Hip hop music steals the scene in 2015


The Weeknd performing on stage

Mustafa Tikiwala, Staff Writer

2015 turned out to be an amazing year for hip hop. The year saw hundreds of great releases and some amazing new artists. At the same time, it saw some artists take a drop and some overall not-so-great moments.

“What a time to be Alive” was one of the largest hip hop hits of the year and was on the charts for months. The album saw the ever popular Drake teaming up with a fairly unknown rapper at the name who goes by the name of Future. The album saw success through its songs “Jumpman” and “Big Rings.”

The song “Watch Me” by Silento was a viral success, and lead to it being used in vines and memes across the internet. The song is not that great and and simply consists of Silento naming off different dance moves. Even though it was super popular most hip hop fans would most likely agree that the song isn’t that great.

Iggy Azalea’s freestyle was another viral hip hop hit of 2015. The rap was random, garbled up words and any legitimate sentences could not be heard. The freestyle was another part of hip hop that was memed for the internet, and could be considered one of the lesser moments of the genre.

2015 can be considered the year of Drake. From his album “If You’re Reading This it’s too Late,” to his collaboration album with Future “What a Time to be Alive,” the year was built off many new releases by the widely popular artist.

The song “Hotline Bling” by Drake boomed to the top of the charts and was a party hit all year long. The song was yet another victim of the internet, and only became a bigger target after the release of the music video on Apple Music. The song had its ups and downs but ended up being one of the better parts of the genre for the year.

2015 hip hop can’t be talked about without mentioning Drake v. Meek. Rapper Meek Mill took jabs at Drake on twitter claiming the Toronto rapper had a ghostwriter, and that his verses were not original. Drake responded with “Charged Up” and “Back to Back,” two songs aimed directly at Meek. Meek’s response was “Wanna Know,” a weak track that succeeded in nothing. The obvious winner: Drake.

One of the saddest parts of hip hop were the passing of Sean Prince and The Jacka. The Jacka, a respected Bay Area rapper was shot to death in East Oakland in February; he was only 37-years-old. Sean Prince, a member of Boot Camp Clik, died in his sleep at the age of 43.

The 2015 VMA’s were … a thing. The award show had its fair share of crazy moments but the best came when rapper Kanye West announced he would run for President in 2020. An absurd thought at first, but it doesn’t seem completely illogical coming from Yeezy.

Dr. Dre came back this year with a final album by the name of “Compton.” The album was released around the same time as the release of the box office movie “Straight Outta Compton” which told the story of rap group NWA, of which Dre was a member. The album was amazing and the movie was just as great.

TIDAL was easily one of the biggest letdowns of the year. The music subscription service started by Jay Z and friends saw only one million subscribers, and major competition from Apple Music and the king of music streaming, Spotify.  

Kendrick Lamar, arguably one of the best rappers of the past year, released his album “To Pimp a Butterfly.” The album can be seen as a hip hop equivalent of D’Angelo’s “Black Messiah,” which was written during a period of deep hurt. The album combines funk and jazz with modern sounds to create a mix of cross generational sounds.

This list would be incomplete without Drake’s album “If You’re Reading This it’s too Late.” The album was surprise release of 2015, as Drizzy’s final album for his previous record label. Drake shows off a sing-rap type of flow that can’t be topped. The album’s strongest songs are “Know Yourself” and “Energy.”

2015 saw major success for hip hop and for the music industry in general; who knows what 2016 will bring?