It’s undeniable that 2017 was the year hip-hop and R&B overtook rock as the country’s most popular genre. It’s widely known that hip-hop was born in urban America where many of its fans could not afford nearly $13 for a CD or two every week which makes hip-hop’s popularity hard to track simply by sales.
Nevertheless, with the rise of mobile technology and streaming, the numbers don’t like it.
Being a hip-hop fan I can be overwhelming at times with music being churned out, however there are songs that simply stand out above the rest, and I would like to introduce you the list of my 10 favorite rap and R&B songs of 2017, in no particular order:
1. Lil Pump — “Gucci Gang”
This is one of those songs that makes me think “I should become a rapper. I’m utterly incapable of producing music, but how hard could making something like this be?”
2. Cardi B, “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)”
It’s the deserved song of the summer of 2017: an extraordinary and confident mainstream debut that blasted to the No. 3 spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
It’s completely true that Cardi may never reach such heights again, but 2017 was undoubtedly her year and it’s all thanks to “Bodak Yellow.”
3. French Montana feat. Swae Lee, “Unforgettable”
Hate it or love it,this song is undeniable. I couldn’t get this song out of my head…. The beat is fire. Not many songs make me (someone who hates dancing) want to dance – but this does.
4. Future, “Mask Off”
This track is good. excellent mixing. I absolutely think that this is a high point of the genre. The beat alone is five stars.
5. Kendrick Lamar, “HUMBLE.”
The chorus “be humble” sit down, be humble. It’s something most people can’t do. It’s the antithesis to today’s self-absorbed culture.
The video is pure modern industrial art, and he should be proud of this work.
6. Eminem, “The Storm”
The controversial rapper takes aim at Donald Trump on this vital, if flawed, politically charged ninth album.
Overall, the tellingly titled ‘Revival’ is the most vital record Em has put out since 2004’s ‘The Eminem Show’. As a matter of fact, his renewed creative vigour is obvious and his sense of duty commendable.
7. N.E.R.D. and Rihanna, “Lemon”
It came out earlier this month, but we’d bet our (tastes like) lunch money that you’ve already danced to it, watched the hypnotic video multiple times, and briefly considered shaving your head too. Rihanna really can do anything!
8. DJ Khaled, “I’m the One”
Like the Nick Fury of bangers, DJ Khaled assembled Chance, Quavo, and Lil Wayne (and Bieber) for one infectious track.
All in all, “I’m the One” is a bright, enjoyable record. This isn’t the second coming, despite the hype, but Khaled certainly knows how to assemble a hit. It’s undoubtedly well on its way to giving the DJ another platinum single.
9. Drake – ”Passionfruit”
Drake’s secret weapon—the purity of his voice is what most shines through on the song. Sung by a person with a more wobbly, vibrato-heavy style, the song wouldn’t be half as good. Instead, Drake’s straight-down-the-middle delivery makes “Passionfruit” easily consumed and endlessly repeatable—intoxicating, like a frozen margarita of a certain Canadian flavor.
10. Vince Staples – “BagBak”
Vince Staples is fucking intense. And that’s what makes him one of the most commanding young voices in hip-hop. His music is as unflinching as his critiques of the current social and political climate in this country. I swear that the smaller rappers are usually the better then most popular rap songs.
So what is your favorite list? Feel free to share!