So. Below are 40-50 of what I believe were the best hip-hop and R&B RECORDS (songs with hooks, melodies, that are catchy, etc.; not just spazzing on a joint) to come out in the past year based on quality, buzz generated, Billboard charts, and, more than anything, MY OPINION. Plenty of Chicago joints in there, too. Tried to stay objective, so these aren’t necessarily my favorite (though a couple are, admittedly). Of course, this isn’t the definitive, end-all-be-all list, and you may disagree, but I’d argue this list against anyone.

First, the best video of the year:

And now the records…

*late additions: J. Cole, “Bun B For President”; Diddy-Dirty Money, “Hello Good Morning”; KiD CuDi – “Revofev”; Fat Joe Feat. Young Jeezy, “Slow Down”; Sade, “Soldier of Love”*

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy | GOOD Friday Tracks

Alicia Keys Feat. Eve – Speechless

Aloe Blacc – I Need A Dollar [video]

B.o.B. Feat. Bruno Mars – Nothin’ On You [video]

Big Boi Feat. Rick Ross, Fabolous & Bun B – Tangerine (Remix) | Shutterbug [video]

Black Milk Feat. Royce Da 5’9 & Elzhi – Deadly Medley [video]

Boogy – Gimme Ya Luv

Erykah Badu – Window Seat [video]

Cee-Lo – Fuck You [video]

Chip Tha Ripper, Curren$y & Big Sean – Fat Raps

Chris Brown Feat. Tyga & Kevin McCall – Deuces [video]

Curren$y Feat. Mos Def – Breakfast [video]

Curren$y Feat. Big K.R.I.T & Smoke DZA – Skybourne

David Banner – Slow Down [video]

Drake Feat. T.I. & Swizz Beatz – Fancy

Dom Kennedy – Locals Only [video]

The Roots & John Legend – Compared To What [video]

Fabolous Feat. Ryan Leslie – You Be Killin’ Em

Foreign Exchange – Don’t Wait

Fly Union – Long Run [video]

Freeway – She Makes Me Feel Alright [video]

GLC Feat. Bun B & Sir Mix-A-Lot – Clockin’ Lotza Dollarz [video]

Gorrilaz Feat. Mos Def & Bobby Womack – Stylo

J. Cole – Blow Up

Jazmine Sullivan – Hold You Down [video]

Jay Electronica Feat. Diddy – Ghost of Christopher Wallace

Janelle Monae – Tightrope [video]

Lil’ Wayne – 6’7″ [video]

Lloyd Banks Feat. Kanye West, Fabolous, Ryan Leslie & Swizz Beatz – Start It Up

Lupe Fiasco – I’m Beaming [video]

Miguel Feat. J. Cole – All I Want Is You [video]

Monica – Everything To Me [video]

N.E.P.H.E.W. – PSA

Pac Div – Don’t Mention It | Rollin’

Phil Ade – Borderline [video]

Phil G. Feat. Project Mayhem – Dynasty

R. Kelly – When A Woman Loves [video]

Rick Ross Feat. Drake & Chrisette Michele – Aston Martin Music [video] | BMF

The Roots Feat. John Legend – The Fire [video]

Sir Michael Rocks – BatPhone

Waka Flocka, Wale & Roscoe Dash – No Hands [video]

Wale Feat. Tre of UCB – Friends N Strangers

Wiz Khalifa – The Kid Frankie | Mezmorized [video]

Usher – There Goes My Baby [video]

Vic Mensa – Too Hard [video]