2021 is almost over and you know what that means: it’s almost time for the annual triple j Hottest 100.
On December 14th, voting opened for this year’s list, with the top 100 set to be announced Saturday, January 22nd 2022.
Hip hop and rap should be well represented as usual – 2021 saw excellent releases from some of the genre’s best. Kendrick Lamar returned as only he could. There was also the small matter of former rivals Kanye West and Drake dropping albums side-by-side (I don’t know if you heard?).
That’s why we thought we’d compile a list of 10 hip hop tracks that we think should make this year’s Hottest 100. Don’t just listen to what we’ve got to say though: if you reckon you can guess which songs will make triple j’s Hottest 100 countdown this year, you can win $1,000 over at don’t bore us if you’re proven correct!
don’t bore us – the newest ranking community where music fans rate and review music – are hosting a Hottest 100 Fantasy where you can select up to ten songs and take a punt on what rankings you think they’ll place in this year’s countdown. If you get them right, you’ll be in the running to win a thousand bucks! How good is that?!
Simply head on over to dontboreus.thebrag.com/hottest100/ and click the ‘Make my predictions’ button to get started.
In the meantime, take a look below at 10 hip hop tracks that we believe should make the Hottest 100 – don’t worry, you can steal any of our entries for the the don’t bore us competition.
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Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar – ‘family ties’
The return of Kendrick Lamar on his first major sing in a long time was always going to be triumphant. How fantastic it was to hear him back in his usual flow, exuding endless confidence, a king returning to his throne. Little cousin Baby Keem holds his own at the start too, all overflowing energy and excitement. This collaboration was an event for a reason.
Drake ft. Rick Ross – ‘Lemon Pepper Freestyle’
A shoutout to Rick Ross’ love of the chicken wings style shouldn’t sound this tasty. The production is cool and airy, allowing the lyrics to dominate. Ross does his usual thing before Drake lets loose a contemplative and diaristic rap, taking in everything from his vast wealth to dropping his kid off at school. Yet this is Drizzy: as he spouts these things, it’s impossible to know if it’s all in jest.
Little Simz – ‘Introvert’
There’s a reason 2021 has belonged to Little Simz, particularly in the U.K. ‘Introvert’ powerfully opened her acclaimed album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, an unrelenting entrance to an unrelenting record. Her performance is fierce yet controlled, like a prizefighter eyeing her opponent from the opposite end of the ring, awaiting her precise moment to pounce. The British-Nigerian rapper has been at the top of her game this year; long may it continue.
Megan Thee Stallion – ‘Thot Shit’
Megan Thee Stallion may never have a hit as huge as ‘WAP’ again but it won’t matter if she keeps releasing infectious tracks like ‘Thot Shit’. The heavy bass beat positively throbs and throttles as she fires over it, unleashing a self-confident performance full of self-belief and sexuality.
Tyler, the Creator ft. NBA YoungBoy and Ty Dolla Sign – ‘WUSYANAME’
Who doesn’t love an ode to smooth 90’s R&B? Tyler pulls it off remarkably well on ‘WUSYANAME’, an absolute jam that samples H-Town’s ‘Back Seat (Wit No Sheets)’. Tyler reveals in the lushness of the production, attempting to woo a mystery lady. A nostalgic ride with a modern twist, the track also brings the best out of his star guests.
Genesis Owusu – ‘Waitin’ on Ya’
It surely can’t be long until Genesis explodes in the U.S.. His debut album, Smiling with No Teeth, is one of the year’s standouts, with ‘Waitin’ on Ya’ being one of many highlights. His voice is soulful and sincere on the swaying track. It showcases the tender side of Owusu and proves how adept he is at exploring slow-burning and smooth jazz and R&B leanings.
The Kid LAROI ft. Justin Bieber – ‘STAY’
If one song from 2021 was guaranteed to be in this year’s Hottest 100, it would probably be this one. A number one hit around the world, including becoming the Sydney rapper’s first U.S. chart-topper, the figures simply don’t lie. A fast-paced and infectious slice of pop-rap, it established The Kid LAROI as having the star power to survive at the top.
Lil Nas X ft. Jack Harlow – ‘Industry Baby’
Ignoring the zeitgeist-grabbing ‘MONTERO (Call Me by Your Name)’, ‘Industry Baby’ was almost as big but just as good. With bouncy production from Kanye West and an amiable guest spot from Harlow, it’s pop-rap at its finest. And the media rollout for the song proved that no one is doing it as craftily as Lil Nas X right now.
Isaiah Rashad – ‘Headshots (4r da Locals)’
What a return after such a lengthy absence was Rashad’s 2021 album The House Is Burning. He effortlessly re-established himself in the rap game, with exhilarating tracks like ‘Headhots (4r da Locals)’ a major reason for this. He spits as woozily and intelligently as always over a twinkling beat, referencing Doja Cat, Tiffany, and R&B along the way.
Kanye West – ‘Believe What I Say’
Donda may have been a flawed record but gems were still to be found in it. ‘Believe What I Say’ was one, featuring a wonderful sample of none other than Lauryn Hill’s classic ‘Doo Wop (That Thing)’. That clever sample provides the bounce of the track, while Ye sounds pleased to be rapping over it. “Don’t agree with the message, don’t agree with the methods,” he confidently asserts; he’s always an artist that believes in the power of his own vision.