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8 Best New Hip Hop Songs We Heard in January

We get it: There's so much music out there, it's impossible to listen to it all. So the Fuse staff compiled the best rap tracks released this month

1 / 8

Kanye West & Paul McCartney, "Only One"

The best songs are often the ones that you can't tell if you love or hate till you've listened a few dozen times. Kanye West's landmark 2013 album Yeezus was like that, and so is our first taste of his upcoming 2015 record. (Still untitled, still without a release date.) It's been a while since we heard about the collaborations between Kanye and Sir Paul McCartney, 50 percent of the still-alive Beatles.

And the wait was so worth it! Paul doesn't sing, but his rich organ/keyboard melodies lay the groundwork not only for Kanye to sing a lovely, emotional ballad about his wife and daughter (sung from the point-of-view of his late mother, Donda West), but for Kanye to actually give the world his first genuine Beatles-esque song. Trust us—"Only One" actually segues brilliantly into McCartney classics like "Yesterday" and "The Long and Winding Road." Pretty uncanny. (ALSO: The brand new video is severely cute.)

2 / 8

Lil Wayne, "CoCo"

Lil Wayne's Sorry 4 the Wait 2 mixtape is mired in drama—mostly for its rampant disses against Cash Money Records, Wayne's label of nearly 20 years. "CoCo," a remix of O.T. Genasis' hot 2014 single, leads the mixtape as well as the insult meter. But it's also just a killer freestyle performance by Young Tunechi.

3 / 8

Joey Bada$$, "Paper Trail$"

For his throwback-inspired B4.DA.$$ album, Joey Bada$$ hit gold by convincing DJ Premier to produce standout "Paper Trail$." The production is classic Premo (heavy scratching and fierce loops) while it's one of Joey's liveliest deliveries on the tape.

4 / 8

Lil Wayne ft. Drake, "Used To"

More Sorry 4 the Wait 2! While the 17-song, 70-minute mixtape was largely remixes (of folks like FutureBeyoncé, Rae Sremmurd), there was one very hot new track between rap's best buddies, Weezy and Drizzy. "Used To" follows "Believe Me," "Grindin'," and Nicki Minaj's "Only" as a dark, fun-loving collection of T-shirt-worthy lines. 

Bonus: there's a loco Riff Raff intro and outro. Regardless of your feels on that particular crazy personage, it's hard not to chuckle at a guy blurting about "motherf*ckin hang-glidin off motherf*ckin Versace skyscrapers." Like: WHAT?? A human WTF, that Riff Raff.

5 / 8

Future, "Pea Coat"

"Versace" hitmaker Zaytoven teamed up with Future for a loose half-hour mixtape called Beast Mode this month. It's a fun, in-one-ear-and-out-the-other affair, but "Peacoat" has lasting appeal, with Zaytoven's piano runs flecked with bone-deep bass and airy synth streaks. Plus, how cool is it to put on your peacoat and face the freezing weather with Future rapping about your exact garment? (Wicked cool.)

6 / 8

SOPHIE x Gucci Mane, "Lemonade"

SOPHIE's "Lemonade" was one of the most brilliantly offbeat tracks of 2014, and now it's got an awesome mashup featuring Gucci Mane's track of the same name. While Georgia's SOPHIE is spending some time away from the scene, it's fun to hear his husky raps spread over this burbling beat.

7 / 8

Rae Sremmurd, "YNO"

In 2014, Rae Sremmurd electrified a mainly dull rap year with the youthful, bouncy "No Flex Zone" and the devastatingly heavy "No Type." (Don't even get us started on the "No Flex Zone" remix with Nicki Minaj and Pusha T. Hoooooly cow.) But January's full-length debut, SremmLife, was light in the content department, a little too much of nothing, no cuts that could compete with the ones that already crushed the last months of last year. But "YNO"—produced, like nearly the whole album, by Mike WiLL Made-It—captures the duo's speedy, carefree, off-the-dome rhymes well. A tight verse from Big Sean, who's totally en fuego right now, hoists the track up even higher.

8 / 8

Brenmar ft. Dougie F, "Award"

While hip hop newcomers like O.T. Genasis, iLoveMakonnen and Bobby Shmurda are rising up their charts with their minimalistic joints, there's another artist we think is getting severely overlooked. Genre-blurring producer Brenmar enlisted underground Newark rapper Dougie F for a track that mixes 808s and snaps with trap snares, pulsating electro-pop breakdowns and a little bit of house production cooked inside.

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Photo of the day

Apr 2: Basket-Bros

Currently on his 'The Man of the Woods' tourJustin Timberlake brought out a special guest for his Cleveland show. LeBron James surprised concertgoers by showing up alongside Timberlake and taking a shot on stage. On Friday, the singer was also seen cheering on LeBron during the Pelicans and Cavaliers game. James gave a shout out on Instagram, "My brother @justintimberlake showed up and showed out last night at the Q! One of the greatest to ever do it in my lifetime and still going strong."