With the right mix of beats and storytelling, a hit song can completely change the trajectory of any artist’s career. This year would prove to be a marquee moment for several of rap’s brightest talents and heavyweights who set the tone for quarantine season in their own individual ways. In April, DaBaby injected a much-need dose of humor into the atmosphere with “BOP.” Just when it seemed like the 2020 summer was cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic, Megan Thee Stallion saved the season with her surprise “Savage Remix,” featuring Beyoncé, extending her reign as queen of summer. Roddy Ricch had his breakthrough moment with the viral success of “The Box,” and Drake reunited with Future for “Life Is Good,” only to later re-up with the perfect dance jingle, “Tootsie Slide” for quarantine season.
Here’s a look at all of the major hits from that past season that are up contention for Song of the Year.
Just when it didn’t seem DaBaby year couldn’t get any bigger, the North Carolina MC dropped “BOP,” and, as its title suggests, it unquestionably slaps. The North Carolina cheekily hit back at his criticism over his flow while proving there’s merit in the age-old adage of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” as “BOP” is one his biggest singles to date. It is only bested by “Suge,” which peaked at No. 7, and “Rockstar,” which topped the Hot 100.
“LIFE IS GOOD”
This past summer, anticipation was at an all-time high for Drake and Future’s long-rumored What a Time to be Alive sequel. Hype for the project was fueled after weeks of teasing on social media. While that did not happen. But, Fewtch and Drizzy did connect for “Life Is Good". Considering Drake’s artist of the decade distinction and Future being one of the most influential rappers of his generation, their team-up was a guaranteed juggernaut hit.
“Savage” was already a smash after going viral on social media. But when Beyoncé hopped on the remix, her presence catapulted it to a whole ‘nother level. The J. White-produced track instantly went viral across social media and surged up the charts, cinching Megan her first-ever chart-topper and another successful Hot Girl Summer for the 2020 season.
In an aptly-timed moment, Roddy Ricch pulled off the perfect chart heist. What originally started as the basis of a viral TikTok, “The Box” soon became a force to reckon with on the charts. The single reigned supreme for 11 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100 before it was toppled by The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights.”
Few others have been able to harness and bend pop culture to their will like Drake, and the success of “Toosie Slide” is a testament to that. The single arrived amid the perfect storm of quarantine boredom and creativity, smoothly sailing across social media and up the charts to net Drake his seventh Hot 100 chart-topper. It simultaneously hit a new milestone, making the Toronta rapper the second artist behind Mariah Carey to have three songs debut at No. 1.
The 2020 Hip Hop Awards will air on BET October 27 at 8/9c. Can’t wait for the show? We got you covered with this Pandora playlist from the biggest hits by this year’s nominees.