20. Twenty One Pilots – “Chlorine”
Twenty One Pilots had the best rebrand moment of 2018. Moving away from the alternative pop-rap in favor of more rock-flavored instrumentals, “Chlorine” stands out as the best implementation of that. But the real MVP of the track is its monster of a chorus. It’s an absolute tragedy that this song isn’t any bigger.
19. Tyler, the Creator – “OKRA”
After a flawless run in 2017 with the exceptional Flower Boy, Tyler blessed his fans with the sudden drop of “OKRA”. A song that is a far cry from Flower‘s summer-tinged aesthetic, the hard-hitting bass and hi-hats wonderfully complement Tyler’s gruff voice. This song is all but proof that we need a DJ Drama and Tyler collaboration in 2019.
18. Trippie Redd – “Topanga”
Avoiding the past pitfalls of his nasal shouting, Trippie Redd decides to soften his approach on “Topanga” and passionately croon instead. The result is arguably the best and most polished song of his career. Always the one that could hold a tune the best out of his class of Soundcloud rappers, Trippie has finally hit his stride. Let’s just hope he keeps running with it.
17. Lil Peep – “Life is Beautiful”
A reimagining of his song “Life” that was released in 2015, “Life is Beautiful” is a much more polished and concentrated effort that’s able to truly convey Peep’s intended message. The track’s conflicting optimism and pessimism make it an intriguing listen that encapsulates everything that made Peep fans fall in love him. The last hurrah for an emo-rap trailblazer that unfortunately left too soon.
16. Jay Rock – “King’s Dead (feat. Kendrick Lamar, Future & James Blake)”
The dose of high-octane bar-laden verses is more than enough to set this track apart from most rap songs this year. The absolutely bombastic production paired with the ignorantly aggressive flows from Jay Rock, Kendrick and (yes) Future transforms the song into a perfect kickstarter for any moshpit.