Defining the Best Hip-Hop Songs of the Weirdest Modern Summer
The four seasons are often tied to music, especially in hip-hop. Brooding winter anthems or summer bangers that slap, the seasons each have different feels and can be unpredictable, all while bringing back great memories of the good ol’ days. So far, 2020 is one of the most unusual years ever as a result of the pandemic. The summer still happened (with restrictions like social distancing and being masked up), and rappers still dropped new music (but no touring).
Even with the major change this year, what hasn’t stopped is the song of the summer. Every year brings debates about what is the best summer song and what isn’t, so this time, the XXL staff came together to offer our choices (two songs each) of the songs we feel really resonate with this season so far.
The songs of the summer here are varied, a mix of newer acts and other rappers with a solid track record. Young Thug and Chris Brown certainly have some hits under their belt, but when they joined forces for the smooth party track “Go Crazy,” they tapped into a chemistry that worked in their favor. The track entered the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 and is currently at No. 9. Another track that has been dominating the summer is DaBaby‘s “Rockstar” featuring Roddy Ricch, which has spent 17 weeks on the Hot 100 and dominated at the No. 1 spot for seven weeks in a row. Both 2019 XXL Freshmen created the song’s video during the pandemic and hit the woods for a zombie fight.
When it comes to Drake, he’s had a huge song every summer. This year, it almost seemed like 2020 would be different and that wouldn’t be the case. As an artist you can never truly count out, Drake returned to chart dominance with “Laugh Now Cry Later” featuring Lil Durk; the song debuted at No. 2 on the Hot 100. The effort is likely to stick around and is already setting the tone for the latter part of the season. This also comes in a year where Drake is about to release his Certified Lover Boy album and Lil Durk dropped “3 Headed Goat,” another song of the summer contender.
Take a look to see how we’re defining the best hip-hop songs of the weirdest modern summer of all time below and find your favorites.—Robby Seabrook III