This year has been a wonderful year of music and the songs of 2016 will always hold a special place in our hearts. Some artists finally came out from hiding to release an album, some artists released songs that - unbeknownst to them - would become memes or be included in ridiculous internet challenges (ahem, Rae Sremmurd's "Black Beatles" for the mannequin challenge). But what can not go unnoticed is that this year brought some of our favorite collaborations to produce some of the best songs of the year. Here are our top song collaborations of 2016.
15. "Prima Donna" by Vince Staples featuring A$AP Rocky
Vince Staples released his EP Prima Donna this year and the title track features the king of collabs: A$AP Rocky. It's possibly one of A$AP's subtlest verses but powerful, nonetheless. It draws the attention to Staples rhythmic, upbeat lyricism while providing the perfect support.
14. "All My Friends" by Snakehips featuring Chance The Rapper and Tinashe
This song is a perfect mix of R&B and electronic with Tinashe's smooth vocals, Chance's raspy flow and Snakehip's production. It was definitely an anthem of the summer of '16 and many Friday nights thereafter. It's one of those songs that'll get the whole party singing together.
13. "All The Way Up" by Fat Joe & Remy Ma featuring French Montana
Seeing Fat Joe and Remy Ma together again is such a beautiful thing and French Montana is the cherry on top of "All The Way Up". The song has a thunderous beat paired with simple horns giving it a little 90s hip-hop nostalgia. And you can't help but feel happy when you hear Fat Joe say, "Nothing can stop me, I'm all the way up" throughout the whole song.
12. "THat Part" by Schoolboy Q featuring Kanye West
I don't know about you, but I love seeing Kanye featured on other artists songs. I feel like the proud parent who's watching their ball hog-child finally pass to his teammate, who then scores the game-winning shot. Don't get me wrong: I love Kanye (not as much as Kanye loves Kanye, though). But it is nice to hear minimal Kanye sometimes. Plus, the beginning of his verse in "THat Part" is the best, "Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, OKAY! Beggars can't be choosers, b*tch, this ain't Chipotle!" Oh, Kanye.
11. "Blended Family" by Alicia Keys featuring A$AP Rocky
This acoustic, guitar-driven song with pianos and boom-bap beats reminds us why we missed Alicia Keys so much during her 4-year hiatus. It's a heartwarming song of Alicia singing about her new family with husband, Swizz Beatz, as A$AP throws in a verse about growing up as a kid in a blended family and having four stepmoms by the time he reached nine years old.
10. "Say It"
by Flume featuring Tove Lo
Flume collaborated with a few artists such as Vince Staples and Kai but our favorite was "Say It" with Swedish vocalist, Tove Lo. The melodies and enhancements in this track allow Tove Lo's walloping vocals to soar.
9. "Best To You" by Blood Orange featuring Empress Of
Blood Orange and Empress Of teamed up for this melancholy song about the pain that comes with ending a one-sided relationship. Lorely Rodriguez (aka Empress Of) takes the vocal spotlight and sings sprightly, even when she pleas through her pain.
8. "Am I Wrong?" by Anderson .Paak featuring Schoolboy Q
Anderson .Paak released his second studio album Malibu earlier this year and from that album came this energetic, groovy track, which features Schoolboy Q. It's a song about how life can pass you by saying, "I never wanna waste ya time, my life / So precious, is yours, is mine." It's a soulful, jazzy song and Schoolboy Q adds his quirky personality to it.
7. "Don't Touch My Hair" by Solange featuring Sampha
With a hook like "You know my hair is my shit / Rode the ride, I gave it time / But this here is mine", all we have to say is: we feel you, Solange. This subtle and steady song grows into a full groove and Solange's tone is incredibly sweet as she's telling people not to mess with her hair. Her voice is met by Sampha's, who sings out over a triumphant horn section. This is such a great song.
6. "Dang!" by Mac Miller featuring Anderson .Paak
This song was probably one of the most surprising collaborations on this list and made us all extremely happy. Mac Miller embraces smooth grooves on this one and adds some funk to it by including Anderson .Paak. It's bouyant and bubbly with addictive, funky horns performed by Julliard students. It's a song that will definitely brighten your darkest days.
5. "Glowed Up" by Kaytranada featuring Anderson .Paak
Both Kaytranada and Anderson .Paak really stepped into the limelight this year - even though they've both been making music for a few years now. So it's extremely appropriate that these two are on a track together and it's SO GOOD. "Glowed Up" has Kaytranada's production of a rumbling bass line and twinkly synths and every track Anderson .Paak touches just oozes style out of it.
4. "Penthouse Floor" by John Legend featuring Chance The Rapper
How glorious would it be to hear Chance The Rapper and John Legend on more tracks together after hearing "Penthouse"? It's a soulful, funky body-moving track about reaching for the sky - both literally and figuratively. When you pair such a smooth, sensual voice like John Legend's with Chance's gritty vocals, it's a match made in collaboration heaven.
3. "Famous" by Kanye featuring Rihanna
Remember when Kanye West released the music video for Famous and the entire thing was him in bed with a bunch of other celebrities (made of wax or plastic or something) including his ex, Amber Rose along with Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Caitlyn Jenner, Donald Trump and many others? How could you forget, right? If you missed it, you can watch the very *pointless* video below. What about when Kim and Kanye recorded Taylor Swift giving 'Ye the "ok" to mention her in the song and she tried to deny it till they released the video of the recording? All the controversy aside, this song is so damn good.
2. "Work" by Rihanna featuring Drake
You know I couldn't leave this song off the list. "Work" is one of 2016's most memorable collaborations because it's incredibly catchy and sparked a flame with RiRi and Drake again. Which didn't last long but that's ok, we still love them. This mid-tempo track has a percolating beat, curvy synth lines and a hook that repeats the song's title over and over. This song wasn't necessary love at first sight but, it happened, and you can't help but get excited whenever it starts playing.
1. "Ultralight Beam" by Kanye featuring Chance The Rapper, The Dream, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin
This is one of our favorite songs on this list and definitely one of the best songs of the year. Kanye and Chance become buddies in 2016, putting each other on a couple tracks on their new albums. Kanye took it up a notch by including The Dream (remember him?!), Kelly Price and Kirk Franklin on this incredibly catchy track.