It's been an absolutely incredible year in Hip Hop and while it's safe to say we had our share of ups and downs as a whole, the music was nothing short of brilliant. With the mainstream and underground scenes pushing out some serious heat through the months, it was hard to narrow down to 15 tracks that showcased Hip Hop excellence, but after some serious pondering, we think we've gotten it down.
Without further adieu, here are our favorite songs in hip-hop of 2017!
1. Skepta Ft. A$AP Rocky - Ghost Ride
Skepta had an absolutely massive 2016, so anything he did in 2017 would have a hard time stacking up against his previous year. Fortunately for us, it seems like Skepta managed to pull a successful year off with a beautifully crafted track with A$AP Rocky titled "Ghost Ride." Proving he's still got bars after all these years, he goes all in and the results speak for themselves.
2. Chynna - Practice [Honeymoon]
Chynna dominated the underground scene in the second half of 2017, and with it her mumbly style had us all hooked. "Practice" was merely the track with a video as her whole EP was sheer perfection from start to finish.
3. Kendrick Lamar - HUMBLE. [Top Dawg Entertainment]
Pretty much anything Kendrick Lamar touches turns into gold but that moment when he dropped "HUMBLE." was a standout moment in Hip Hop this year. With a half-time performance happening today in Atlanta where Donald Trump will be performing, we're sure to hear more from him in the new year shortly.
4. Lil B - Bad MF
Before the release of Lil B's Black Ken, I wasn't a major fan of Lil B. I understood his cultural importance, but for the most part, I didn't spend any time listening to his insanely massive discography or anything,
5. Leikeli 47 - Miss Me [RCA Records]
Leikeli 47 is a serious force to be reckoned with, and even she knows she's underrated. She's released a litany of standout songs this year, but we had to go with "Miss Me" for its eloquent display of lyrical talent (although her song "Milk" and the corresponding makeup ad/music video are absolutely brilliant).
6. Rejjie Snow - Flexin [300 Entertainment]
Rejjie Snow set about an ambitious 2017 for himself and somehow he's managed to succeed with an effortless ease. "Flexin" is a favorite for many in 2017 and it's not hard to see why. With its catchy style and and easy flow, Rejjie is proving why he's such a popular hip hop figure.
7. Higher Brothers Ft. Ski Mask the Slump God - Flo Rida
There was an explosion of hip hop in Asia, and while some were stirring controversy for its appropriative factors (goodbye Rich Chigga) there were some truly exciting songs out there in East Asia this year. Higher Brothers especially blew up this year after 88rising introduced them to various hip hop artists in a video segment, but lets be honest, they were going to make a splash in the US one way or another. "Flo Rida" is my favorite release of theirs, but truth be told, any one of their songs could have made it to the list. ;
8. Vic Mensa Ft. Pusha T - OMG [Roc Nation]
Vic Mensa always had a lot to say but with Pusha T in tow in "OMG," the message was all too loud and clear. It's true that I haven't done my best in keeping up with the Chicago talent in the last couple of years, "OMG" is a reminder of why we all fell in love with the artist when he was still an emerging talent in the Chicago music scene.
9. 21 Savage and Offset - Ric Flair Drip [Slaughter Gang]
What can't 21 and Offset accomplish? Honestly, the two of them have had a major year and it was hard trying to find the right song to put on this post. There's absolutely nothing to say that hasn't already been said about the two of them, and we're just going to leave you to it so you can listen to "Ric Flair Drip" in peace.
10. 2 Chainz - It's a Vibe [Def Jam]
I absolutely love 2 Chainz and one listen at "It's a Vibe" is sheer perfection. With a tone down 2 Chainz talking about the stuff he likes best, and with Ty Dolla $ign in tow, he's absolutely unstoppable. The ATL-bred artist is loveable, and in these dire times, he's the perfect escape that provides a space for his fanbase while still keeping it real.
11. Kojey Radical - 700 Pennies
Kojey Radical isn't for everyone, but for those interested in eclectic, spoken word-style of flow, he's an answer to a question that hasn't been answered in decades. We've talked about him a lot in our previous charts, and it's tracks like "700 Pennies" that help us remember why. While most artists try to outdo each out there, Kojey is in his own lane. He's a true artist, working to hone his own craft and be the best for himself and his fans. "700 Pennies" shined a little bit harder than his other releases this year, but do yourself a favor and check them all out asap.
12. Dizzee Rascal - Space [Dirty Stank Recordings]
Dizzee is a legend that needs no introduction and there's honestly not a lot to say other than damn, that dude seriously has some bars that just won't quit. His recent release Raskit was just another notch in his already impressive career, and "Space" is merely the tip of the iceberg.
13. Rincon Spaiencia - Afro Rap [Boia Fria]
Brazil has seen a cultural explosion on the worldwide forefront lately, and while we could spend hours talking about artists like MC Bin Laden and MC Joao, among so many others, we're here to talk hip hop today so we're turning to an underrated favorite- Rinson Sapiencia. He's released an impressive collection of songs but none shone harder than "Afro Rap." I'm no Portuguese expert, but his flow hits hard and resonates wit the heart.
14. Cakes da Killa - Run This Club
The New York club scene still somehow doesn't get the attention it deserves, and while its another topic we could spend hours on, we're going to focus on one of the kings of the NY scene today- Cakes da Killa. "Run This Club" is as much of an electronic banger as it is hip hop, but it's addicting grooves and impeccable flow from the artist himself prove that he's an undeniable legend in every way.
15. Cardi B - Bodak Yellow [Atlantic/WEG]
... And of course, Cardi B. She's won and there is no one else that's even come close to as big of a year as she has. What else is there to really say other than "Bodak Yellow" has to be the song of the year? While she's a bit of a weirdo, her songs are beyond catchy and she's got bars to match. We can't wait to see what she's up to in 2018.