As August fades into September and the sun slowly loses its warmth, it is easy to feel drowned in the dullness of each repetitive day. The songs you’ve been playing for the past three months begin to sound monotonous, their usual energy lacking. But have no fear: We’ve curated a hip-hop playlist just for this situation, featuring ten invigorating songs that will energize your soul and refill your spirit during the cold days to come. From hard trap to pop-rap, these tracks are sure to revive that end of summer energy.

 


 

Hip Hop Song of the Summer - Rich Brian

10. Rich Brian – Don’t Care 

From viral Vine star to Indonesian music inspiration, the twenty-one-year-old rapper Rich Brian already has quite the story to tell. Originally blowing up back in 2016 with his Soundcloud single, “Dat $tick,” Brian now dons two studio albums and a brand-new EP 1999., On top of being impressively productive, Rich Brian exhibits extreme versatility. He has mastered pop-rap melodies with worldwide sensations on “Midsummer Madness,” embraced the abrasive sound of XXXTentacion on “Gospel,” and now finds his groove on “Don’t Care.” With a bouncy rap flow reminiscent of Kyle and DRAM, Brian stands out for his production skills and quick-witted bars. The light, hype beat of “Don’t Care” shines kindly on Brian’s vocal and lyrical talents, allowing him to access the best of his melodic and creative voice. If it’s been a tough day, week, or year, let Rich Brian throw your troubles away with “Don’t Care.”

 

 

 

 

Hip Hop Song of the Summer - Fireboy DML

9. Fireboy DML & D Smoke – Champion 

Music has no boundaries, but Fireboy DML takes limitless to another level. The Nigerian singer-songwriter is just beginning to cement his name in the African music scene, and his latest album Apollo, has placed his name with the stars. Bending both genres and heritage, Fireboy calls his unique style, “afro-life,” a combination of afro-pop, reggae, R&B, and hip-hop with an added feel-good flare. Though he tends to sing more than rap, Fireboy recruits Inglewood rapper D-Smoke on his headlining song “Champion” to really bring the heat. The track is a warm, welcoming song that will instantly elevate your mood. The smooth, wavy synths and layered choruses inspire a kind of communal confidence as D-Smoke wields his wisdom and Fireboy frees his feelings. Go global with your listening and give some love to the Nigerian Champion, Fireboy DML.

 

 

 

 

Hip Hop Song of the Summer - EARTHGANG

8. EARTHGANG – Powered Up

Filled with purpose and perseverance, the dynamic duo of Olu and WowGr8 never rests. The pair of Atlanta rappers known together as EARTHGANG are known for their energetic performances and alternative take on southern trap. After being signed to J.Cole’s Dreamville label, their come up was boosted by their critically acclaimed album Mirrorland and their features on Dreamville’s Revenge of the Dreamers III. Now, their prolific past year is beginning to pay off, as they rack up plays across platforms and frequently feature on gradually larger songs. Their latest single, “Powered Up,” is an upbeat bop true to their classic style. Rolling percussive drums, funky melodies, and weaving, winding verses come together to excite and energize. Wow and Olu hit every beat with their swirling sentences and multi-layered metaphors, astounding every member of their audience. Feel their fulfilling presence on “Powered Up.

 

 

 

 

Mulatto

7. Mulatto – Pull Up (Ft. 21 Savage)

She’s loud, she’s proud, and she’s the Queen of Da Souf. Atlanta rapper Mulatto is a master of that aggressive southern trap that takes speakers by storm. She was recently announced as a 2020 XXL Freshman, earning herself a spot among fellow young stars like Polo G and Jack Harlow with her confidence and crass lyrics. Mulatto also just put out her debut album with RCA Records appropriately titled Queen of Da Souf. For her bombastic banger “Pull Up,” she recruits fellow Atlanta trap-star 21 Savage. Their song “Pull Up” follows in the footsteps of trap legends like 2 Chainz with a bass-heavy beat driven by a simple piano melody, but with its own unique twistsMulatto’s cocky cadence and 21 Savage’s signature slicing bars make a magical duo on the powerful production. All hail the King and “Queen of Da Souf” and bounce to the bass of “Pull-Up.”

 

 

 

 

Duckwrth

6. Duckwrth – Tuesday

He sings like Anderson .Paak, raps like Smino, and produces like Thundercat, yet his creativity is in a league of its own. This is Duckwrth, the 32-year-old artist from Southern California who recently released SuperGood, his first album with a major label. In this album Duckwrth seamlessly meshes numerous sonic styles with dancey rhythms, crafting a radiant, sweet sound. “Tuesday” is just one example of this energizing vibe. The uptempo beat and soothingly simple melody of the song allows Duckwrth to flex and flow with a casual confidence, uplifting your spirit with each listen.  If you’re lost in the monotony of working from home, “Tuesday” might just convince you that everyday is the weekend.

 

 

 

 

Cordae and Roddy Ricch

5. Cordae – Gifted (Feat. Roddy Ricch)

Young, wild, and skilled, Cordae and Roddy Ricch flaunt their talent and success with their newest single “Gifted.” Both artists spit slow, subtle flexes over a soothing beat that complements their personal styles. Thanks to their creativity and unabashed confidence, the two twenty-year-old superstars have seen their careers take off over the past couple years. Cordae’s 2019 album, The Lost Boy, earned him massive critical praise and respect from artists throughout the rap game. Meanwhile,  Roddy Ricch has been a living, breathing hit-machine. From his song “The Box” to his features on “Ballin” and “Rockstar” every record he touches seems to top the Billboard charts. Unsurprisingly, “Gifted” is no different: it’s a chart-topper waiting for it’s time to take off.

 

 

 

 

Vic Mensa

4. Vic Mensa – DIRT ON MY NAME

He’s been hated, he’s been dissed, but Vic Mensa is here to stay — this time coming for vengeance. The 27-year-old Chicago native furiously fires off at his critics on his new song, “DIRT ON MY NAME.” The track comes off his recent album V TAPE and is one of his best performances on the project.  A lyrical masterpiece that matches the sound of earlier Mensa songs like “U Mad” or “Say I Didn’t,” “DIRT ON MY NAME” seems to be replying to critique Mensa faced back in 2018, as he has been known to call out industry issues and challenge conventions. The eerie chimes of the song provide a solid melody, the rattling hi-hats forcing Vic to face the chip on his shoulder. Though Vic Mensa has been disgraced, he’ll show  you why he deserves better on “DIRT ON MY NAME.”

 

 

 

 

Big Sean

3. Big Sean – Deep Reverence (Ft. Nipsey Hussle)

After a long break, Big Sean has returned to the big (virtual) stage. With the exception of a few music features, the Detroit-raised rapper has been silent  since 2017. However, last night he released his fifth studio album Detroit 2. On one of the album’s most ambient tracks “Deep Reverence,” the Sean-Don honors the late Nipsey Hussle. Together, Big Sean and Nipsey Hussle trade truths throughout the song, setting the tone for the rest of the album.   Tap into Big Sean’s return to greatness and reflect on Nipsey Hussle’s immaculate talent with “Deep Reverence.”

 

 

 

 

Nas

2. Nas – Spicy (Feat. Fivio Foreign, A$AP Ferg)

Three generations of New York rappers unite on “Spicy,” an eclectic track that builds off Nas’ old style new ways.  With a beat driven by  a poignant piano riff, this song sounds just like the good ol’ nineties New York rap songs. Yet Hit-Boy’s trap drums, Fivio Foreign’s drill rap, and Ferg’s ad-libs provide a more modern momentum. But if you’re a fan of nineties Nas, don’t worry:  the clever callousness of his 1990s Illmatic album still finds its way into his and other rappers’ sounds. Honoring both his heritage and his heirs, Nas spits, “Met’s hats in the sky like Bobby Shmurda / They watch me like the chip’, courtside at The Rucker.” Bouncy and braggadocious, the song will make you strut down the street and dream of stacking checks. If you need a boost before you start your day, blast “Spicy” and feel the New York heat. 

 

 

 

 

Hip Hop Song of the Summer - Internet Money

1. Internet Money  – Lemonade (Feat. Gunna, Don Toliver, Nav)

From Drake to Don Toliver, Lil Tecca to Trippie Redd, everybody knows where to go when you need a banging new beat. They hit up Internet Money, a production collective headed by Taz Taylor and Nick Mira, two twenty-year-olds who created the beats behind Juice Wrld on “Lucid Dreams,” Drake on “Blue Tint,” and countless others. The Los Angeles based collective specializes in new-wave melodic trap beats, commonly featuring reverbed guitar riffs and a booming bass line. This style is as powerful as ever on their star-studded new album, B4 The Storm, featuring both established artists like Future and rappers on the rise such as 24kGoldn. On the headlining track, “Lemonade,” Gunna and Nav bring the bars as Don Toliver energizes with an echoing chorus. With the fame of its features and the sweetness of its sound, it’s an instant hit, amassing nearly thirty million streams in three days. So before you hear it on the radio or at the next socially-distant rager, get familiar with Internet Money and “Lemonade.”

 


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