Beyoncé, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and more chart new tracks in our Top Ten.
We've officially entered the whirlwind release period of 2016, with hip hop's (arguably) biggest current male and female stars, Drake and Beyoncé, both dropping projects in the past ten days. What's more, Chance 3 should be dropping any moment now. Any hint of a mainstream drought that occurred after the hype of both Rihanna's ANTI and Kanye West's The Life Of Pablo died down is now assuredly past, and don't expect Lemonade or VIEWS to disappear anytime soon.
Concurrently, artists who have yet to release 2016 projects are gearing up to compete for the coveted title of "song of the summer," premiering new singles in hopes of mass appeal. Our top ten this week is littered with tracks that could take home that trophy (although my personal front-runner, Rae Sremmurd's "Look Alive," has dropped out after two weeks on the list), with some young stars delivering much-anticipated singles, and other more veteran artists sharing unexpected collaborations with breakout potential. Read on to get the current stats.
10. Drake Feat. WizKid & Kyla - One Dance
After spending one week languishing at #13, "One Dance" makes the cut for the third time (most likely thanks to VIEWS's official release). Unlike "Controlla" and "Pop Style," this is one of the few tracks that leaked out prior to VIEWS, and that Drake decided to leave in unaltered form for the album; and it's pretty clear why. Even though "One Dance" may not be the bars-oriented Drake HNHH users tend to favor, it did arrive like a perfectly-packaged Drizzy single that would likely be able to leap up ten spots on the Billboard Hot 100 in one week. Oh wait, it just did that.
9. Fat Joe Feat. Bryson Tiller - Love You To Pieces
Can you do the rockaway in a Nike Dri-Fit hat? Does T.S. stand for Terror Squad or TRAPSOUL? These are merely a few of the pressing questions that arise after listening to "Love You To Pieces," a track that could very well go down as one of the most unexpected collabs of 2016. To cut to the chase, this one sounds much more like a Fat Joe track than a typically modern Tiller joint, and it's great to hear that the young singer's talents aren't confined to chilly Toronto-style soundscapes and can handle Latin guitar-led backdrops. "Love You To Pieces" debuts at number nine.
8. Lil Wayne - Do It Again (Mastered) (Prod. by StreetRunner)
Forget No Ceilings and Collegrove, StreetRunner's SoundCloud has been the best source for Lil Wayne material in the past six months. The producer's now liberated four Carter III-era tracks in high quality, and in all honesty, the impeccably soulful "Do It Again" might be the highlight of the bunch. Let's hope this cut, which debuts at number eight, isn't the last one that StreetRunner's sitting on.
Before his assist on YG's "I Wanna Benz" in December, Nipsey Hussle hadn't landed in our top ten since 2014, but ever since, he's been on a role. He and YG teamed up to great effect again on "FDT," which was on our charts a few weeks back, and now he's back with surefire HNHH chart success Young Thug (in one of his three appearances on this week's list). "Thug Life" makes its debut at number seven.
6. Drake - Pop Style (New Verse)
In a monumental move of confidence that few in the industry could match, Drake decided to leave The Throne off of "Pop Style"'s album version, meaning that this "extra verse"-inclusive take will be the one that goes in the history books. This song's been in the top ten in some form or another for the past month, and although it drops five spots from two to six this week, it's still overall a huge W in Drizzy's book.
5. Young Thug Feat. Lil Uzi Vert - Dope
"??????" - that's all I can say about "Dope" right now. When it debuted in our top ten six weeks ago, it was the list's most-hated song, an honor it still holds. It's down from number three last week, but at this rate, it'll be in our top ten until July.
Users definitely weren't feeling A$AP Ferg's Always Strive & Prosper on the whole, but this more classically NY-styled collab with two of the city's icons is a definite hit. Ferg definitely branched out and tried out some new sounds on the album, but if the success of this bonus track is any gauge on his fans' opinions, it'd be best if he reverted back to boom bap slappers. "Don't Mind" debuts at number four.
3. Post Malone - Go Flex
With its acoustic guitar leads, big vocals, and trappy beat, Post Malone's "Go Flex" is certainly a unique track, but also one with crossover appeal baked into its DNA. The new track definitely has potential to surpass "White Iverson," and perhaps even rule the summer if it hits the radio soon. In its second week, "Go Flex" drops from number one to three.
2. Chris Brown Feat. Jeezy & Young Thug - Wrist (Remix)
I think that the vast majority of us can agree that Jeezy and Young Thug > Solo Lucci. This cut from "Royalty" originally featured the young Texas rapper, but for the remix, Breezy swapped him out for a pair of very distinct ATLiens who (to my knowledge) had never previously appeared on a song together. If you thought that songs about wrists died out after 2014, think again. The "Wrist" remix debuts at number two.
1. Beyoncé Feat. Kendrick Lamar - Freedom
This Just Blaze-produced squall of fervor and fury was a definite highlight on Lemonade, and it was also the only track from the album that was at one point available on our songs list. Anyone who would've bet against it making the top spot, let alone the top ten, probably forgot that Kendrick Lamar's also on it, delivering arguably the hardest verse ever featured on a Bey album.