Best 9 Rap Songs of 2023

In what may feel like the most uneventful year in rap music since its inception, we mustered up nine slaps. Here are the best 9 rap songs of 2023. Oh, criteria: nothing but what’s dope. Songwriting, bars, production, delivery & engineering.

Doja Cat – Paint The Town Red

Doja Cat ‘Scarlet’ is arguably rap album of the year. The first single and intro track, “Paint The Town Red” tore a hole in Billboard and radio. It could be described as Tyga meets Kendrick Lamar. There is not a more perfect and balanced rap song in 2023.

Westside Gunn featuring Stove God Cooks – Kitchen Lights

Not since Clipse “Grindin'” music video have we had this level of vivid imagery in the “kitchen”. Westside Gunn & Stove God Cooks may have just outdone themselves… and EVERYBODY else.

D. Jones – Watch Me Shine

From his 2023 album, 19133, comes an uptempo detroit-esque banger fill with flow & quoteables. Jones ability to calmly deliver over chaotic production creates a masterful audio juxtaposition. The So Raspy (Jadakiss‘ new record label) signee knows his way around a record. We’re watching.

Nicki Minaj – Red Ruby Da Sleaze

Red Ruby Da Sleaze” sees Nicki Minaj having more lyrical depth that she’s probably ever had (worplay-wise). She runs through this Lumidee “Never Leave You” sample on a war path and keeps it classic New York as the original.

French Montana & Rob49 – Igloo

Rob49 has an infectious energy, no matter where or when u witness his talent. French Montana adds the punchlines only he can: “Couldn’t pop his chain, so they dragged him down the street with it”. “Igloo” could literally serve as a B-Side to Rob49’s “Vulture Island” and ‘Coke Boys 6‘ by French has these slappers by the dozen, literally.

Drake – The Shoe Fits

Drake always does “time-capsule” records and they’re easily recognizeable because they feel uber-personal and they usually end in “pm” or “am”. This time, Drake takes a look around at the world-at-large and captures what it’s like to witness the character and personality flaws branded onto people by society in the early “20’s” from the POV of a pop-star level rapper. Lyrically, song of the year. 6 minutes, 14 seconds of picture painting. Scary Hours.

Drake featuring J. Cole – First Person Shooter

Drake and J. Cole were bound to do this at some point but “First Person Shooter” has exceeded the expectations of its own hype like LeBron James. It wasn’t the lyrical sparring we’d hoped for (and much more friendly), especially with Cole being on a world-class feature run but it was the slammer we didn’t know we needed.

Young M.A. – Open Scars

Young M.A. fresh off of her health battles back to doing what she does. This was going to be here no matter how it sounded but it does sound like she’s legit “back”. On “Open Scars”, she does what M.A. does best: speak in real-time about what’s happening in her real life.

Sexyy Red – SkeeYee

Okay, hear me out. This was on another year-end list that caused some controversy but may just deserve its place (just not number one). First of all, Tay Keith, DJ Meech and Bandbwoi laced this beat to perfection. Sexyy Red offered a perfect call-and-response hook along with her normal ratchet quotables. The combination ends in great product from the ‘Hood Hottest Princess‘. What? Stop hating. She’s talented.

Best 9 Rap Songs 2023.

G-HOLY.COM, 2023.