The Best Songs of 2021 So Far
Hits from Saweetie, BLACKPINK’s Rosé, Megan Thee Stallion and more.
Already halfway through 2021, we can confidently say that this year is going to be an exciting one for music. Despite challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, artists from around the globe have continued to deliver songs and projects that inspire us to keep on keeping on. Now, as cities re-emerge from a year of lockdown, fans can only expect more and more new music releases and even concert announcements in the coming months. From Olivia Rodrigo‘s record-breaking, triple-platinum debut single “drivers license,” to Megan Thee Stallion‘s latest Hot Girl anthem “Thot Shit,” we’ve compiled the best songs of 2021 so far.
Discover our top picks below and save HYPEBAE’s Best Music of 2021 playlist on Spotify.
“Peaches” – Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar and Giveon
Justin Bieber‘s “Peaches,” the lead single of his latest album JUSTICE, is the Grammy Award-winning artist’s seventh number-one single and 23rd top 10 hit. The colorful pop-R&B track features the soothing vocals of Daniel Caesar and Giveon, making it the perfect track for your summer playlist.
“Best Friend” – Saweetie ft. Doja Cat
In anticipation of her Pretty B*tch Music debut album, Saweetie has been releasing a number of bops, including “Best Friend” featuring Doja Cat. The catchy tune is accompanied by a playful visual that celebrates female friendship.
“Up” – Cardi B
A follow-up to her 2020 viral single “WAP” with Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B decided to go back to her roots with “Up,” a song inspired by the rapper’s first debut mixtape Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1. The track became Cardi’s fifth Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 project since she’s officially entered the music scene in 2016.
“Girl Like Me” – Jazmine Sullivan ft. H.E.R.
After a six-year-long hiatus, 12-time Grammy Award nominee Jazmine Sullivan returned at the beginning of the year by dropping her Heaux Tales album. “Girl Like Me,” one of the project’s standout songs, blends Sullivan’s old-school hip hop sound with H.E.R.‘s delicate vocals.
“Kiss Me More” – Doja Cat ft. SZA
Marking this their first-ever collaboration, Doja Cat and SZA‘s “Kiss Me More” is a taste of Doja’s upcoming LP Planet Her. Written by the duo, along with Yeti Beats, Rogét Chahayed, tizhimself and Carter Lang, the sensual track arrives with a Warren Fu-directed music video portraying Doja and SZA on another planet.
“On The Ground” – Rosé
BLACKPINK‘s Rosé debuted her first-ever solo project R back in March. The two-track EP includes her hit song “On The Ground,” written by the K-pop star herself and explores the theme of chasing dreams and ambitions.
“F.U.C.K.” – Victoria Monét
Following her critically acclaimed project JAGUAR, Victoria Monét welcomed 2021 with a new single titled “F.U.C.K.,” an acronym for “Friend U Can Keep.” Known for her sultry vocals, “F.U.C.K.” is an ode to the non-binding friendship intimacy found in modern-day romance.
“Leave the Door Open” – Silk Sonic
Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak are an R&B duo no one saw coming. Under the name Silk Sonic, Mars and .Paak released their debut single, “Leave the Door Open,” as part of their upcoming album An Evening with Silk Sonic set to drop sometime this year. The track delivers ’70s soul with a dash of Mars and .Paak’s modern R&B sound, creating the ultimate throwback music project of 2021.
“Your Power” – Billie Eilish
In preparation for the release of her sophomore album Happier Than Ever this July, Billie Eilish released a new single titled “Your Power” with a self-directed cinematic visual. “I feel very vulnerable putting this one out because I hold it so close to my heart. This is about many different situations that we’ve all either witnessed or experienced. I hope this can inspire change. Try not to abuse your power,” the artist explained the concept behind her track in an Instagram post.
“telepatía” – Kali Uchis
Genre-defying songstress Kali Uchis landed her first solo charting hit on Billboard’s Hot 100 list in the U.S. with her half-Spanish, half-English-language song “telepatía.” The track gained attention on TikTok thanks to its dreamy, seductive vibe and relatable lyrics.
“this is how you fall in love” – Jeremy Zucker and Chelsea Cutler
Jeremy Zucker and Chelsea Cutler share musical chemistry like no other. As part of their brent ii EP, the duo’s harmonious single “this is how you fall in love” merges Zucker and Cutler’s soothing vocals. Described as “the kind of song to slow dance to at your wedding” in a press release, the track shows the talents’ growth as musicians and their ability to create an iconic love song.
“drivers license” – Olivia Rodrigo
Known for her role as Nini Salazar-Roberts in Disney‘s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Olivia Rodrigo officially kicked off her music career by signing with Interscope and Geffen Records in 2020. Her debut single “drivers license” became an instant hit, holding the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks straight. The song also became the first in 2021 to hit one billion streams across all platforms, and is now RIAA-certified at Gold, Platinum, double and triple-Platinum.
“On One” – Joyce Wrice ft. Freddie Gibbs
After releasing a number of singles and EPs, R&B songstress Joyce Wrice finally dropped her debut album Overgrown in March. The lead single of the 14-track project, “On One” was created in collaboration with rapper Freddie Gibbs. Wrice was inspired by Mariah Carey‘s music with other rappers and naturally, she decided to join forces with Gibbs.
“All That” – Ylona Garcia
Filipino-Australian singer and actor Ylona Garcia is known for her powerful, Ariana Grande-like vocals. Released under 88rising, the 19-year-old artist delivers her husky riffs and controlled dynamic on “All That,” a song about moving forward and letting go of the past.
“Butter” – BTS
Another chart-topping hit from BTS, “Butter” marks the K-pop group’s second English-language single. The track also comes with a music video starring Jungkook, V, Jimin, Jin, Suga, RM and J-Hope showing off their best dance moves on a vibrant, neon-lit set.
“Thot Shit” – Megan Thee Stallion
Megan Thee Stallion’s “Thot Shit,” the latest Hot Girl anthem from the Houston rapper, celebrates women who unapologetically enjoy doing whatever they want at any time, regardless of what anyone has to say. The track marks Meg’s first solo release of the year — expect to see more from the three-time Grammy-winning artist in the coming months.
HYPEBAE’s Best Music of 2021 Playlist:
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