2015 RAP

‘Tis the season for spending time with family and loved ones, sipping egg nog, and coming up with ranked lists of your favorite rap songs from the past year.  I used to be a staunch anti-lister: how could we attach such a rigid hierarchy to such personal, subjective material?  I also hated all the petty, pointless arguments that always ensued – such a waste of time that we could be spending on listening to more music.  I still think most of those arguments are dumb, but I’ve recently realized that, like many things I initially disliked, I was just thinking about them in the wrong way.

More and more I’ve come to see the value in these lists; not as what they seem – rigid value judgements about inherently unquantifiable subject matter – but as a starting point for conversation and possible introduction (or re-introduction) to material that might have slipped through the cracks for some listeners.  So this year I’m throwing in my votes for best rap songs of 2015.  I have purposely not looked at any other end-of-year lists so as not to be swayed by the judgements of others.  No doubt I will discover countless songs I should have included once I do see everyone else’s, but maybe someone else will discover something in these 35 selections from this great year in rap.  After the first 5 or 6 songs, I didn’t put much effort into the order so don’t get too caught up in that part of it.  Let me know if you agree, and DEFINITELY let me know if you disagree or have alternate selections, I hope to learn more than teach from this first attempt.

To keep this from being a list of Young Thug and Future songs I stuck to the standard format of doing one track per artist, except in a couple cases where groups have gone solo and where artists have been featured on another song elsewhere on the list.  I definitely see Rich Gang, Young Thug, and Rich Homie Quan as three separate entities, and Nef the Pharaoh gets featured twice since I didn’t put any of his own solo material on there.

Here we go!

  1. Rich Gang – Up, Up, and Away
  2. Future – No Compadre
  3. Young Thug – No Way
  4. Rich Homie Quan – Flex
  5. Tree – Well
  6. Dr. Yen Lo – Day 3
  7. Juego the Ninety – D’Juego
  8. Vince Staples – Norf Norf
  9. Earl Sweatshirt – Solace
  10. Kendrick Lamar – These Walls
  11. Foxx – Don’t I (feat. Wacko)
  12. Boosie Badazz – Mama
  13. Bandit Gang Marco – NO CASH (feat. Bandit Gang)
  14. Yung Gordon – Finna Hit My Walk (fast version)
  15. Black Zheep DZ – Ice-Hot
  16. Starlito – My Love (feat. Don Trip)
  17. Corn – Old School Hyphy (feat. Nef the Pharaoh)
  18. The Jacka – Ancient Astronauts (feat. Goldie)
  19. Bloody Jay – Want it Like This
  20. YG – Twist My Fingaz
  21. Butch Dawson – Brain
  22. Chance the Rapper – Israel (feat. Noname Gypsy)
  23. Young Jeezy – Birds Could Talk
  24. Jay 305 – Goin’ Up (feat. Dom Kennedy)
  25. DJ Chose – Everywhere I Go (feat. MC Breezy)
  26. Pablo Skywalkin’ – Feeling Myself
  27. Earl Swavey – What Would You Do? (feat. DJ Worm 2G)
  28. 22nd Letter – Blunt on Me
  29. Don Trip – Eviction Notice
  30. Kevin Gates – Khaza
  31. Denzel Curry – Lord Vader Kush II
  32. Zuse – Till I Die
  33. Shabazz Palaces – The Mystery of Lonnie the Døn
  34. Danny Brown – Worth It
  35. Rocko – I’m High

Honorable mention to “Coldest Summer’s Mine” by Justiiice which has inexplicably disappeared from the internet.  It probably would have bumped Rocko off the list had I found a link.

Special thanks to Rap Music Hysteria, The Martorialist, and Tumblin’ Erb for their constant inspiration.  This would have been a much shittier list without y’all.

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5 thoughts on “2015 RAP

  1. TM says:

    The trick to year end song lists is to never do them in any sort of order. Just let them splurge out of you as a data dump of your favourite songs that you’ve posted that year.

    • REDLiteDJ says:

      Yeah that’s a good call, I almost went down the road of caring about the order of the list but it would have taken so much time and I definitely would have immediately wished I’d done it differently. Appreciate the support on that decision.

  2. rebmarebma says:

    Ok I definitely wasn’t keeping a running list all year long of the best tracks, so my thoughts on this are scattered for sure, & I bet I’ll think of other tracks I would’ve put on my list later, but! a few easy ones jump out at me. Young Thug’s ‘No Way’ is killer for sure – but my pick would been ‘Best Friend.’ Can’t help it, love that song. The only song I was surprised to see not on the list so far is E-40’s ‘Yup’. That is my 2015 East Bay jammmmmmm! What’s up! Plus that video, man love it. And maybe somethin from Mouse? Then of course, 3 of my ladies put out tracks this year that make me shake itttttttt: Missy’s ‘Where They From,’ Badu’s ‘Cel U Lar Device,’ and Beyonce (+NIcki)’s ‘Feelin Myself.’ Call me stuck in the past, I love ’em, I love the new tracks, and I love the videos. Since you can tell I am way too influenced by the videos anyway, why not toss in Spice’s ‘Needle Eye’ cause that shit is nuts! Since I usually ask you for music advice & you consistently pick out all the music I like before I even know I’m gonna like it, , what else do you think would have ended up on my 2015 list?

    • REDLiteDJ says:

      Unfortunately “Choices” came out in 2014, and I didn’t know about Mouse’s new material until I read Rap Music Hysteria’s list.

      I almost put “Best Friend” as my Young Thug choice. Choosing a Thug track was the hardest part of making this list, and it’s been cool looking at everyone else’s 2015 lists and finding no consensus on his 2015 material at all. There wasn’t a “Lifestyle” or a “Danny Glover” for everybody to get lazy and rally around, everybody had to dig and find their actual favorite that resonated with them personally. Noz definitely had the right idea having an end-of-year rap list, and then a separate end-of-year Thug list.

      It’s hard for me to think of what your year-end list would be like, I spent half of 2015 so far away from you… Maybe I can do better in 2016 if you don’t run away on me again 😉

  3. rebmarebma says:

    You got me. See you round ❤

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