As basically the biggest name in hip-hop for almost three decades, Jay-Z’s annual year-end playlist on Tidal is one of music fans’ most-anticipated traditions. He even dropped a mid-year list this summer, driven by the energy of nationwide uprising. Due to his status as one of the rare rap elder statesmen who never lost touch with the youth movement in the genre, Jay’s list often includes additions that highlight his awareness and ear for stars, giving light to both the biggest hits and some of the rising newcomers in the game.
This year’s list does it again. While there are plenty of obvious selections — Beyonce’s “Black Parade” is here, lest the man never gets a moment of peace at home again (it is a good song, though), and Jay Electronica naturally makes a couple of appearances (giving Jay-Z a chance to put himself on his list, as well) — there are also some surprises. Jay digs deep to surface underground gems from Boldy James, Mach-Hommy, Morray, and Roc Marciano and shows off his global taste by including Burna Boy and Master KG. R&B singer KeiyaA gets multiple placements, making her someone to watch for in 2021.
That said, much of the list is given over to the year’s brightest stars. Drake appears multiple times, as does Jay’s former nemesis Nas, while younger rappers like Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Megan Thee Stallion, Pop Smoke, and Saint JHN round out the list. 2 Chainz’s “Southside Hov” is also something of a cheeky add on the part of the Roc Nation CEO, reciprocating the appreciation Chainz shows on the track.
You can check out the list on Tidal and preview songs below.