2015 was an unbelievable year for hip-hop. The volume of quality albums that came out were at its best in years, a couple of XXL Freshmen made stellar debuts, Kendrick Lamar conquered the sophomore slump, Drake and Meek Mill were in an epic beef that produced the first diss song to be nominated for a Grammy and that's just a few highlights.
The beginning of the year started strong with Big Sean and K.Dot releasing impressive projects that are still in heavy rotation. Kanye West dropped some true gems with "All Day" and "Only One" plus was featured -- and produced -- on more projects than he has in years. Dr. Dre made his return and released a new album -- his first in 16 years -- featuring songs like the King Mez and Justus-assisted "Talk About It."
No matter what type of music lover you are, there's a song in hip-hop for you this year. You want to dance? There's iLoveMemphis's "Hit the Quan." You need music for a party? Just play anything Future released in 2015. Are you a big fan of lyrics? Joey Bada$$'s album will make you very happy. There's a hip-hop song for every mood.
There's just not enough memory on an iPhone to feature every solid song to drop over the last 12 months. So we put together a list of the best songs of 2015 to help you out. Check out the 20 Best Songs of 2015 below and enjoy.
"Everyday" A$AP Rocky Feat. Rod Stewart, Miguel and Mark Ronson
In one of the best and most interesting collabs of 2015, A$AP Rocky teamed up with legendary rocker Rod Stewart, singer Miguel and producer Mark Ronson for the hit single “Everyday,” off the rapper's At. Long. Last. A$AP. LP. With Miguel and Rod handling the chorus, Rocky showcases his ability to switch flows while delivering some powerful double-time rhymes. - Roger Krastz
"Classic Man" (Remix)Jidenna Feat. Kendrick Lamar
Jidenna’s infectious tune “Classic Man” was everywhere in 2015 and adding Kendrick Lamar to the remix was the icing on the cake for the Nigerian artist. With K.Dot delivering his “Piranha flow” on the remix, Jidenna’s hit single burns "through the hood like whoa.” - R.K.
"White Iverson"Post Malone
Once “White Iverson" dropped in February, the track became an instant viral hit on the web and introduced hip-hop heads to 20-year-old Post Malone. Inspired by NBA great, Allen Iverson, the rapper's debut song earned him a deal with Republic Records and a Billboard Hot 100 single. - R.K.
Known for delivering the catchiest tunes in music, Drake did it again with his smash single “Hotline Bling.” Produced by nineteen85, Drizzy pours out his emotions on the track as he talks about missing an ex during the late-night hours. With a buzzworthy video to match, the Toronto native's track reached the No. 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. - R.K.
“Antidote” was supposed to be the appetizer until the release of Travi$ Scott’s debut album, Rodeo. However, the song took a life of its own on the web, and quickly made it to mainstream radio, setting up the perfect roll-out for the rapper's inaugural LP. Produced by WondaGurl and Eestbound, La Flame’s catchy chorus ("Don't you open up that window / Don't you let out that antidote") and futuristic Auto-Tune make this one of the best “raging” tunes of the year. - R.K.
"My Way" RemixFetty Wap Feat. Drake
Fetty Wap shot down any mention of being a one-hit wonder with the release of the NickEBeats and JayFranc-produced “My Way.” The track earned him the title of being the first male rapper to have two concurrent top ten hits on the Billboard charts as a lead artist since 2011 -- Lil Wayne accomplished the feat then. Following his chart-topping hit “Trap Queen,” the rapper’s Drake-assisted ode to swaying a dime over to his side had everybody singing “Baby won’t you come my way” even if bae was already by your side. - Georgette Cline
"Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)"Silento
Kanye said “Listen to the kids” and the success of Silento’s dance craze-inspired hit “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” is certainly a result of that. Seventeen-year-old Silento’s bop-inducing track prompts listeners to do everything from the Nae Nae to the Stanky Leg – all without judgment if you have two left feet. While the song is a favorite with the youngins, it doesn’t discriminate as a quick look through YouTube showcases people young and old getting their Whip on. - G.C.
“Sunday Candy”Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment
If any song released in 2015 can get you out of a funk it’s Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment’s “Sunday Candy.” Off the group’s Surf album, Chance the Rapper delivers a vibrant offering over lush instrumentation that serves as both a dedication to his grandmother (“Your grandma ain't my grandma, mine's is hand made, pan fried, sun dried”) and a reminder to take his "butt to church." - G.C.
"L.A."Ty Dolla $ign Feat. Kendrick Lamar, Brandy & James Fauntleroy
Song leaks are the pitfalls of the game but when Ty Dolla $ign's "L.A." arrived in May (way ahead of his debut album, Free TC), its early release was welcomed for the sheer fact the piano-driven tune was a banger. Kendrick Lamar, Brandy and James Fauntleroy unite with Ty to give a nod to the West Coast city they hold near and dear. When the weight of the world is on your shoulders, L.A. still has your back: "It's the city of angels, it can take you anywhere." - G.C.
Every hip-hop head has to love a little R&B and Tory Lanez's "Say It" proves putting a fresh spin on a throwback hit works wonders. The rapper throws on his singing hat to give a nod to Brownstone’s '90's smash “If You Love Me" for the Pop Wansel-produced track. With more than 17 million views of the video on YouTube, it's clear Tory's found a winning formula here. - G.C.
It can be argued that Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" is the most important song of 2015. The To Pimp a Butterfly standout became the battle cry for hope throughout a summer of what seemed like a war against black bodies. The song inspired a scholarship, was nominated for three Grammys and is Prince's favorite song. Trust him on this one. - Emmanuel C.M.
The run Future had in 2015 is something that should be added to the history of Greek mythology. The peak of his championship push is "March Madness," off his 56 Nights mixtape. The four-minute escapade supplies the perfect amount of audio dope to take you way past this galaxy. - E.C.M.
"I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)"Jamie xx Feat. Young Thug and Popcaan
There were many initial questions when the track list for Jamie xx's debut solo album In Colour revealed a record featuring Young Thug and Popcaan: Why? How? When? Those questions were emphatically answered after "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)" arrived. The three artists from completely different ends of music got together to create a sonic masterpiece that turns any bad day into a better one. - E.C.M.
When Drake dropped "Back to Back," his second rebuttal to Meek Mill's ghostwriting accusation, at 6 a.m., it was truly scary hours. With catchy one-liners, clever single art and social media behind him, the diss track became Drake's walk-off grand slam homerun. His championship trophy? A 2016 Grammy nod for Best Rap Performance. - E.C.M.
"Hello"Erykah Badu Feat. Andre 3000
Two of the music industry's most distinct artists, Erykah Badu and Andre 3000, reunite for "Hello" off the singer's But You Caint Use My Phone project. The result? A song of true sonic beauty plus 3 Stacks verse is insane: "Kermit frog jump off London fog / Bridges in the midst of call girls my woman calls / Unicorn, you my porn." This is one call we're not hanging up on. - E.C.M.
"Can't Feel My Face" The Weeknd
The Weeknd's sophomore album, Beauty Behind the Madness, supplied us with "Can't Feel My Face," a track truly reminiscent of Michael Jackson. The melancholy crooner proved he was capable of creating a fun, stand-alone pop hit that didn't go too left from his signature sound. The disco-infused hook propelled his album up the charts and into the earbuds of listeners atypical to his sound. - Sidney Madden
"Flex (Ooh Ooh Ooh)"Rich Homie Quan
There's no denying the fact that Rich Homie Quan's music makes you move. Whether it was intentional or not, Quan's "Flex" dance was the centerpiece of the song's video, sparking a summer dance craze that everyone -- from your mom to the kid down the block -- could emulate. The track, produced by Nitti Beatz and DJ Spinz, is the rapper's highest charting single to date, peaking at No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100. - S.M.
"Jumpman"Drake and Future
Sneaker, sports, Drake and Future. These are hip-hop's winning combination this year. The back and forth bars and relentless thump of Metro Boomin's beat (crow call and all) on "Jumpman," a track featured on What a Time to Be Alive, are enough to spike your adrenaline and conquer all your goals like MJ. Not bad for a mixtape that sold like an album. - S.M.
Although there really is no such thing as an overnight success, when a single song posted to SoundCloud leads to co-signs from Drake and a deal with RCA Records, it's pretty hard to deny the sudden star power. Young Bryson Tiller manages to walk the line between headstrong aggressor and lovesick romantic perfectly on "Don't" thanks to his honest execution. It was that popularity that peaked interest for his debut project, T R A P S O U L, which debuted at No. 11 on the Billboard 200. - S.M.
"Blessings" Big Sean Feat. Drake and Kanye West
A standout track on a stellar project, "Blessings" pairs titans of the rap game, Big Sean, Drizzy and Ye, for a dope three-way matchup. The best thing about the song is that it exemplifies three different stages of stardom. Sean expresses gratitude for the accolades thus far, Drake reps the 6 and throws shade at the industry ("I just gave out Grammys on my Instagram") and Kanye pulls a Kanye -- basking in the ethos of himself. Thanks to their different lanes, "Blessings" climbed "way up" the Billboard Hot 100. - S.M.