Another Toronto-heavy edition of "Top Tracks."
Although they haven't rapped on a track with each other since 2009's "Forever," Drake and Kanye West are usually placed side-by-side in the upper echelon of hip hop's current stars, the ones who have the potential to "break the internet" when they drop surprise material. Kanye already had his huge moment month with the bizarrely captivating release of The Life Of Pablo, Drake will hopefully soon have his with Views From The 6, but even when they're not dropping CDQ, album-ready material, they're getting our attention.
This week's Top Tracks list features two Drake leaks and two TLOP leftovers, all four testaments to how we'll rush to listen to anything Drizzy or Yeezy drop. Other new tracks include a rare political diss song, a remix of a buzzing hit, and a birthday surprise from another star. Elsewhere, we've got repeat tracks from a couple of dynamic duos and a guy coming off of the worst album of his career.
10. Nipsey Hussle Feat. YG - FDT
Formerly lauded in songs like Rae Sremmurd's "Up Like Trump," presidential candidate and professional douchebag Donald Trump has been surprisingly absent from new music since his bid began. Just in time, though, a blood and a crip from L.A. set aside their differences to unite in their hatred for The Donald. Making its debut this week at #10, "FDT" is surely the best explicitly political rap song we've heard all year.
9. Young Thug Feat. Lil Uzi Vert - Dope
Last week, this collab from divisive stars Thugger and Lil Uzi easily took the cake for the most disliked song on our top ten, but thanks to some risky choices by bigger names in hip hop, it's not in the first or second slot this week. Sliding down three spots from #6, this one's probably on its way out next week.
8. PartyNextDoor Feat. Drake - Come And See Me
The Drake-assisted first single from PND 3 is arguably the Toronto singer's biggest song to date, courtesy of a smooth melody, superb Noah Shebib beat and of course, the presence of the almighty Drizzy. It did drop all the way from its #1 spot last week though, so time to put out more music, Party!
7, Kanye West - Ultralight Prayer
Sitting at just a 52% user rating, Kanye West and Kirk Franklin's "Ultralight Beam" update "Ultralight Prayer" is shockingly not the least popular track on the list this week. It's less than two minutes in length, and features exactly zero Kanye vocals, but because Mr. West's name is on the track, it makes its debut at #7 this week.
6. The Weeknd - "Rambo" (Remix)
Toronto's somewhat similar-sounding crop of R&B singers/rappers have had an incestuous musical relationship in the past, with Drake teaming up with PND and The Weeknd at various points in his career, and OVO attempting to sign anyone who comes out of the mold sounding like they already belong on the label. Last week, we got one of those T Dot crooners remixing a track by a guy who frequently gets mistaken for a Canadian, but actually hails from Louisville. The Weeknd's remix of Bryson Tiller's "Rambo" debuts at #6.
5. Kid Cudi - The Frequency
Making its debut at #9 last week, Kid Cudi's comeback track clearly had people coming back for repeat listens as it jumped up quite a bit in its second week. There's no word yet on whether this will be included on Cudi's next project, but if he knows what's good for him, he'll throw this already-popular cut on there.
4. Kanye West Feat. Sampha - Saint Pablo
Whereas "Ultralight Prayer" wasn't stunning enough to make me wish that Ye had included it on his last album, the Sampha-assisted "Saint Pablo" definitely is. Making great use of an Yvonne Fair sample that's most recognizable as the backbone of Jay Z's "Where I'm From," West shows that his outtakes are better than most other rappers' singles.
3. Big Sean - Get My Shit Together
In addition to releasing his collaborative project with Jhene Aiko last week, Big Sean also shared a birthday surprise with us, a new one-off track. It won't appear on his next album, but for some good (or rather, G.O.O.D.) news, Pusha T says Sean Don's project will be the next thing the label releases. This loosie debuts at #3.
2. Drake - These Days
To date, the most famous cover versions of Jackson Browne's timeless classic "These Days" have been by Nico (formerly of Velvet Undergound) and Gregg Allman, and unfortunately, Drake's new version of it seems unlikely to rise to that same echelon. Only garnering a 40% approval rating from the HNHH audience, his "These Days" didn't seem to bring anything new to the table, nor was it a particularly pristine attempt at copying other versions. The fact that this wildly unpopular track debuted at #2 is a better testament than any to Drizzy's popularity.
1. Drake Feat. Popcaan - Controlla
Ever since Drake signed "OVO Unruly" dancehall artist Popcaan, we've been waiting for the pair to collaborate on more than just a few If You're Reading This It's Too Late interludes. Some have called "Controlla" a lukewarm version of Jamie xx's "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)," which also featured Popcaan, as well as Young Thug, but whatever the case, you've gotta admit that this is pretty fire.