It’s an old joke but one worth repeating: 2016 might’ve been a bad year, but at least it had a good soundtrack. As we usher in the new year, it’s worthwhile to reflect and celebrate. These songs will help you do just that to the year that was.
Rae Sreummurd ft. Gucci Mane, “Black Beatles”
A sleeper jam until it became the Mannequin Challenge anthem; a thrilling unleash of excess and exclamation.
Kanye West ft. Chance the Rapper, The-Dream, Kelly Price, and Kirk Franklin, “Ultralight Beam”
So vast in its vision it wraps you with its communal spirituality, lifts you up, and reminds you that, yes, you too are divine.
D.R.A.M. ft. Lil Yachty, “Broccoli”
Millennial toking anthem that demands you gleefully bounce and bop because stop pretending music and life must be so serious.
Sinister and sneaky, M.A. jokes, flaunts, and stunts with a contagious spirit that captures and advances New York hip hop.
The best breakup song of the year, the best single of the year, the best music video of the year, simply the best.
Lil Uzi Vert, “Do What I Want”
The only song you want to dance to this year; just ask Russell Westbrook.
The best of Drake’s riddims and tropical vibes from VIEWS, essential.
The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk, “I Feel It Coming”
Michael Jackson serenades rebirthed through robot manipulation/the dark prince of pop.
Subversive yet of its era, Amine found radio play through this infectious bop.
Vicious, growling, destructive, and only possible from Young Thug.
Childish Gambino, “Redbone”
Ditching all millennial sensitivity that defined him, Gambino evolves himself backwards, becoming a sensuous funkadelic.
Rihanna ft. Drake “Work”
Provocative, flippant, the on-and-off-again couple deliver the best dance floor jam of the year.
Frank Ocean “Nights”
Containing the slickest bar of the year–“You can’t break the law with them”–Frank explodes with his abstract version of pop.
Chance the Rapper ft. 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne “No Problems”
Gospel-infused punk contagious in its attitude and glorious in its energy.