Top 20 Hip-Hop & R&B Songs of 2016
With 2016 coming to an end and 2017 just around the corner, it’s now the perfect time of the year to reveal our top 20 list of the best hip-hop and R&B songs of 2016. From Drake’s “One Dance,” to D.R.A.M’s debut with his hit song “Broccoli,” 2016 was filled with stacks on stacks of hit songs from various artists.
- All the Way Up – Fat Joe & Remy ma
With it being Joe’s first single in years and Ma’s first single since her release from prison, the two started off their year strong. They’re currently working on a joint album expected to arrive in 2017. Fat Joe & Remy Ma show the hip-hop world that they still have their talent even after years of silence.
- 24k Magic – Bruno mars
It’s been 4 years since Bruno Mars released any new music of his own, and so it was long overdue for this “magical” release. “24k Magic” brings us that mixture of old school r&b along with a current pop style but it is done in a way that only Bruno Mars manages to make work. The release of “24k Magic” had been the beginning of Mars’ announcement of his 2017 tour.
- Blended family – Alicia keys
“Blended Family” tugs at listener’s heartstrings as Alicia Keys sings to her stepson and others about the struggle of trying to move one. Keys speaks to listeners as she reveals her struggles and difficulty that she had gone through when she first married rapper swizz beats. Keys main message in the song is that no matter how hard and straining the situation may be, you do anything for the ones you love.
- Side to Side – Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj
Ariana Grande brings on another hip-hop vibe in her newest album when she teams up with Nicki Minaj on this latest hit from the 23-year-old artist. With Grande’s vocal artistry mixed with Minaj’s rap flow, “Side to Side” is turned into a nice mixture of hip-hop & pop as listeners learn a new mean of “Side to Side.”
- Famous – Kanye west
With “Famous” being a mixture of Mr. West’s own hard hitting beats and mixing it with the stylings of “Bam Bam,” from Nina Simone and Sister Nancy, we’re given an amazing combination of both unique artists. The biggest controversy coming from this release was the revamp of the Taylor vs. Kanye feud which started back in 2009. Even with the video footage West’s spouse, Kim Kardashian, posted, the question is still up for debate today; did Swift give permission for West to use her name in his song?
- Cranes in the sky – Solange
Solange manages to appeal to the inner thoughts of many people across the world with “Cranes in the Sky.” The artist talks about feeling alone in a world that is filled with people and how she tries to push away the feeling with turning to drinking and running away from the situation. Solange takes from her personal experiences to show listeners that she can relate to their current predicament.
- Ooouuu– Young M.A
Upcoming NYC artist Young M.A impresses listeners with her rap flow, hard hitting rhymes, and blunt openness about her life. Young M.A’s openness and rhymes when it comes to her sexual orientation and presentation are what draws listeners to listen to the song again and again.
- Luv – Tory Lanez
Tory Lanez raced up the charts with “Luv” as it finished with its highest point. With its mellow but upbeat beats, “Luv” becomes Lanez’s first song to reach the Billboard top 100. The track has listeners wanting to hear more of Tory Lanez and see what he has to bring to the table.
- Formation – Beyoncé
Queen Bee demolished the crowd at Levi stadium back in Feb. when she performed “Formation” for the very first time to a public crowd during the Super Bowl half Time Show. “Formation” brings the concept of struggling black woman as they face oppression and racism and how to get through it. Bey brings the most memorable lines, which will forever change the way you think of Red Lobster and hot sauce. This is also the beginning to the start of Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” visual album which mentions the infidelity of her husband, and much more.
- Too good – Drake ft. Rihanna
With the release of “Too Good” also came the reveal of Drake and Rihanna’s relationship. This is the perfect song for anyone in the world who ever feels as if everything they do gets taken for granted. Whether it be in terms of relationship, friendship, etc., “Too Good” portrays the hurt of being unappreciated and the feeling of wanting to be loved.
- Love on the brain – Rihanna
Rihanna’s vocal high notes and musical arrangement of the organs and strings almost make one forget just what the singer is saying. “Love on the brain” takes Rihanna’s vocals to a level that listeners had yet to hear until now. With its lyrics of loving someone even when they seem wrong for you has some think that the artist is referring to her relationship with Chris brown back in 2009.
- Starboy – the Weeknd ft. Daft Punk
The Weeknd brings an 80’s vibe as he teamed up with Daft Punk for his latest single. The release of his single Starboy excited the world as a warm up to the self-titled album which was set to release a few days later. “Starboy’s” 80’s centric beat brought the song to reach its highest peak at #1 on the charts. When the album released, every track made it onto the ‘top 100’ chart.
- No problem – Chance the Rapper ft. Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz
“No Problem” serves as a warning to all to not mess with Chance the Rapper and what he has going for him. With Chance’s energetic vocal and gospel stylings which come out throughout his album, “No problem” is by far the most exhilarating track off “Coloring Book” as it tells anyone listening that he can’t be stopped. With Chance The Rapper having no label tied to him he seems to be by far one of the most successful free agent musicians.
- Needed me – Rihanna
Rihanna “self-independent” hit to the world with Needed Me. She shows audiences that she once again is one of the baddest with her hard-hitting lines. RiRi states that “you” shouldn’t think too much of their situation, in the end, she isn’t the one who’s is going to be needing someone, it’s the other person.
- Sorry – Beyoncé
Queen Bee surprised us all when she put out an album to the whole world about Jay z’s alleged infidelity. The Sorry track once again gives audiences memorable one-liners with “Boy bye,” and “you better call Becky with the good hair.” “Sorry” led us on the journey of love and forgiveness when “Lemonade” comes to an end. It still just leaves listeners with one question, who is Becky with the good hair?
- Black Beatles – Rae Sremmurd
“Black Beatles” had been the first hit off Rae Sremmurd’s newest album to reach a #1 spot on billboard charts. A big reason to this was the popularity it received with the latest internet craze The Mannequin Challenge, which consisted of people being frozen in place like a mannequin. With “Black Beatles” being the unofficial song for the mannequin challenge, many people which include celebrities such as The Obama’s, The Dallas Cowboys, and much more, it was being bought and played all over the world.
- Broccoli – D.R.A.M. ft. Lil Yatchy
D.R.A.M.’s newest song managed to reach a high peak on the charts due to its energetic, easy, fast flowing beat that plays throughout the song. Along with the catchy chorus that has almost all listeners singing along to it without even realizing it, “Broccoli” in a way brings a smile to faces across the world. The popularity that “Broccoli” has been given has pave the way as an introduction to more of D.R.A.M’s work.
- Work – Rihanna ft. drake
3 years has been worth the wait after Rihanna released “Work.” It’s eccentric beats that mix in with main chorus are what make the song upbeat. When adding Drake’s verse into the mix, the song is slowed down a bit but is still mixed well enough to make the song much better. The music video release is also what added to the song’s success.
- Panda – Desiigner
Designer’s Panda is the song that gets crowds up and going no matter where you re. With the beat also occurring in Kanye’s “father stretch my hands pt.2.,” one cannot escape the beat of “Panda.” “Throughout a course of almost 15 weeks, Panda held its spot at #2 right below drake. Designer’s fast paced lyrics and hard hitting bass beat are what made “Panda” a hit song of 2016.
- One Dance – Drake ft. Wizkid & Kyla
2016 was beyond a great year for Drake, with his album release with Future to his #1 album Views, it was no surprised that “One Dance” snagged the #1 spot across the charts for over 18 weeks’ straight. “One Dance,” was played constantly throughout almost the entire year whether it be in cars, homes, malls, radio stations, fast food places, etc. The mixture of the different bass beats and Drake’s lyrics make dance one of the best songs of 2016.