on Kanye West’s long-awaited Donda album and has a hit with cousin Kendrick Lamar on “family ties.” The song was released after Kendrick announced his forthcoming album will be his last with Top Dawg Entertainment. It’s too soon to say what the future has in store for the iconic Compton rapper, but if Kendrick’s new album sounds anything like the turbulent hellfire of his verse on “family ties,” fans should be excited.
Keem, too, is due for a new album. Given that he’s released a slew of singles (including the Travis Scott-assisted “durag activities”) already in 2021, hopes are high the album is on its way.
-David Brake @davidaaronbrake
“Down South” – Wale f. Maxo Kream & Yella Beezy
Though the beat, which sounds like a chopped and screwed violin concerto, could support a club banger, Wale and company opt into a meaty, time-traveling philosophical roundtable on “Down South.” Wale stands rightly as the grizzled lead man, asking tough questions about the perilous intersectionality between stardom and drug dealing. Wale is grizzled after of a life spent navigating troubled waters, but Yella Beezy sounds much less scarred as he delivers a bullheaded verse that drips with a Southern drawl and vivid bravado.
Maxo Kream brings the track full circle with a verse that shows both glee and inescapable trauma. He totes guns and threatens the masses but also candidly recalls the death of his brother. In those final moments, Wale’s cynicism is validated with the line, “Can’t even trust my Crips because a Crip killed Nipsey Hussle.” A Southern rapper’s dilemma in three disparate time frames, “Down South” has multi-generational effect. The track illustrates the meatgrinder of the Southern rap scene and the toll it takes on those unfortunately embroiled.
-Ben Brutocao @ben_brutocao
“Nobody” – Nas f. Lauryn Hill
Social media entered a frenzy when people noticed Lauryn Hill was featured on the tracklist to Nas’ King’s Disease II. Ms. Hill’s return to rhyming was met with excitement and a healthy dose of uncertainty as nearly 25 years have passed since the two bards of Hip Hop first joined forces on It Was Written‘s lead single “If I Ruled The World.” Luckily, both legendary MCs have plenty of fuel left in the tank. Nas’ head-nodding flow on “Nobody” exhibits the same dexterous flow he forged in his youth, but it’s Ms. Hill’s explosive verse that truly steals the show.
-Dana Scott @iam_danascott
“9 TIMES OUTTA 10” – Gunna f. Taurus
“Back To Life” – Zion I f. Deuce Eclipse
Bay Area Hip Hop duo Zion I — comprised of MC Baba Zumbi and producer Amp Live — transcended modern day rap. With their ethos firmly in line with the culture’s roots, Zumbi and Amp pumped out celebrated underground classics such as “Silly Puddy” with The Grouch and “Antenna.” Sadly, Zumbi’s life came to a sudden and tragic end on August 13 when he passed away under suspicious circumstances at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, California. Right before he made his transition, he and frequent collaborator Deuce Eclipse released a video for “Back To Life,” a bass-heavy banger sun-kissed by Zumbi’s rhyming prowess and unbridled positivity. With lines such as, “We are lights upon a journey, so don’t ever think you’re lost/Learning is the key, knowledge of self is the boss,” Zumbi inherently knew this wasn’t the end. While he may not be here in physical form, his spirit lives on in his music and those who loved him. RIP Baba Zumbi.
–Kyle Eustice @EusticeKyle
“Griot” – Baby Phace
Success means more to Baby Phace than it does to most. He remembers before his still-burgeoning rap career began to bubble, eating plantains and pork in Flatbush, dreaming of Calabasas villas. That dream seems to be inching closer and closer to becoming a reality, as the New Jersey-based rapper continues to elevate his craft. As a flute whirrs in the background of INFLXBLE and Sunny Laurent’s playful production, Phace finds creative pockets, rapping with a tight control over his melodic machine-gun flow. His ear for quality production, vocal prowess and tight, clever lyrics make Phace an artist to watch over the coming months.
-David Brake @davidaaronbrake
“Buss” – Rico Nasty
“Walk The Beat” – Tierra Whack
Tierra Whack has never created two tracks that sound exactly alike. Her outstanding variety, marked by remarkable consistency, has ensured each track she drops is appointment listening. “Walk The Beat” is the latest of her seemingly random drops, powered by a bouncy, hypnotic house beat with an intoxicatingly catchy heart stopping bassline. Whack flies above the production with a falsetto hook and her high pitched rapping. She sings, “Fancy shoes, fancy clothes/That’s just the way it goes,” with startling efficiency, displaying her penchant for hook-making beloved to everyone that comes into contact with her songs. She continually proves her power knows no bounds.
-Matthew Ritchie @mrkwrt
“In My Blood” – Mo3 f. Morray
The tragedy of rising rapper/singer Mo3’s murder continues to become more stark as posthumous music floods out with each track flaunting an incredible talent taken far too soon. Teaming up with fellow pain-rap crooner Morray, “In My Blood” features both artist competing for who can sound more in anguish. Mo3 attempts to find forgiveness in his heart for the pain the streets and women have caused him, while Morray tries to navigate the pitfalls of fame, weaving through the snakes lining up to plot on his downfall.
Near the end, Morray makes a note of the Dallas singer’s passing: “On a song with my dog, I’m getting features from heaven/I’ma try to emulate you, but I know nobody better.” It’s a direct and heartbreaking sentiment, acknowledging there may be singers and rappers who come up and take their influence from Mo3, but there will only ever be one Mo3, no matter how much people try to live up to his name.
-Josh Svetz @svetz17
“Matt Hardy 999” – Trippie Redd f. Juice WRLD
“Tank Souljah” – WiFiGawd
The creation of alter egos in underground rap is a lost art making a comeback. The pushback over being “too online” is forcing some artists to shroud their work, which is usually released on alt accounts with different sounds from what fans expect. Tread music rapper WiFiGAWD seems to be using this tactic with his alt-rap alias UPTSOULJAH. “Tank Souljah,” released exclusively to Bandcamp, isn’t too far off from WiFi’s usual output, but it’s a lot more forceful than his regular work.
A digital drum package pummels the track as Wifi cuts through the production’s onslaught. Much of WiFi’s music sounds like what a bank robber would be playing through their headphones before breaching the vault — and this is no exception. It’s a song to bump when stepping up to the ATM at 4 a.m., withdrawing two grand before heading to the underground nightclub for debauchery and wicked deeds.
-Josh Svetz @svetz17
“Not Wock” – Bktherula
“Corvette Corvette” – RX Papi
Rx Papi isn’t afraid to speak his mind. On “Corvette, Corvette,” Pap hurls streams of threats like gusts of wind. Each punchline hits hard, and Dog the Bounty Hunter, DJ Akademiks and Lil Uzi Vert are all in Pap’s line of fire. “Corvette, Corvette,” like most Rx Papi songs, is filled with a sinister energy that fills his lyrics. In one instance, he’s robbing two people on his first day out of jail, then he states with a callous deadpan delivery that he treats every day as his first day. Rx Papi’s nihilism fuels the track’s chaos but at the same time, he couldn’t care less.
-Anthony Malone @anthonyjmalone3
“Flood The Block” – Benny The Butcher
One complaint some fans lob at Griselda Records is how much of their music sounds the same, carrying that ethos of underground New York coke raps without elevating the sound. Benny The Butcher has seemed to read these claims, opting to go outside of his comfort zone by rapping on projects produced by both Harry Fraud and Hit-Boy, respectively. His latest EP, Pyrex Picasso, features Benny delivering the coke rap aesthetic on some tracks like he was only built for Cuban Linx. But other tracks, such as the Svika Pick sampling “Flood The Block,” have Benny blending street raps with production which sounds like the opening to an ’80s Japanese anime. It’s more proof Benny’s style doesn’t need to bend to trendy sounds; he can talk his shit over any instrumental.
-Josh Svetz @svetz17
“5500 Degrees” – EST Gee f. 42 Dugg, Lil Baby & Rylo Rodriguez
EST Gee received some big looks earlier this year with explosive features on tracks including Lil Baby’s “Real As It Gets,” Jack Harlow’s “Route 66” and “I Ain’t Lying” from Lil Durk’s Only The Family compilation tape. But now it appears the Louisville, Kentucky rapper is stepping into his own lane. Amongst the many raucous tracks from Gee’s latest mixtape, Bigger Than Life Or Death, “5500 Degrees” stands ahead of the pack, as Gee transitions from the underground to the spotlight.
Rapping with influences from Michigan stutter-step bars tweaked with a nasally Kentucky drawl, Gee swerves between Enrgy Beats’ jittery hi-hats like Alvin Kamara dodging tackles. Lil Baby and Rylo Rodriguez each deliver top-tier verses, but it’s 42 Dugg who steals the show with his best verse in recent memory, a hazy and melodic hook that perfectly meshes with Gee’s more viscous delivery.
-David Brake @davidaaronbrake
“Lil Fade” – Vince Staples
Like the entire self-titled Vince Staples album, “Lil Fade” gets better every time it’s played. The warm, loopy Kenny Beats-produced instrumental coaxes a scrap of optimism from Staples, allowing him to develop a shimmering portrait of his life as he sees it.
The careful cinematography from Staples’ best work is present here, but it’s blurry at first and the scenes don’t seem to connect to one another. The lyrics travel in time, flickering between his current ivory tower and the struggle that raised him. Initially abstract, further listening allows “Lil Fade” to coalesce into a somber and elegant scene.
-Ben Brutocao @ben_brutocao
“Audible” – Remble f. B.A.
“Clash” – Dave f. Stormzy
“Clash,” on top of being a highly anticipated collaboration between two of the U.K.’s most heralded artists, is a celebration. The track highlights two beacons of the British rap scene, with Dave ascending to the top and Stormzy’s place already solidified, trading outstanding verses for over four minutes. Each line delivered is an attempt to outclass the last with both rappers rattling off luxurious purchases in consecutive bars with disarming nonchalance.
The spoils earned from their artistic prowess is listed with a blasé indifference, Rolex watches and crocodile skin purses like are checked off like items on a grocery list. As Dave wades further into the pinnacle of his career thus far, all eyes are watching his next move, yearning for more collaborations of this caliber.
-Matthew Ritchie @mrkwrt
“Megaton 10” – Mix Master Mike, DJ Premier, A-Trak, DJ Craze, DJ Q-Bert, etc.
It’s rare nowadays to hear a turntablist flex on records performing flares, tears, chirps, orbits, backspins, scribble of any other kind of scratch on Hip Hop’s most popular songs. Former Beastie Boys DJ Mix Master Mike recruited eight legendary turntablists to pay homage to the art of DJing, while issuing due flowers celebrating four decades in Hip Hop on “Megaton 10.”
For over seven minutes, Mix Master Mike’s fellow Invisibl Skratch Piklz DJ crewmates Q-Bert, Shortkut and D-Styles, Gang Starr’s DJ Premier, transformer scratch pioneer DJ Jazzy Jeff, Los Angeles-based Beat Junkies’ Babu and Melo-D and Miami-bred DJ Craze bring a cohesive smorgasbord of chops over an up tempo, 1980s-style electro Hip Hop beat. This cut should seep deep into any Hip Hop traditionalist’s psyche.
-Dana Scott @iam_danascott
“What U Sed” – Isaiah Rashad f. Iamdoechii & Kal Banx
Isaiah Rashad pays homage to his Dirty South lineage with his latest album, The House Is Burning. The production is filled with nods to the codeine-induced grooves of UGK’s Pimp C and Outkast — cowbells, heavy bass and cipher-ready soundtracks.
“Wat U Sed” finds Zay in a schism between his two vices: money and women. He recalls a dream where he wasn’t counting dead presidents. He puts the women aside in the search for peace of mind. The track features appearances from the intoxicating Iamdoechii and TDE’s in-house producer Kal Banx. Iamdoechii’s vocals are airy as cotton candy as she provides a show-stealing performance. “What U Sed” makes it clear Zay knows how to have the perfect vibe for those nighttime car rides.
-Anthony Malone @anthonyjmalone3
“30” – Pop Smoke f. Bizzy Banks
“INDUSTRY BABY” – Lil Nas X f. Jack Harlow
Lil Nas and Jack Harlow take pride in coming up as unlikely stars from their respective openly homosexual and Southern white middle class farm-raised personal backgrounds. They celebrate their come-up together on “INDUSTRY BABY,” gloating about their success in a fickle rap industry.
They’re still riding the wave beyond 15 minutes of fame after Lil Nas X’s Billboard country rap record breaker “Old Town Road” in 2019 and Harlow’s 2020 Tik Tok-driven mega single “WHAT’S POPPIN.” Both artists give their 16 bars on being a product of an industry which eventually opened up for them as Xennials were drawn to be their unhindered self-expression and authenticity.
-Dana Scott @iam_danascott
“WHOLE LOTTA MONEY [Remix]” – BIA f. Nicki Minaj
“edamame” – bbno$ f. Rich Brian
bbno$ (pronounced baby-no-money) has made the jump from meme rapper to legitimate artist. The Canadian artist started making music after a back injury derailed his promising swimming career, laughing over Chief Keef beats before realizing he actually had a knack for rhythm. He turned his garage band experiments into funny, hyper-aware online songs with collaborators Yung Gravy and Y2K, which helped him develop a cult following. Now, he’s considered a full-fledged, “for real” rapper. But bbno$ hasn’t lost the signature humor, instead, blending it with percussion-heavy and undeniably catchy earworms.
“edamame” may be his best work thus far. Over lively horns and toe-tap inducing drums, bbno$ flexes with a laid-back delivery alongside fellow meme rapper-turned-serious artist Rich Brian. The duo are in lockstep, rapping about getting money, flaunting fake jewelry and keeping the mask on while turning up. It’s a fun party song from two friends who sound like they’re having the time of their lives — and that energy radiates throughout. It’s easy to be skeptical, but a couple listens later and it’s hard to deny this is an enjoyable bottle-popping track fit for what’s left of the summer.
-Josh Svetz @svetz17
“Steve Jobs: SLR 3 ½” – Lupe Fiasco
Lupe Fiasco and Royce Da 5’9 have engaged in a bout of lyrical warfare. The former podcast co-hosts have taken shots at each other over the last month. Tensions escalated when Royce dropped the first diss record, “Silence of the Lambda,” which finds Royce flexing his exhaustive technical ability but not a whole lot of anything else over the seven-minute run time.
Lupe responded with “Steve Jobs: SLR 3 1/2,” a savage response record that focuses on intellectual bars, serrated like a kitchen knife. Lupe takes the time to remind fans of the Backpack Era, taking a jab at the overly conscious rappers. Lupe attacks Royce’s career, his circle and overall rap ability. Like a surgeon, Lupe’s lyrical incisions are clinically sharp and precise.
-Anthony Malone @anthonyjmalone3
“Rock N Roll” – Ken Car$on
“The Talk” – Chief Keef
Abrasive, never-ending and one dimensional, “The Talk” is sure to evoke an extreme reaction. Many won’t believe people can genuinely like the song, others will defend it to the death. The key is Keef’s charisma, delivering lines such as “pulled out black and white truck, moo, moo, moo” with full confidence as if it’s the secret to immortality.
“The Talk” stands out among the avalanche of music the 25-year-old Chicago native has released in the last few years. It’s authentic Chief Keef — completely ridiculous, all over the place vocally and purposefully low quality, putting adlibs before lyrics and energy before substance. Spinning it is like boarding a time machine back to whenever “Faneto” first caught young kids by the masses.
-Ben Brutocao @ben_brutocao
“WUSYANAME” – Tyler, The Creator f. YoungBoy Never Broke Again & Ty Dolla Sign
Tyler, the Creator is a master at creating cohesive sonic landscapes on his albums. While his most recent album Call Me If You Get Lost, is no exception,“WUSYANAME” stands out with its lush instrumentation and teed up features from YoungBoy Never Broke Again and Ty Dolla $ign. Tyler always brings out the best in his guests and this is yet another example. From T’s humorous pick up lines to DJ Drama’s drops, the song should serve as a soundtrack to the summer of 2021.
“Thot Shit” – Megan Thee Stallion
Megan Thee Stallion isn’t distracted by noise, fake friends or pesky drama. The Houston rap star creates on her own terms, and has developed an unshakeable confidence impervious to opps, as is apparent on “Thot Shit,” her latest single produced by OG Parker and LilJuMadeDaBeat. Rapping as Tina Snow, her brazen alter ego, Meg pummels the beat with a braggadocious flair as she takes full control over her own body and narrative. Sizzling and electric, “Thot Shit” features Megan doing what she does best: creating banging anthems primed for Hot Girl Summer.
“Law Of Averages” – Vince Staples
Vince Staples has become so ingrained in many fans’ minds as one of the funniest and most poignant voices within Hip Hop, that some people may forget how elite he is at rapping. On the Kenny Beats-produced “LAW OF AVERAGES” Vince reminds fans that he is one of the best MC’s in the game, giving a preview of what his upcoming album might sound like. His flows are flawless and his lyrics provide just as many quotables as you would expect from a Vince Staples release.
“Young Thug” – Bbyafricka
“Go Part 1” – Polo G f. G Herbo
Polo G and G Herbo are a dynamic duo anytime they link up. On “Go Part 1,” from Polo G’s Billboard No. 1 album Hall of Fame, the pair of Chicago MCs showcase their unique abilities to mix pain and lyricism, delivering passionate bars tackling themes of survivors’ guilt and lost friends. Polo has no problem standing next to his idol turned peer on the song, leaving fans begging for more collabs out of the two.
“Dummy” – TyFontaine
“42” – Pi’erre Bourne
Pi’erre Bourne’s skills as a rapper are still being honed, but on “42,” from The Life Of Pi’erre 5, the rapper/producer’s latest album, the artist showcases the maturity and growth he’s undergone over the course of the five-project series. Bourne rides the beat’s pocket as he croons over electric production, full of computerized chimes and swelling synths. Bourne’s been responsible for a number of catchy hooks over his career, but none can hold a flame to the exhilarating chorus of “42.”
“Hurt Like Me” – Saint Bodhi
“Bath Salts” – DMX f. JAY-Z & Nas
The Hip Hop community still feels sullen following the death of legendary rapper DMX on April 9. Even attempting to surmise the accolades of the Yonkers rapper feels futile. Over DMX’s 30-plus year career, the Ruff Ryders legend did it all: from becoming the first artist to consecutively debut five albums at the top slot on the Billboard 200 to being an outspoken activist for mental health.
Exodus, the first posthumous DMX album, arrived in the final days of May with an epic range of features. But “Bath Salts” quickly stood out as the defining track. Featuring JAY-Z and Nas on the same track, a feat which a decade ago would’ve felt impossible, “Bath Salts” is one of the most important tracks of all of 2021. In this gathering of New York rap royalty, three kings of the East Coast come together for the final time. Rest in peace to the guardian of Yonkers, Dark Man X.
“Seeing Green” – Nicki Minaj f. Drake & Lil Wayne
“my life” – J. Cole f. 21 Savage & Morray
Whenever J. Cole releases new music, the world pauses to listen. This held true for The Off-Season, Cole’s latest studio album, which caused Spotify to crash from an overload of traffic. Cole projects tend to be particularly divisive, but none can deny the epic “m y . l i f e”
With production from WU10, Cole and Jake One, “m y . l i f e” is not only the most complete song on The Off-Season, it holds the two best features of the project, including a verse from 21 Savage, whom Cole collaborated with on “A Lot.” Also included is a breathtaking hook from Morray, North Carolina’s hottest rookie.
“French Kiss Deux” – Phife Dawg f. Illa J
“Miss The Rage” – Trippie Redd f. Playboi Carti
One thing every Hip Hop fan has come to realize about Ohio’s Trippie Redd is the former SoundCloud rapper is one of the best in the business when it comes to picking beats. Look no further than “Miss The Rage,” Redd’s latest single with King Vamp himself, Playboi Carti. Produced by Loesoe, one of the sonic architects responsible for singles such as Lil Uzi Vert’s “Futsal Shuffle 2020″ and “Miss The Rage” has been highly anticipated since Redd shared a snippet on Instagram in December 2020.
In the following months, “Miss The Rage” wormed its way into TikTok virality and spread like wildfire across the internet. Now, with the complete track available, one can see how the hype was warranted. In addition to being the best Hip Hop song in the month of May, “Miss The Rage” is one of Redd’s greatest musical contributions to date.
“Straightenin” – Migos
Years ago, Culture sent Migos to the stratosphere. Their rugged brand was dissected and scattered about, pushing the Atlanta representatives towards pop collabs, red carpets, and high-profile relationships. Their authenticity wasn’t lost, but it was certainly lost in the mess. Really all it took to recover that is a “little bit of straightenin,” which we get in full on the new single.
All the Migos are back doing their thing. Quavo reclaims his lead role, barking the hook and taking the first verse. Offset and Takeoff sound more than happy to fire molten bars in all directions towards the end of the track. But, by far the best thing about “Straightenin,” is that it took longer than 45 minutes to make.
“Groceries” – Pi’erre Bourne
“Lay Wit Ya” – Isaiah Rashad f. Duke Deuce
After a hiatus that only rivals his TDE boss Kendrick Lamar, Isaiah Rashad returned from a long soul search this May with brand new music in the form of “Lay Wit Ya.” Rashad’s battles with mental health and addiction have unfolded publicly, and he’s been transparent about the effects his struggles have had on his music. To the delight of his cult-like following of fans, the Civilia Demo rapper seems to be in a healthier place.
The menacing and rhythmic production from Hollywood Cole serves as a springboard for Rashad and his Memphis counterpart, Duke Deuce, as the two bounce across the song, rapping about women and big wheeled Chevys.
“durag activity” – Baby Keem f. Travis Scott
Baby Keem is a mysterious figure in Hip Hop. He entered the scene suddenly and unexpectedly with 2019’s Die For My Bitch, highlighted by tracks such as “HONEST” and the earth-shattering lead single “ORANGE SODA.” The younger cousin of Kendrick Lamar, Keem has swiftly progressed through rap’s hierarchy and has now landed his largest guest feature to-date in Travis Scott.
LaFlame and Keem came together for “durag activity,” a lilting, sway-inducing track. Typically, when a veteran MC works with a newcomer, the disparity in talent and experience is evident. But on “durag activity,” the two push each other to new heights, sparring with psychedelic and ominous cadences.
“Should’ve Ducked” – Lil Durk f. Pooh Shiesty
“Gold Rolex” – Bobby Sessions f. Freddie Gibbs & Benny The Butcher
If you are looking for a musical pairing for the most luxurious activity in your life, congratulations. On “Gold Rolex,” Bobby Sessions enlists feudal warlords Benny, the Butcher and Freddie Gibbs to shame anyone who considers poverty a virtue. The glittering synth sounds like wealth, and the long pause in between verses gives a believable air of importance.
All three rap with intent. Bobby Sessions chose two of the most prolific rappers of out time to compete with, and by the fact he doesn’t get washed assures fan interest for years to come. There is grandiosity and blood radiating from every corner. It’s rap that instills the same feeling as seeing the despair in the DA’s eyes after the fall guy stays solid.
“Freestyle” – Patrick Paige II
Nearly every song is excellent from If We Fail Are We Still Cool?, the latest album from Patrick Paige II, making it difficult to land on just one to praise. Nevertheless, “Freestyle” stood out as one of the album’s best offerings. The floating, looped sample paired with a knocking kick drum from producer Ashton McCreight serves as the foundation for Paige II and his sparring partner Saba to unleash a fury of bars.
Paige II, best known for his work in Hip Hop and R&B collective The Internet, has stepped into a new, solo career in 2021. The versatile artist is just as comfortable delivering rap-heavy bars as he is crooning sweeping R&B tunes. On “Freestyle,” Paige II flexes his pen for two minutes of pure heat.
“The Biggest” – Latto
As her first release under the moniker Latto, “The Biggest” finds the 22 year old rap veteran doing some serious explaining. Why she changed her name, why the change took so long, how she plans to go forward, and most prominently why you should still kiss her ass.
Heavy bass, crystalline synth, and the trademark violin provide solid ground for her to unleash a full account of her growth, as well as a condemnation of cancel-happy internet dwellers. Her talent is undeniable, as is her love for her city, but “if it ain’t drama, then it’s overlooked.” She can’t stop the haters, but she can get too big to see them.
“2Face” – Young Nudy f. G Herbo
If news broke that Young Nudy was the actual grim reaper, rap fans would be surprised, but not that surprised. His voice is thin, yet ghastly, ideal for delivering his subversively terrifying bars. The horror he exudes is magnetic, prompting the listener to drop everything and submit an evil henchman application.
“2Face” is perhaps as complete an encapsulation of Nudy’s brand as exists. Still, you come away with only the blurriest view of the man, clearly a master of inspiring devotion while giving nothing away. G Herbo, known for disrupting tracks, falls in line here, as if he too fears the monster Young Nudy.
“RAPSTAR” – Polo G
“More Life” – Cordae f. Q-Tip
Ghostface Killah recently admonished Hip Hop’s new generation of rap stars to take pride in knowing the genre’s rich history so that they can foster career longevity. Cordae exemplifies the Wu-Tang Clan rhyme god’s advice on “More Life,” bridging the generational gap with A Tribe Called Quest frontman Q-Tip.
Co-produced by Q-Tip, Kid Culture and Eric Hudson, the track is featured on Cordae’s latest EP Just Until… “More Life” sounds like a sunny-afternoon relaxed with spatial yet hard snare kicks and a whiny keyboard groove as Tip sings the hook. Cordae reviews his life’s purpose asking whether to chase fame or happiness and show off his pro tennis world champion girlfriend Naomi Osaka (“My girl a tennis star, you n-ggas out here marrying hoes”).
“Trenches” – Morray
“Rih” – Kenny Mason
“80 Barz” – Redman
The Funk Doctor Spot’s latest single title is self-explanatory. No hook is needed as Redman rattles off his barrel load of witty punchlines and comical one-liners awash with pop cultural and obscure Hip Hop references from the 1980s through today.
He congruently stacks them together in a lengthy stanza like a Tetris master over the “80 Barz” semi-electro rap beat. As viewed in his 4/20 Verzuz TV performance with Method Man, the 50-year-old New Jersey representative sounds more spry than he did 30 years ago in this cut.
“Nobles” – The Alchemist, Earl Sweatshirt, Navy Blue
“No More Parties (Remix)” – Coi Leray & Lil Durk
Coi Leray and Lil Durk are two of the most sought-after artists in rap, so it’s only natural that they would come together for a remix of “No More Parties.” Produced by Okaykhan and the explosive Maaly Raw, “No More Parties” has already netted over 15 million streams on Spotify alone after repeatedly going viral on social media.
The daughter of rap veteran Benzino, Coi Leray has found herself frequently in the news, often for her dramatic interactions with her father. But Leray already has two certified hits in “BIG PURR” and “No More Parties,” and her discography has never looked stronger. Meanwhile, Lil Durk has been one of Hip Hop’s most consistent artists, simultaneously unleashing street-focused anthems and radio-ready hits like “No More Parties.”
“SORRY NOT SORRY” – DJ Khaled f. JAY-Z, Nas & James Fauntleroy
“Solid” – Young Thug, Gunna & Young Stoner Life f. Drake
“Whipski” – $NOT f. Lil Skies
The eerie sounds of “GOSHA” alerted fans to $NOT back in 2018, but once he found his audience, the New York-born, Florida-raised rapper ran with his abilities. His voice, a grizzled, husky echo is versatile, sounding at-home no matter the style of music.
Along with Lil Skies, $NOT released “Whipski” in early April with 300 Entertainment. $NOT finds the pocket perfectly on “Whipski,” making his raps the star of the show, surrounded by production from Taz Taylor and Internet Money. “Whipski” was also released with a video directed by Cole Bennett.
“durag activity” – Baby Keem f. Travis Scott
“Day Glow” – Kota The Friend
“Plastic” – Lil Yachty f. Icewear Vezzo & Rio Da Yung OG
Something changes in Lil Yachty whenever the Quality Control rapper touches down in Detroit; Yachty’s youthful zeal fades away into something much more menacing. Nearly the entirety of Michigan Boat Boy, Yachty’s latest, is excellent, but “Plastic” featuring Detroit’s Icewear Vezzo and Rio Da Yung OG is particularly exceptional. Yachty attacks the beat, sparring with crunchy drums and chimes, blending clever punchlines and villanous threats with ease. Vezzo and Rio perfectly match Yachty’s energy, sliding across the beat while flashing Chrome Hearts and Rolex watches.
“SHOOT MY SHOT” – IDK f. Offset
“4U” – Pi’erre Bourne
“Better You” – Evidence
“Real As It Gets” – Lil Baby f. EST Gee
Louisville, Kentucky’s EST Gee has gone from rapping in makeshift bathroom studios to landing a track with Lil Baby, one of the game’s hottest commodities. On “Real As It Gets,” the two praise the real and disparage the fake, stressing the importance of authenticity in an industry dominated by false appearances and crafted narratives. Baby is excellent as always, but it’s Gee’s explosive delivery that landed “Real As It Gets” on this list.
“Big Boss Rabbit” – Freddie Gibbs
“Indian Summer” – Armand Hammer & The Alchemist
The Alchemist-produced album Haram from New York rap duo Armand Hammer will likely be off-putting to many. But if you can look past the slaughterhouse album cover and abrasive sounds, you’ll find some of the most powerfully potent raps of the year. Among those is “Indian Summer,” a masterclass in poetics taught by Armand Hammer rappers Billy Woods and Elucid, backed by an eerie beat from Al. Woods and Elucid share a special bond on “Indian Summer” and that chemistry is apparent as the two wax philosophically about colonization, war and revenge.
“When Tony Met Sosa” – Benny The Butcher
“BUZZCUT” – BROCKHAMPTON F. Danny Brown
It’s been over a year since fans have heard a project from Hip Hop boyband BROCKHAMPTON, but time out of the spotlight has seemed to revitalize the group. At least, that’s the impression after hearing their return to the limelight banger “BUZZCUT.” It’s a move they’ve used before, dropping high-energy one-offs in anticipation of the actual project (I BEEN BORN AGAIN, 1998 TRUMAN). “BUZZCUT” follows the trend, serving up a trippy, boisterous banger to make the speakers pop.
“Who I Smoke” – Yungeen Ace f. Whoppa Wit Da Choppa, Spinabenz & FastMoney Goon
Most diss tracks fall into a distinct lane: threats and taunts are spit violently over menacing beats. “Who I Smoke” is not your average diss track. Led by rising Jacksonville rapper Yungeen Ace, “Who I Smoke” balances the inherent savagery of a diss track with a surprisingly fitting sample of Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles.” In the video the crew smokes stogies on the driving range in their best Titleist and Under Armour gear. There’s something especially captivating and fresh about the combination of ice-cold bars and an airy pop sample. Yungeen Ace’s little dance is just icing on the cake.
“Wants and Needs” – Drake f. Lil Baby
Drake’s Scary Hours 2 was met with enormous success, even for Drizzy’s high standards. The 6 God proved he doesn’t need more than three tracks to succeed. Drake became the first artist to debut in all three of the top slots on Billboard’s Hot 100 with the release. While all three tracks were bulletproof, “Wants and Needs” featuring Lil Baby stands out. Lil Baby has come a long way since “Yes Indeed,” his first collaboration with Drake. On “Wants and Needs,” the two superstar rappers are in fierce competition, pushing each other into their highest potential.
“Really Like That” – G Herbo
“Successful” – Young M.A.
“Hellcats & Trackhawks” – Lil Durk
Only The Family’s compilation album Loyal Bros might have been disappointing overall, but “Hellcats & Trackhawks” makes the project’s mediocrity completely forgivable. “Hellcats & Trackhawks” serves as a potent reminder of Durkio’s roots in unflinching Drill music, as the Chicago rapper wastes no time in laying an onslaught of bars over thumping production from Nick Slowburnz. Durk has made it on nearly every roundup we’ve done, and it doesn’t seem like he’s letting up anytime soon.
“Headshot” – Lil Tjay f. Polo G & Fivio Foreign
In New York, Lil TJay is untouchable. At only 19-years-old the South Bronx rapper has already produced scores of NY classics, first with tracks such as “Mood Swings” and “Zoo York” and now with “Headshot,” awarding TJay a spot in the top 50 of Billboard’s Hot 100 charts. Lil TJay reached out to Brooklyn’s Fivio Foreign and Chicago’s Polo G for assists, and none of the Drill aficionados disappointed.
“4 Da Gang” – 42 Dugg & Roddy Ricch
With shots fired at the filming of “4 Da Gang”‘s music video, chaos shrouded the release of the hotly anticipated single from Roddy Ricch and HipHopDX Rising Star 42 Dugg. But the two rappers didn’t let the scandal overtake the song, which finally dropped at the start of April. The two young titans are electric on “4 Da Gang,” blessing listeners with just over two minutes of unrelenting energy over one of the best beats of the year from TayTayMadeIt.
“DIET_1.5” – Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats f. Benny The Butcher
“Lemon Pepper Freestyle” – Drake f. Rick Ross (DS)
This is Drake’s peak moment on his three-track potential album teaser Scary Hours EP. The “Lemon Pepper Freestyle” is an appropriate metaphor in the track title for 6ix God’s stans to chew up what’s arguably the most tasteful hot wings flavor on any menu. Drake enlists Rozay to ante up their Midas touch for the collaborative, hookless track as they steer through a barrage of bars about the glamorous celebrity life over an airy, obscurely filtered R&B vocal-sampled instrumental with subtle boom-bap drums to make rap traditionalist and the vibes crowds bop.
“Case Closed” – Young Dolph & Key Glock
Cousins Young Dolph and Key Glock have undeniable chemistry. The two rap like they’re chilling at the cookout, catching family members up on their lives. But just because there’s camaraderie doesn’t mean there isn’t room for competition. On the standout track from their new Dum & Dummer 2 mixtape, the two enter into a friendly contest over who can be the hardest flexer. Glock boasts about his good credit, sexual prowess and deciding not to buy a Ghost in favor of a Richard Mille… though he makes it clear he could have had a Ghost. Dolph jumps in flaunting his VVS stones in his glasses, making millions off ad-libs and turning fine women into freaks, sound effects included. By the time Dolph and Glock reveal their intentions to drop a country album, it becomes impossible to pick a winner.
“Heartless (Live From LA)” – Roddy Ricch
“Ima Ball” – Kalan.Fr.Fr
With the release of his TwoFr2 project, Roc Nation artist Kalan.Fr.Fr updated his 2018 flagship effort with a mixed batch of fresh and melodic West Coast sounds. Within the array of intoxicating bangers, Kalan’s hybrid rap and R&B infused style flourish on “Ima Ball.” The catchy repetitive hook and rhythmic cadence lend the track an inherent bounce, allowing the Los Angeles rapper to flex his hit making capabilities. “Ima Ball” also signals his ascension from street level crooner into the position of a commercial artist.
“What’s Next” – Drake
There have been several notable rap songs spanning 30 years titled “What’s Next.” It starts with Leaders of the New School’s single in 1993, Chance The Rapper featuring Lil B in 2015, K Camp three years later, and now Drake. The latter MC’s version has the most infectious bounce and chorus to get a party lit since Busta Rhymes and his former group made rap fans do the LONS-crafted East Coast Stomp dance. Drake rattles off his list of envied excesses over three repeated with a choppy vocal style over the Maneesh and Supah Mario-produced thunderous trap bass drum kicks, hi-hats and spacious hand claps over fuzzy two-chord keyboard stabs. This could be an essential song in DJ playlists at clubs this summer.
“What It Feels Like” – Nipsey Hussle & JAY-Z
The triumphant brass kicking off “What It Feels Like” sounds like a coronation of the late great Nipsey Hussle’s spirited vocals. He runs another victory lap in the Hip Hop community’s collective heart as his “marathon continues.” The collaborative single featuring JAY-Z has an uplifting, black fist-in-the-air energy, which serves as the perfect match for urban cinema’s most powerful film of the new decade, Judas and the Black Messiah.
“Skegee” – JID
The Tuskegee experiments—in which the U.S. Government intentionally injected a group of Black men with Syphilis to study the effects of the disease untreated for a span of 40 years—is one of the many atrocities committed against Black people after abolishing slavery. Reparations and proper reform is substituted with half-hearted apologies and acknowledgement of the horrific, inhumane display to suffice, a promise that it will never happen again. But promises can be empty, and as JID points out on his latest single, “Skegee,” the stranglehold of white capitalism on Black art creates a conundrum when a Black man’s talents are scouted and then recruited for institutional financial gain.
“Gang Signs” – Freddie Gibbs & ScHoolboy Q
“Talk To Me” – Drakeo the Ruler & Drake
Most rappers go their entire careers without a verse, or even an acknowledgment, from Drake. But Los Angeles-based rapper Drakeo the Ruler caught the attention of the 6 God. Maybe it was Drakeo’s heroic plight over the LA justice system. Perhaps Drizzy was enamored by Drakeo’s unflinching rapping style.
Whatever the reason, the two combined forces for “Talk To Me,” a monumental landmark in Drakeo’s discography which offers a rare glimpse at the reclusive Toronto-born superstar. Drake and Drakeo trade contrasting verses over production from Elias Knight, jordanwtf and E.Y. The rap world is watching to see what the newly-freed Drakeo will do with this new attention.
“LOVE” – Shordie Shordie & Murda Beatz f. Trippie Redd
Shordie Shordie is quickly becoming a true force to be reckoned with in rap. Though he’s been releasing music since 2018, his latest efforts with producer Murda Beatz mark a significant new chapter in the Baltimore singer/rapper’s career. “LOVE” features a perfectly-executed feature from Trippie Redd, moody 808s and soul-wrenching singing from Shordie.
“Substance (We Woke Up)” – 03 Greedo & Wiz Khalifa
After listening to “Substance,” the latest track from 03 Greedo and Wiz Khalifa, one thing became clear: Greedo is a helluva singer. Originally released in 2018 on Greedo’s now-infamous The Wolf Of Grape Street, the Los Angeles-based rapper recruited the Wiz Khalifa for a revival of one of his greatest songs.
Khalifa, rapping through clouds of Zaza, drops a perky verse. The original might be over two years old, but it sounds fresher than ever.
“Last Man Standing” – Polo G
“45 SMOKE” – Slowthai
Slowthai is known for causing a raucous. When he’s not performing live while holding a model of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s severed head, he’s laying filthy bars. Tyron, the latest from the Northampton bad boy, is full of hits, but none are more potent than “45 SMOKE.”
Working with Kwes Darko, Slowthai’s longtime producer, the two created a malicious track, continuing the run of quality music from one of the UK’s hottest acts.
“I Gotcha” – YFN Lucci
“Rainforest” – NoName
There are few artists capable of referencing critical race theory, class division and our society’s fascination with consumption in less than three minutes. On “Rainforest,” the latest single from the groundbreaking Chicago rapper, Noname issues a masterclass in sharing her message while remaining accessible and understanding. She drops loaded metaphors, referencing Frantz Fanon’s seminal text on race, The Wretched of the Earth, Medusa and Huey P. Newton’s autobiography Revolutionary Suicide with the focused pen of a wise sage. Ultimately, “Rainforest” is an exploration into perseverance. As Noname iterates her traumas and anxieties, she finds solace and strength knowing, despite the hindrances, she has and will continue to overcome.
“Prom Queen” – Smokepurpp
Smokepurpp must’ve been listening to the negative feedback he received from Florida Jit, his underperforming album from 2020. He’s now back with PSYCHO (Legally Insane), a short EP highlighted by the intro track “Prom Queen.” Purpp is back on his bullshit, tearing up his Highschool’s Prom with devious intent.
As he wrangles the phenomenal beat from Mike Zara and DSC Sunny, fans are reminded of how good Purpp is at rapping. He bounces across the beat, finding and manipulating pockets with ease. “Prom Queen” is one hell of a correction.
“Jesse Owens” – Rowdy Rebel & NAV
Rowdy Rebel and NAV: what a combination. Though unlikely, the collaboration brought fans the excellent “Jesse Owens.” Rowdy, newly out of prison, has been on a tear as of late. Before his release, he blessed Pop Smoke with a feature on “Make It Rain.” Now, he’s gearing up for a slew of new music. NAV is the true surprise, though, as he spits some of the hardest bars in his career.
“Rich N-gga Problems” – A$AP Rocky
“Winter In America” – Freddie Gibbs
Gibbs croons a cover of late revered soul singer and rap progenitor Gil Scott-Heron and keyboardist Brian Jackson’s poignant, political 1974 album title track “Winter In America” for ESPN’s The Undefeated Black History Always/Music For the Movement Vol. 2 EP. Produced by Brooklyn-based jazz artist Leon Michels, the updated track contains Hip Hop-oriented uptempo duple snare kicks, cymbal taps and a sauntering piano medley than the original’s downbeat marching band-style drums.
The same sobering woodwinds remain in Gibbs’ version as the lyrics observe people living in a cold reality that society is still far behind achieving social justice.
“Real N-ggas Don’t Rap” – Babyface Ray
Babyface Ray isn’t concerned with awards or recognition. On the opening track to his new EP Unfuckwitable, the Detroit rapper details his rise, rapping apathetically with a dead-eyed stare. From sleeping on air mattresses to dressing up his closet with 20K saks just out of boredom, Babyface Ray lays out his journey to becoming a rap star, shrugging at the perks of being famous outside of the money in his bank account.
“Up” – Cardi B
One thing we know about Cardi B: she always tries to keep it interesting. “Up,” the latest smash-hit from the Bronx-bred rapper, is packed with energy and spicy as always. It was met with a warm reception on TikTok and on the charts, debuting in the second slot on Billboard’s Hot 100 list. Critics have been dubbing Cardi B as a flash-in-the-pan act since the start of her career. The “WAP” rapper proves, yet again, she’s a mainstay in rap.
“Hit Bout It” – Lil Yachty & Kodak Black
Kodak Black and Lil Yachty combined forces for “Hit Bout It.” While Kodak was incarcerated, Yachty actively advocated on his behalf, making pleas for former President Trump to pardon the young Florida rapper. When Trump announced his list of pardons, which also included Lil Wayne, Yak was shortly freed. Though he dropped music from behind bars, “Hit Bout It,” presents the Kodak fans came to love years ago. But don’t overlook Yachty: the QC rapper has been barring-up his competition all 2021, and “Hit Bout It” is no different.
“Ox” – Gabe ‘Nandez
New York may be dominated by the sounds of Drill, but don’t get twisted — the Five Boroughs has bars. Even the older heads will become enamored with “Ox,” the latest from hard-spitting New York rapper Gabe ‘Nandez. ‘Nandez’s pen does backflips on “Ox” as he weaves his way across the 101 Beats production. Don’t try to put ‘Nandez in a box: you won’t be successful. The burgeoning rapper can reference the Odyssey, Galactus and “bad bunnies” in the same sixteen. This is New York: all bars, no hook necessary.
“EPMD” – Nas & Hit-Boy
“I Know” – 42 Dugg, Foogiano, TG Kommas
42 Dugg and Foogiano are two of the hottest rising stars in rap right now, each releasing multiple singles and projects that have established them as bankable stars. But on Dugg’s latest collaborative single “I Know,” it’s 21-year-old Boosie Badazz co-signed TG Kommas who shines with his chance in the spotlight, showing off his versatility singing and rapping throughout the track to deliver a performance to get his name on the radar.
“Greed” – LUCKI f. Lil Yachty
“Tequila Shots” — Kid Cudi
In many ways, Kid Cudi’s The Man On The Moon III is a full-circle moment for the Cleveland-born rapper. It’s the third and final act in the MOTM trilogy, a fitting nightcap for the story of Mr. Rager. “Tequila Shots” is a nod to where Cudi has been and a gaze forward to where he’s heading.
It’s an acknowledgement of the perpetual nature of his tortured mind, but it’s also a declaration that he’s stronger than his weak points. Dot Da Genius and Take a Daytrip assist Cudder in the creation of his micro-universe, plucking nostalgic sounds from the previous chapters of the MOTM saga. Of course, no great Kid Cudi song is complete without a good dash of humming and the “Day ‘N’ Nite” rapper is in peak form.
“Let It Breathe” – Joey Bada$$
Pro Era rap fans were undoubtedly hungry for more music from Joey Bada$$ following the release of The Light Pack EP at the tail end of 2020. That’s precisely his temporally aware bars sound so refreshing on his visual single “Let It Breathe.”
Complimented by the mid-tempo muddled boom-bap production provided by Statik Selektah, Joey’s flow meanders between multi-tiered metaphors and brain-splitting aphorisms with the cerebral ideological might of Socrates — had the Greek philosopher hailed from New York City and pushed a lime green Porsche through the city.
“Drankin N Smokin” — Future & Lil Uzi Vert
“Sky” — Playboi Carti
After years of waiting, Whole Lotta Red — Playboi Carti’s follow-up to 2018’s classic Die Lit — finally arrived on Christmas. The reception was admittedly more mixed than was to be expected from a hotly anticipated album from one of rap’s true superstars. But whether you love it or you hate it, the project produced some true gems, including “Sky,” a synth-heavy, melody-forward anthem that has quickly outperformed its counterparts, and then went on to TikTok virality.
Art Dealer’s moody masterpiece of a beat sounds like Daft Punk dipped in lean and perfectly upholds the song’s structure, building drama for Carti’s cathartic chorus, which is easily the best hook on the entire album.
“Top (Remix)” — Fredo Bang f. Lil Durk
“Onna Come Up” — Lil Eazzyy
Lil Eazzyy closed out 2020 with a bang and is looking towards 2021 with big goals. His debut full-length Underrated dropped last November led by the single “Onna Come Up.” Now in the new year, Eazzyy released the remix to his most popular single, adding fellow Chicago rapper G Herbo. The drill-inspired artist unloads a clip of fast raps on a Hugo Buck-produced beat.
“Overtime” — Baby Smoove
“LeBron James” – J. Stone f. Nipsey Hussle, Dom Kennedy
All Money In rapper J. Stone has consistently elevated the legacy and memory of his dear friend, West Coast legend Nipsey Hussle, since his unfortunate death in 2019. Building onto the blueprint the Nip inspired with The Definition Of Loyalty, J. Stone continued the album saga in 2020 with The Definition Of Pain.
Embedded within the 18-track project is the “LeBron James” collaboration featuring Dom Kennedy and a posthumous verse from Hussle that makes us fall in love with the drive and leadership the Victory Lap legend embodies.
“Still Trappin” — Lil Durk f. King Von
It might be a new year, but Lil Durk picked-up right where he left off in 2020. The underdog MVP of last year, Durkio landed scores of high-profile features and released two well-received albums in Just Cause Y’all Waited 2 and The Voice. “Still Trappin,” from The Voice and its subsequent deluxe edition, features the best verse from King Von since his passing last November.
Go Grizzly and Hitmaka sonically recreate the streets of O’Block with dark drums and a haunting baritone piano loop. Von and Durk had undeniably cohesive chemistry and “Still Trappin” is a reminder of what could have been.
“Throat Baby [Remix]” — BRS Kash f. DaBaby & City Girls
“My Puppy” — KEY! & Tony Seltzer
Atlanta rapper KEY! closed out 2020 with the most cohesive album of his career, The Alpha Jerk, produced in entirety by New York’s underground bard Tony Seltzer. KEY! raps in a JPEGMAFIA-style stream of consciousness, pumping high-intensity bars that occasionally borderline on screaming. “My Puppy” is the standout track from an overall excellent project.
Tony pairs a whining, distorted synth with rounded, booming drums as KEY! uses the production like a playground, swinging from the monkey bars, taking rides down the slide and doing flips off the swings.
“We Know The Truth” — Drakeo The Ruler f. Icewear Vezzo, ALLBLACK
Despite the odds stacked so strongly against him, Los Angeles rapper Drakeo The Ruler continues to succeed. For years he fought a backwards conspiracy charge while being inhumanely muzzled and locked in solitary confinement. Last year, he managed to release Thank You For Using GTL.
The album was recorded entirely over the phone from prison, which many have labeled the greatest rap album ever recorded from behind bars. Drakeo works at a breakneck pace and has released both We Know The Truth (and its deluxe) and Because Y’all Asked since his release last November. “We Know The Truth” featuring Detroit’s Icewear Vezzo and burgeoning Oakland MC ALLBLACK, is a West Coast take on Midwestern Drill music.
“Nasty” — Rich The Kid f. Flo Milli, Rubi Rose
“Guard Up” — Pooh Shiesty
The Pooh Shiesty stock is skyrocketing like GameStop; the only difference is there’s no crash in sight. The latest in a series of phenomenal young artists to arise from Memphis, Shiesty slid into prominence through an onslaught of single releases, including his latest “Guard Up.”
Rapping is too easy for the 20-year-old spitter who takes a lackadaisical approach as he maneuvers across the TP808-produced beat, finding pockets with ease, contorting his voice to push the boundaries of the rhyme patterns. The entire rap world seems to have their eyes on Pooh Shiesty as fans await his debut album.
“Bad Boy” — Juice WRLD f. Young Thug
“I Am” – Yung Baby Tate & Flo Milli
OTHER FAVORITE SONGS FROM JANUARY 2021
- “Ain’t Got TIme” – Lil Wayne f. Foushee
- “Bop” – CJ
- “Dead Broke” – Lil Skies
- “Sunshine (The Light)” – Fat Joe, DJ Khaled & Amorphous
- “State of the Union” – Marlon Craft
- “Last Day In” – Kodak Black
- “6 N Da Morning” – Los & Nutty
- “Help” – Peewee Longway & Cassius Jay f. Wicced
- “Trap It Out” – Peewee Longway & Cassius Jay f. Lil Baby
- “Luka Brazy Gates Flow” – HoneyKomb Brazy
- “My Puppy” – KEY! & Tony Seltzer
- “Clinical” KEY! & Tony Seltzer
- “Big Business” – Trapland Pat
- “Risky” – Lil Moe 6Blocka
- “GodHands” – Evilbabyjoker
- “Moving Dangerous” – Kell Honcho
- “Trap Mode” – YG Teck f. Pooh Shiesty
- “Question For You” – YG Teck
- “Gnat” – Eminem
- “Oxycodone Mixture” – CEO Trayle
- “Foe Minutes Of Hell” Sada Baby
- “Walk Down Again” – Doe Boy
- “SFX Room” – Tony Shhnow
- “False Evidence Appearing Real” – Chris Crack
- “AHHHHHH PT.2” – YN Jay f. Sada Baby
- “Take Out” – Jay Critch
- “Breathe” – Navy Blue f. yasiin bey
- “Chicken N Dumplins” – Grip
- “Trapp Back” – YSN f. Foogiano
- “Off The Porch” – Key Glock
- “6 Foot 7 Foot” – 26AR & Tazzo B
- “Chosen” – Taleban Dooda f. T9ine
OTHER FAVORITE SONGS FROM FEBRUARY 2021
- “Dawn Toliver” – Drakeo the Ruler, Don Toliver, Ketchy the Great
- “Get Off My Yard” – Marlon Craft
- “Welcome To America” – Black Thought
- “Trying To Maintain” – Ice Cube
- “I Know” – 42 Dugg, Foogiano, TG Kommas
- “MAZZA” – Slowthai & A$AP Rocky
- “Bruuuh [Remix]” -JID, Denzel Curry
- “no safety” – Baby Hot DB
- “Somethin’ Ain’t Right” – Masego, JID, Rapsody
- “A Man Apart (Intervention) – Rx Papi
- “Neighbors” Pooh Shiesty ft. BIG30
- “Methods” – Mavi
- “Say A Prayer” – Jim Jones, Harry Fraud. Curren$y, Jay Worthy
- “Grow Privately” – Chris Crack
- “Freestyle” – Lil Eazzyy
- “T.Titan” – Thouxanbanfauni
- “Batman” – LPB Poody
- “61st to 64th” – Lil Zay Osama
- “Bird Box Part 2” Rx Papi ft. Boldly James
- “Yucc” – Rx Papi
- “Like This” – 2KBABY & Marshmello
- “Go Big” – YG & Big Sean
- “Money Long” – DDG f. OG Parker & 42 Dugg
- “‘Cosmic’.4a [The Alchemist Version Feat. Joey Bada$$] – Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats
OTHER FAVORITE SONGS FROM FROM MARCH 2021
- Ziplock – Saba
- Aye – Thouxanbanfauni
- SITUATIONS – Paris Texas
- Fashion – Pop Smoke f. PoloG
OTHER FAVORITE SONGS FROM FROM APRIL 2021
- Long Way – SG Ali
- D.I.A.L – Topaz Jones
- Click Up – Fredo Bang
- Daily Bread – Rich Homie Quan
- Whatchumacallit – Col3trane
- Might Not Like It – KenTheMan
- Up The Sco – Icewear Vezzo Ft. Lil Durk
- Introvert – Little Simz
- “One Foot In” – RX Papi
- “Swish” – BabyTron
- “Nothing To Lose” – D3zz ft. Pusha T