5 best hip-hop albums of 2023 so far

JPEGMAFIA / Omar Ornelas/The Desert Sun
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We're almost halfway through 2023, giving us six months' worth of hip-hop album releases to discuss. A good mix of hip-hop albums dropped in the first half of 2023, ranging from southern hip-hop/trap crossovers to highly anticipated experimental and underground collab projects.

Hip-hop missed the presence of artists like A$AP Rocky, J. Cole, Lil Uzi Vert and Cardi B in the first half of 2023’s album releases. But, we still got some solid projects that dropped in the first half of 2023.

Lil Durk, Moneybagg Yo, Tyler, the Creator, Logic, and NBA YoungBoy have all dropped projects this year.

JPEGMAFIA, Danny Brown, and Key Glock highlight the best hip-hop records from the first half of 2023

In this list, we're taking a look at the hip-hop albums that released through June 16, 2023. Everything else that releases in 2023 (at least until the last week of the year) will be considered a release for the year's second half.

Whether you're looking for some new artists to listen to or some projects that might've slipped your radar in the first half of 2023, this list of the best hip-hop albums of the year so far is for you.

Honorable mentions

Glorious Game - Black Thought & El Michels Affair

Just missing the cut was the collaboration between all-time great rapper and lyricist Black Thought and New York musician/producer El Michels Affair. Glorious Game is a soulful and jazzy project that continues to show Black Thought is one of the most underrated rappers today.

LOVESTREAK - Tony Shhnow

An up-and-coming rapper that fans of the genre should be paying attention to right now is the 27-year-old Atlanta native Tony Shhnow. The trap and southern-hip hop rapper and songwriter Shhnow delivers one of his most projects to date with LOVESTREAK.

TEXAS BOY - Mike Dimes

A distinctive trap rapper on the rise in the early 2020s, San Antonio's Mike Dimes is a must-listen for the fans of the subgenre. Dimes keeps getting better and more versatile with his delivery on TEXAS BOY.

Ways of Knowing - Navy Blue

Former professional skateboarder and Los Angeles, CA, native singer, songwriter, producer, and rapper Navy Blue continues to shine with his creative pen game and beat selection on Ways of Knowing. Navy Blue adds to his increasingly impressive 2020's discography of well-crafted west-coast and abstract hip-hop records with his first major-label project.


Recently named to XXL's Freshman Class for 2023, Milwaukee, WI, native rapper, singer, and songwriter DC The Don has continued to ascend into the hip hop mainstream after his latest project FUNERAL. It's great to see DC starting to get more recognition after putting out another good album that lives up to other albums and mixtapes he's released such as 2018's DC Dahmer and 2022's My Own Worst Enemy.