The 15 Best Hip-Hop Tracks of May 2021

Looking back on a month where J. Cole's new album The Off-Season dominated a lot of the hype (and for good reason), there were still some solid releases from the month of May, including music from an album of the year candidate that few probably predicted, and an actual official release from Isaiah Rashad. Scroll down to see who else made the cut and grab the Spotify playlist. 

See past charts here.

1. "Marie" – Mach-Hommy [Griselda Records]

New Jersey's very own by way of Haiti, Mach-Hommy has dropped one of the best projects of the year with Pray For Haiti. His flow, bars, and beat selection combine to produce a pure gift of hip-hop that both old heads and young fans can really enjoy. I could have picked any of the tracks to be featured on the chart for May but "Marie" just hits a little different. 

2. "Lay Wit Ya (feat. Duke Deuce)" – Isaiah Rashad [Top Dawg Entertainment]

The time has finally arrived. The fine folks at TDE are finally letting our boy Isaiah Rashad get his album out and "Lay Wit Ya" is our first taste from his sophomore offering. While I was personally hoping for a bit more (we have been waiting 5 years..) I still have hope that we can get a bit more from the rest of the project. 

3. "hunger.on.hillside (with Bas)" – J. Cole [Dreamville]

The Off-Season is pretty much everything J. Cole fans were hoping for. It's well produced, it's smart and it has moments like "hunger.on.hillside" with label mate Bas that keep you coming back again and again for another listen. 

4. "Hood Blues (feat. Westside Gunn, Benny The Butcher & Conway The Machine)" – DMX [Def Jam]

One of the most hyped tracks from DMX's posthumous album Exodus, "Hood Blues" brought some of New York state's heaviest hitters together for a song that is quite memorable. Be it the growls or just the way X changed up his flow, it's a shame we will never get to hear this live. 

5. "Emergency (feat. Gunna & Young Thug)" – 21 Savage [Slaughter Gang]

21 Savage finds his was on the chart a few times this month but his track for the latest Saw film stood out to me the most. With features from Gunna and Young Thug, it was going to be hard to miss here. 

6. "734" – Juice WRLD [Grade A Productions] [Interscope]

Another "unreleased" track from the late artist becomes an official release for Juice WRLD's army of heart broken fans. A big belting chorus and catchy bars remind us once again of the special talent that was taken from us way too soon. 

7. "AVALON" – $UICIDEBOY$ [G59 Records]

With a new album (The New Normal) on the horizon, the $uicideboy$ released their second single from their latest project "Avalon" at the end of last month. I'm a big fan of the production on this one as the boys once again the boys do their thing. 

8. "Switch it Up (feat. G Herbo, No More Heroes)" – Poo Shiesty [Atlantic]

It really seems like Poo Shiesty can't miss right now as far as his music goes. Hopefully he can get his legal troubles sorted as his fans are pretty much dying to see him perform life this summer. "Switch it Up" is banger that has already racked up more than five million plays on Spotify. 

9. "Next Chamber" – Peter Rosenberg, Method Man, Raekwon & Willie The Kid  [Real Late Records]

Peter Rosenberg got some of his old buddies to jump on a straight throwback to the days of Wu. Method Man shows us all why he just has the best over all rap game from the clan but Raekwon holds his own and Willie's bars fit just fine with the two legends. This one felt good to replay a couple times. 

10. "EVERY CHANCE I GET (feat. Lil Baby & Lil Durk)" – DJ Khaled [We The Best / Epic Records]

The best part about this track is that DJ Khaled is barely on it! Lil Baby and Durk are at the top of their games right now as far as popularity goes and you'll see the price of their features continue to rise. 

11.  "Big Steppa (feat. Westside Gunn & Curren$y)" – Smoke Dza [RFC / Cinematic Music Group]

There is just something despicable about this song. Three perfectly dark and raw vocal styles come together to paint the picture of a "Big Steppa" that you can see vividly by the time the song ends. 

12. "We Win (Space Jam: A New Legacy)"- Lil Baby, Kirk Franklin [Quality Control Music]

While I'm personally exhausted from all the autotune bars flooding every hip-hop playlist on the planet right now, this is a huge song from a big movie and Lil Baby will not be denied. I'm still torn on if I'll see the new Space Jam, but I can bet this will be playing during the credits. 

13. "What Do You Say (Move It Baby)" – (Damian “Jr. Gong" Marley Remix) – Common, Damian Marley feat. PJ [Loma Vista Records]

This song is such a vibe. Common can rap on just about anything and I'll probably still listen to it. Pair that up with the smooth vocals of Damien Marley and you have a home run every time. This might just be another example where a remix may be better than the original. 

14. "This World" – Bun B & Cory Mo (feat. Big K.R.I.T., Trae Tha Truth & Raheem DeVaughn)[C Mozart Musik]

Some of the strongest voices in hip-hop join forces on a special tribute to George Floyd with "This World." Production credits also go to the one and only Zaytoven. 

15. "Gold Rolex" Bobby Sessions – (feat. Benny The Butcher & Freddie Gibbs) [Def Jam]

Bobby Sessions does a great job of capturing my attention by putting two of the best rappers in the game on his latest single "Gold Rolex." The Dallas rapper has good taste when it comes to features which has me a bit intrigued about who else might appear on his project dropping later this year.