The Five Best Hip-Hop Songs of 2021

Sam Ellis, Reporter

2021 was a great year for hip hop. Great albums from veteran artists like Kanye West and Tyler the creator and stellar projects from newcomers like Slowthai were released. Here are the five best songs from this past year.

Honorable Mention: Falling Out the Sky- Armand Hammer Ft. Earl Sweatshirt

Rap Duo Armand Hammer link up with Earl Sweatshirt to bring one of the best abstract hip hop songs of the year. The artists’ soft delivery over the track’s dreamy instrumental gives off a pleasant vibe, as they rap about different aspects of their lives. Earl’s verse is about his late father, and Armand Hammers’ are about their experiences in the different places they lived, and how they grew from the experience.

  1. Can’t Do This Alone- Wiki and Navy Blue

New York Natives Wiki and Navy Blue’s track is a vibrant song celebrating the two artists’ culture and life in New York. Navy and Wiki rap with smooth, well-constructed rhyme schemes, and they complement each other well. Navy Blue’s monotone delivery and Wiki’s creative vocal patterns may contrast, but something about it creates such great chemistry between them.

  1. Off the Grid- Kanye West Ft. Playboi Carti and Fivio Foreign

This track off of Kanye’s album Donda has so much to love about it. Carti delivers a solid verse followed by outstanding verses from Kanye and Fivio Foreign. Not to mention the top tier production.

  1. On That Time- Playboi Carti

Playboi Carti’s future classic Whole Lotta Red technically released in 2020 but being in late December we decided to count it as a 2021 album. On That Time is a short but in-your-face track. His abrasive vocals complement the punishing production as Carti raps fiercely about his aggressive behavior, repeating the chorus “D-R-A-C-O,” referring to the automatic pistol many rappers boast about in their songs.

  1. Sweet/ I Thought You Wanted to Dance-Tyler the Creator

If a Tyler song has a “/” in it, it’s going to be amazing. The first half of the track is a classic love song. Accompanied by Brent Faiyaz, Tyler raps/sings about his infatuation with a girl. The production is almost flawless, and the song transitions to part two incredibly smoothly. The second part is more connotative. It tells of the girl losing interest in Tyler and choosing a different man. Tyler reflects on his ego and other aspects of his personality, wondering why he is so bad at finding love.


Rebound by Jpegamfia is peak hip hop. Everything about it is executed to perfection. The first verse slowly builds up to the chorus, where Jpegmafia floats over the instrumental as the background horns kick in. Horns and other sampled sounds throughout the song show how creative he is, and the impressive ear he has for music. The verses and chorus go back and forth until the fourth verse, where he yells sneak disses with perfect vocal delivery and flow.