It was the year that Taylor Swift killed Taylor Swift, Jay-Z apologized to Beyoncé, and Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee had much of the country asking what “Despacito” means (it means “slowly”). But the biggest music releases 2017 weren’t always the best. Here’s our rundown of the finest songs of the year, and the ones that should be banished forever.
Kendrick Lamar — “DNA”
“Humble” was the song that made Lamar a pop star, but “DNA” was the song that made him a hip-hop legend. Wielding his dense lyrics and cultural pride like flamethrowers, the bewildering speed of this track’s final minute showed that the Compton, Calif., rapper was untouchable in 2017.
Lorde — “Green Light”
Doleful breakup anthems are a dime a dozen, but with “Green Light” the New Zealander captured that moment of excitement that comes with preparing to turn the page. It’s surprising that this brilliant dance-pop track wasn’t a bigger hit — only reaching No. 19 on Billboard’s Hot 100 — but just be thankful it exists.