The 10 best free rap songs of 2015

March 30, 2017

Atlanta emperorFuturebullied rap music in 2015. It was the year one of the genre’s most authoritative voices use free online mixtapes to develop and flourish a style that subdued all. But it was also the year that the mixtape tide finally turned back, and rappers moved away from use free music hosting sites like Datpiff and LiveMixtapes as the default vehicle for putting out their musicinstead focusing on making money.

The most popular rapper on countries around the world put under two mixtapes and no albums in 2015. But unlike Drakes seminal mixtape So Far Gone ( still on Datpiff ), which launched his career from Canadian television to the pop charts, both If Youre Reading This Its Too Late and his collaborative project with Future, What a Day to Be Alive , were instead dropped into iTunes with a price tag. The ridiculously titled IYRTITL and WATTBA will live on eternally under the Mixtape section of Drakes Wikipedia page, but there isnt a determinable discrepancies between these mixtapes and his albumsespecially with If Youre Reading This being available at Target and Walmart, and casually going platinum.

Perhaps Drake wanted to eschew traditional albums so he wouldnt have to induce liner notes giving credit to all of the dudes who actually wrote his raps. Even so, there seemed to be a shortage of mixtapes this year. For-pay music websites like iTunes, Bandcamp, and CD Baby have been accessible for years, but in 2015 overwhelmed my blog feeds. Rappers have become more efficient at get remastered singles a proper release when they are blow up on SoundCloud or YouTube .( See: Wap, Fetty .)

The landscape should get even more capitalistic next year, but in the meantime here are the year’s best free rap anthems. Criteria for this list is simple: any rap ballad released within a free mixtape in 2015. That leaves out any ballad on a proper album. No To Pimp a Butterfly , no Dirty Sprite 2 , and no IYRTITL or WATTBA . Other anthems released as singles but not for free download or in a free mixtapelike the otherwise great No Bankrolls( Remix ) by Tate Kobang and Run Up by Cam& Chinawere equally disqualified.

This list is as much a product of who put out free music in 2015 as it is savour. That is why a bunch of these come from Chicago and Atlanta, where fans still care enough about street music to download dang near anything off Datpiff.

10) D.R.A.M. Cha Cha( prod. by Gabe Niles ), 1 Epic Summer

Future operated 2015, even without so much as an album going gold( yet ). He took the momentum he gathered from last years Monster mixtape and put it into hyperdrive with Beast Mode and 56 Nights in the first half of the year. He also fell probably the album of the year and let Drake ride his coattails with their shared project. And even though Futures biggest hit of the year was Fuck Up Some Commas, it was the single that didnt even chart which constructed the largest impact.

March Madness isnt even be the best ballad on the fantastic 56 Nights mixtape( that would be Never Gon Lose) and barely got any airplay, but it was omnipresent. It mightve been that the ballad kept presenting up everywhere besides the radiothe club, passing cars, NBA gamesor that it felt like the most politically charged rap hit of the year not by Kendrick Lamar, if only for the chorus line, Balling like the March Madness/ All these policemen shooting n *** as, tragic. Either way, it never left the Cd player in my car.

Screengrab via Loud Music/ YouTube

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