It's almost hard to believe that 2020 is officially half over and while most of us are probably hoping it would just end tomorrow so we can get back to some kind of a normal life, the world continues to turn and as so we must move forward! Hip-Hop has been pressing forward as well as a variety of major label artists prepare for their summer album releases. This month we have some real gems for from both mainstream and underground talents alike. Also, be on the lookout for a separate post in the near future covering many of the Black Lives Matter movement inspired tracks that I couldn't fit into just the top 15 of the month. I felt like they all deserved some extra shine so I will cover those songs later. For now, dig into our top picks below.
See past charts here.
1. Pop Smoke - Make It Rain (feat. Rowdy Rebel)
As his postmortem masterpiece Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon get's ready to go #1 in sales, we have to give Pop Smoke the top spot for June. "Make It Rain" became an instant hit as Pop's fan base was ready to show up for their fallen favorite after he was murdered in Los Angeles earlier this year. Pop's unique sound gave an edge to his music that was infectious and I quickly found myself becoming a fan. You were taken from us way too soon Pop but your music will live on forever.
2. Blu & Exile - Roots of Blue - Roots Of Blue (feat. Jacinto Rhines)
Taken from the duos upcoming album Miles: From An Interlude Called Life, Blu and Exile will release their third official album on July 17th. Expect features from Miguel, Aloe Blacc, The Last Artful, Dodgr, Aceyalone, Iman Omari, and Fashawn.
3. Thurz - No More
The Emani-produced track was part of Thurz's weekly "Thurz on Thursday" series which has been nothing but quality since he started it. Even though I am a fan of all forms of hip-hop, Thurz produces a style that is just so easy to ride with, it's probably why I consider him one of my favorite independent artists across all genres right now.
4. J. Cole - Snow On Tha Bluff
When J. Cole raps, everybody listens. If you can't feel the emotion in this one then you might not be human as J's dreamy flow feels like an extension of his soul. Inspired by the recent injustices that have captured the attention of our country this song's title also pays homage to the 2012 film that shares the same name.
5. Slayter - DIABOLICAL (feat. Benny The Butcher, Smoke DZA & Retch)
Tapping an all-star cast of hip-hop features, Slayter's latest single is made for the streets. Featuring Magnetic favorite Benny The Butcher and Smoke Dza, this track packs a punch that will leave you checking to make sure you still have your wallet on you.
6. Noname - Song 33
Noname is one of those rappers that you either love or hate right away (though you should be loving her) and even if you aren't into her more speak-easy flow, she always comes correct when it comes to lyrical content. On "Song 33," Noname responds to J. Cole's "Snow On Da Bluff," which was actually about her! This was the most intelligent beef in hip-hop this year hands down.
7. Anderson .Paak - Lockdown
Music can be a great way to vent or get something off your chest. This is exactly what Anderson .Paak has done here as he (and the rest of the world) are tired of being locked up due to COVID-19. Can you imagine all of the music that has been recorded over the last 4 months that we haven't heard yet? Let's hope we get more tracks like this one as summer rolls on.
8. Aminé – Riri
For his second official track of 2020, Aminé breaks down some of his relationship issues with his partner on "Riri." Is it just me or does he sound like a distorted Drake at the start of this one? Either way, this track still goes!
9. Juice WRLD - Tell Me U Luv Me (with Trippie Redd)
While it's been 7 months now since we lost young Juice WRLD, his music and his legacy live on stronger than ever. His rabid fan base has been eagerly awaiting his new album Legends Never Die, which will be released on July 10. While I could do without Trippie Redd on the hook, this is still a solid track that deserves its spot on the chart.
10. Burna Boy - Wonderful
Switching things up a bit, the Afro Beat all-star Burna Boy blew up in the West after his performance at Coachella in 2019. "Wonderful" is upbeat and while it may not be the most hip-hop track on the chart, The crossover appeal cannot be denied. Plus we don't have an Afro Beat chart yet so I'm going to sneak tracks like this in here whenever I can!
11. Shy Glizzy - Right Or Wrong (feat. Lil Uzi Vert)
In the words of Shy Glizzy: “‘Right or Wrong’ is about spending a bunch of money, having girls, and acting up,” This is everything SoundCloud rap fans could ever want including a feature from Uzi.
12. Casey Veggies & Rockie Fresh - Demeanor (feat. Curren$y) (prod. Leken Taylor & Ashton Mccreight)
Casey Veggies and Rockie Fresh have both been doing their thing for a minute now and when you put these two on a track with Curren$y, you know the production value and the bars are going to be top-shelf.
13. Dinner Party (Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, Kamasi Washington, 9th Wonder) - Freeze Tag
I love me a hip-hop supergroup, especially when it consists of legends like Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, Kamasi Washington, and the king of Fruity Loops 9th Wonder. This jazzy track from Dinner Party is perfect for riding around town and is easy hip-hop listening at it's finest.
14. Big Boi & Sleepy Brown - Can't Sleep
While we may never get another Outkast album in my lifetime, I really will never get tired of Big Boi's music. He has one of the most consistent styles/flows in the game and I love everything I have heard from this project with Sleepy Brown so far. It just has a classic sound that you can't get enough of.
15. Run The Jewels - A Few Words for the Firing Squad (Radiation)
I have so much to say about this project. First of all its a masterpiece and probably my favorite RTJ album yet and in classic Run The Jewels fashion, the album dropped early and it hit hard with its hyper-relevant subject matter. "A Few Words for the Firing Squad" is just one of the standout tracks on RTJ4 which has been in heavy rotation for me for a solid month now.
Check out all of last month's picks on the playlist below.