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2020 Recap: Top 10 Hip-Hop Singles

Songs that Made Moments Memorable

In the closing of 2020, we have seen Hip-Hop give its fans so many different bops to jam to.  Successful music in the age of streaming does not always come from a whole album but from the popular single that moves the crowd.

Many songs came out this year that caught people’s attention, however, there are others among that group that helped to define the moods and energy of 2020 perfectly.

Based on the number of streams and cultural impact, here are 10 singles that stood above the rest this year.

WAP- Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion

In 2020 a large topic of debate has been the perception of women in Hip-Hop and “WAP” by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion pushed the discussion to new heights.  With a supercharged sex-positive Cardi and Meg expressed a bravado and swagger that put the entire industry on notice.

With stunning visuals and a laundry list of cameos from some of the hottest female artists in the game currently, “WAP” debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 100 chart with 2.34 million streams in the first week.  In total, the song amassed over 90 million streams in the US.

Meg and Cardi’s success made history becoming the first chart-topping Rap song by an all-female collaborative.

 

Roddy Ricch – The Box

Roddy Ricch was able to take 2020 by storm with “The Box” from his album Please Excuse Me for Being Anti-Social.  The Compton rapper was able to capture his first number one song on the Billboard 100.

“The Box” was also able to capture many awards this year as a single including Song of the Year at the Apple Music awards and BET Hip-Hop Awards.  Roddy is also up for three Grammy Nominations thanks to “The Box” in the categories of Best Rap Song, Best Melodic Rap Performance, and Song of the Year.

On Spotify, the song has accumulated over 1 billion streams showing its popularity and longevity.  The music video on Youtube also generated 274 million views.

 

Lil Baby- The Bigger Picture

Police brutality has been an issue that has plagued America heavily in 2020 and “The Bigger Picture” turned out to be a song that rallied people to stand against injustice.

Following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, Lil Baby’s protest song was the most played track as people fought for justice on Floyd’s behalf.  The Youtube video alone amassed over 105 million views and the track debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 100.

The cover art for “The Bigger Picture” was a photo capturing Lil Baby riding through the protests in Atlanta on a bicycle.  The imagery captures the hardship the country has faced from the police brutality that has happened this year.

 

Future featuring Drake – Life is Good

It seems that anytime Drake and Future team up for a song, the chemistry between them creates a hit.  “Life is Good” adds to their impressive catalog together as the lead single from Future’s album High Off Life.  

Between Drake’s smooth stylings and Future’s gritty melodic verse, the song was one of the most played jams of 2020

The song debuted at number two on the Billboard 100 and stayed at that spot for its first eight weeks on the charts.  Thanks to the success of “Life is Good” the record was the highest-charting single to date.  The music video on Youtube generated over 1.3 billion views.

   

DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch- Rockstar

Following his success in 2019, DaBaby came back in 2020 continuing to make chart-topping hits.  “Rockstar” was the second single from Blame it on Baby and had a long lifespan as a song since it also included a Black Lives Matter Remix.

The song eventually reached number one on the Billboard 100 in its seventh week on the chart with the Youtube video getting over 105 million views. The video was hailed for being more cinematic because of how the video was set in a zombie apocalypse.

The original version of “Rockstar” is up for Grammy nominations in the categories of Record of the Year, Best Melodic Rap Performance, and Best Rap Song.

 

Jack Harlow- What’s Poppin’

 

There were plenty of jams that got the party started for people this year and “What’s Poppin’” was in rotation with some of the best of 2020.  The song doubled as the lead single for the upstart Jack Harlow on his EP Sweet Action and his debut studio album That’s What They All Say.

The song dropped on January 21st and captured a top 10 spot on the Billboard 100 in multiple countries showing that “What’s Poppin’” has a mass appeal, unlike many others.  On Youtube, the music video reached 116 million views.

While the remix featuring DaBaby, Tory Lanez, and Lil Wayne also had equal success, the original rendition of the song has earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rap performance showing the staying power Harlow had.

 

 

Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyonce- Savage (Remix)

As far as music goes it seems that Meg could not lose this year with every song she dropped.  Aside from “WAP”, the “Savage (Remix) feat. Beyonce” defined how Meg used her talent and confidence to body the competition.

In the debut of the remix, the Houston duo was able to chart at number two on the Billboard 100 and eventually moved to number one.  One of the highlights of the “Savage (Remix)” was Beyonce’s verse where the Queen’s versatility was on display rapping bar for bar with Meg.

Thanks to the popularity and streams from the “Savage (Remix)”, the collaboration has earned multiple Grammy nominations including Record of the Year, Best Rap Song, and Best Rap Performance.

 

Drake featuring Lil Durk-  Laugh Now Cry Later

Even if 2020 was filled with tough times songs like “Laugh Now Cry Later” from Drake and Lil Durk were able to provide an uplifting vibe for listeners.  With the single coming on August 14th Drake and Durk were able to close out the Summer with a high-quality banger.

The video served as a precursor for a lot of collaborations between Nike and Drake being shot at the Nike Headquarters.  “Laugh Now Cry Later” debuted at number two on the Billboard 100 and is serving as the lead-off single from Drake’s upcoming album Certified Lover Boy.

In its short time being out “Laugh Now Cry Later” was able to earn high critical acclaim and Grammy Nominations for Best Melodic Rap Performance and Best Rap Song.

 

Scottie Beam

Hip-Hop often talks about giving an artist their flowers while they are still here and Freddie Gibbs has certainly earned them in 2020.  With an assist from Rick Ross, Gibbs dropped “Scottie Beam” as a single from the popular album Alfredo.

With the soulful sound provided by super-producer The Alchemist, both Freddie and Ross delivered verses that projected vivid images of a lavish lifestyle.  On Spotify alone “Scottie Beam” has gathered over 6 million streams which were the second-highest from Alfredo.

The industry also took note of Gibbs and his popularity with Alfredo as he was nominated for his first Grammy in the category of Best Rap Album.

 

Mulatto featuring Gucci Mane- Muwop

The south always seems to have new talent emerging on the scene and Mulatto represents the best of what the new wave has to offer.  “Muwop” is a dope track that pays homage to Gucci Mane’s classic track “Freaky Girl” leading to a feature from Guwop himself.

“Muwop” dropped on July 30th and served as a summertime banger debuting at number 11 Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100. Her placing on this list shows that her stock is rising and her success in 2020 will lead to better opportunities in the future.

 

 

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