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Best Rap Songs of 2023 | Rappers and Songs Of The Year

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The world continues to shift at a rapid pace with so many major global events happening that it’s hard to know exactly how we think about time. The only thing that’s been consistent throughout the past few years has been the good music dropping that we’re able to use as timestamps. 2023 has been progressing steadily with heat from Nas, 50 Cent, GloRilla, Sexyy Red, Noname, Ice Spice, Boldy James, A$AP Rocky, Gucci Mane, RX Papi, Kendrick Lamar and more.

Check back at the beginning of every month for updates and check out our other lists and our playlist below, which includes all of the songs mentioned in this article and more:

Struggling to find a list of the Hip Hop Albums that have been shifting the culture? Take a look at our lists for Hip Hop, Rap and R&B to get a complete survey of the projects that are dictating the conversation within Hip Hop.

Need some new songs to throw in the rotation but Spotify and user-created playlists are way too long? We kept it simple and added only the best of the best songs from each month to make sure you get the songs you need without a hassle. Peep the lists below.

Editor’s note: Songs from this list were released between January 1, 2023 – December 30, 2023.

“Put It On Da Floor Again” – Latto (Feat. Cardi B)

There are few songs released in 2023 that go as hard as Latto‘s “Put It on da Floor,” a menacing single produced by Go Grizzly, Squat and Pooh Beatz that is liable to rattle trunks and AirPods alike. The original version featuring just Latto on her own was immediately thrown into everyone’s “turn up” or “gym” playlist, but after Cardi B hopped on the remix it became an anthem.

“Put It on da Floor Again” is equal parts attitude, bars and delivery from two artists who rap like their lives depend on it. It’s yet another step on Latto’s ladder ascending towards being modern day Hip Hop royalty but more impressively, it’s confirmation Cardi B can still rap gun bars with the best of ’em. – Scott Glaysher

“Needle” – Nicki Minaj f. Drake

“2024” – Playboi Carti

“DOGTOOTH” – Tyler, The Creator

No one has had a better few years than Tyler, The Creator. The once controversial Hip Hop prankster has become one of the most celebrated artists of the last five years thanks largely to what matters most: the music. From Flower Boy to Igor and now to the deluxe version of CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST: The Estate Sale, the Odd Future co-founder has certainly checked off a laundry list of musical boxes.

“DOGTOOTH” is a seamless marriage between melodic Tyler and rapping for sport Tyler. The chorus of “She could ride my face, I don’t want nothing in return” is silly, catchy and will likely be sung back to him at festivals for years to come. Of course, in true Tyler fashion, he’s also the song’s producer which means tons of dreamy synthesizers, dancing keys and plenty of ad-libs. – Scott Glaysher

“Home Alone” – Bas f. J. Cole

“LMK Something” – Drakeo the Ruler

“Bow Bow Bow (F My Baby Mama)” – Sexyy Red f. Chief Keef

“MORE DOLLARS, MORE SENSE 2014” – JasonMartin, Problem, DJ Quik & Childish Gambino

Respect to JasonMartin for specifically dating this song “2014” to remind listeners that Childish Gambino rarely raps this well. You can even hear JasonMartin (fka Problem) in the beginning quip: “They don’t let too many people rap over this beat.” It’s awfully hard to imagine Childish Gambino and JasonMartin getting in the studio today to record over DJ Quik’s Compton classic, “Dollaz + Sense,” but if it’s 2014, things seem much more plausible. Surprisingly, the pair who once rapped “IV. Sweatpants” together carry the torch of G-Funk well with JasonMartin carrying the swagger, Childish Gambino reminiscing about his Southern California roots, animating his voice to match the strut of the bassline as it hops down octaves on their drive down Crenshaw. – Yousef Srour

“Long Story Short” – 2 Chainz & Lil Wayne

“High End” – E-40 f. Philthy Rich, Gucci Mane & BG

“G’z Up Hoez Down” – Snoop Dogg

For the 30th anniversary of Doggystyle, Snoop Dogg has revived a song that was on the original album, but was left off later pressings and later streaming because of sample clearances for Isaac Hayes’ “The Look of Love.” The return of “G’z Up Hoez Down” gives a peek back into Snoop’s natural suavité, keeping mellow amidst flutes whistling in the background and trumpets to punch the downbeat. A perfect reminder as to why Snoop Dogg will never actually stop smoking chronic. – Yousef Srour

“TyTy&NaeNae” – KP SKYWALKA

“OK” – Busta Rhymes f. Young Thug

“Pepper” – Flowdan, Lil Baby & Skrillex

With a beat that mimics the start and stops of Skrillex’s collaboration with Fred Again.. and Flowdan on “Rumble,” Skrillex swaps the Lil Baby sample he reused on “Baby Again..” for a new, original verse. The LA EDM producer’s fusion of electronic music with hip-hop, layering different subgenres from the Southern Kingpin Skinny Pimp sample in the beginning to Flowdan’s interpolation of Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh’s song,  “La-Di-Da-Di.” The result is Skrillex’s interpretation of sample drill, with drums kicking in swing and thick basslines sliding up-and-down into the hi-hat sliced, beat drops. – Yousef Srour

“Kitchen Lights” – Westside Gunn f. Stove God Cooks

“Chops on the Blade” – Larry June & Cardo

“Wish Me Well” – Little Brother

“Wish Me Well” is side A of a Little Brother two-pack, the duo’s first release since their 2019 comeback album, May the Lord Watch. Long-time LB fans’ pulses will surely quicken as soon as “LB bidness” plays over a yearning soul sample supplied by Deonis Cook. The track sees Tiggalo and Rapper Big Pooh ping-ponging back and forth, finishing each other’s short verses like Tip and Phife circa ‘91. Their years-long breaks between releases always raise questions about retirement, but Phonte nixes that off the rip: “This is that dispelled rumor that we not active.” And indeed, the two haven’t lost a step. Building off his recent string of scene-stealing guest spots, Phonte slings clever bars (“Made my first record on an OK Computer/’Cause I saw where the radio was headed”) while Pooh delivers wisened rhymes (“I just want a slice while maintaining my peace/I don’t need the whole pie). “Wish Me Well” is of the classic Little Brother mold and could slot into any of their prior releases without missing a beat. Why reinvent the wheel when the wheel is this smooth? – Alec Siegel

“Hellcats SRTs” – Sexyy Red f. Lil Durk

“YUPP!” – Ghostface Killah f. Remy Ma

“toxic” – Noname

Noname blends Chicago’s deep-rooted history of poetry and soul-embalmed rap with the polyrhythms of traditionally African instrumentation, present here in Saba, Ben Nartey and AJ Halls’ collaboration in the production, bouncing rimshots on every off-beat, keeping pace with Noname’s slick boom-bap. In its introductory skit, “toxic” showcases a feminine-masculine mismatch in the understanding of love. The speaker emphasizes that love is commitment, and Noname expresses that same frustration with “toxic” love from people whose company she wouldn’t even prefer to her own. The yearning is paradoxical and so are Noname’s lovers, having babies with other women even though they had never shown maturity since the beginning. – Yousef Srour

“XXL” – EST Gee

“There I Go” – Gucci Mane f. J. Cole & Mike WiLL Made-It

“Office Hours” – Nas & Hit-Boy f. 50 Cent

Hail the trumpets, Nas and 50 Cent have officially ended their standing beef. In time for the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, the two have finally come together on Magic 2’s “Office Hours.” In honor of the double-entendre, the pair would like to remind hip-hop that they are and forever will be the OGs. And why not celebrate that? They come together with a blood-soaked portrait of Queens and Crown Heights, tattered by the skin of their teeth with stories from their respective pasts. – Yousef Srour

“JEALOUSY” – Offset & Cardi B

“Créme de la Créme” – Valee & MVW f. Pink Siifu

“Got Yo Wingz” – Rich Homie Quan

Atlanta’s Rich Homie Quan pens a touching tribute to lost loved ones on “Got Yo Wingz.” Dedicated to the memory of his late friend Demetrius Jerel Thomas, who died in March, the song finds Quan grappling with his grief, questioning the almighty, and contemplating his own drug use and mortality. “Never question God but I’m like ‘Damn, why you take him?’ And they say prayer bring power, damn I been praying,” he laments. Displaying the melodic verse that made him a star, “Got Yo Wingz” is just another reminder that regardless of the industry politics, Rich Homie Quan remains a genre staple. – Nina Hernandez

“GANGSTER PARTY” – 454 & SURF GANG

“Scientists & Engineers” – Killer Mike F. Andre 3000, Future, Eryn Allen Kane

Baby Keem x Kendrick Lamar – “The Hillbillies”

Kendrick Lamar carried the weight of the world on his shoulders when he released Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, but after a tour with his cousin and fellow rapper Baby Keem, it seems like he’s in a better place. “The Hillbillies” sees the two relieve the stress of being on the road with a mixture of bragging, fit checks, and comparisons to Messi and Neymar. Above all else, it’s refreshing to see them both letting loose. – Louis Pavlakos

Lil Durk f. J. Cole – “All My Life”

SahBabii – “Lost All My Feelings”

“Underground Legend” – Jay Worthy, Roc Marciano & Bun B

The Roc Marciano-produced “Underground Legend” features a sparse menacing guitar riff and a subtle bassline but that’s plenty to work with for Jay Worthy and Bun B. Jay’s verse pulls no punches, celebrating his enemies’ death with an Adam Sandler reference. Bun B, on the other hand, raps as though he’s giving us a warning. Asserting his rap veteran status, Bun offers some precious advice for newcomers, cautioning them to move correctly or fall out of grace quickly. – Yousef Srour

“black enuff” – redveil f. JPEGMAFIA

“Motion God” – Moneybagg Yo

“Play for Keeps” – Mike Shabb & Nicholas Craven

It’s all or nothing for Mike Shabb. On the somber “Play for Keeps,” Shabb wrestles with the continuous grief set in by the untimely passing of fellow Montreal rapper and close friend Jeune Loup. Nicholas Craven’s warbly beat gives Shabb a morose runway to divulge his sadness while reassuring those closest to him that if he wins, they all win. The track might be the oldest one off the two’s collaborative EP Shadow Moses, but it accurately reflects the darkness in Shabb’s life. – Yousef Srour

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

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

“2 Million Up Remix” – Peezy (feat. Babyface Ray, Icewear Vezzo & Skilla Baby)

Nearly a decade into his career as a solo emcee, Peezy finally broke through into the mainstream with his smash hit, “2 Million Up” last year. Over a sample of Dennis Edwards’ recognizable R&B hit “Don’t Look Any Further,” Peezy uses the hook to express his loyalty to his crew and proudly declare that he’s officially come too far to ever fall off now. On the song’s second official remix, he’s joined by fellow Detroit rappers and frequent collaborators, Babyface Ray, Icewear Vezzo and Skilla Baby. As each emcee brings their signature flair to the booming beat to flex their success and effortless flows, it shows the song’s versatility and endless possibilities, as well as Detroit’s collaborative spirit. – Isaac Fontes

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“GOMD” – Veeze

“Kill Switch” – Navy Blue f. J Rocc

“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

“60 Days” – Alchemist, Larry June

larry-june-alchemist-60-daysAfter the song “Breakfast in Monaco,” Larry June and Alchemist rejoined for “60 Days,” a single for their upcoming album, The Great Escape, and another notch on Al’s dream collab tape tour. June comes with his usual wisdom over a beautiful sample loop, but to a surprise Alchemist picks up the mic again showing listeners that he’s still got it as he sprinkles luxury dust across his verse. With Alchemist recently collaborating with Curren$y on Continuance, and Roc Marciano on the Elephant Man’s Bones, it was only a matter of time until a full project with Larry June would happen. – Grant Robinson

“Crocadillaz” – Gorillaz, De La Soul

“Superbowl” – Conway The Machine, Juicy J, Sauce Walka

“Ron Artest” – Babyface Ray & 42 Dugg

Coming off an excellent run of music with Face and MOB, Babyface Ray is back with 42 Dugg paying tribute to one of the baddest pistons to grace the Motor City. “Ron Artest,” teased via snippets and IG livestreams finally surfaces, with Babyface Ray and 42 Dugg delivering a braggadocious and motivational collaboration. The fan service track packs a bulk of basketball references over an instrumental that reminds the listener of winning a championship. – Grant Robinson

Contributing writers: David Brake, Yousef Srour, Nina Hernandez, Louis Pavlakos, Jeremy Hecht, Devon Jefferson, Dana Scott, Peter Barry, Anthony Malone, Rebecca Barglowski, Grant Robinson, Isaac Fontes & Josh Svetz.





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