Happy New Year! Most industries may have temporarily slowed for the holidays, but the rap world is always churning. A slew of artists dropped singles and even projects in the last week of the year. Travis Scott released a pair of videos, including one featuring Pop Smoke. 2 Chainz also released a video for “Somebody Need To Hear This.” Here’s the best of the decade’s last hip-hop music:
Swae Lee & Nicki Minaj — “Cap Backwards”
Nicki Minaj said that she was retiring last year, but it looks like the Queens rhymer still has more left in the tank. She linked with frequent collaborator Swae Lee on “Cap Backwards,” a breezy ode to the good life.
MoneyBagg Yo — “U Played” Feat. Lil Baby
Moneybagg Yo and Ll Baby connect for “U Played,” an 808-driven Tay Keith banger where MoneyBagg sets the tone by noting, “I don’t got a heart, but f*ck it I’m paid.” Lil Baby follows up with a melodic verse in which he sets his 2020 mood: “VS my teeth I come through smilin’.”
Quando Rondo — “Bad Vibe” Feat. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie & 2 Chainz
Rising rapper Quando Rondo got with a pair of heavy hitters on “Bad Vibe,“ a churning single where the three artists take turns getting braggadocious over a spooky, thumping production.
Blueface — “Viral”
Blueface was one of 2019’s biggest stars, and he’s not looking for his run to stop anytime soon. On “Viral,” Blueface puts in an early entry for banger of the moment, imploring listeners to “do it for the gram,” and hilariously celebrating an “ass so phat, click the link in her bio.”
G-Herbo — Sessions
G-Herbo dropped the last major release of the decade with Sessions, a nine-track expose of why he was one of the 2010’s most beloved artists in Chicago and beyond. The project shows Herbo wading in familiar waters, reflecting on the tumult of the hood and his newfound success.
Skillz — “2019 Rap Up”
Virginia’s Mad Skillz came through with his customary yearly wrap up song, delving into all of the moments and trends that made 2019 a fitting end to a crazy decade. He recapped the madness with the wit and perspective that’s made his song a core moment of the holiday season.
Uncle Murda — “2019 Rap Up”
Brooklyn’s Uncle Murda delivered his own 2019 wrap up. He covered much of the same fare that Skillz rhymed about — but was also characteristically brazen with hilarious snipes like, “If Tekashi was home, he would’ve told us who shot Ghost.”
Hoodrich Pablo Juan — “Trap Neva Closed” Feat. Sada Baby & BlocBoy JB
Right on the heels of his DMV album, Hoodrich Pablo Juan released the apropos “Trap Neva Closed” with a pair of prolific peers in Sada Baby and BlocBoy JB. The three turn up over an ominous key melody.
KOTA The Friend — “THIVES”
KOTA The Friend snuck in one last 2019 release on “THIEVES,” a melancholy track where he reflects on going from “20 deep at Union Square” to being “older with more wisdom.”
Problem — “Stop Talkin”
On the bouncy “Stop Talkin,” Problem slams people who “talk too much” and laments that it’s “never see too many real ones when I look around” before affirming that “I keep my head up, never lookin’ down.”
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.