When you think of “beat drops,” you're probably picturing a white dude in shutter shades showing you some shitty dubstep mix while whispering, “Wait for it... wait for it...”
But a beat drop is far more than just something people get extra psyched about whenever they take ecstasy; it’s an essential part of experiencing music—hip-hop in particular.
Let’s take a look back on the most orgasmic beat drops of the 2010s—thus far. I’ve gathered a group of the world’s top scientists together to compile this data accurately. If you disagree, take it up with Neil deGrasse Tyson.
For your convenience, we've compiled this list in the form of a Spotify playlist. You're welcome.
10. Big Sean — "Dance (A$$)"
While it’s not the most lyrical, I'll be damned if "Dance" isn't PAINFULLY catchy in a way that’s likely to make your car stereo explode. In particular, Exhibit A, which arrives at the 10-second mark. If you’re drunk and you hear this song in the club and you don't get excited, you're dead inside. You’re. Dead. Inside.
EPICNESS LEVEL: Watching all the battle scenes in 300 while you're on DMT with Joe Rogan.
9. DJ Snake & Lil Jon — "Turn Down for What"
I know you're skeptical. And full disclosure: this 2013 jam gives me Vietnam flashbacks to being at frat parties surrounded by dudes named Brad. But it still has one of the craziest beat drops in human history, and no amount of frat boys wearing “Suns Out Guns Out” tank tops will ever change that.
EPICNESS LEVEL: A glow stick party in a trashy nightclub located on the moon.
8. J. Cole — "A Tale of 2 Citiez"
An eerie, dreary beat sounds like the creepy ping of someone knocking on your door at 3 a.m. (probably just a really pushy Jehovah’s Witness). When I have a kid, I swear to God I'm gonna make sure his first words are “J. Cole went Platinum with no features.”
EPICNESS LEVEL: When you see Michael Myers walk into a house with a knife and you know shit is about to get real.
7. Travis Scott — "goosebumps"
I’ve listened to this song so many times that when I try to play it on my iPhone, Siri literally screams “AGAIN?!” I like to pretend it's a love song even though it’s clearly about drugs. What can I say, I'm a romantic. Hearing Travis’ Auto-Tuned voice croon “I GET THOSE GOOSEBUMPS EVERY TIME” when the beat finally kicks in is one of the finer things in life.
EPICNESS LEVEL: The very first time you saw Tyson bite off Holyfield's ear and you weren't even that surprised.
6. 2 Chainz — "Birthday Song" ft. Kanye West
yvngxchris Went From Recording on Earbuds to Viral Star
Rapper yvngxchris started off making songs on iPhone earbuds. Now, he's signed and constantly going viral.
This radio smash has the legendary lyric “She got a big booty so I call her Big Booty,” which is a quote that 2 Chainz stole from Mark Twain. But the beat drop at the beginning is insane. It’s oddly dark and cinematic for a song about asses.
EPICNESS LEVEL: Playing Mario Kart with Jesus.
5. Travis Scott — "Upper Echelon" ft. T.I. & 2 Chainz
“He’s putting Travis Scott on the list twice?!” You’re goddamn right I am. In a just world, Travis would probably take up the whole list, but that’s another story. This beat is a sonic explogasm, activating neurotransmitters in your brain that would otherwise only be activated by heroin or Kenan & Kel reruns. Wow!
EPICNESS LEVEL: Watching Godzilla take a dump on Trump Tower.
4. A$AP Ferg — "Work (Remix)" ft. A$AP Rocky, French Montana, Trinidad James & ScHoolboy Q
This infectious trapsterpiece from A$AP Ferg features Trinidad James, which means it's definitely from 2013, but it's also always guaranteed to get the party started, even if the party is just you alone in your car hoping that joint won't make you paranoid again.
EPICNESS LEVEL: Terry Crews glaring at you.
3. Meek Mill — "Dreams and Nightmares"
Good things come to those who wait. This 2012 intro track is a moody, cautious buildup that slowly gains in intensity and finally kicks into full gear around the two-minute mark. It’s on the short list for greatest intros and also quite possibly the only redeemable thing about Philadelphia sports.
EPICNESS LEVEL: Finding that out that your bump down there is just an ingrown hair and not herpes.
2. Kanye West — "Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1"
Those iconic words—“If Young Metro don't trust you, I'm gon' shoot you”—are branded into our brains. It's also likely they explain the Kennedy assassination. The spiritual gospel choir that explodes into Kid Cudi’s soulful singing could resurrect a corpse if they've been legally dead for under five minutes.
EPICNESS LEVEL: Watching John Wick brutally murder everyone who was ever mean to his dog.
1. Drake — "Know Yourself"
Listening to Drake yell “I WAS RUNNING THROUGH THE 6 WITH MY WOES” when the beat switches up at 1:47 will change your core temperature. It’s intoxicating. It’s so euphoric that it distracts you from the fact that “Running through the 6 with my woes” is literally just a cooler way of saying “I was hanging out in Canada with my friends.” Legendary.
EPICNESS LEVEL: That traumatic ending of Avengers: Infinity War that I still haven't emotionally recovered from.
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