Music

The Best Hip Hop and Rap of 2017

Kendrick, Drake, Nicki, Migos, Cardi, Snoop, Wu-Tang, Joey, KRIT, and all the best music of 2017
Brad Bershad

by Brad Bershad

Published December 4, 2018

This is part of our series, The Best of the Best Music of 2017.

Check out our methodology for selecting and ordering these songs.

Here is the Zumic list of the best and most important Hip Hop and Rap songs of the year:

  • Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna - "LOYALTY."
  • Kendrick Lamar - "DNA."
  • Kendrick Lamar - "LUST."
  • Kendrick Lamar - "HUMBLE."
  • Kendrick Lamar - "GOD."
  • Kendrick Lamar - "FEAR."
  • Rapsody, Kendrick Lamar, Lance Skiiiwalker - "Power"
  • N.E.R.D, Rihanna - "Lemon - "Edit"
  • Nicki Minaj, Drake, Lil Wayne - "No Frauds"
  • Migos, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B - "MotorSport"
  • Yo Gotti, Nicki Minaj - "Rake It Up"
  • Lil Uzi Vert, Nicki Minaj, Oh Wonder - "The Way Life Goes - Remix"
  • Drake - "Free Smoke"
  • Drake - "Can't Have Everything"
  • Drake - "Do Not Disturb"
  • Drake - "Gyalchester"
  • Drake, Quavo, Travis Scott - "Portland"
  • J. Cole - "High For Hours"
  • French Montana, Swae Lee - "Unforgettable"
  • Snoop Dogg, Redman, Method Man, B-Real - "Mount Kushmore"
  • Snoop Dogg, Rick Rock - "Moment I Feared"
  • Snoop Dogg, Big Tray Deee - "Bacc in da Dayz"
  • Snoop Dogg, Devin The Dude, Wiz Khalifa, DJ Battlecat - "420 (Blaze Up)"
  • Thundercat, Wiz Khalifa - "Drink Dat"
  • Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign - "Ain't Nothing"
  • Wu-Tang Clan, Hue Hef, Raekwon - "Fast and Furious"
  • Wu-Tang Clan, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, RZA, Sean Price - "Pearl Harbor"
  • Wu-Tang Clan, Redman - "People Say"
  • Joey Bada$$ - "LAND OF THE FREE"
  • Joey Bada$$ - "DEVASTATED"
  • Joey Bada$$ - "FOR MY PEOPLE"
  • Joey Bada$$, ScHoolboy Q - "ROCKABYE BABY"
  • Jamila Woods, Chance the Rapper - "LSD"
  • Logic, Black Thought, Chuck D, Big Lenbo, No I.D - "America"
  • Logic - "Everybody"
  • Logic, Rag'n'Bone Man - "Broken People"
  • Snoh Aalegra, Logic - "Sometimes"
  • Snoh Aalegra, Vince Staples - "Nothing Burns Like The Cold"
  • Vince Staples - "Big Fish"
  • Vince Staples - "BagBak"
  • Vince Staples - "745"
  • Rapsody - "Laila’s Wisdom"
  • Rapsody, Busta Rhymes - "You Should Know"
  • Rapsody, Anderson .Paak, Black Thought, Moonchild - "Nobody"
  • Rapsody, Anderson .Paak - "OooWee"
  • Mr. Lif & Brass Menazeri ft DJ Mr. Sonny James - "What About Us!"
  • Mr. Lif & Brass Menazeri - "Crypt of Lost Styles"
  • Lingua Franca, Murk Daddy Flex - "Up Close"
  • Lingua Franca - "The Con & The Can"
  • Brother Ali - "Own Light (What Hearts Are For)"
  • Brother Ali, Sa-Roc - "We Got This"
  • Future - "Mask Off"
  • Future, The Weeknd - "Comin Out Strong"
  • Future, Young Thug - "200"
  • Future, Young Thug, Offset - "Patek Water"
  • Migos, Lil Uzi Vert - "Bad and Boujee"
  • Cardi B - "Bodak Yellow"
  • Cardi B, Offset - "Lick"
  • Migos - "T-Shirt"
  • Migos - "Stir Fry"
  • Migos, Gucci Mane - "Slippery"
  • Gucci Mane, Migos - "I Get The Bag"
  • Post Malone, 21 Savage - "rockstar"
  • Lil Uzi Vert - "XO TOUR Llif3"
  • Big Sean - "Bounce Back"
  • Big Sean - "Moves"
  • Big Sean - "Jump Out The Window"
  • Big K.R.I.T. - "Confetti"
  • Big K.R.I.T., T.I. - "Big Bank"
  • Big K.R.I.T., Lloyd - "1999"
  • Big K.R.I.T., Jill Scott - "Higher Calling"
  • Big K.R.I.T., Joi - "Miss Georgia Fornia"
  • Big K.R.I.T. - "Keep The devil Off"
  • Big K.R.I.T. - "Price of Fame"
  • Jay Prince, Mahalia - "I Believe in You"
  • Missy Elliott, Lamb - "I'm Better"
  • Gorillaz, Vince Staples - "Ascension"
  • Gorillaz, Popcaan - "Saturnz Barz"
  • Action Bronson - "The Chairman's Intent"
  • Action Bronson - "Let Me Breathe"
  • Action Bronson - "The Choreographer"
  • Action Bronson, Rick Ross - "9-24-7000"
  • Your Old Droog - "Winston Red"
  • Your Old Droog, Danny Brown - "Grandma Hips"
  • Danny Brown - "Kool Aid"
  • EARTHGANG, JID - "Meditate"
  • JID, EARTHGANG - "D/vision"
  • JID - "NEVER"
  • JID - "EdEddnEddy"
  • Talib Kweli, Waka Flocka Flame - "Chips"
  • Talib Kweli, Styles P, Sheek Louch, Jadakiss, Niko Is - "Nine Point Five"
  • Huncho Jack, Travis Scott, Quavo - "Modern Slavery"
  • Huncho Jack, Travis Scott, Quavo, Takeoff - "Eye 2 Eye"
  • Travis Scott - "BUTTERFLY EFFECT"
  • Dizzee Rascal - "Space"
  • Dizzee Rascal - "Ghost"
  • Dizzee Rascal - "The Other Side"
  • Dizzee Rascal - "Man Of The Hour"
  • Wiley - "Can't Go Wrong"
  • Skepta - "No Security"
  • Giggs, Dave - "Peligro"
  • Manga Saint Hilare, Lewi B., P Money, Jamakabi - "Slew"
  • Dave, MoStack - "No Words"
  • T.I., Jacquees - "Certified"
  • BROCKHAMPTON - "STAR"
  • BROCKHAMPTON - "GOLD"
  • BROCKHAMPTON - "SWEET"
  • BROCKHAMPTON - "GUMMY"
  • BROCKHAMPTON - "RENTAL"
  • BROCKHAMPTON - "BLEACH"
  • Duckwrth - "XTRA"
  • Duckwrth, Channel Tres - "THROWYOASSOUT"
  • Duckwrth - "Bernal Heights"
  • Big Boi - "All Night"
  • Big Boi, Killer Mike, Jeezy - "Kill Jill"
  • Rae Sremmurd - "Swang"
  • DJ Khaled, Pusha T, Jadakiss - "Good Man"
  • Tyler, The Creator, Jaden Smith - "Pothole"
  • Tyler, The Creator, A$AP Rocky - "Who Dat Boy"
  • 2 Chainz, Gucci Mane, Quavo, The Trap Choir - "Good Drank 2.0"
  • Sir the Baptist, Killer Mike, ChurchPpl - "Raise Hell"
  • Oddisee - "Like Really"
  • Oddisee - "Rain Dance"
  • Vic Mensa - "Say I Didn't"
  • Vic Mensa, Pharrell Williams, Saul Williams - "Wings"
  • Vic Mensa, Chief Keef, Joey Purp - "Down For Some Ignorance (Ghetto Lullaby)"
  • Playboi Carti - "Magnolia"
  • Playboi Carti, Lil Uzi Vert - "wokeuplikethis*"
  • 21 Savage - "Bank Account"
  • 21 Savage, Offset, Metro Boomin, Travis Scott - "Ghostface Killers"
  • 21 Savage, Offset, Metro Boomin, Quavo - "Rap Saved Me"
  • Rich Brian, 21 Savage - "Crisis"
  • Rich Brian - "Chaos"
  • Rich Brian - "Glow Like Dat"
  • The Perceptionists - "Early Mourning"
  • The Perceptionists - "Out of Control"
  • The Perceptionists, Dutch Rebelle - "When Push Comes to Shove"
  • Homeboy Sandman - "Bamboo"
  • Stik Figa, Elzhi, Nottz - "Down Payment"
  • Lizzo - "Truth Hurts"
  • Kodak Black - "Tunnel Vision"
  • Kodak Black - "U Aint Never"
  • Kodak Black - "First Day Out"
  • Dreezy, 6LACK, Kodak Black - "Spar"
  • 6LACK - "That Far"
  • YFN Lucci, PnB Rock - "Everyday We Lit"
  • Saba - "Monday to Monday"
  • Injury Reserve - "See You Sweat"
  • IAMDDB - "Shade"
  • SahBabii, Loso Loaded - "Pull Up Wit Ah Stick"
  • YoungBoy Never Broke Again - "GG"
  • Shad Da God, Young Thug - "Them Boyz"
  • HoodRich Pablo Juan - "We Don't Luv Em"
  • Lil Pump - "Gucci Gang"
  • 6ix9ine - "GUMMO"
  • Yxng Bane - "Froze"
  • YBN Nahmir - "Rubbin Off The Paint"
  • Rexx Life Raj - "Where I Belong"
  • Tay-K - "The Race"
  • GoldLink, Brent Faiyaz, Shy Glizzy - "Crew"
  • Father - "Hands"
  • Lil Baby, Moneybagg Yo - "All Of A Sudden"
  • Oui Lele - "Rainforest"
  • Oui Lele - "Beast Coast"
  • A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, Kodak Black - "Drowning"
  • Nnamdi Ogbonnaya - "let gO Of my egO"
  • Nnamdi Ogbonnaya ft mOrimOtO - "Cindy OsO"
  • Nnamdi Ogbonnaya - "hOp Off"
  • Matt Martians - "Baby Girl"
  • Hoodie Allen - "Believe"
  • Kevin Gates - "Imagine That"
  • Rejjie Snow, Joey Bada$$, Jesse Boykins III - "PURPLE TUESDAY"
  • Tee Grizzley - "First Day Out"
  • G Perico, Polyester - "Gets My Staccs"
  • G Perico - "Affiliated"
  • G-Worthy, Jay Worthy, G Perico, Cardo, Diamond Ortiz, Polyester - "Never Miss"
  • Big Shaq - "Man's Not Hot"
  • Cousin Stizz, Offset - "Headlock"
  • NxWorries, Anderson .Paak, Knxwledge - "Alltypeofchnces"
  • NxWorries, Anderson .Paak, Knxwledge - "Suede (Uptwnmixx)"
  • Jamie Isaac, Allan Kingdom - "Beauty (Sporting Life Remix)"
  • Jamie Isaac, Wiki, Denzel Curry - "CNT U SEE (Remix)"
  • Willie The Kid, Roc Marciano - "24 Hrs"
  • Lupe Fiasco, Jake Torrey - "Wild Child"
  • Eminem - "Believe"
  • Joyner Lucas - "I'm Sorry"
  • Joyner Lucas - "Winter Blues"
  • Joyner Lucas - "I'm Not Racist"

On its surface, 2017 was business as usual in the world of hip-hop.  Another mind-blowing Kendrick Lamar album.  Another record-breaking year for Drake in the new world of digital streaming and the blurring of the lines between albums, mixtapes, and playlists.  Migos released a slew of club bangers, including "Bad and Boujee" which became a cultural phenomenon early in the year, and Cardi B became a cultural sensation late in the year with "Bodak Yellow" — Not coincidentally, it was the year when Migos' Offset and Cardi began dating and quickly became engaged and secretly married each other.

Meanwhile, it was another year of club bangers, politically and socially conscious statements, comic relief, party music, lyrical virtuosity, and wild upstarts trying to carve their niches with menacing instrumentals and hubris-laced lines.  Perhaps lost in the shuffle was living legends like Snoop Dogg, the Wu-Tang Clan, and Jay-Z putting out some of their best music in years as they continue to evolve alongside the younger generations of now-established stars like Future, Gucci Mane, Joey Bada$$, Big KRIT, Logic, Vince Staples, Big Sean, Action Bronson, Danny Brown, and Rapsody.

Tell us what you think!

 

 

Here a big timeline of music genres we put together to help categorize all these tracks:

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