Top 10 Summer Rap Songs of 2016

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Check out summer's biggest rap anthems

Drake and DJ Khaled
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Welcome to Summer Sixteen. Last year, summer was all about Fetty Wap's "Trap Queen." This summer, all roads lead to Drake.

When he announced earlier in the year that he was "looking for revenge all Summer '16," I hardly knew it would turn out to be prophetic. Sure enough, Drake has been omnipresent all summer, dropping Views, posted guest verses on Rihanna and DJ Khaled hits.

Aside from Drizzy, you'll hear a relentless string of dancetastic tunes and songs that sound like chilling under palm trees this summer.

Explore the 10 best summer rap anthems of 2016.

Stream this playlist on Apple Music.

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Drake - One Dance (Ft. Wizkid & Kyla)


Drake finally scored his number one hit with "One Dance," which sports a subtle Wizkid cameo and a less subtle Kyla sample. But, like Desiigner's "Panda," Drake's "One Dance" arrived too early to be an all-summer soundtrack. Still, with that magical Island vibe and the Wizkid flavor, "One Dance" is a tune worthy of a beach day.

Listen to "One Dance"

(And if you're sick of the original, this remix does not disappoint.)

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6lack - Prblms

6lack - Prblms

Summer is as much about dancing and having fun as it is about kicking back and kissing the breeze. "Prblms" by Atlanta newcomer 6Lack (pronounced: "Black")  is exactly the type of reflective track summer ordered. With lines like, "Tell her you love her when next week you just want your space/Why you do why you do that?" it's the type of brooding tune suitable for summer lounging.

Listen to "Prblms"

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Anderson.Paak - Am I Wrong (Ft. Schoolboy Q)

Anderson .Paak

The first time I heard "Am I Wrong," I immediately broke into a two-step dance. I quickly found out I was a bit rusty. No matter. It's a song so precious, so joyous, so fun that you can't help but move your head, hands or feet to it. You almost forget that Schoolboy Q--arguably the most menacing TDE rapper is on this song.

Listen to "Am I Wrong"

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DJ Khaled - For Free (Ft. Drake)

DJ Khaled
We The Best

Snapchat king DJ Khaled unveiled "For Free" on Beats 1 with a Donald Trump-size pomp session. Luckily, the product lives up to the hype. "For Free" is a summer anthem for the social media age--a party starter and conversation starter. The beat is reminiscent of Too Short's "Blow the Whistle." Fittingly, Drake opens with a hat tip to Too $hort: "I go on and on/Can't understand how I lasted so long." The title and concept wink at Drake frenemy Kendrick Lamar's "For Free?" Again, Drake doesn't conceal his influence: "And like your boy from Compton said: You know this d**k ain't free!" After all that pot-stirring, Drizzy rattles off a litany of flirty rhymes about girls that even let him "slash on the tour bus." Song of the summer.

Listen to "For Free"

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Twenty 88 - Deja Vu

Big Sean and Jhene Aiko
Def Jam

"Déjà Vu," the opening track from Big Sean and Jhene Aiko's collaborative album is a plush, comfy song. The duo sounds like a delight over the beat, which switches from a feathery twinkle to a modest boom. You can chill to this by the pool, unwind to it on the sofa with a wine glass, or nap to it. It's steamy and hypnotic all at once.

Listen to "Deja Vu"

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Drake - Controlla

Drake Views
Cash Money / UMG

It's "Controlla," not "One Dance," that is the more traditional summer song. Where "One Dance" is more unusual and triumphant," "Controlla" is the one built to last all summer (think: Charly Black's "Gyal You a Party Animal). Get used to it now because you'll be sick of it by the time Labor Day rolls around.

Listen to "Controlla"

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Chance the Rapper - No Problem (Ft. Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz)

Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne

The clear radio jam on Chance the Rapper's amazing Coloring Book. At once menacing and playful, it's backed by a stellar gospel choir. Co-stars Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz are no strangers to summer anthems. Weezy's warning shot to "that label," Two Necklace's gleeful boasts, and Chance's everyman charm make this a perfect summer party starter.

Listen to "No Problem"

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Fat Joe & Remy Ma - All the Way Up (Remix) (Ft. French Montana, Jay Z)

You know you have a summer hit on your hands when Jay Z hops out of pseudo-retirement to jump on your remix. Indeed, Jigga and Joey Crack put aside years of tension to collaborate on what was already a certified summer anthem. Jay drops a playful reference to wife Bey's popular album: “You know you made it when the fact that your marriage made it is worth millions / Lemonade is a popular drink and it still is.”

Listen to "All the Way Up" (Remix) | Listen to "All the Way Up" (Original)

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D.R.A.M. - Broccoli (Ft. LIl Yachty)

Like summer itself, "Broccoli" starts off sounding like a lot of fun. The bright piano loop, the bass-heavy beat, D.R.A.M.'s melodic flow and Yachty's cheery brags are all perfect. "I just did a show and spent the check on my momma," Yachty says on the opening verse. For the second half, D.R.A.M. rejoices over a "salmon on a bagel with capers on a square plate." Highly palatable.

Listen to "Broccoli"

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YG - Why You Always Hatin'? (Ft. Drake & Kamaiyah)

YG and Drake - Why You Always Hatin

Drake and YG last teamed up on the latter's "Who Do You Love?" That song worked to perfection. Here, YG acknowledges that Drizzy "came through for me both times." Although "Why You Always Hatin'?" isn't as infectious as their previous collaboration, it works so well. It follows the same template, replete with a stripped down, throbbing bass beat pattern. Missy-inspired Oakland newcomer Kamaiyah asks the question this time, while YG "drives the Maybach through the projects." It's perfect for a tops-down, ride-around-town cruising on a muggy Saturday.

Listen to "Why You Always Hatin'?"