Did your favorite make the cut?
In decades past, the list of the “best songs of the year” used to start coming together sometime around September. We can remember it a little bit if we really strain. Cuffin’ season used to correlate with a downturn in new tracks to care about, but in the artist-empowered era of the surprise release, we can’t be so sure any more.
While much of the world winds down into a season of cooler temperatures and heavier soups, we still have to keep our ears open for bangers that previously wouldn’t have been dropped anywhere but poolside. Never forget the devastation that D’Angelo and Childish Gambino have wrought over preemptive year-end lists.
Still, it’s fun to look back on the year so far and take stock of what we’ve heard. This list of the best rap songs so far in 2017 will probably be 100% wrong by next month, let alone the end of the year, but we can’t go worrying about that sort of thing or we’ll never get anything done.
We hand-picked a few songs — one per artist to keep this from being a Brockhampton playlist — that we think best represent the year that still is. So, take a look and fight us about it.
Cardi B — “Bodak Yellow”
This is THE song. It’s the song that made it so that we, as a culture, couldn’t ignore Cardi B anymore. And we’re all better for it.
Rick Ross — “Idols Become Rivals”
Never, ever count Rick Ross out. As soon as you start to sleep on the South FL cartoon character, he’ll drop a track that will rock the whole world back on its heels.
Lil Pump — “Molly”
Lil Pump has created something new. Where the other standouts in this new wave of Floridian rappers get toasted by a meme that celebrates recklessness (“this song makes me wanna ground my parents”) and Drake got roasted for his softboi tendencies, the Lil Pump meme is all about how dumb his fans are.
And “Molly” is definitely the sort of track for someone who “goes to bed with a ruler to see how long they slept.” It’s beat is like lowrider music run through the dumbest, loudest speaker system imaginable and Pump’s geeked-up chant of “I’m off a molly, I’m off a bean” will take IQ points away from you.
Worth it, though.