Several critically acclaimed rap hits were released in 2017. Moreover, many iconic albums were unleashed in the same year, contributing in shaping pop culture. Furthermore, rap was one of the most streamed genres of 2017, continuing its impressive streak of rising popularity in the mainstream. Its influence stretched and spread globally, and this globalization contributed to the development of a diverse range of rap subgenres. Additionally, the year saw the emergence of a number of breakout artists, including Cardi B who achieved massive success with "Bodak Yellow."
In 2017, Hip Hop artists continued to push boundaries. The innovation and diversity displayed in their music set the stage for the continued evolution of the genre. Throughout the year, seven songs reigned supreme atop the Hot Rap Songs chart. These rap hits had a massive impact on the music scene in 2017. Consequently, they asserted their dominance over every other rap song on the charts.
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Kyle - "iSpy"Ft. Lil Yachty
"iSpy" was released in December 2016 as the lead single from Kyle's debut album, Light Of Mine. The song subsequently gained significant traction in 2017 and became one of the year's biggest rap hits. Kyle and Lil Yachty, two rising stars at the time, gained widespread popularity following the song's release. "iSpy" appealed to a broad audience due to its catchy tune and fun lyrics, and this contributed to its notable commercial success. The song stayed at number one on the Hot Rap Songs chart for only one week, but its popularity endured for far longer.
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French Montana- "Unforgettable" Ft. Swae Lee
French Montana and Swae Lee of Rae Sremmurd collaborated on this powerhouse track that became one of the biggest rap hits of 2017. "Unforgettable" is a genre-blending hit that combines Hip Hop with tropical and African influences. Its catchy beat, captivating music video, and cross-cultural appeal made it a standout track in 2017. The song remains a memorable part of both artists' careers and was a massive commercial success. It peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and also topped the Hot Rap Songs chart for two weeks.
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DK Khaled - "I'm The One" Ft. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance The Rapper, And Lil Wayne
This feel-good, summer-friendly hit combines Hip Hop and pop elements. Its star-studded cast of featured artists, catchy melodies, and sunny vibe contributed to its enormous success. The song was the second single released from Khaled's tenth studio album, Grateful. "I'm the One" was quickly embraced as a summer anthem, and went on to dominate charts worldwide. It debuted on top of the Hot 100 chart, and topped the Hot Rap Songs chart for 13 weeks as well.
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Migos - "Bad and Boujee" Ft. Lil Uzi Vert
"Bad And Boujee" highlighted the ever-growing dominance of trap music in the Hip Hop scene. With its signature triplet flow and heavy, bass-driven production, courtesy of Metro Boomin, it became one of the most memorable rap hits of 2017. The track was released in October 2016 as the lead single from Migos' sophomore album, Culture. Soon after, it became an internet phenomenon in part due to Donald Glover's shout-out at the Emmys. Although the song was released in 2016, it did not top the Hot Rap Songs chart until 2017, after which it stayed on top for 12 weeks. The trap anthem took the Hip Hop world by storm for sure, but it also evidently saturated the mainstream. "Bad and Boujee" peaked at number one on the Hot 100 chart, a remarkable feat for trap music.
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Post Malone - "Rockstar" Ft. 21 Savage
"Rockstar" was released as the lead single from Post Malone's second studio album, Beerbongs And Bentleys. The collaboration between Post Malone and 21 Savage brilliantly showcased their contrasting styles. Malone's melodic singing and Savage's gritty rapping contributed to one of the most successful rap hits of 2017. "Rockstar" achieved remarkable commercial acclaim, and continues to be streamed heavily on digital platforms. As a result of its appeal, it hit the number one spot on the Hot 100 chart, as well as several other charts across the globe. "Rockstar" also wore the number one crown on the Hot Rap Songs chart for 15 weeks.
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Cardi B - "Bodak Yellow"
This groundbreaking Hip Hop track made giant waves in 2017. "Bodak Yellow" marked Cardi B's breakout track and the precursor to her record-breaking career. Its trap-inspired production, empowering lyrics, and Cardi's charismatic Kodak Black-inspired delivery contributed to its massive success. "Bodak Yellow" played a pivotal role in the rapper's ascent to fame and quickly cemented her as a rap force to be reckoned with. The multi-platinum major label debut single climbed all the way to the top of the Hot 100, a feat that had not been achieved by a female rapper since Lauryn Hill in 1998. It also did the same on the Hot Rap Songs chart, and stayed there for eight weeks. Cardi B has since become an influential rap figure, and one of the genre's most bankable stars.
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Kendrick Lamar - "Humble"
"Humble" is a critically acclaimed Hip Hop song, and one of the biggest hits of 2017, rap or otherwise. The song was released as the lead single from Lamar's fourth studio album, DAMN. The track showcases Lamar's solo talent and unique perspective while achieving extraordinary success upon its release. The song also went on to win three Grammy Awards, among other awards. It peaked at number one on the Hot 100 chart for just one week but has been a significant part of pop culture since. It has also sold over seven million copies and is certified 7x platinum by RIAA. "Humble" was the undisputed champion on the Hot Rap Songs chart for four weeks. Although it spent only a month, its impact secured the top spot on the year-end Hot Rap Songs chart as well.
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