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The 15 Best Billboard Hit Rap Songs of 2021 So Far

Though the year is not over yet, we have had a plethora of great hit rap songs. Usually the most popular songs are never the best, and that remains true but I wanted to take a second to appreciate the smash hits of the hip-hop world that were great. Only songs that placed in the top forty are going to be eligible for the list and songs of the hip-hop nature. Despite The Kid Laroi opperating in the hip-hop space there is no question that he makes pop music, so I will not be counting Stay with Justin Bieber, even though it's his only great song. Let me know what hit songs you are surprised didn't make the cut and what your favorite of the bunch is.

95 South - J. Cole

Album: The Off Season

The bodacious and confident intro to J. Cole's most recent LP peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, likely due to the crazy number The Off Season did in the first week. Cole's delivery is what makes this track, as he raps with his chest out like he's saying, "Yeah, I'm back." He has a corny bar or two here (Put an M up on your head...) but other than that it is mostly clever, concise bars where he comments on the current state of the rap game.

Back In Blood featuring Lil Durk - Pooh Shiesty

Album: Shiesty Season

With Pooh Shiesty possibly looking at a long sentencing it's easy to forget that his breakout hit, peaking at numbner thirteen Back In Blood came out this year. This definitley isn't the most skillful track here but it is raw, unfiltered, violent energy from Pooh and Durkio. Lil Durk is touted as a beast on features, rightfully so, but this is one of his best. Pooh gave us a catchy, murderous chorus and the energy Durk bought to his verse was unmatched and had everyone singing, "But Pooh you know I'm really Shiesty!"

Every Chance I Get featuring Lil Baby and Lil Durk - DJ Khaled

Album: Khaled Khaled

I am surprised this track only peaked at twenty on the charts because it felt like this song was everywhere, and undeniably the song of the Summer. This song just exudes unfathomable amounts of energy the whole way through. The loud and hypnotic beat is perfect for Baby and Durk to both absolutely murder their verses but a chorus that just gets you singing along. This song emodies everything that a great summer anthem should.

Family Ties featuring Kendrick Lamar - Baby Keem

Album: The Melodic Blue

Family Ties was a moment, it took Baby Keem from a fairly underground name in trap to the top of the charts in an instant from the first time he previewed this song. Peaking at eighteen this is also one of the best songs this year as it is intricate, exciting and entertaining with every listen. There are several smooth beat switches that keep you on your toes, as if Baby Keems eccentric delivery and zany presence on the track wasn't enough. Kendrick may have the best verse of the year on this as he comes to let everyone know he's still the king despite his absence.

GANG GANG with Lil Wayne - Polo G

Album: Hall Of Fame

Although Polo's 2021 effort, Hall Of Fame was a pretty big let down, songs like GANG GANG show that when he steps out of his comfort zone he can make great music. Peaking at thirty-three on the charts this is one of Polo G's best songs ever as well as a hit. The electronic and upbeat instrumental allow for a pretty great effort from Polo, but we all know why this song is great. Lil Wayne gives us one of his best verses in recent memory, which is a huge statement. He absolutely took this beat and ran away with it, making this song a hit.

Jail - Kanye West

Album: Donda

Peaking at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 this also happens to be my favorite, and quite possibly the best song on Ye's tenth studio album, Donda. This intro track is one of Ye's most powerful as the instrumental is so unique and minimalistic, but heartbreaking in the amount of emotional draw it has. Kanye's chorus is passionate as hell and one of his best in a while, and JAY-Z gives a great verse that only makes the record better.

JUGGERNAUT featuring Lil Uzi Vert and Pharrell - Tyler, The Creator


The highest charting song off of CMIYGL, peaking at forty is the abrasive, enthralling and bombastic JUGGERNAUT. The bubbly and evolving production is home to one of the biggest bangers in Tyler's discography and of the year. Tyler and Pharrell are both brimming with personality and confidence but Lil Uzi Vert really steals the show here. His fast pace and funny punch lines liven up the track even more than it is.

Let Go My Hand featuring 6LACK & Bas - J. Cole

Album: The Off Season

Maybe one of the most understated tracks on The Off Season, Let Go My Hand serves as one of J. Cole's best storytelling tracks ever. Peaking at number nineteen this track has a relaxed but dynamic instrumental where J. Cole presents us with his history of fights and why he would fight, hoping his son doesn't do the same. BAS sings a beautiful bridge and 6LACKS's spoken word verse add to the laid back but spiritual vibe of the song.

My Life featuring 21 Savage and Morray - J. Cole

Album: The Off Season

The follow up to 21 Savage and J. Cole's 2018 smash hit, a lot is just as good, if not better as the first time they linked up. Peaking at number two this was the biggest song on the album, and it is easy to see why. Like a lot the instrumental has a beautiful soul sample and a hungry verse from Cole. 21 raps a bit more nonchalantly with some of his best lyrics and flow, and Morray sings a passionate chorus that ties the whole track together.

Pride Is The Devil featuring Lil Baby - J. Cole

Album: The Off Season

The final track off of The Off Season to make the list is the most unexpected duo on here. Peaking at number seven Pride Is The Devil balanced being one of J. Cole's most topically focused songs as well as one of his best bangers. The fun trap beat services for Cole to rap about how people, typically men, will put their pride over anything, sacrificing relationships and happiness just for their pride. He has a seamless transition into Lil Baby's verse which is great and not as lyrically deep.

Real As It Gets featuring EST Gee - Lil Baby

Album: N/A

This Lil Baby loosie turned out to be one of the best trap songs of the year. Peaking at thirty-four Lil Baby has a signature cold flow of his over a grim piano based instrumental. He gives a huge look to Louisville, Kentucky native EST Gee, who absolutely kills his verse and makes the track even better.

Seeing Green featuring Drake & Lil Wayne - Nicki Minaj

Album: Beam Me Up Scotty

After Nicki re-released her classic mixtape Beam Me Up Scotty, she included one new song Seeing Green, which peaked at number twelve on the Billboard Hot 100, with her Young Money associates Weezy and Drizzy. The instrumental is lavish and verbose, and the whole track has a super important feel to it. Nicki, Wayne and Drake all give incredible verses, reflecting on the fame and everything they've earned.

Ski - Young Stoner Life, Young Thug & Gunna

Album: Slime Language 2

Coming off of YSL's Slime Language 2 project, Ski was nothing but a super fun track that encapsulated Thug and Gunna's chemistry perfectly. Peaking at number eighteen on the charts everybody knew this song the first week it was out. Both artists give amazing and memorable verses, while Thugger's chorus is energetic and joyful, making this track better after every listen.

Solid featuring Drake - Young Stoner Life, Young Thug & Gunna

Album: Slime Language 2

Like Ski this track is just super energetic and fun. Drake gave an amazingly catchy chorus and Thug and Gunna both contributed good verses. Peaking at twelve Solid is just a nonchalant, relaxed flex track from the three, as they let everyone know just how rich they are.

Wants and Needs featuring Lil Baby - Drake

Album: Scary Hours 2

I would say that this is the best Drake track to drop this year. It is just a high tempoed banger with a smooth but speedy instrumental, and a great Drake verse as well. Lil Baby really steals the show though, with an incredible verse where his flow is off the walls and he has clever and funny bars throughout.

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