Required Listening: The 20 Best Rap Songs of 2017

Lil Uzi Vert saying "Yah!"

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When the going gets tough, the art gets even better. And in these times, we're lucky to be receiving banger after banger to help us cope/continue striving for that free-flowing Henny lifestyle. Here, 20 of the year's baddest (and boujeest) rap songs.

1. Big Shaq, "Mans Not Hot" 

We emphasize: "of 2017." And if there's any track that shows just how far endless meme-ability can take you these days, it's this runaway caricature.

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2. Cardi B, "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)"

On the other hand, we've got this other runaway hit that sent the 24-year-old soaring all the way to the top of the charts (opens in new tab). An anthem for women hustling everywhere.

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3. Dave, "Question Time"

For anyone who still thinks rap is just about pills and private planes, here's a critique of international politics that's dividing audiences—but also getting them talking.

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4. DJ Khaled, "I'm the One"

Like the Nick Fury of bangers, DJ Khaled assembled Chance, Quavo, and Lil Wayne (and Bieber) for one infectious track.

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5. Eminem, "The Storm"

Total K.O. (opens in new tab)

6. Fat Joe and Remy Ma, "All the Way Up"

You can hear it in your head, can't you?

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7. French Montana feat. Swae Lee, "Unforgettable" 

Still listening in October, mostly because of that hook withSwae Lee.

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8. Future, "Mask Off"

Who knew flutes would have such a moment? (And, incidentally, molly and Percocet, not that they needed the help.) Included for overwhelming cultural influence, earworm-iness.

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9. Joey Bada$$, "Devastated" 

Greatest of the greatest (opens in new tab).

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10. Kendrick Lamar, "Humble"

Greatest of the greatest (opens in new tab).

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11. Lethal Bizzle feat. Skepta, "I Win" 

More motivation (opens in new tab), more grime, and a jacket zip that's more secure than Fort Knox.

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12. Magna Carda, "Joccin'" 

In a year that saw the rise of the female MC, Megz Kelli is picking up steam for her brashness (and the unique sound of her backing band). Want more? Check out 2016's "Angela Bassett."

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13. Migos feat. Lil Uzi Vert, "Bad and Boujee"

Yes, this came out in 2017, even if it feels like it's been ages since we stopped making "rain drop, drop top" memes. That's how ingrained it is.

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14. N.E.R.D. and Rihanna, "Lemon" 

It came out earlier this month, but we'd bet our (tastes like) lunch money that you've already danced to it, watched the hypnotic video multiple times, and briefly considered shaving your head too. Rihanna really can do anything!

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15. Post Malone feat. 21 Savage, "Rockstar"

Not super here for the perpetuation of the "girls as hangers-on" stereotype, but man, is this catchy.

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16. Playboi Carti, "Magnolia"

"YO, PIERRE." Another one that's deservedly reached Internet ubiquity.

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17. Princess Nokia, "Tomboy" 

::KLAXONS SOUND FOR A FEMALE RAPPER WHO MAKES GREAT MUSIC AND FLINGS HOT SOUP AT RACISTS (opens in new tab)::

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18. Rejjie Snow feat. Pell, "Virgo" 

Rap doesn't all have to be saying "I told you so" to everyone who didn't think you would make it—it can be doing that over a feel-good beat that's made for bumping as you cruise past the aforementioned haters. Who else wants to name their daughter Beyoncé or Chardonnay now?

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19. Stormzy, "Big for Your Boots" 

If you haven't listened yet, hit play immediately for A1 grime Drake didn't introduce to you.

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20. Young M.A., "OOOUUU"

There's nothing like "My brother told me f*ck them get that money sis" to get you going in the morning.

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Chelsea Peng
Assistant Editor

Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at MarieClaire.com. She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.