With 2016 coming to a close, XXL takes a look back at the year in hip-hop. This was a strong year for rap with a ton of great new records from a multitude of artists ranging from Drake to Kamaiyah. The variety and output of music over the last 12 months has been exceptional in comparison to previous years. No matter what kind of hip-hop fan you are, there’s a song that you can find that can get you off your feet. The power of the internet can be thanked for that. Now rappers can just upload a song to their SoundCloud page and it has the possibility of landing on the charts.
“Black Beatles,” the perfect rap record made by Rae Sremmurd and Gucci Mane, has been No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the last three weeks. Lil Uzi Vert and 21 Savage, two young artists that made this year’s XXL Freshman Class, made huge splashes with records like “Money Longer” and “X,” respectively, soaring up the charts and gaining millions of plays on streaming sites.
All it takes is one song for a rapper’s life to change and this year proved that. Young M.A, Aminé, Desiigner and Rob $tone all had a record blow up, pushing their career forward and turning them into household names.
It’s a grueling process to pick the top tracks of the year. There are thousands of new songs that come out in one calendar year but XXL took on the challenge of selecting the best records that dropped over the last 12 months. These are the crème de la crème of hip-hop. Take a look at the 50 Best Hip-Hop Songs of 2016.
Drake Featuring Kyla and Wizkid
Kanye West Featuring Chance The Rapper, Kirk Franklin, Kelly Price and The-Dream
Lil Uzi Vert
“Chill Bill (Remix)”
Rob $tone Featuring D.R.A.M., Denzel Curry and Cousin Stizz
Rihanna Featuring Drake
Kanye West Featuring Rihanna and Swizz Beatz
French Montana Featuring Kodak Black
“Pick Up the Phone”
Travis Scott Featuring Young Thug and Quavo
21 Savage Featuring Future
Meek Mill Featuring Tory Lanez
ScHoolboy Q Featuring Kanye West
Rae Sremmurd Featuring Gucci Mane
“Drug Dealers Anonymous”
Pusha T Featuring Jay Z
DJ Khaled Featuring Drake
“All the Way Up”
Fat Joe and Remy Ma Featuring French Montana and Infared
YG and Nipsey Hussle
“Stop Come On”
Ezale and DJ Fresh
“Through the Night”
Travis Scott Featuring Kid Cudi
D.R.A.M. Featuring Lil Yachty
Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz
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