50 Best Songs of 2016
Kanye West (“Ultralight Beam”), Lukas Graham (“7 Years”) and The Chainsmokers (“Closer”) highlights the 50 Best Songs of 2016.
In a year where songs once more were bigger than albums, selecting 50 of the best songs is an arduous task. Even where the album disappointed, there were numerous worthwhile songs. This list is the best attempt by The Musical Hype to highlight the gems – the crème de la crème. There will be omissions, snubs, and shockers, but there is no perfect list and never will be. Here are the 50 Best Songs of 2016.
1. Kanye West ft. Chance the Rapper, Kelly Price, The-Dream & Kirk Franklin,
(The Life of Pablo)
“Ultralight Beam” is the best song from The Life of Pablo. Minimalistic yet epic, Kanye West has crafted a spiritual masterpiece assisted by a chilling gospel choir, a rousing Kelly Price, and the fiery, pitch-perfect rhymes from Chance the Rapper.
2. Lukas Graham, “7 Years”
“7 Years” is the rare meaningful, yet catchy pop song. Lukas Graham Frontman Lukas Graham Forchhammer possesses a distinct voice perfectly suited for this reflective number. “7 Years” is realistic, hypothetical, and captivating all-in-one.
3. The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey, “Closer”
The Chainsmokers had a terrific year that earned them a much-deserved Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. “Closer” earned the duo (and up-and-comer Halsey) a nomination, rightfully so. The no. 1 hit is a catchy, crowd-pleaser at its best.
4. David Bowie, “Lazarus”
“Lazarus” is the most chilling song of 2016. It predicts Bowie’s death, which occurred days after the release of Blackstar. “Look up here, I’m in heaven,” he sings, “I’ve got scars that can’t be seen / I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen / everybody knows me now.”
5. Rihanna ft. Drake, “Work”
“Work” shouldn’t be among the best songs of 2016, but indeed it is. Likewise, the Recording Academy gave the record its stamp of approval – it’s nominated for multiple Grammys. “Work” is simplistic but brilliant – drenched in the excesses of substances and hard-hitting innuendo.
6. The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk, “Starboy”
The Weeknd has the right to flex on “Starboy.” He became a Grammy-winner, thanks to hit album Beauty Behind the Madness. Therefore, celebrating his success and expanding upon it with another megahit is logical. He even throws in Daft Punk for good measure.
7. gnash ft. Olivia O’Brien, “I Hate U, I Love U”
Among the year’s unlikeliest hits is irresistible pop ballad, “I Hate U, I Love U.” “I Hate U, I Love U” is calm, cool, and collected, yet permeates with swagger. Gnash in particular is never overexcited, even dropping bombs here and there, making him one of the coolest cats of 2016.
8. Rae Sremmurd ft. Gucci Mane, “Black Beatles”
Sremmlife 2 looked “dead and gone” upon arrival, until “Black Beatles” was released as a single. “Black Beatles” ascended up to no. 1 quickly, reinvigorating the southern rap duo. Why is it so great? The production, the rhymes, the hook – its infectious AF.
9. Beyoncé, “Formation”
The most controversial song to grace the best-of-list is “Formation.” “Formation” receives a place because of its social implications, particularly surrounding black culture and Black Lives Matter. Beyoncé is clearly mad here, showcasing a grit she’s never exhibited before. Profane, gimmicky, off-putting, yet “art,” “Formation” makes a statement.
10. Twenty One Pilots, “Heathens”
(Suicide Squad: The Album)
Twenty One Pilots are experiencing the biggest success of their career. “Heathens,” the best song from Suicide Squad: The Album, further cemented the duo’s explosion into the mainstream. Tyler Joseph is poised throughout, giving “Heathens” a creepy, yet intriguing vibe.