Playlist: The Best Songs of the 2010s


Beyonce and Jay-Z performing on the “I Am…World” tour.

Graham Kanwit and Wesley Tedrow

Last decade saw the explosion of rap into the world’s most popular genre, a new wave of Millennial icons, and the rise of unconventional celebrities through meme culture and apps such as TikTok and SoundCloud. In the 2010s, a massive transition occurred from physical records and online purchasing to streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify. In spite of this transition, female pop stars who emerged in the late 2000s, such as Rihanna and Beyonce, continued to dominate sales. Meanwhile, artists such as Kanye West, Travis Scott and Kendrick Lamar led the rise of hip-hop and its sub-genres. Even as new artists emerged, older talents continued to deliver songwriting gems. Amidst all these trends, a collection of great singles and deep cuts were released to mainstream audiences. Here are our picks for the 30 best songs of the 2010s.