63 Hip-Hop Songs That Defined the 2010s
The 2010s was a decade that seemed to be in constant transition—especially when it came to hip-hop.
The mixtape era gave way to the blog era, which was soon replaced by streaming platforms. There was Twitter, Vine, Instagram, Snapchat and now TikTok, among other social networks that helped power the culture.
Drake took the baton from his idols—guys like Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Kanye West—and sprinted until the finish (and into 2020). Meanwhile, new sects made their names (Odd Future, A$AP Mob) while label empires like Maybach Music Group, Top Dawg Entertainment and Quality Control Music became the Bad Boy and Roc-a-Fella Records of the new age.
The aesthetics of hip-hop in the past 10 years have also evolved in interesting ways. Atmospheric, vibey production characterized the work of artists like Future, XXXTentacion and Young Thug and nearly every rapper releasing music during the period. Regional walls came crashing down, giving way to A$AP Rocky's mishmash of sounds from Houston to Harlem.
The decade flew by, but rappers were as prolific as ever, leaving behind a stockpile of great music to soundtrack the 2010s. Drake was the nucleus, always attached to an emerging or trendy sound, whether it was emo, dancehall-inspired, trap or afrobeat. Meanwhile, Kendrick Lamar became a king in his own right, dropping the protest song of a generation with "Alright," while Nicki Minaj locked down her own crown with songs like "Super Bass" and the Beyoncé-featured "Feelin' Myself."
Travis Scott catapulted to superstardom in the decade's latter half, releasing inescapable classics like "Pick Up the Phone" and "Antidote." Meanwhile, Fetty Wap shot to superstardom with 2015's "Trap Queen," which was followed by a string of smash hits.
Migos and Rae Sremmurd each dropped No. 1 singles in 2016, with "Bad and Boujee" and "Black Beatles," respectively. Cardi B did the same the following year, with "Bodak Yellow." The close of the decade found newer stars like Lizzo, Lil Nas X and Megan Thee Stallion carrying the torch into 2020.
With the decade coming to a close, XXL highlights the 63 songs that define the 2010s.
"1-800-273-8255"Logic Featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid
"212"Azealia Banks Featuring Lazy Jay
"Act Up"City Girls
"Back to Back"Drake
"Bad and Boujee"Migos Featuring Lil Uzi Vert
"Bandz a Make Her Dance"Juicy J Featuring 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne
"Big Ole Freak"Megan Thee Stallion
“Black Beatles”Rae Sremmurd
"Black & Yellow"Wiz Khalifa
"B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)"Rick Ross
"Bodak Yellow"Cardi B
"Can't Feel My Face"The Weeknd
"Control"Big Sean Featuring Kendrick Lamar and Jay Electronica
"Crew"Goldlink Featuring Brent Faiyaz and Shy Glizzy
"Deuces"Chris Brown Featuring Tyga and Kevin McCall
"Dreams and Nightmares (Intro)"Meek Mill
"Fancy"Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX
"Feelin Myself"Nicki Minaj Featuring Beyoncé
"FDT"YG Featuring Nipsey Hussle
"Fuckin' Problems"A$AP Rocky Featuring Drake, Kendrick Lamar and 2 Chainz
"Gucci Gang"Lil Pump
"Hard in da Paint"Waka Flocka Flame
"Hot Nigga"Bobby Shmurda
"I Don't Fuck With You"Big Sean Featuring E-40
“I Don’t Like”Chief Keef Featuring Lil Reese
"In My Feelings"Drake
"Lifestyle"Rich Gang Featuring Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan
“Look At Me!”XXXTentacion
"Look at Me Now"Chris Brown Featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes
"Love Yourz"J. Cole
"Lucid Dreams"Juice Wrld
"Mo Bamba"Sheck Wes
"Monster"Kanye West Featuring Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Bon Iver and Nicki Minaj
"Nigga in Paris"Kanye West and Jay-Z
"Old Town Road"Lil Nas X
"One Dance"Drake Featuring Kyla and Wizkid
"Pick Up the Phone"Travis Scott and Young Thug Featuring Quavo
"Pretty Boy Swag"Soulja Boy
"Rockstar"Post Malone Featuring 21 Savage
"Runaway"Kanye West Featuring Pusha-T
"See You Again"Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth
"Sicko Mode"Travis Scott Featuring Drake
"Super Bass"Nicki Minaj
"Thrift Shop"Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
“Trap Queen”Fetty Wap
"Tuesday"ILoveMakonnen Featuring Drake
"Tunnel Vision"Kodak Black
"Unforgettable"French Montana Featuring Swae Lee
“XO Tour Llif3”Lil Uzi Vert
"Wonton Soup"Lil B
"Yonkers"Tyler, The Creator