For some of the best albums of 2023, check out our other lists below:

  • The Best Hip Hop Albums of 2023 …(so far)
  • The Best Rap Albums of 2023 …(so far)
  • The Best R&B Albums of 2023 …(so far)

For more of the best songs of 2023, we have you covered with these lists:

  • The Best Rap Songs of 2023 …(so far)
  • The Best R&B Songs of 2023 …(so far)

Looking for some up and coming rappers and underground gems? We’ve done the work for you and highlighted the short EPs, mixtapes and projects to check out if you’re tired of the mainstream album cycle.

  • The Best Mixtapes & EPs of 2023 …(so far).

Editor’s note: Songs from this list were released between May 1, 2022 – March 30, 2023.

“Fat Racks Pt. 2” – Luh Tyler & BabyTron

Florida’s Luh Tyler is arguably the coolest 16-year-old on the planet. “Fat Racks Pt. 2,” a sequel to his single from last year, continues his lightning hot streak as one of the game’s most exciting new acts. Although this is their first official collaboration, the unison of Luh Tyler and BabyTron sounds so natural, as they organically feed off of each other’s hunger and charisma. In the bar that inspired the title of the song, Tyler proudly exclaims that his stacks of cash are fat while his body type is the opposite. He ends his verse by rapping, “I been steppin’ on their neck, I got the rap game in a choke,” leaving the thumping 808s and twinkling piano loop to breathe for a brief moment before BabyTron steps in to unleash his own cannon of witty one-liners; “30 something woods a day, might catch me sparkin’ a log in church / God forgive me though / Just discovered my family tree, I came from billy goats.” – Isaac Fontes


“AIN’T GONNA ANSWER” – NLE Choppa & Lil Wayne

“All I Wanna Know” – Lil Keed & Young Thug


On the title track of JPEGMAFIA and Danny Brown’s boisterous experimental album, SCARING THE HOES, the duo essentially deliver the thesis of the album with an off-kilter track that’s ultimately successful in what it aims to do, which is simply to scare the hoes; an online joke that refers to any nonconforming underground music. This is not music that DJs will be running to play in their sets at the club, but it will certainly be enjoyed by experimental rap heads on a spooky late-night drive. Over an unconventional beat that samples the expeditious clapping and out-of-tune horns of Dirty Beaches’ “Untitled,” the pair play into the old head mentalities that reject this sort of innovative music by taunting their own artistic preferences; “Stop scarin’ the hoes / Play that shit’ll have them touch their toes / ‘We don’t wanna hear that weird shit no more’,” Danny raps on the hook in his signature high-pitched cadence. – Isaac Fontes


“Nun id Change” – Yeat

“Bacc Like I Never Left” – 03 Greedo

“Kant Nobody” – Lil Wayne, Swizz Beatz, DMX

lil-wayne-kant-nobody-dmx-new-singleDespite over 30 years as a top tier rapper Lil Wayne songs remain expansive adventures. The latest example is “Kant Nobody,” a rambunctious, yet controlled barrage of eclectic punchlines, free associative boasts and tightly wound rhyme schemes. Coasting over a DMX-sampling Swizz Beatz instrumental, Weezy F manages to mention sneezing Dracos, Jeffrey Dahmer and Oprah for quips that are as unpredictable as they are funny. He also gets props for distilling his rich hermit lifestyle in just a few bars: Don’t be on all of that, yeah, that’s my twin, shit, alright/Don’t hit my phone with all that ‘I’m just tappin’ in,’ shit, alright/Fuck that friend shit, alright, I’m on my zen shit, alright/I’m on that DMT, I ain’t on that DM shit, alright.” Precise, yet frenzied, “Kant Nobody” is electric. – Peter A. Barry


“Breakfast” – Kevin Gates

“Trappin n Rappin” – Big Scarr & Gucci Mane

“Nasty Dancer” – Flo Milli

Flo-Milli-Nasty-Dancer-new-singleIt’s brash, irreverent, and nasty. It’s got a beat meant to be blasted with all four windows down. It’s the new Flo Milli shit. “Nasty Dancer,” the 23-year-old hip-hop upstart spits absolute filth over a sticky throwback production from fellow Alabaman OG Parker. At a breakneck speed, the 2021 XXL Freshman rejects sugar babies, name drops Doja Cat, and leaves lying lovers in the lurch. After all the affirmations she’s already given us, it sometimes seems inconceivable Flo Milli could have any more gems up her sleeves. And then here she goes again. – Nina Hernandez


“Ron Artest” – Babyface Ray & 42 Dugg

“Shmunk” – Yeat & YoungBoy Never Broke Again

“Zap Zone” – BabyTron & Certified Trapper

It’s a beautiful thing when two rap scenes dip into each other’s worlds. On BabyTron’s latest project Bin Reaper 3: New Testament, Tron takes his punch in expertise and joins forces with Milwaukee’s Certified Trapper. The production features up-tempo 808 claps and a serpentine flute in the background, but Tron’s niche is his ability to rap on any beat. Certified Trapper shines on this track, flaunting twin glocks and standing differently due to having thousands of dollars in his pockets. – Anthony Malone


“King Snipe” – Gucci Mane & Kodak Black

“On Wut U On” – Moneybagg Yo & Glorilla

“Princess Diana” – Ice Spice

Make a meme out of Ice Spice and she’ll make it into a hit song; with “Princess Diana” the Bronx rapper lets the people know they have been heard. At first facetious, the comparison between Ice Spice and the former Princess of Wales started out as an online trend; but with her single covers made out of selfies, colloquial lyrics, and a down-to-earth attitude, Ice Spice proves she is a true princess of the people. Producer RIOTUSA splices bass-heavy production with the frantic plucks of a repetitive guitar riff; together, the two capitalize on public opinion and successfully insert Ice Spice into one of the most famous pop culture narratives of our time. – Rebecca Barglowski

“Prada Steppin” – EBK Young Joc

“FTCU” – Latto F. Glorilla & Gangsta Boo

“Michael & Quincy” – Nas

“Closed Curtains” – CEO Trayle

Mount Westmore (Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, E-40 & Too $hort) f. P-Lo — “Too Big”

 When four massive superstars join forces for a group project, it’s an understatement to say that expectations are high. But Snoop, 40, Short and Cube did not disappoint when it comes to their latest release. The West Coast pioneers of Hip Hop prove that they can fit right in with the current sound without sacrificing their genuine craft. – Devon Jefferson


“Can’t Say I’m Broke” – Tony Shhnow

“All Night Long” – Lancey Foux

“Dark Hearted” – Freddie Gibbs

 Two years after the release of his Grammy-Nominated Alfredo album, Freddie Gibbs has finally given his listeners a taste of his upcoming project $oul $old $eperately. On the heels of his Moneybagg Yo-anchored “Too Much” single, the Rabbit shares his Jame Blake-produced follow-up entitled “Dark Hearted.” – Devon Jefferson

“Flag on the Play” – Boldy James

“Poland” – Lil Yachty

“Scarface”- Jeezy & EST Gee

Jeezy returned in 2022 with the DJ Drama-assisted mixtape Snofall on which he continues to prove why he is one of the best to ever do it. The Snowman shows maturity without losing the feeling that he gave fans in the early 2000’s. Drama’s midas touch made the project a standout from the year, and EST Gee’s presence on “Scarface” created a multi-generational hit. – Riley Wallace

Contributing writers: David Brake, Rebecca Barglowski, Isaac Fontes, Riley Wallace, Jeremy Hecht, Devon Jefferson, Anthony Malone, Peter Barry, Nina Hernandez & Josh Svetz.