2017 has been an interesting year. Before the year, I wouldn’t have expected Berner to have any songs on my year-end top 50 songs list, let alone have two in the top 10 and make an unlikely rise towards becoming one of my top artists. Or that a rainbow-grilled, rainbow-haired gang-banging Keebler elf from Brooklyn would capture everyone’s attention by bringing it so hard with a couple of mosh-rap tracks. Or that a different guy from OMB aside from OMB Peezy would have one of my favorite songs of the year. Or that Detroit would take its place as arguably the epicenter of rap right now with more great artists than I can even keep up with.

With a list like this, you have to be careful to avoid recency bias, and not just put your favorite songs lately or the ones that came out at the end of the year ahead of the best songs from earlier in the year, and it’s almost impossible to rank a lot of these against each other, but either way I’m taking a stab at my top 50 songs of the year, in rough order from top to bottom. There’s not a huge difference separating song 1 to 5 (and really any of the first 5 or so could be song of the year) or 23 to 25 etc. so don’t put too much weight into ranking one versus the other. Also I’m sure one or two of these could be from the dying embers of 2016 but I’m including them anyway.

It was a really good and diverse year for music, with everything from deep songs that made you take a step back, take a deep breath and reflect on life like Boosie’s ‘I Remember’ or Shy Glizzy’s ‘Take Me Away’ to songs that just went hard af and made you want to mosh and throw bos in the club from a wide range of artists like PC Tweezie’s ‘Really’, 6IX9INE’s ‘Kooda’ and Nef the Pharaoh and Slimmy B’s ‘Bling Blaow’. Long-time veterans in the game like Cam’ron, Boosie and Snoop Dogg showed they still have plenty to offer while new guys like FMB DZ or the guys from SOB X RBE exploded onto the scene. There was a ton of great music coming out of hotbeds like Detroit, Miami, the Bay Area, Atlanta, and more, but also places like Cleveland, Kansas City, Alabama and central Florida as rap gets more diverse regionally. A welcome surprise was that there were also quite a few group tracks by previously unheralded younger rappers teaming up on songs like ‘With My Team’ and ‘All Stars’.

*Edit: I cheated and have 51 songs but after I went back and counted/realized it I couldn’t decide which one I wanted to take off because I felt like they were all worthy inclusions that I felt like I bumped a lot/made an impression on me this year so I just decided to keep 51 instead of deleting 1.

Top 50 songs of 2017

Berner ft. Young Dolph, Ampichino – Win Big
OMB Shawniebo – 4 Minutes All Me
Rich the Factor – 1000 
FMB DZ – On Go
Baby Soulja ft. Lil Boosie – Dirty 
Lil Chicken – No Grease 
Berner ft. Young Dolph, Gucci Mane – Knuckles
Creek Boyz – With My Team 
MT ft. Lil Chicken, Mari Boyz, YBN Kenny – All Stars
Shy Glizzy – Take me Away  
Cam’ron – Lean 
Lil Boosie – Webbie I Remember
6IX 9INE – Kooda 
Lil B – Bad MF 
Ripp Flamez – Church in the Projects
Nef the Pharoah ft. Slimmy B – Bling Blaow
6IX 9INE – Gummo 
PC Tweezie – Really
Ball Greezy ft. Mike Smiff, Kase1, Major Nine – I Deserve it All
Future & Young Thug – Group Home
Que ft. Sada Baby –  90s Baby
Ballgreezy ft. Lil Dred – Nice & Slow
FMB DZ & Tay B – Back 2 Back
Future – Buy Love
YBN Nahmir – Rubbing off the Paint
Joseph McFashion, FMB DZ, Tay B, Cash Kidd – Raw 2
Young Thug – Do U Love Me
SOB X RBE – Lane Changing
SOB X RBE – Calvin Cambridge
Kodak Black – Patty Cake
Ball Gizzle ft. J Scott, John Wicks – Still Here 
Yung Cat – OG Stack a Dollar
Sada Baby – Free 80s
Hoodrich Pablo Juan ft. Gucci Mane – Sauce on Me 
Smokepurpp – Glock in my Benz
SahBabii ft. Loso Loaded – Pull Up With a Stick
Snoop Dogg – Neva Left 
YFN Lucci – Way Up
Yhung T.O – Been Through
Cam’ron – 10,000 Miles
Rich the Factor ft. The Popper – Aristocrat 
Kodak Black ft. Young Thug – Top off Benz
Lil B – Berkley 
Tee Grizzley – First Day Out
Cam’ron ft. Sen City – Dime after Dime 
Cam’ron – Chop it Up
FMB DZ ft. Slimmy B – Can’t Hang
Ripp Flamez – Sunshine
21 Savage & Offset – Rap Saved Me
Future – Draco
DJ Khaled ft. Quavo, Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne – I’m the One