2019 was a phenomenal year filled with rap hits, as unconventional bangers closed out the decade. As social media, particularly TikTok, continued to shape the way music was consumed, Hip Hop saw a surge in diverse offerings. By 2019, the mumble rap subgenre also took the world by storm, although its critics were abundant. The year also saw interesting collaborations between rap artists and musicians from other genres. Most notably, "Old Town Road," the genre-defying hit dominated charts across the globe.
Women in rap also enjoyed great success in the 2010s, and 2019 was no exception. Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B, Lizzo, and Nicki Minaj successfully blurred the lines between rap and pop, showcasing their exceptional international appeal.
Besides housing some of the best rap hits of the decade, 2019 also dealt some devastating blows to the Hip Hop community. The genre said goodbye to Nipsey Hussle, who left a lasting impact during his time. Also, newcomer Juice WRLD was unable to unlock his full potential due to his untimely passing. Nonetheless, Hip Hop had been at an all-time high in the late 2010s, and 2019 further solidified this.
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Post Malone - "Wow"
"Wow" was released in December 2018, as the lead single from Post Malone's third studio album, Hollywood's Bleeding. The song features production elements that characterize Malone's signature sound, blending elements of Hip Hop and pop. On the celebratory track, Malone reflects on his success, fame, and the lifestyle that comes with all of it. After its release, "Wow" quickly gained traction and became a commercial success. It would have climbed to the very top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, but was restricted from doing so by Ariana Grande's "7 Rings." It was able to claim the top spot on the Hot Rap Songs chart, however, and stayed there for one week.
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Cardi B & Bruno Mars - "Please Me"
This collaborative effort by Cardi B and Bruno Mars combines elements of Hip Hop and R&B. What resulted was a smooth and seductive track. "Please Me" is known for its catchy and memorable chorus, which contributed to making the song one of the hottest rap hits of 2019. The song received positive reviews from critics, and was praised for its retro-inspired sound. Furthermore, the chemistry between Cardi B and Bruno Mars was lauded. Upon its release, "Please Me" was a success, reaching high positions on various music charts. On the Hot 100 chart, it peaked at number three, and on the Hot Rap Songs chart, it peaked at number one for one week.
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Travis Scott - "Highest in the Room"
Travis Scott's "Highest in the Room" is his second solo appearance atop the Hot Rap Songs chart after 2018's "Sicko Mode." The song remains one of Scott's most successful and recognizable rap hits. The single also contributed to further establishing the rapper as a prominent figure in contemporary Hip Hop. Upon its release, "Highest in the Room" became a cultural phenomenon, and was embraced by both critics and the general audience. Its hypnotic sound appealed to a wide demographic, which in turn, brought it significant commercial success. "Highest in the Room" debuted at number one on both the Hot 100 chart and the Hot Rap Songs chart.
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Arizona Zervas - "Roxanne"
"Roxanne" by Arizona Zervas was a viral hit on TikTok. It also played a significant role in the growth of Zervas' musical career. The song was independently released by Zervas, and gradually gained popularity on social media platforms. Eventually, it became one of the defining rap hits of 2019. "Roxanne" is characterized by its catchy beat, as well as its relatable lyrics. The single tells the story of a tumultuous relationship with a woman named Roxanne. The song has achieved multi-platinum certification, and peaked at number four on the Hot 100 chart in 2019. It stayed on top of the Hot Rap Songs chart for four weeks as well.
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Lizzo - "Truth Hurts"
Lizzo may have seemingly burst onto the scene with "Truth Hurts," but her success was not overnight. The artist had been putting in work for quite some time before her breakthrough single sent her atop the charts. "Truth Hurts" was first released in 2017, but did not chart until two years later. In 2019, after a re-release, the song was finally appreciated by the masses and became a commercial and critical success. Another one of many rap hits to go viral on TikTok, Lizzo saw a huge surge in popularity in 2019. "Truth Hurts" is now certified 7x Platinum by the RIAA, and peaked at number one on the Hot 100. It was easily one of the biggest rap hits of 2019 and topped the Hot Rap Songs chart for an outstanding 13 weeks.
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Post Malone & Swae Lee - "Sunflower"
"Sunflower" was one of the singles released from the soundtrack of the animated film, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. The song was prominently featured in the film, where it served as the theme song for the main character, Miles Morales. The track's inclusion in the film contributed to its popularity. "Sunflower," one of many Diamond-certified hits by Malone, was the first song to top the Hot Rap Songs chart in 2019. Moreover, it enjoyed the top spot for 11 non-consecutive weeks.
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Lil Nas X - "Old Town Road" Ft. Billy Ray Cyrus
This groundbreaking song is one of the defining tracks of the 2010s. "Old Town Road" is notable for its fusion of multi-genre elements, blending trap and pop with a country-inspired beat. This genre-crossing approach was both innovative and controversial, but in the long run, helped secure Lil Nas X firmly in the mainstream. Billy Ray Cyrus lent his star power on the song, effectively broadening the song's appeal to a much larger audience. "Old Town Road" was a commercial juggernaut, achieving diamond certification and breaking streaming records. It also broke the Billboard Hot 100 record for longest-running number one single. Furthermore, the song is simultaneously the record-holder for the longest-running number-one single on the Hot Rap Songs chart as well, with a whopping 20 weeks. Of all the rap hits of 2019, "Old Town Road" reigned supreme, ending as the year-end chart-topper as well.
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