Go Back to the Summer of 2016 by Celebrating With These 10 Rap Songs

TIDAL X: Brooklyn
DJ Khaled takes a bow. Getty Images for TIDAL / Getty Images

When Drake announced earlier in the year that he was "looking for revenge all Summer '16," no one could have guessed that it would turn out to be prophetic. Sure enough, Drake has been omnipresent all of summer 2016, dropping Views and posting guest verses on Rihanna and DJ Khaled hits.

Aside from Drizzy, there is a relentless string of tunes and songs to dance or chill to under the palm trees. Explore the 10 best summer rap anthems of 2016, starting with Drake's "One Dance."

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Drake - One Dance (Ft. Wizkid & Kyla)


Drake finally scored his number one hit with "One Dance," which sports a subtle Wizkid cameo and a less subtle Kyla sample. But, like Desiigner's "Panda," Drake's "One Dance" arrived too early to be an all-summer soundtrack. Still, with that magical Island vibe and the Wizkid flavor, "One Dance" is tune worthy of a beach day.

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6lack - Prblms

6lack - Prblms

Summer is as much about dancing and having fun as it is about kicking back and kissing the breeze. "Prblms" by Atlanta newcomer 6Lack (pronounced "Black") is exactly the type of reflective track the summer of 2016 ordered. With lines like, "Tell her you love her when next week you just want your space / Why you do why you do that," it's the type of brooding tune suitable for summer lounging.

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Anderson .Paak - Am I Wrong (Ft. Schoolboy Q)

Anderson .Paak

The first time people heard "Am I Wrong," they immediately broke into a two-step dance. This song by Anderson .Paak is a song so precious, joyous, and fun that it's hard not to dance to. This track featured Schoolboy Q, arguably the most menacing TDE rapper. A successful 2016 hit, this American singer won the nomination for Best Urban Contemporary Album in the same year at the Grammy Awards.

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DJ Khaled - For Free (Ft. Drake)

DJ Khaled
We The Best

Snapchat king DJ Khaled unveiled "For Free" on Beats 1 with a Donald Trump-size pomp session. Luckily, the product lived up to the hype. "For Free" was a summer anthem for the social media age, being a party starter and conversation starter.

Drake Stirs the Pot in DJ Khaled's "For Free"

The beat is reminiscent of Too Short's "Blow the Whistle." Fittingly, Drake opens with a hat tip to Too $hort: "I go on and on / Can't understand how I lasted so long." The title and concept wink at Drake frenemy Kendrick Lamar's "For Free?" song. Drake doesn't conceal his influence with the following lyrics: "And like your boy from Compton said: You know this d**k ain't free!"

After all that pot-stirring, Drizzy rattles off a litany of flirty rhymes about girls that even let him "slash on the tour bus." This is considered a top song of summer 2016.

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Twenty 88 - Deja Vu

Big Sean and Jhene Aiko
Def Jam

"Déjà Vu," the opening track from Big Sean and Jhene Aiko's collaborative album, is a plush and comfy song. The duo sounds like a delight over the beat, which switches from a feathery twinkle to a modest boom. Listeners can chill to this song by the pool, unwind to it on the sofa with a glass of wine, or simply nap to it. This song on Twenty 88 is steamy and hypnotic all at once.

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Drake - Controlla

Drake Views
Cash Money / UMG

It's "Controlla," not "One Dance," that is the more traditional summer song of 2016. Where "One Dance" is more unusual and triumphant, "Controlla" is the one built to last all summer. Think Charly Black's "Gyal You a Party Animal" for comparison. This Drake song was so popular in 2016 that it played all the way through Labor Day.

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Chance the Rapper - No Problem (Ft. Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz)

Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne

This is the clear radio jam on Chance the Rapper's amazing album Coloring Book. At once menacing and playful, it's backed by a stellar gospel choir. Co-stars Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz are no strangers to summer anthems. Weezy's warning shot to "that label," Two Necklace's gleeful boasts, and Chance's everyman charm make this a perfect summer party starter for 2016.

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Fat Joe & Remy Ma - All the Way Up (Remix, ft. French Montana, Jay Z)

A summer hit is on deck when Jay Z hops out of pseudo-retirement to jump on a remix. Indeed, Jigga and Joey Crack put aside years of tension to collaborate on what was already a certified summer anthem. In "All the Way Up," Jay drops a playful reference to wife Bey's popular album: “You know you made it when the fact that your marriage made it is worth millions / Lemonade is a popular drink and it still is.” After listening to the original song, give the remix with French Montana a spin.

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D.R.A.M. - Broccoli (Ft. Lil Yachty)

Like summer itself, "Broccoli" starts off sounding like a lot of fun. The bright piano loop, the bass-heavy beat, D.R.A.M.'s melodic flow, and Yachty's cheery brags are all perfect sound combinations.

"I just did a show and spent the check on my momma," Yachty says in the opening verse. For the second half, D.R.A.M. rejoices over a "salmon on a bagel with capers on a square plate." Highly palatable. This song is a memorable 2016 radio hit.

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YG - Why You Always Hatin'? (Ft. Drake & Kamaiyah)

YG and Drake - Why You Always Hatin

Drake and YG last teamed up on the "Who Do You Love?" track. Here, YG acknowledged that Drizzy "came through for me both times." Although "Why You Always Hatin'?" isn't as infectious as their previous collaboration, it works so well.

The song follows the same template, replete with a stripped down, throbbing bass beat pattern. Missy-inspired Oakland newcomer Kamaiyah asks the question this time, while YG "drives the Maybach through the projects." This 2016 hit is perfect for a top-down, ride-around-town cruising on a muggy Saturday.