2020 is off to a hell of a start for hip-hop as some the biggest artists in the game get ready to release new projects. We also had a few new albums come out last month including works from Royce 5'9"and Theophilus London so check out the chart below and enjoy our first round of picks for the year.
1. Mac Miller - Good News
What better way to start off this chart then with some new music from the legend Mac Miller. Mac's death was a hard one to swallow for me personally as I truly believed his best music was still yet to come. We may never get him back but his music will live on as we are now blessed with "Good News," the first single from Circles, which according Mac's estate is actually a companion project to the critically acclaimed album Swimming, which came out last year. At this point, the more Mac we can get the better and I had this in heavy rotation for most of January.
2. Hitboy & Benny The Butcher - All Business
If you have Benny The Butcher on your song then there is a strong chance that you are going to get on one of these charts. However Hitboy's talent stands on its own and Benny only elevates this song to another level as both men go in on another strong beat produced by Hitboy. This track is part of Hitboy's "Chauncey Hollis Project" which you can listen to in its entirety here.
3. Thurz - Time Comin ft. Iman Europe and Fat Ron (prod. by BeatBoy)
Thurz has been pretty busy to kick off 2020, already dropping 2 tracks with “Tomorrow” and “Smile” earlier in the month. Now teaming up with Iman Europe and Fat Ron, Thurz glides over the BeatBoy produced track and continues to give us the best music of his career.
4. DJ Ripdee feat. Freddie Gibbs & Cash Lansky – Scooter
I honestly don't know much about this track or any of the artists on it besides Freddie Gibbs but whatever DJ Ripdee did to make this one happen, more power to him! The beat reminds of something out of Sango's playbook but it compliments Freddie and Cash Lansky's flows beautifully.
5. Mick Jenkins - Carefree
After laying low for a lot of last year, Mick Jenkins came back in 2020 with a new EP The Circus on January 10th and while I really enjoyed the entire project, "Carefree" really stood out to me as my favorite. This song is a vibe, something chill that gets your head nodding pretty quick making it a sure pick for the first hip-hop chart of the year.
6. Sons of Yusuf - Diving for Pearls (feat. Jay Electronica)
As we all continue to wonder what Jay Electronica's album is going to sound like after waiting for most of my adult life for it to come out, in January we were treated to rare guest verse as Jay jumped on "Diving for Pearls" from the duo Sons of Yusuf. I haven't heard much from these guys before but I do really like this track and I hope this means that the long awaited debut album from Jay Electronica doesn't suck. Please god don't let it suck.
7. Theophilus London - Whoop Tang Flow (feat. Raekwon)
Theophilus London carries his momentum forward from 2019 with the official release of his third studio album Beby. The project has some solid features including Kevin Parker, Giggs, Lil Yachty, and Raekwon who lends his talents to "Whoop Tang Flow," which you can hear below.
8. D Smoke - Fly (feat. Davion Farris)
D Smoke has been on our radar for some time now and after hearing him lace this beat from MyGuyMars I couldn't leave him off out chart any longer.
9. T3 - Relax (feat. Frank Nitt & Illa J)
Listening to T3 (of Slum Village) flow on "Relax" takes me back to a time in hip-hop that I really miss sometimes. This one feels like it's straight out of the early 2000s and there is nothing wrong with that at all.
10. Meek Mill - Letter To Nipsey (feat. Roddy Ricch)
Hip-hop still has a lot of healing to do in 2020 and "Letter To Nipsey" is a solid tribute to the fallen Nipsey Hustle. Both Meek Mill and Roddy Rich have taken the loss of their friend quite hard so it's only right that they would team up to remind folks that Nipsey's marathon will never end.
11. Mayer Hawthorne - M.O.
Mayer Hawthorne is getting 2020 started of strong as well with the release of his latest single "M.O." This time the crooner gives us what he says is "A trippy love song about the need to bury an old relationship before a new one can begin.”
12. Royce 5'9" - Overcomer (feat. Westside Gunn)
Royce dropped a new album in February with The Allegory and for the project's first single, he tapped Westside Gunn for the feature assist. Both rappers are known for their honest flows but I am really impressed with Royce's production on the project which only confirms that he is one of the best in the game when it comes to creating dope original music.
13. Royce 5'9" - I Don't Age
Royce makes he rare double play for our chart this month as I could not leave "I Don't Age" from my top picks for January. Royce has a flow that just deserves your attention and again his production continues to surprise me.
14. A$AP Ferg- Value
Ferg is back with another fresh banger in 2020. I heard this song nonstop during NBA All-Star weekend and it appears that this will be another big year for the A$AP standout.
15. Drake & Future - Desires
While this may not be an official release, "Desires" is the second song to appear from these two in 2020. Drake's music is incredibly catchy and with a hook as simple as "I know, I know" you can be sure that folks will be singing a long all year. Since this isn't on Spotify yet, peep their first track of the year "Life is Good" here.