40. “Lite Spots” – Kaytranada (pm)

A bossa nova sample and friendly house make this the public radio song of the year.

39. “Black Beatles” – Rae Sremmurd (3), Gucci Mane

Songs settled upon as memes get bad reputations. “Harlem Shake” was a perfectly fine song ruined by an irritating trend. Same with “Know Yourself” and “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1,” though Quad City DJs may have a different opinion. Point is, you need a pretty good sense of humor to get through the trolling that comes with internet ubiquity, and the boys at Rae Sremmurd have it down.


38. “For Free” – DJ Khaled (3), Drake (10)

In the sense that Drake name-checks “that boy from Compton,” “For Free,” is most certainly a response to Kendrick Lamar’s jazzy “For Free?” interlude. But he also bites the beat and opening bars from “Blow the Whistle,” so maybe “For Free” is really Drizzy’s chart-topping tribute to Too $hort. Maybe it’s both. For Khaled, it’s just another anthem, but it’s an anthem nonetheless.



37. “You Was Right” – Lil Uzi Vert

Philadelphia’s Lil Uzi Vert imagines himself as a young Scott Pilgrim, which is an apt comparison since much like Scott, he isn’t a particularly impressive musician. But his charm and unique aesthetic were enough to get him a spot amongst XXL’s freshman class, and his 2016 mixtapes, though thoroughly mediocre, had a few bright spots, the Cudi-lite “You Was Right” being the best. And I find Uzi likeable because I, too, am a Scott Pilgrim fan.

36. “Get Dat Fetus, Kill Dat Fetus” – Sextina Aquafina

Nothing is original anymore. Everything has already been done.


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