The 2016 Intermission: 100 Songs WeÔÇÖve Enjoyed So Far


Another set of calendar flips, another set of impressive songs collected and shared. The Intermission is always one of the best times of the year because it’s when everyone digs deep into their playlists to share what tunes have earned the most play on a daily basis. The 100 songs that went from liked to loved in a matter of weeks and months.

Those songs are what make up The Intermission, our late, mid-year round-up of the cuts that earned our play and praise. As usual, the range is always pretty expansive and includes the bigger names who’ve become constants over the years along with the newcomers who’ll hopefully continue to make the kind of music that keeps them here for years to come. Right now, rap is enjoying a youth movement led by a crop of artists who are shaping the sound into something more melodic than its ever been. Vibes play a more important role than pure lyricism as they connect with listeners on an emotional level. Still, there remain those artists who take a more sapient approach that places a premium on bars and leave an impression that lasts long after the music stops.

All in all, it’s about good music, the kind that entertains, educates and elevates the art and lives of those listening. The music and culture are growing and evolving into a body so large that even the most aspiring-thinking leaders couldn’t have imagined decades ago.

1. Pusha T feat. Jay-Z – ÔÇ£Drug Dealers AnonymousÔÇØ [Listen]

Leave it to Pusha to put Jay Z in the mood to grow his hair out and ditch the loafers in exchange for a pair of Timbs. The G.O.O.D. Music presidentÔÇÖs first single from King Push continued his streak since last year of providing dope boy tales with social commentary weaved in. It’s not just that he and Hov are former hustlers. TheyÔÇÖre addressing the social conditions which led to them both becoming key figures in the game, decade after decade. (Marcus Benjamin)

2. Denzel Curry – ÔÇ£Knotty HeadÔÇØ [Listen]

At some point, Denzel Curry actually released a version of ÔÇ£Knotty HeadÔÇØ with Rick Ross. Considering how fiery and emotional Curry gets on this injection of audible adrenaline, the Ross verse may as well have never happened. Keep in mind, Ross is a rap superstar with a well-regarded lyrical prowess and Curry is an undercard from FLA. Denzel is that impressive. (Beware)

3. Drake – ÔÇ£4PM in CalabasasÔÇØ [Listen]

Views left many Drake fans disappointed, but the latest installment in his AM/PM series changed all that. He sounds rejuvenated over a Frank Dukes and Vinylz-produced heatrock, throwing jabs in the direction of Diddy and Joe Budden. Drake poked a hornetÔÇÖs nest, though, as the latter rapper responded with the scathing ÔÇ£Making a Murderer (Part One).ÔÇØ The simmering beef could make for one hot summer. (Eddie Fu)

4. Young Thug – ÔÇ£King TroupÔÇØ [Listen]

Young Thug is at his best when heÔÇÖs mixing his impeccable melodies, with his colorful lyrics and the finest production Atlanta has to offer. All of those elements came together perfectly on ÔÇ£King Troup,ÔÇØ and Thug delivered his finest song yet. An ode to his slain friend, Thugger somehow manages to be socially conscious, belt out lines about taking care of his kids and brag about his high fashion briefs all in the course of an incredible four minutes. Peak Thug indeed. (Bansky Gonzalez)

6. Future feat. 2 Chainz and Drake – ÔÇ£100it RacksÔÇØ [Listen]

Purple Reign and EVOL were lukewarm efforts by Super Future, but Project ET shows that perhaps he needed a little less Metro and a little more Esco. The sh*t talking free-for-all ÔÇ£100it RacksÔÇØ stood as one of the highlights. Drake gets in some nice lines (ÔÇ£I hit threes off balance/I switch hands like AllenÔÇØ) and Future sets the tone, but the track belongs to 2 Chainz: ÔÇ£Put codeine on a salad/Guess I’m on a codeine diet/Put another hundred in the rifle/Everybody better be quiet.ÔÇØ (Eddie Fu)

7. ElZhi – ÔÇ£FriendzoneÔÇØ [Listen]

With fans drooling for more solo material, ElZhi finally made good on his promise this past spring, delivering his well-received Lead Poison album. Amidst the various styles lining the deep contents of the project, ÔÇ£FriendzoneÔÇØ managed to shine as one of the brightest moments, due to the personable execution of a such a strong and relatable concept. (Beware)

8. Kendrick Lamar – ÔÇ£Untitled 07 | 2014 – 2016ÔÇØ [Listen]

ItÔÇÖs gotta gall other rappers that music which once littered Kendrick LamarÔÇÖs cutting room floor is better than anything they released this year. On untitled unmasteredÔÇÖs seventh track, K.Dot blends his now-perfected technique of car speaker-ready message music, with a final warning shot to would be competitors (ÔÇ£You niggas fear me like y’all fear God/You sound frantic, I hear panic in your voice/Just know the mechanics of making your choice and writin’ your barsÔÇØ). (Greg Whitt)

9. Shake feat. Vado – ÔÇ£New NewÔÇØ [Listen]

It doesnÔÇÖt take long after the pianos hit for even a deaf man to recognize the storm brewing around Shake. With Vado riding shotgun and an apartment full of entourages, the two spit reinforced concrete through the speakers to represent for the East Coast. With a calculated trickle of material into the market and a tight relationship with YesJulz, this Jersey spitter has us expecting big things in the second half of 2016. (Aspektz)

10. King Vory – ÔÇ£OverdoseÔÇØ [Listen]

For a minute, we werenÔÇÖt sure if King VoryÔÇÖs surefire hit ÔÇ£OverdoseÔÇØ was going to get the glory it deserved. Yet, nearly three months after being featured on BEWAREÔÇÖs Block, the radio-made track made rotation on OVO Radio and now has millions of fans ready to overdose on their love of this Ayo & Keyz-produced singalong. “Hol me down, hol me down, hol me downnnnnnnn.” (Beware)

11. Kanye West feat. Sampha – ÔÇ£Saint PabloÔÇØ [Listen]

Kanye’s boisterous antics can overshadow what lies underneath — his version of the truth. On “Saint Pablo,” he pulled a familiar sound from big brother Hov and used to share a sobering version of his thoughts and insecurities. He may not exactly be “this generation’s closest thing to Einstein” but he’s still our ‘Ye and we won’t ever have another like him. (John Gotty)

12. Anderson .Paak – ÔÇ£Heart DonÔÇÖt Stand a ChanceÔÇØ [Listen]

Since Malibu is one of the yearÔÇÖs best, most-complete albums, picking a favorite off Anderson .PaakÔÇÖs pride and joy is a difficult task. If you ask me today, itÔÇÖs ÔÇ£Heart DonÔÇÖt Stand A Chance,ÔÇØ but that could easily change with the next listen. Paak just has this vibe which makes you groove. ItÔÇÖs radio friendly with a mean flow. Anderson is in reaching distance of the crown. (Erich Donaldson)

13. TWENTY88 – ÔÇ£On The WayÔÇØ [Listen]

Big Sean and Jhene Aiko surprised everyone this year by not only dropping a joint project with TWENTY88, but with the album being one of the yearÔÇÖs best offerings as well. ÔÇ£On The Way,ÔÇØ is the highlight of the nine-song EP, showing off the duoÔÇÖs chemistry, and giving both a chance to shine in their respective lanes. (Bansky Gonzalez)

14. Gucci Mane feat. Tupac – “On Me” [Listen]

Just like All Eyez on Me, Everybody Looking is Gucci ManeÔÇÖs fresh out of jail album. HeÔÇÖs well aware of the parallels, as he alludes to feeling like “2Pac when he made All Eyez On MeÔÇØ while sounding invigorated over a vintage Death Row era beat. Songs which reuse a 2Pac verse donÔÇÖt always work, but ÔÇ£On MeÔÇØ shows Guwop and Makaveli are a natural fit. (Eddie Fu)

15. YG – ÔÇ£Who Shot MeÔÇØ [Listen]

Being shot is traumatic, clearly, and somehow on Still BrazyÔÇÖs ÔÇ£Who Shot Me,ÔÇØ YG uses that trauma to deliver the most vivid, audio display of paranoia this side of Tupac Shakur. For four minutes he opens up, retracing his steps, running down all the possibilities and copes with his own mortality over the course of two succinct verses and a simple, even redundant but somehow impactful hook. (Bansky Gonzalez)

16. Nick Jonas feat. Ty Dolla $ign – ÔÇ£BaconÔÇØ [Listen]

Who knew Nick Jonas was one to contend with the Biebs?! Although “Bacon” sounds like it will be uber gimmicky, that is remotely not the case. To further add some flair, cool points, and street cred, the youngest Jo Bro grabs Ty Dolla $ign. This might not leave you wanting “Bacon,” but instead more collabs between Ty Dolla $ign and Nick Jonas, a “bacon and maple bar” combination, if you will. (Julie J)

17. Gucci Mane – ÔÇ£All My ChildrenÔÇØ [Listen]

Flurries of text messages, tweets and retweets, our guy Gucci Mane was free! “All My Children” is like Gucci read all of our nerdy rap posts proclaiming him to be the best A&R, and to have spawned an entire generation of rappers in both style and delivery. “All My Children” contains the ATLien’s charismatic wit and humor, and never missing a moment, is of the same name as his upcoming tour. (Julie J)

18. Future feat. Rae Sremmurd – ÔÇ£Party PackÔÇØ [Listen]

Xanies, Molly, and Lean — thatÔÇÖs a party pack. ItÔÇÖs a simple concept, but the combination of FutureÔÇÖs chorus with Southside and DJ EscoÔÇÖs piano and 808s goes hand in hand with Swae LeeÔÇÖs effortless swag and Slim JimmyÔÇÖs urgent delivery. Follow Nayvadius and Rae SremmurdÔÇÖs instructions for a turned up summer. (Eddie Fu)

19. Yo Gotti feat. Nicki Minaj – ÔÇ£Down in the DM (Remix)ÔÇØ [Listen]

Yo Gotti and Nicki Minaj have a storied history of creating incredibly catchy and infectious jams together, so it’s only right for Nicki to lend some vocals to the Memphis rapper’s “Down In The DM.” While Yo Gotti seems to confuse the various social media options and their respective ways to get yourself into trouble, Nicki proves that she’s the queen of social media and the raps. Lord knows we can only imagine what she sees in her DM’s. (Julie J)

20. Gucci Mane – ÔÇ£Back on RoadÔÇØ [Listen]

Go away to prison and bounce back like he never left. ThatÔÇÖs what Guwop did as he hit the ground runninÔÇÖ with every intention to take back his rightful spot as the Trap God. ÔÇ£Back on RoadÔÇØ sports a slumpinÔÇÖ bassline and Gucci runninÔÇÖ down his resume to remind people who helped usher in the sound that currently dominates the airwaves. (John Gotty)

21. Bonkaz – ÔÇ£Run Out the EndzÔÇØ [Listen]

Some people just get ÔÇ£it.ÔÇØ Instead of making records that sound like radio playlists, they make records that resonate with peopleÔÇÖs emotions. Bonkaz might be from the other side of the world but his records seem to strike that critical balance between relatable, accessible and hard as f**k. The amount of spins this record got relative to the rest of the tape isnÔÇÖt fair given how good of a project it was but it speaks to how amazing this joint was. From the club to the gym, this cut gets people rocking. LetÔÇÖs hope Bonkz and the crew have a few more videos in them from Mixtape of the Year after they finish this Euro tour, because as the next up from UK, all eyes are pointed their way. (Aspektz)

22. Lil Uzi Vert – ÔÇ£Money LongerÔÇØ [Listen]

Lil Uzi Vert made a name for himself like no other this year and ÔÇ£Money LongerÔÇØ was part of the reason why. The songÔÇÖs earned mad radio play but, even before that, the melodic nature of the track made it an instant winner. (John Gotty)

23. Curren$y – ÔÇ£Grand PianoÔÇØ [Listen]

Since Curren$y clearly believes in flooding the market, itÔÇÖs easy to become numb to the output but then he does something like ÔÇ£Grand PianoÔÇØ which demands instant attention. An infectious loop over dirty drums enables Spitta to do what he does. HeÔÇÖs dropped a slew of joints this year but this might be the one that captures him at his best. (Marcus Benjamin)

24. Fat Joe and Remy Ma – ÔÇ£All the Way UpÔÇØ [Listen]

ItÔÇÖs no ÔÇ£Lean Back,ÔÇØ but Terror SquadÔÇÖs latest summer anthem shows that Fat Joe and Remy Ma still have it. The hypnotic Cool and Dre-produced beat launches the perfect jump-off for the duoÔÇÖs braggadocio rhymes, with Joe effortlessly flossing during his verse and Remy announcing that sheÔÇÖs back in the game and ready to make up for lost time. ÔÇ£All the Way UpÔÇØ is so hot that it even inspired Jay Z to jump on the remix for his first full verse in years. (Eddie Fu)

25. 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne – ÔÇ£Bentley TruckÔÇØ [Listen]

ItÔÇÖs a formula that sounds almost too easy: a prime Metro Boomin, a resurgent 2 Chainz, and a motivated LilÔÇÖ Wayne who is both challenged and in a comfort zone among friends. In the end, that creates ÔÇ£Bentley Truck,ÔÇØ a brooding exchange between the two ColleGrove MCs that highlight their finest qualities over one of Metro BoominÔÇÖs best beats of the year. (Bansky Gonzalez)

26. DJ Quik and Problem – ÔÇ£A New Nite / Rosecrans GroveÔÇØ [Listen]

When DJ Quik and Problem dropped their surprise Rosecrans EP earlier this year, the entire West Coast rejoiced. Among the various highlights, ÔÇ£A New NiteÔÇØ stood out immediately, as the breezy track finds the Quiksta literally sampling himself, by putting a new spin on his 1991 breakout single ÔÇ£Tonite.ÔÇØ (Beware)

27. ScHoolboy Q feat. SZA – ÔÇ£Neva ChangeÔÇØ [Listen]

ÔÇ£Neva ChangeÔÇØ illustrates life in South Central, LA with harsh strokes. Bleak prospects, broken family structures and oppressive law enforcement create an air of hopelessness over a layered soul clap. ThereÔÇÖs solace in gang life since it provides a support system. Yet, that sense of scampering on lifeÔÇÖs hamster wheel, on top fighting to live, smothers you. ÔÇ£Neva ChangeÔÇØ works well since it compels listeners to understand life on the other side with smooth guitars and SZAÔÇÖs stirring voice. (Sam Cadet)

28. Royce Da 5ÔÇÖ9ÔÇØ – ÔÇ£TabernacleÔÇØ [Listen]

After a few group efforts and lengthy solo hiatus, Nickel Nine returned better than ever on his latest album, Layers, delivering maybe his most complete, personal project to date. To understand the depth of this coming of age LP, look no further than ÔÇ£Tabernacle,ÔÇØ a jaw-dropping track that finds the Detroit MC telling a true story about the unlikely day he had his first born child, lost his grandmother in a freak car crash, and met his partner Marshall Mathers. Before you listen, put on something nice, because youÔÇÖre definitely going to church. (Beware)

29. Radiohead – “Burn the Witch” [Listen]

With 2016 turning into one of George Saunders’ more twisted surrealistic short stories, it’s comforting (discomforting?) that music’s headiest skeptics returned to the scene. Radiohead’s eighth LP kicks off with the pulsing “Burn the Witch,” which builds and builds into a cathartic release that feels more like a scream than an orchestral blow-out. It’s what we deserve in this year of years. (Ryan Joseph)

30. Chance The Rapper feat. Young Thugs and Lil Yachty – ÔÇ£MixtapeÔÇØ [Listen]

Amidst all the spiritual and touching vibes found throughout Chance The RapperÔÇÖs Coloring Book, ÔÇ£MixtapeÔÇØ clearly had the sharpest bite. The heavy-hitting traditional banger found the Windy City kid doing his best Thugger impression and still managed to sound unique. (Beware)

31. Meyhem Lauren feat. Big Body Bes – ÔÇ£Badmon TingÔÇØ [Listen]

Come to hear Big Body Bes threaten to pull up on a Puerto Rican horse. Stay to hear MeyhemÔÇÖs luxury raps. (Greg Whitt)

32. Montana of 300 – ÔÇ£Angel with an UziÔÇØ [Listen]

Remember that guy from Chicago who dropped an album that was critically lauded? The one that had a heavy focus on faith? Yeah, I mean Montana of 300, not that other guy. ÔÇ£Angel with an UziÔÇØ is a lyrical exercise that should put people on notice of how diverse and strong the Windy CityÔÇÖs talent pool is. (John Gotty)

33. Kanye West – ÔÇ£30 HoursÔÇØ [Listen]

While there are a handful of truly great standouts from The Life of Pablo, the majority of them carry at least one feature. The one that doesnÔÇÖt is ÔÇ£30 Hours,ÔÇØ a masterfully produced train of thought projecting echoes of lost love from YeezyÔÇÖs past. Call me crazy, but this one would hold up against the best offerings from any of his albums. (Beware)

34. Young Thug – “With Them” [Listen]

The opening track to Thugger’s Slime Season 3 is great, but it achieved immortality when it became one of the best memes of the year. (Ryan Joseph)

35. Meek Mill feat. Omelly – ÔÇ£War PainÔÇØ [Listen]

ÔÇ£What if?ÔÇØ is a dangerous game to play. It keeps you stuck in the past, and unable to focus on new goals and opportunities. Still, you canÔÇÖt help but wonder how different things might be today if Meek dropped the snarling ÔÇ£War PainÔÇØ in response to Drake instead of ÔÇ£Wanna Know?ÔÇØ The perception of both artists would likely be completely different now, but weÔÇÖll never know. Even if it came later than his fans might have hoped, ÔÇ£War PainÔÇØ proved that Meek still has the hunger of that fuzzy braided kid on Berks St. (Greg Whitt)

36. Kanye West feat. Chris Brown – “Waves” [Listen]

According to Kanye, the release of The Life of Pablo was held up because Chance The Rapper insisted on including “Waves.” Well, the wait was worth it. The shimmery beat goes hand in hand with the sentimental chorus featuring Chris Brown’s passionate vocals and the truncated second verse finds Kanye at his most introspective. (Eddie Fu)

37. Chavis Chandler – ÔÇ£ElectricityÔÇØ [Listen]

Even though every song on Chavis ChandlerÔÇÖs short and sweet SANG2ME project was potent, the one that stood out most was ÔÇ£Electricity.ÔÇØ The ethereal offering carries production from W$ Khari that brings the absolute best out of the enigmatic Detroit rapper, who croons his heart out and proves his talent truly has no bounds. (Beware)

38. Shake feat. Phi – ÔÇ£Through the SpeakersÔÇØ [Listen]

ShakeÔÇÖs got that uncanny ÔÇ£itÔÇØ that shines through best on tracks like ÔÇ£Through the Speakers.ÔÇØ The Jersey nativeÔÇÖs smooth, relaxed flow proves hypnotic when mixed with the buoyant production. (John Gotty)

39. Flatbush Zombies – ÔÇ£Trade-OffÔÇØ [Listen]

Considering Flatbush Zombies released such such a solid debut album with 3001: A Laced Odyssey, there were numerous tracks that couldÔÇÖve made our Intermission. But, since ÔÇ£Trade-OffÔÇØ covers multiple soundscapes and covers tons of ground in merely four minutes, this one is the best example of just how clever the Brooklyn crew can be. (Beware)

40. Curren$y – ÔÇ£500 Pounds of GasÔÇØ [Listen]

Covert Coup duo Curren$y and Alchemist reconnected in 2016 for The Carrollton Heist. ÔÇ£500 Pounds Of GasÔÇØ is one of the excellent projectÔÇÖs standouts, with Spitta wheeling around ALCÔÇÖs frantic instrumental like a Formula 1 driver. (Greg Whitt)

41. Nipsey Hussle feat. Kirko Bangz – ÔÇ£Down Like a GreatÔÇØ [Listen]

The Houston to Crenshaw connection seemed a bit off on paper but if the resulting records are an indication of what Nipsey has lying around as throwaway material with The Marathon on the way, he will go “Down As a GreatÔÇØ for our generation. The harmonized hook mixed with Nip’s perennially dope bars had us wondering what an entire project from these two might sound like. As we hold our breath for what seems like another calendar to pass with HussleÔÇÖs full length project inching closer to Jay Electronica myth, joints like this give us hope for what is to come. (Aspektz)

42. DJ Khaled feat. Drake – ÔÇ£For FreeÔÇØ [Listen]

If you step out the house and so happen to enter an establishment that serves drinks and employs a DJ, thereÔÇÖs a 10000% chance youÔÇÖre going to hear some Drake music. As Tins pointed out, thereÔÇÖs no escaping the ÔÇ£WorkÔÇØ / ÔÇ£ControllaÔÇØ / ÔÇ£One DanceÔÇØ trifecta of Caribbean-infused doom. But right on the heels of DrakeÔÇÖs Holy Trinity of make the club explode records is his far too catchy and far too enjoyable ÔÇ£For Free,ÔÇØ in which he realizes that he probably should be charging the women heÔÇÖs pleasing. Bonus points for a dash of some Bay Area lyrics. Drake and Khaled are turning the threesome of summer smashes from the 6 God into a foursome one ÔÇ£Another OneÔÇØ at a time. (Bansky Gonzalez)

43. Skizzy Mars feat. JoJo – “Recognize” [Listen]

Skizzy MarsÔÇÖ distinctive voice blends perfectly with JoJoÔÇÖs — the young female singer, not the former member of Jodeci — on this breezy love song from his debut studio album, Alone Together. The Harlem rapper talks a good game and the former teenage pop star lets him know sheÔÇÖs a ÔÇ£real one.ÔÇØ Sounds like a good match to me. (Eddie Fu)

44. Drake – ÔÇ£Weston Road FlowsÔÇØ [Listen]

A lot of digital ink has been spilled about Views, and a lot of it belonged to us. No matter how divisive the project may be, however, ÔÇ£Weston Road FlowsÔÇØ is all kinds of dope. Over a smooth Mary J. Blige sample with drums that feel like a smack on the pavement, Drake reminisces on what got him to this point. Whether itÔÇÖs riding around with his boys, recording songs in a basement, or even all the work he puts in now, he makes it all a part of a narrative. In his world, this was all destiny and heÔÇÖs exactly where he was supposed to be — whether you like it or not. (Marcus Benjamin)

45. Chance The Rapper feat. 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne – ÔÇ£No ProblemÔÇØ [Listen]

That choir. Chainz dropping one-liners you want stamped on your gravestone. Weezy rhyming like itÔÇÖs at least 2009. Chance emceeing the whole damn sermon and having you catch the Lord and a smile. ÔÇ£No ProblemÔÇØ was everyoneÔÇÖs formal introduction to perhaps the best project of 2016, and at the same time it mightÔÇÖve become one of the best tracks of the year, too. (Ryan Joseph)

46. Kaytranada feat. Vic Mensa – ÔÇ£DRIVE ME CRAZYÔÇØ [Listen]

Hate to say it, Vic, but youÔÇÖre not KanyeÔÇÖs preferred Chicago-born child. You probably grokked that information upon hearing Coloring Book, but chipper up: You still have a career! And you sound fantastic when you pair with Montr├®alÔÇÖs DJ-ing w├╝nderkid, Kaytranada. More ear-cracking bass and sparkling drum kits and less ÔÇö well, less whatever the fuck this is. Yeezus isnÔÇÖt a becoming look on anyone. (Ryan Joseph)

47. Samaria feat. Kehlani – ÔÇ£Love Me CrazyÔÇØ [Listen]

This moody, brooding song from Tsunami MobÔÇÖs Samaria details the addictive nature of former relationships, as she brings in Kehlani to lament their romantic pasts over haunting production from DTB. The talented young, songstresses make heartbreak almost sound enticing even while singing about burning bridges and ugly break-ups, providing just a glimpse into the massive potential of the Bay Area collective. (Eddie Fu)

48. Beyonce feat. Kendrick Lamar – ÔÇ£FreedomÔÇØ [Listen]

ItÔÇÖs no surprise that Rocafella alumnus Just Blaze produced the goddamned guts out of this bombastic standout off of Lemonade. A beat like this allows Kendrick Lamar to hammer the song home by coming out guns blazing and leave the track with no survivors. (Raj Anand)

49. Don Trip – ÔÇ£Cleo Never DiesÔÇØ [Listen]

Don TripÔÇÖs ÔÇ£Cleo Never DiesÔÇØ plays to the greed of society in obtaining money. He uses the classic 1996 flick Set It Off as a measuring point. The movie showed us the four woman who wanted to rob a bank, then rob another. Greed stacks up consequences quickly as we see in the movie. Trip proposes an alternate timeline where Cleo doesnÔÇÖt get killed. (Erich Donaldson)

50. Kanye West feat. Gucci Mane, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Travis Scott, Yo Gotti, Quavo and Desiigner – ÔÇ£ChampionsÔÇØ [Listen]

Thank Kanye for hitting the Ye button on this triumphant Cruel Winter posse cut, which featured a ridiculous seven guest artists. ItÔÇÖs the G.O.O.D. Music founder at his most self-indulgent, but this time itÔÇÖs a good thing. The king of features, 2 Chainz, got in his punchlines (ÔÇ£My new bitch gon’ pull me a new bitch/Then pull me a new bitch/See that is a snowball effectÔÇØ), but the track really let Gucci Mane shine and he had plenty to say. He put the world on notice by stating ÔÇ£itÔÇÖs over for you Gucci clones.ÔÇØ (Eddie Fu)

51. Skyzoo – ÔÇ£Friend or Foe Pt. 3ÔÇØ [Listen]

Skyzoo dropping this track on June 29 was the equivalent of a ballplayer swishing a half-court three just before halftime. The intricate details, callbacks to the original, and SkyÔÇÖs well-established Brooklyn lineage make this track a welcome new chapter to Jay ZÔÇÖs 20-year-old storyline — not just a throwaway gimmick. (Greg Whitt)

52. Maxwell – ÔÇ£1990xÔÇØ [Listen]

Maxwell is a solar eclipse. He appears every few years and blocks everything else when he does. ÔÇ£1990xÔÇØ is seduction on wax. So much so, the song itself might impregnate you after one listen. It perfectly encapsulates how to age gracefully as everything around you changes. On one hand, itÔÇÖd be nice to have him around more because he produces music at such high quality, but on the other hand, thereÔÇÖs a reason solar eclipses are special. (Marcus Benjamin)

53. Kent Jones – “Don’t Mind” [Listen]

DJ Khaled sure knows how to pick ’em and he did good by signing Kent Jones to We the Best Music Group. Jones’ “Don’t Mind” is currently taking over radio by storm and with good reason. The song is catchy as hell and gives listeners a very basic lesson in multiple languages. (Delenda Joseph)

54. Kanye West – ÔÇ£Ultra Light BeamÔÇØ [Listen]

KanyeÔÇÖs world may be filled with delusions of grandeur but ÔÇ£Ultra Light Beam,ÔÇØ with help from Chance, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin and more, was one of his finest moments since ÔÇ£Jesus Walks.ÔÇØ He channeled all of that creative energy and his connection to a higher power into a piece of work where at least one of the players involved offers a contribution that has the power to truly touch the soul. (John Gotty)

55. Mistah F.A.B. feat. Kendrick Lamar and Crooked I – ÔÇ£SurviveÔÇØ [Listen]

ÔÇ£SurviveÔÇØ is the most perfect collaboration IÔÇÖve heard in 2016 so far. Each artist has shown a deeper level of thinking in their careers, and it all comes together nicely on this song. Crooked IÔÇÖs start-to-finish story evokes emotion, and Kendrick drops an audio visual of what he sees happening in his city. Give Fabby Davis, Jr his credit as well, because keeping up with two lyrical heavyweights is no easy task. (Erich Donaldson)

56. Anderson .Paak – “Come Down” [Listen]

Honestly, you could just hit shuffle on Anderson .PaakÔÇÖs Malibu and find something worthwhile. Here, the groovinÔÇÖ baseline and PaakÔÇÖs energetic vocals are enough to keep any party going. (Dejen Isaac)

57. Montana of 300 – ÔÇ£Fighting Demons, Dropping JewelsÔÇØ [Listen]

IÔÇÖve already talked extensively about Montana of 300ÔÇÖs ÔÇ£Fighting Demons, Dropping Jewels.ÔÇØ This is one of those songs you want to be appreciated. As the rapper who continues to be overlooked despite his accomplishments and skills, Montana combined both his demons and jewels into a package deal thatÔÇÖs relatable to everyone. (Erich Donaldson)

58. Juicy J and Wiz Khalifa feat. Liam Payne – ÔÇ£YouÔÇØ [Listen]

Juicy J has had like four golden ages, defying odds by not only creating dope new music but slaying his contemporaries that are decades younger, and his latest rejuvenation comes with the cap man Wiz Khalifa and their Rude Awakening project produced by TM88. “You” has the two questioning the people who weren’t there over a frenetic, chaotic beat. If this doesn’t harken back to the original Blue Dream and Lean era J, then nothing will. (Julie J)

59. Blake Carrington – ÔÇ£BecomingÔÇØ/”Ghetto FreeÔÇØ [Listen]

KeepinÔÇÖ it 100, IÔÇÖm at a sentimental point in life that I never expected to experience. My kids are growing up quickly and crossing their own milestones in life with me cheering them on from the side. My parents are getting older, too, and now that IÔÇÖm experiencing what it means to help shape a life, itÔÇÖs brought me closer to understanding what they went through with me. I love BlakeÔÇÖs bravado on ÔÇ£Ghetto FreeÔÇØ and his description of the hard knocks paired with the ÔÇ£BecomingÔÇØ phone convo between him and his dad that always brings that sugar lump to the top of my throat. (John Gotty)

60. Rihanna feat. Drake – “Work” [Listen]

“Work work work work work.” A song dominated by one word drilled its way into our brains and everyone’s favorite Bajan beauty earned another Billboard hit. (Delenda Joseph)

61. Travi$ Scott feat. Young Thug and Quavo – ÔÇ£Pick Up the PhoneÔÇØ [Listen]

If Rich Homie Quan and Young Thug donÔÇÖt want to make any more music together, fine — thatÔÇÖs on them. It sucks, but thatÔÇÖs their choice. Whatever. But Thugger and Travi$ Scott need to step up and take the baton. Enough is enough already. The Houston and Atlanta connection have yet to miss when they link up, and adding Quavo and the word ÔÇ£discriminizeÔÇØ to the mix is like when the Golden State Warriors added Kevin Durant to a 73-win team, except for the part where everybody hates them. More Thug and Trav collaborations please, and more Quavo sprinkled in, if need be. (Bansky Gonzalez)

62. iLoveMakonnen – ÔÇ£SoloÔÇØ [Listen]

ThereÔÇÖs no stopping Makonnen. Despite label issues and biters galore, the ATL singer-rapper continues to drop dopeness. While Mak Mak has been dropping plenty of notable tracks over the past seven months or so, thereÔÇÖs no question ÔÇ£SoloÔÇØ from his Drink More Water 6 project packs the most punch. (Beware)

63. YG feat. Sad Boy A.D. and Bricc Baby – ÔÇ£DonÔÇÖt Come To LAÔÇØ [Listen]

YG picks up right where My Krazy Life left off and opens Still Brazy with a bang as he brings his homies with him to fire off a vicious ode to gangbanging and the street life. (Raj Anand)

64. Statik Selektah feat. Westside Gunn, Conway, Your Old Droog and Termanology – ÔÇ£The CurveÔÇØ [Listen]

For anybody who puts a premium on colorful wordplay, give thanks to Statik Selektah for gathering up some of the best the East Coast has to offer and serving them on a silver platter in terms of production. Gunn and Con sound like Smoothe The Hustler and Trigga Da Gambler reincarnated in their chemistry, Droog is a walking thesaurus and Term holds his own, too. (John Gotty)

65. ScHoolboy Q – ÔÇ£Black THougHtsÔÇØ [Listen]

ScHoolboy QÔÇÖs stellar fourth album, Blank Face LP, is gritty throughout, but itÔÇÖs at its best when Q takes time to reflect and offer some maturity and gets downright apologetic . On no track is this more evident than ÔÇ£Black THougHtsÔÇØ where — when accompanied with an incredible video — ScHoolboy pleads with fellow Crips and rival Bloods to ÔÇ£put the guns down and blaze a spiff.ÔÇØ Q hops all over the beat, heÔÇÖs spastic, changing topics often and taking bated breaths before when he needs them and returns without notice. For nearly four minutes he oozes that aforementioned maturity and what can only be described as growth and clarity and gives the album its best song. (Bansky Gonzalez)

66. Kaytranada – ÔÇ£LITE SPOTSÔÇØ [Listen]

You know a beatÔÇÖs powerful when it makes bloggers think they can dance. ÔÇ£LITE SPOTSÔÇØ comes to life with pulsing kicks and claps beckoning everyone to form a dance circle. The sampleÔÇÖs breezy texture creates a nice contrast with an otherwise hyperactive track. Play it and watch a wallflower turn into Savion Glover. (Sam Cadet)

67. YG feat. Drake and Kamaiyah – ÔÇ£Why You Always HatinÔÇÖÔÇØ [Listen]

Now, this is what an effective collaboration looks like in 2016. (Ryan Joseph)

68. Fetty Wap – “Wake Up” [Listen]

It’s been a minute since Fetty Wap blessed our eardrums with “Trap Queen.” Since then, the Jersey rapper has proven he’s more than capable of crafting hits, with “Wake Up” being one of them. (Delenda Joseph)

69. Vic Mensa – ÔÇ£ThereÔÇÖs Alot Going OnÔÇØ [Listen]

This soul baring final track off MensaÔÇÖs EP of the same name breaks down what the Chicago rapper has been going through during the past year or two. From first meeting with Jay Z in June 2014 and signing with Roc Nation, to clashing with his ex, and dealing with an Adderall addiction, it was a lot for the young rapper to process. However, the stars aligned when Mensa was brought to work on The Life of Pablo, and it seems like heÔÇÖs ready to reach his potential. (Eddie Fu)

70. Kendrick Lamar – “Untitled 02 (6.23.2014)ÔÇØ [Listen]

Pimp pimp, hooray! Get Top on the phone! When Kendrick surprised us with Untitled Unmastered, it was met with the obvious praise it deserved for being leftovers from TPAB. Dot takes two different styles and pieces them together for an experience. He knows how to appeal to this generationÔÇÖs taste without taking the lane of trap rappers and melodic singers. (Erich Donaldson)

71. Spark Master Tape – ÔÇ£Livin LavishÔÇØ [Listen]

If you follow SMT at all, it’s pretty much cliche to use the word “mysterious” when discussing his music, but no one knows what the dude looks like or where he lives, so what do you want me to do? His highly anticipated return managed to fulfill fan’s expectations, so as long as the music is jamming, who gives a sh*t who the guy is? (Trackstar the DJ)

72. Lil Uzi Vert – ÔÇ£You Was RightÔÇØ [Listen]

Over the last year, PhillyÔÇÖs Lil Uzi Vert launched himself to stardom and no song is a better example of why than Lil Uzi vs. The WorldÔÇÖs ÔÇ£You Was Right.ÔÇØ The whole recipe is there: one of the best Metro Boomin beats of the year, one of UziÔÇÖs trademark, catchy melodies and some slurred, mumblecore thatÔÇÖs perfect for chanting in the club after a few too many drinks. (Bansky Gonzalez)

73. YG – ÔÇ£Gimme Got ShotÔÇØ [Listen]

EverybodyÔÇÖs got a few people in their lives who donÔÇÖt want to get their own. So, the next time a hanger on pleads for a dollar, play this instead of saying no ad nauseum. Beware, the bassline oozes enough funk to make the message fly over their heads. Oh well, at least their needy asses wonÔÇÖt tug on your Gordon Gartrelle for lunch money while this rocks your system. (Sam Cadet)

74. Drake – “Controlla” [Listen]

ItÔÇÖs unclear why Popcaan was removed from the final version and replaced with Beenie Man — aside from ÔÇ£ControllaÔÇØ sampling Beenie’s ÔÇ£Tear off Mi GarmentÔÇØ — but even with the switch, Drake’s continued foray into dancehall is a win. (Delenda Joseph)

75. TWENTY88 – ÔÇ£Deja VuÔÇØ [Listen]

Big Sean and Jhene Aiko have an uncanny chemistry together and their TWENTY88 EP has wound up being on the upper echelon of the 2016ÔÇÖs releases so far, none better than the tale of a crumbling relationship on ÔÇ£Deja Vu.ÔÇØ (Raj Anand)

76. Tef Poe and Black Spade – ÔÇ£Shit ProcessÔÇØ [Listen]

Both have made multiple appearances on these lists, but this is their first as an official duo, off their Preacher in the Trap EP. Heavy like Bowser in Mario Kart, the beat leaves plenty of space and pace for Spade’s soulful vibes to mesh perfectly with Tef’s aggressive flow. (Trackstar the DJ)

77. Russ – ÔÇ£Waste My TimeÔÇØ [Listen]

Considering his iron man output, there could be quite a few Russ songs on this list. Yet, the extremely catchy ÔÇ£Waste My TimeÔÇØ is probably the one folks will relate to most, since we all seem to be fighting for an inch of free time whenever we can. (Beware)

78. Daz Rinko – ÔÇ£AngelÔÇØ [Listen]

When we debuted Daz RinkoÔÇÖs ÔÇ£AngelÔÇØ earlier this year, I knew it was dope right away. What I didnÔÇÖt expect was to keep playing the upbeat, energetic record from DazÔÇÖs Lifted project on my own for months on end. ThatÔÇÖs ma jam mane. (Beware)

79. Meek Mill, Wale and Rick Ross – ÔÇ£Make It WorkÔÇØ [Listen]

Forget all the dark days MMG has experienced in the past 12 months. All the beefs, inner turmoil, and arrests — plus house arrests — and remember that the cornerstones of the label do make fantastic, formulaic music. Jahlil Beats provided the trio with a monster sound platform and each MC comes through doing what he does best: Meek shrieks, Wale delivers the wordplay, and Ross floats in his self-created imaginary world. Note: DonÔÇÖt even dare play this on cheap earbuds or PC speakers. Find a proper system, crank the tune near max volume and proceed to get the holy ghost. (John Gotty)

80. Junia-T and Briskinthehouse – ÔÇ£My, My, MyÔÇØ [Listen]

Another fine export from Canada that earned a permanent playlist spot right here. (Darius Sinclair)

81. BJ the Chicago Kid feat. Big K.R.I.T. – ÔÇ£The ResumeÔÇØ [Listen]

We waited a long time to get BJÔÇÖs first studio album and In My Mind delivered on all fronts. With timeless, soulful production and baby-making jams like ÔÇ£The ResumeÔÇØ drowning innocent womenÔÇÖs undergarments all over the country, the Chicago Kid solidified himself as a unicorn-like singer/songwriter. While BJ carries the anthem across 5 minutes of soaring keys and fingersnaps, he proved the TSS Crew right in predicting his success from day one. He might have also inadvertently boosted the birth rate in Chicago this year. (Aspektz)

82. A$AP Twelvyy – ÔÇ£Last Year Being BrokeÔÇØ [Listen]

Twelvyy turned his New YearÔÇÖs Resolution into a catchy anthem that has also doubled as a social-media friendly hashtag. Not a bad look at all as the A$AP member increased his musical output, making sure his actions match his words. (John Gotty)

83. Drake – “One Dance” [Listen]

Drake earned his first no. 1 with ÔÇ£One DanceÔÇØ and it may be the most fitting song for the honor. ItÔÇÖs everything he excels at as a pop artist: he sings and croons, he creates catchy tunes that etch themselves into listenersÔÇÖ minds and he gives off a feeling of lighthearted, positive energy that makes it hard for the masses not to fall under his spell. (Darius Sinclair)

84. Buddah Bless feat. Allan Kingdom and King Louie – ÔÇ£ChangeÔÇØ [Listen]

All three guys work with a different set of tools under the belt, yet theyÔÇÖre somehow able to mesh into a final whole that works as well in the headphones as it would playing in a well-to-do establishment like RayÔÇÖs Boom Boom Room. (John Gotty)

85. Terrace Martin – ÔÇ£Forever With YouÔÇØ [Listen]

After crash landing onto the worldÔÇÖs radar with his work on Kendrick LamarÔÇÖs Untitled Unmastered project, Terrace Martin dropped Velvet Portraits a few months later and won over his new audience in a major way. To be clear, this wasnÔÇÖt his first project but records like ÔÇ£Forever With YouÔÇØ took audiences deep into the mind of a friend, a lover and a magician of sonic favors. For anybody who doubted the place of the prodigal saxophonist in the hip-hop landscape, tunes like this will be the reason your ugly kids are about to make you a grandparent. (Aspektz)

86. Mike Floss – ÔÇ£KeroseneÔÇØ [Listen]

To paraphrase Outkast, NashvilleÔÇÖs got something to say. Mike Floss is one of the voices who will deliver the message. (Darius Sinclair)

87. BJ The Chicago Kid – ÔÇ£TurninÔÇÖ Me Up [Listen]

BJÔÇÖs a neo-soul baby whose musical DNA is so deep and rich your grandparents will co-sign his tunes. ÔÇ£TurninÔÇÖ Me UpÔÇØ has the proper groove to two-step and another little magical number from BJÔÇÖs ever-growing catalog of solid songs. (John Gotty)

88. Drake feat. Majid Jordan – ÔÇ£Feel No WaysÔÇØ [Listen]

Views disappointed, and on that opinion most of us can agree. However, the album did produce a handful of individually great tracks, which included another Majid Jordan-assisted jam, ÔÇ£Feel No Ways.ÔÇØ The sparse, insanely jittery cut meshed perfectly with DrakeÔÇÖs signature sing-song flow, and provided a welcome, actually symbiotically produced respite from the rest of the boring dreck of the Toronto MCÔÇÖs fourth album (ÔÇ£ControllaÔÇØ still f*cking rocks, tho, fwiw). (Ryan Joseph)

89. ScHoolboy Q feat. Lance Skiiwalker – ÔÇ£Know Ya WrongÔÇØ [Listen]

ScHoolboy Q opened his heart up and poured his emotions out on Blank Face LP, showing significantly more vulnerability than he has on his previous records. On the Lance Skiiwalker-assisted track, ÔÇ£Know Ya Wrong,ÔÇØ he reveals how leeches from his hood hold his life back. (Raj Anand)

90. Future feat. The Weeknd – “Low Life” [Listen]

The Weeknd repped well for the “Low Life” after making his undeniable mark in pop music with Beauty Behind the Madness. Like most of his featured bangers, Abel takes over Future’s record and completely makes it his own. (Delenda Joseph)

91. Future – “Wicked” [Listen]

A song so dope Future tossed it on two separate projects this year. While his run may be letting off the gas just a tad, there’s something so infectious about the hook that you can’t help but sing along and do your own little bop. (Bansky Gonzalez)

92. Dizzy Wright – ÔÇ£Work A Little HarderÔÇØ [Listen]

Dizzy Wright has always stood for positivity both in and out of his music. He lives what he raps about and after the all the drama that surrounded the shuttering of Funk Volume, he flexed his resiliency and came back strong with his EP, Wisdom and Good Vibes, and showed the world how well heÔÇÖs capable of picking up the pieces. (Raj Anand)

93. Russ – ÔÇ£Do It MyselfÔÇØ [Listen]

Because everybody needs a little f*ck you anthem to propel them through the average dayÔÇÖs bullshit. (John Gotty)

94. Troy Ave – ÔÇ£Chuck NorrisÔÇØ [Listen]

Harry Powder has had a shitty year so far, but if thereÔÇÖs an upside to it, he did have a lot of really good songs. ÔÇ£Chuck Norris (Hoes N Gangstas)ÔÇØ is 100% Troy in character as he lays all of his cards on the line, latching on to his street persona in the midst of all the drama. (John Gotty)

95. 2 Chainz – ÔÇ£Felt Like CappinÔÇØ [Listen]

DonÔÇÖt tell me you skipped 2 ChainzÔÇÖ super solid Felt Like Cappin mixtape. Despite coming out of nowhere back in February, the six-track tape was packed with personality, dope beats and this playful title track that was undeniably cool. (Beware)

96. Rittz – ÔÇ£NostalgiaÔÇØ [Listen]

Once you start listening to ÔÇ£NostalgiaÔÇØ from RittzÔÇÖ latest album Top Of The Line, the obvious conclusion is that heÔÇÖs speaking about a female. By the songÔÇÖs end, you realize he has dedicated the touching track to his dog, who recently passed away after over a decade of hard times together. True dog lovers might not be able to make it through this one without crying. Straight up. White Jesus is hitting the feels hard on here, in all the right ways. RIP Butter. (Beware)

97. Kanye West – “No More Parties in L.A.” [Listen]

It seems like after however many years he’s been in the game Kanye West would’ve worked with West Coast production maestro MadLib countless times, but alas it took until 2016 for the two to link up (even though Madlib created the beat back in 2010). The dusty, soul-inflected cut showed West in his lyrical comfort zone, while Kendrick provided a welcomed appearance on a song dedicated to his hometown. It was *kisses fingers* fantastic. (Ryan Joseph)

98. Broderick Batts – ÔÇ£Kate Moss 1986ÔÇØ [Listen]

Carrying an ’80s pop vibe and an irresistible overall delivery, this slept-on single from Tampa singer Broderick Batts shouldÔÇÖve earned 10x more plays the current 66K it currently has. The good part is we have this Tommy Trillfigga-produced gem all to ourselves, without having it run into the ground. Good for us. Bad for Broderick. (Beware)

99. Ugly Heroes – ÔÇ£This WorldÔÇØ [Listen]

The Midwest trioÔÇÖs Everything in Between is an album of the year contender, and ÔÇ£This WorldÔÇØ shows why. Rappers Red Pill (ÔÇ£Whether itÔÇÖs your cousin, your brother or your husband/If theyÔÇÖre not screaming ÔÇ£F*ck the police,ÔÇØ then youÔÇÖre suffering) and Verbal Kent (ÔÇ£IÔÇÖll rip the hair off Donald TrumpÔÇÖs scalp, for runninÔÇÖ his fat mouth/Truthfully? IÔÇÖd rather elect Alf) spit cynical, yet passionate rhymes about todayÔÇÖs politically and racially charged environment over neck-snapping production by Apollo Brown. (Eddie Fu)

100. Chance The Rapper feat. Ty Dolla $ign – “Blessings” [Listen]

Ask yourself repeatedly: Are you ready for your blessings? Are you ready for your miracle? 2016 has been a year filled with loss and a surplus of f*ck sh*t. But it’s nice to hear a song that can give you three minutes to escape the real world and imagine a life where your dreams become your reality. (Darius Sinclair)

The 2016 Intermission: 100 Songs WeÔÇÖve Enjoyed So Far : UPROXX

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