Dive into the dynamic soundscape of 2023's hip-hop scene, where artists competed fiercely for the title of The Hip Hop Anthem of 2023. Among the contenders, Drake's First Person Shooter captivated with its signature style, J. Cole added layers of introspection with The Secret Recipe and All My Life, and Kendrick Lamar took listeners on a sonic journey with The Hillbillies. The roster extended to Sexyy Red's SkeeYee, Ice Spice's rhythmic delight Deli, Latto's wave-making Put It On Da Floor Again, Offset's exploration of emotions in JEALOUSY, Gunna's unapologetic fukumean, and J Hus's contribution with Who Told You.
Join us as we explore the rhythmic intricacies of these contenders, aiming to crown the anthem that resonated most profoundly with the spirit of 2023.
Drake - First Person Shooter
In the realm of 2023's hip-hop, First Person Shooter emerged as the definitive anthem, featuring the collaborative genius of Drake and rapper J. Cole. Unveiled on October 6, 2023, as the sixth track on Drake's album For All The Dogs, this reference-laden masterpiece showcases the duo's prowess. With a confident display of rap skills and a subtle dig at rivals, the song operates at a tempo of 122 BPM in B minor. Widely acclaimed, the track stands out for the remarkable chemistry and lyrical finesse exhibited by these two influential artists.
Directed by Gibson Hazard, the accompanying viral music video is laden with pop culture references and cameo appearances. The song's popularity soared, securing the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and marking Drake's 12th and J. Cole's 4th number-one single in the US. Beyond the borders, the track dominated charts in Canada, the UK, Australia, and various other countries. Widely regarded as one of the best rap songs of 2023, First Person Shooter stands out as a highlight within Drake's album, leaving an indelible mark on the hip hop scene.
J. Cole -The Secret Recipe
The Secret Recipe stands as a track jointly created by Lil Yachty and J. Cole. Unveiled on September 29, 2023, it serves as the primary release from Lil Yachty's EP, also titled The Secret Recipe. The lyrics delve into the pursuit of acknowledgment and esteem within the music realm, shedding light on the distinctions between the artists and their contemporaries. The song presents a laid-back, improvised rhythm that skillfully showcases the lyrical capabilities of both rappers. Notably, Lil Yachty, Rawbone, and 98k collaborated in producing this track.
J. Cole - All My Life
All My Life emerges as a collaboration between two hip-hop luminaries Lil Durk and J. Cole, making its debut on May 12, 2023, as the second single from the latter's highly anticipated seventh studio album, The Off-Season. Infused with a delightful melody, the song unfolds with a relaxed, freestyle cadence that impeccably showcases the lyrical finesse of both artists.
It serves as a poignant reflection on the challenges and triumphs encountered throughout their journeys, expressing sincere gratitude towards their dedicated fans and supporters. Dr. Luke takes the reins as the producer, orchestrating a musical backdrop that has garnered acclaim from both critics and listeners alike.
Related: Nicki Minaj and J. Cole Team Up for "Pink Friday 2"- A Hip-hop Milestone
Kendrick Lamar-The Hillbillies
The Hillbillies unfolds as a collaborative from Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar, making its exclusive debut on YouTube on May 30, 2023. The song is characterized by a production influenced by drill and Jersey club styles, cleverly incorporating samples from Bon Iver's "PDLIF." Within the song, the cousins exhibit a delightful interplay of playful and conversational flows, drawing parallels between themselves and renowned soccer stars Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Sexyy Red -SkeeYee
SkeeYee stands as the third single from American rapper Sexyy Red, dropped on July 14, 2023. This trap anthem serves as a celebration of Sexyy Red's triumphs and self-assurance, prominently featuring her distinctive catchphrase, SkeeYee. The track boasts a memorable hook and a powerful, impactful beat crafted by the production talents of Rawbone and 98k.
Ice Spice -Deli
Ice Spice, an American rapper who gained prominence in 2022 through her viral track Munch (Feelin’ U), is recognized for her laid-back rap style and notable collaborations with artists such as Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, and PinkPantheress12.
One of her standout songs is Deli, released in 2023. This playful track cleverly samples the theme song from the Turkish drama series Deli Yürek. Noteworthy for its catchy beats and creative sampling, Deli climbed to the 12th spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The accompanying music video on YouTube has amassed over 54 million views, showcasing Ice Spice's widespread appeal and success.
Latto -Put It On Da Floor Again
Latto - Put It On Da Floor Again emerges as a dynamic remix of Latto's viral hit, Put It On Da Floor, this time featuring the magnetic presence of Cardi B. Unveiled on June 2, 2023, as the flagship single from Latto's second EP, Big Energy, the track is a vibrant and self-assured anthem that masterfully showcases the rap prowess and charisma of both Latto and Cardi B.
The music video, artfully directed by HidjiWorld and Latto, unfolds a visual spectacle featuring the two rappers in diverse settings, ranging from a police station to a club and a luxurious mansion. Their stylish outfits complement the energetic vibe of the song, creating a captivating visual experience.
This remix soared to impressive heights, securing the fourth position on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. On YouTube, the music video has garnered over 86 million views, a testament to the widespread appeal and success of Latto - Put It On Da Floor Again.
Offset - Jealousy is a compelling track by American rapper Offset, featuring his ex-wife Cardi B. This release, unveiled on September 10, 2023, serves as the leading single from Offset's second studio album, Set It Off. The song takes center stage as a direct response to the rumors and criticisms surrounding the couple amid their separation and subsequent reconciliation in late 2023.
A dynamic trap anthem, Jealousy not only showcases the undeniable chemistry between Offset and Cardi B but also underscores their unwavering loyalty to each other. Directed by Colin Tilley, the music video immerses viewers in various settings, including a courtroom, strip club, and a lavish mansion, enhancing the narrative of the song.
Despite facing rumors and criticisms, Jealousy made its mark by reaching the 55th spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. On YouTube, the music video has amassed over 32 million views, solidifying the track's impact and popularity.