The BIG List: 66 Most Important Hip-Hop Songs of 2011 (Pg. 2)
“Anti-Freeze” – Pac Div
Pac Div’s ultra-cool single from Mania! swaggers over a sparse break beat and lethargic synths.
“Bait” – Wale
Go to a club in the DMV area and watch how ratchet the party goes when Tone P.’s stuttering synthesizer drops. How can you not cook to Wale’s chants of “work”?
“Ballin'” – Young Jeezy Feat. Lil Wayne
If 2011 is the year that Young Jeezy got his swag back, “Ballin’” was the record that first motivated thugs and fans alike to hop back on the Snowman’s sled.
“Blue Sky” – Common
No ID chopped up a stirring Electric Light Orchestra sample for the second single of The Dreamer/The Believer, allowing Common’s vitalized raps to resonate.
“Can’t Get Enough” – J. Cole Feat. Trey Songz
Nymphos could relate to this feel-good, Latin-influenced single—the first from Cole World: The Sideline Story to universally connect.
“Dance (Ass) (Remix)” – Big Sean Feat. Nicki Minaj
Sampling MC Hammer, Big Sean’s percussive ode to derrières was already a club classic before Nicki Minaj laced it with one of her dopest, most catchy verses to date. Poking fun at her own ass shots chatter, Barb proves she’s not afraid of being the butt of her own joke.
“Donald Trump” – Mac Miller
You know you’ve made it when you’ve got a filthy rich mogul like Donald Trump shouting you out. But D.T. was merely returning the favor to an indie rap kid from Pittsburgh who blew up big—much on the strength of this aspirational hit.
“Dreamin'” – Big K.R.I.T.
Big K.R.I.T.’s inspirational single from Return Of 4Eva cues up a bluesy ambiance to backtrack the Mississippi MC’s ascent. Don’t sleep on it.