It’s hard to believe we’re already back by year-end roster time, as it’s officially called. The pandemic continues to affect all of our lives in disparate ways, depending on location, age, job and living situation; which means that, for most of us, life still has no necessarily returned to “normal”. We are still grappling with the consequences of the pandemic or the virus itself, whether through local rules and regulations or the simple fact that we have been pretty much collectively shut down throughout 2020. Nonetheless, for the the music industry, things are returning to ‘normalcy’ as best they can – that is, we are seeing new tour announcements appearing daily, and although the onset of the pandemic may have been bring some hesitation over the best new music release protocol, 2021 has pretty much been back in full swing, with major song releases (and corresponding album deployments) from OG as well as Nas, always cool artists like Duck and Tyler, the creator, as well as newcomers like Baby Keem and EST Gee. All of these artists mentioned above make an appearance in our list of the 35 Best Hip-Hop Songs of 2021 below.

This year’s roster features an eclectic mix of what was happening in hip-hop and rap, whether through a TikTok or a social media channel, YouTube or the streets. These are songs that made an impact because of the quality and strength of the #bars, or else, there were songs that could have been just plain inevitable, that grew in us because of their ubiquity. This list mixes up what we perceive to be the most talked about, longest lasting post-release, and punchiest and hottest hip-hop songs of 2021, with a splash of opinions from our staff for good measure.

Scroll down below and sound off in the comments.

Ed. To note: We have decided to narrow the list this year. You will get the detailed reports of our team by means of an overview of the “Staff of the year choices” that we will publish on Monday, December 13th. Stay tuned for this more personalized end of year approach.

– Pink


35. Lil Wayne – Ya Dig

34. Tee Grizzley – “White Lows Off Designer” feat. Lil durk

33. Doja cat – “Options” exploit. JID

32. Pop Smoke – The “Bout a Million” exploit. 42 Dugg & 21 Wild

31. Benny the Butcher & Harry Fraud – feat “Plug Talk”. 2 channels

30. Meek Mill – “Share locations” exploit. Lil Durk & Lil Baby

29. Key Glock & Young Dolph – “Penguins”

28. BIA – feat “Whole Lotta Money” Remix. Nicki Minaj

26. Freddie Gibbs – “Black Illuminati” feat. Jadakiss

25. Lil Durk & Lil Baby – “Every Chance I Have”

24. Nardo Wick – feat “Who Want Smoke Remix”. Lil Durk, G Herbo & 21 Savage

23. Nicki Minaj – feat “Seeing Green”. Drake and Lil Wayne

22. Drake – “Wants & Needs” feat. little baby

21. Conway – “Scatter Brain” exploit. JID & Ludacris

20. J. Cole – The “Pride is the Devil” achievement. little baby

19. EST Gee – feat “5500 degrees”. Lil Baby, 42 Dugg & Rylo Rodriguez

18. Nipsey Hussle – feat “What It Feels Like”. Jay Z

17. Young Thug – “Day Before” feat. Mac Miller

16. Westside Gunn – “Hell on earth Pt. 2”

15. Polo G – “Rapstar”

14. Sleeping Sanctuary – “2055”

13. Lloyd Banks – The “Empathy” feat. Freddie gibbs

12. Drake – “Knife Talk” feat. Pat & 21 Savage Project

11. Lil Tjay – “Call my phone” exploit. 6 lack

ten. Isaiah Rashad – “Lay Wit Ya” feat. Duke Deuce

09. Tyler, the creator – feat “WUSYANAME”. NBA Youngboy & Ty Dolla $ ign

08. YSL – “Skiing”

07. J. Cole – feat “My Life”. Morray & 21 Savage

06. Kanye West – The “Off the Grid” feat. Playboi Carti & Fivio Foreign

05. Nas – The “Nobody” feat. Lauryn Hill

04. Drake – “Champagne poetry”

03. Baby Keem & Kendrick Lamar – “brothers of the range”

02. Kanye West – The “Party Life” feat. Andre 3000

01. Moneybagg Yo – “Wockesha”