Song: "No Sleeep"
That Fayetteville boy had a crazy and inspiring run in 2014 with his third studio album 2014 Forest Hills Drive and a sold out national tour. The icing on the celebratory cake had to be his collaboration with famed singer Janet Jackson on her tune "No Sleeep." The feel-good track sends you into an instant groove with Ms. Jackson's soft-tone vocals and Cole's intricate wordplay, and was a nice re-introduction of Janet back into the music industry.
Song: "Where Are U Now"
One of this year's chart-topping melodies arrived courtesy of Jack U (Skrillex & Diplo) and Justin Bieber. Besides the straight to the point lyrics from the Biebs, the technicality found within the instrumental makes you fall in love with the bubbly track even more.
Album: What A Time To Be Alive
From T.Dot to A-town, two of hip hop's infectious rappers put their bars together to form one of 2015's most critically-acclaimed mixtapes, What A Time To Be Alive. The announcement came as a surprise to spectators and fans when Drizzy & Fewtch confirmed their lyrical partnership through a series of cryptic tweets and black-and-white Instagram candids. Together, alongside producers 40 and Metro Boomin, the "Where Ya At" artists created "Jumpman," "Diamonds Dancing," and "Big Rings" giving fans new music to recite in the club.
Song: "Bad Blood"
Given Swift's fandom of Lamar it was only right that they put their superstardom on a track and "Bad Blood" is what they created in the lab. It was obviously a win for both parties involved, most likely with each artist receiving new fans and solidifying chart history.
Once this track hit the World Wide Web, you probably heard a collective of people screaming, "YAASSS." This iconic pairing was a long time coming and we're glad that our ears were blessed with the former couple's musical contribution. Their unique styles seem to blend on the melody, making us long for a full-length joint project.
Song: "Fly on the Wall"
The definition of lyricism was displayed when two spectrums of hip hop collided on Jay Rock's debut album 90059. With the lyrical guidance of Bussa Buss, Rock found a new mentor in the legendary rapper.
Song: "The Hills"
A recipe for success was whipped up one late Saturday night when Eminem and Nicki Minaj laid down their rapid worldplay on a remix for The Weeknd's groundbreaking hit. The surprise was received with open arms to the fans, putting a twist on the Illangelo and Mano-produced track, which was released in May.
Song: "See You Again"
This tribute song to the late Paul Walker struck a sensitive chord with listeners. To those who suffered a loss this year or in the past, emotions ran wild with the song's opening piano chords. Puth's angelic voice smoothly transitions into Wiz's reminiscent bars. The video for the track also surpassed the one billion mark, making it the first hip hop video to do so.
Song/Album: The Album About Nothing
Wale's fourth studio album saw the impressive elevation of one of rap's mainstays, and with the assistance of comedian/actor Jerry Seinfeld, the D.C. native's creativity jumped to another level. Seinfeld served as the main narrator on the project, allowing Wale to focus on delivering his rhymes and taking listeners on a roller coaster of emotions full of elation and regret.
Rih, Ye and Sir McCartney's first collaborative track "FourFiveSeconds" was three minutes of pure delight. With just the strumming of The Beatles' member's guitar, Rih's stripped down vocals, and Yeezy's brash raps, the melody was a match made in musical heaven. It was also a different sound for Rihanna and Kanye, something that we might hear more of on their respective albums when they arrive in the near future.
Song: "Locked Away"
R. City stepped out from behind the pen to dominate the charts in another way. The brothers returned to delivering their own personal tunes for the fans, and their current single "Locked Away" tugged at listeners' heartstrings. With the smooth sound of Adam Levine on the chorus, the song has gone platinum in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada and peaked at the No. 1 spot on the US Mainstream Top 40.
Song: "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)"
Who knew that a sample of the Persuasion's single "Good Times" would turn into one of the hottest songs of the summer. With Jamie xx behind the soundboards, Thugger and Popcaan cemented their verses that we all quickly memorized to recite once the record dropped in the club. The island vibe also sends you into a quick whine before you bust a mean two-step to the soundscape.
On Rocky's third studio album At Long Last ASAP, the Harlemite experimented with worldly sounds that we weren't used to hearing from the 27-year-old artist. But one song in particular managed to bridge the gap between generations when Flacko nabbed the legendary Rod Stewart to lend his vocals to "Everyday." Alongside Miguel, Stewart showcased his distinct chords to make the aforementioned track a standout on the album.
Song: "All Eyes On You"
With a little bit of assistance from Chris Brown, Omeeka showcased their love for each other on the summertime hit "All Eyes On You." Serving as one of the dynamic couple's joint melodies, the East Coast natives traded heart eyes without losing their gritty edge.
Song: "Fell In The Sun"
One of the most experimental collaborations in music this year came courtesy of Big Boi and Phantogram. The trio teamed up to release their self-titled album which boasts witty bars and ambitious instrumentals. "Fell In The Sun" remains one of the compilation's memorable songs, oozing summer time feels and shields your ear drums with an uplifting aura.
Song: "Wanna Be Cool"
This motivational song will elevate your spirits with the heavenly horns to the staying-true-to-yourself tales of each artist featured on the melody. "Wanna Be Cool" remains a refreshing song, especially for those who needed reassurance that your uniqueness should never be compromised.
Six minutes of unfiltered raps is the soundtrack you need to play in the background when you want to just chuck all of your responsibilities out the window. Tyler, The Creator linked up with Ye and Weezy for an epic collaboration that we want to hear more of in the future. The production is A-1, the lyrics are menacing yet intriguing, and the blend of each rapper's style mixed perfectly to bring fans something they never knew they needed.
Song: "WTF (Where They From)"
Missy Elliott returned to the music scene just in the nick of time. The veteran lyricist sent her fans in a fit of happiness when she dropped her latest single "WTF (Where They From)" featuring frequent collaborator Pharrell Williams. The tune was deemed as classic Missy, even the video remained true to her quirky and creative roots. Misdemeanor's strong return to the industry will not be stopped.
Song: "Teach Me"
This Brooklyn native showed that he can put aside his 90's flavored bars to showcase his diversity on the bubbly track "Teach Me." The song, which is featured as a bonus soundscape on Joey's debut album B4.Da.$$, features Pop newcomer Kiesza, who flexes her unique vocals over the dance-floor approved single.
An anointing fell upon listeners after they heard "Blessings." This was one of Sean Don's memorable melodies on Dark Sky Paradise and burned up the charts thanks to its repeated radio play.
"3500" was priceless for the hotter months. Travi$ Scott's scorching track set the radios and clubs ablaze with its bass-heavy sound and 2 Chainz and Future's catchy lyrical services. While the Houston native prepared his ragers for his debut album Rodeo, "3500" was a great preliminary tune to get his fans ready for the madness that was soon to follow.
Song: "Classic Man (Remix)"
This shoulder-bounce of a track rose to the top of the charts in its original state with Roman GianArthur on the melody. But once K. Dot decided to spit a few classic bars for the remix, the melody took on a life of its own. The joint venture arrived a few months after Lamar dropped his To Pimp A Butterfly album to rave reviews, so this collaboration was an added bonus for the fans.