Filed under: General
Choosing the best rap song in 2016 (so far) is harder than it sounds. Naturally, this is going to be a completely subjective list at the best of times, since people are going to naturally argue which rap song is better or worse. People do have to pay attention to the rap songs that seem to be doing better in the charts, which can help people when it comes to deciding which songs are the best. Naturally, people will argue over the genre boundaries of rap in order to determine which songs really qualify as rap songs to begin with, which complicates things more. Arguments over definitions can make lists like this controversial.
Further Reading: 50 Saddest Rap Songs
However, this method is always going to create a situation where all the hidden gems get shortchanged and the same names come up over and over again. Rap fans can only use the best rap songs in 2016 (so far) list as a guide, and a very temporary one at that. However, even these kinds of guides can introduce people to lots of great new songs.
Best Rap Songs in 2016 (so far)
- Once Dance by Drake
Much as its title suggests, this is just the sort of catchy song that is going to liven up any dance floor. Its driving beat and straightforward lyrics should manage to wake anyone up, making this one of the most perfect fast songs available today. The lyrics even seem to speak of the healing power of music, which is certainly a theme that many listeners are going to be able to relate to on many different levels. This song seems to present that sentiment in a didactic manner while also embodying this basic principle.
Further Reading: http://hiphopredux.com/2016/02/09/6-different-types-of-rappers/
- Famous by Kanye West
Songs written by famous people about fame are nothing new, but this one does manage to stand out in many different important ways. The chorus of the song combined with the sharper lyrics related to the price of fame manages to give people all that they need emotionally to understand the wages of fame. Many of the rhymes that Kanye West uses in the song are very effective and self-referential. People will often give artists a certain degree of credit for being willing to criticize themselves if necessary. A willingness to criticize oneself and one’s industry can mean a lot.
Further Reading: 10 Best Rap Hits Since 2000
- Law by Yo Gotti
Many rap songs are famous for the fact that they have great lyrical and rhythmic hooks, and this one is no exception. People will hear it once and they will be repeating the hooks to themselves over and over again. This hook has an effective simplicity to it as well, which means that the song lends itself well to a lot of different parody versions. Fans of the song seem to make up their own parody versions off the bat, which seems to indicate that this is a song that makes it easy for people to stay engaged with.
- Kiss it Better by Rihanna
This song has a strong driving beat behind it and is more melodic than a lot of rap songs. Some people would say that Rihanna’s music strains the boundaries between rap and other genres, but this one has more of a rap feel than many of her other songs. The lyrics have an ambiguous feel to them, which can leave them open to interpretation for the people who are either looking for a dark love song or a song that is more about the dark side of love and attraction.
- Needed Me by Rihanna
Rihanna’s beautiful vocals manage to balance out some of the darker aspects of these lyrics. The rap lyrics themselves almost have an improvisational feel to them, which makes them feel more traditional than some modern rap lyrics that people enjoy today. While the lyrics do open themselves to interpretation, they also manage to express some straightforward sentiments that people will find in many rap songs. This is a song rap fans will really appreciate.
- No More Parties in LA by Kanye West
This song has an excellent start to it that will lead people in right away. From there, the song seems to practically explode into the rapid-fire rapping that has made many rap artists famous. Kanye West is a somewhat divisive figure in the rapping community, but this is one of the many songs on the Life of Pablo album where he really demonstrates that he does have real talent as a rapper. This is a song that people will have to listen to twice at least.
- Glowed Up by Kaytranada
This is a song that feels like two songs in one that have been combined for artistic reasons, and both of them are effective. The first half is more languid, and the second half is much more pleasingly energetic and powerful. Both halves have clever lyrics that people will have to really listen for, and they both benefit from strong synths or percussive beats. The music video for the song is just as good in terms of managing its conflicting emotions.
Further Reading: Evolution of Hip Hop
- Zoney by Wiz Khalifa
People who are looking for rap music that is more socially progressive and that deals more with issues of poverty will like this song. It isn’t heavy-handed about the issues that it deals with, but people will still walk away thinking about the issues. Wiz Khalifa’s opening to the song even touches on some universal themes about big dreams that everyone can understand and that then become tragic in the context of the rest of the song.
- Yeah, I Said It by Rihanna
This song has a meditative feel to it that makes it very effective. Rihanna’s vocal talent once again shines through. The nature of the song and its basic rhythmic hooks have a defiance to them that people will find appealing. This song is once again melodic enough to set it apart from some rap songs, but many people appreciate the genre-bending approach. This is a song that people will be humming to themselves all day long.
Many artists have made multiple appearances on this list, and for good reason! Let’s see what the rest of 2016 will bring now that we’re past the halfway mark!