Best 2023 Hip-Hop Albums Thus Far

todayJuly 19, 2023 184 9 4

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By Tyson Taylor

Music Journalist


2023 has taken off strongly in terms of hip-hop. With 2022 being such a strong year, fans are still hungry for new music from their favorite artists. Despite all of the drama and conflicts within the hip-hop community, artists are still dropping quality projects for their fans. We are only a little more than halfway through the year, and we already have a strong music collection from some of the top rappers. With all of the albums that have recently been released, I took the time to put the top albums from this year into a list of the top five thus far. Trust me though, with all of the amazing albums this year making this list was a lot harder than most would expect. Feeling like I was disrespecting many great albums, I decided to include an honorable mention to give recognition to some more of my favorite albums. With that being said, let’s dive into the best hip-hop albums of 2023 thus far.


HM: NBA Youngboy – Dont try this at home


If you know you know, NBA Youngboy has been one of the most consistent artists for the past few years. In 2023, he had no intention of slowing down. Just this year, Youngboy has released three studio albums under Motown Records. Last year, Youngboy resigned from Atlantic Records and signed with Motown to further showcase his abilities. This album has a resounding 33 songs for an experience of an hour and 25 minutes. The track also includes features from Mariah The Scientist, Nicki Minaj and Post Malone.


HM: Oddisee – To What End


The DMV record producer and rapper Oddisee released his tenth studio album To What End on January 20, 2023. This beautiful album consists of 16 songs for quality 51 minutes of rhymes and clean, soulful beats. Oddisee usually has a theme within his music whether it’s racism, politics or family life. In To What End Oddisee explores the determination and ambition within people and how far they will go to get what they want. Oddisee takes a deep dive into his personal life on this track and it’s an honor to hear how he expresses himself with this album.


HM: Lil Yachty – Let’s Start Here


Lil Yachty broke the modern-day expectations of what it is to be a rapper with his album Let’s Start Here which can be best described as a breath of fresh air. Yachty’s career took off in 2015 as a Soundcloud rapper with his single “One Night.” Since then, Lil Yachty has released eight studio albums with Let’s Start Here, being unique from all of them. Yachty uses his infamous auto-tune in various ways in this track to not only explore different sounds, but emotions. If you haven’t already, check this album out to remind yourself that rap has no limitations.


No. 5: Yeat – Afterlyfe

First Week Sales- 54k

Billboard 200 Peak- No. 4

Favorite Song: “How it go”

Afterlyfe Album Cover

Coming in fifth place is the king of underground rap as Yeat released his third studio album AftёrLyfe earlier this year on February 24, 2023. Arising to be one of the top rappers last year in 2022, fans all over the world were patiently waiting for new music from Yeat. AftёrLyfe has a total of 22 songs for a total of an hour and seven minutes. This album is an incredibly fun listen as Yeat ranges from slower songs like “Mysёlf” to headbanging rage songs like “Split.” While Yeat has garnered a large niche following over the country, I feel those who aren’t too familiar with him will still have fun listening to this project.



First Week Sales- 88k

Billboard 200 Peak- No. 2

Favorite Song: “Oh U Went” (feat. Drake)

Black and white photo of Young Thug in court looking back at the camera.

In fourth place is a project that was just recently released by Jeffery Williams, aka Young Thug. 2023 has been rough for Young Thug as he has been sitting behind bars waiting for trial on RICO charges for the better part of a year. Despite all of the commotion and rumors surfacing the internet, Young Thug and his label were still able to feed the people with his latest album BUSINESS IS BUSINESS. This 15-song album was released with little to no alerts or promotion and surprised everyone around the country. The album includes nine features from some of the biggest artists in the game such as Drake, Lil Uzi Vert and 21 Savage. Even though Young Thug gave us this charming album, let us all keep hoping he makes it home soon.


No. 3: Tyler, the Creator – The Estate Sale

First Week Sales- 70k

Billboard 200 Peak- No. 3

Favorite Song: “SORRY NOT SORRY”

Illustrated picture of Tyler, The Creator holding suitcases with a boat and mountains in the background.
The Estate Sale Album Cover

Arising in third place is none other than the creative genius Tyler, The Creator. I’ve been listening to Tyler since I was in fifth grade, and it’s truly been an honor seeing him grow into the man and musician he is today. The Estate Sale is deluxe to the previously released CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST. I was wondering if I should place this within the list because most of the music has already been released, but the album is just too good to not acknowledge and the new tracks are refreshing so I couldn’t resist. The new tracks that were added to this album were “DOGTOOTH,” “HEAVEN TO ME” and “SORRY NOT SORRY.” I must say if you have not yet listened to “SORRY NOT SORRY,” please find somewhere to take a seat, relax and enjoy this rollercoaster of emotion from Tyler.


No. 2: Gunna – A Gift & Curse

First Week Sales- 85k

Billboard 200 Peak- No. 3

Favorite Song: “back to the moon”

Illustrated picture of Gunna with a skull and flowers sitting on his head.
a Gift & a Curse Album Cover

If you have been present on social media the past few months, you might be aware of the rumors and talks going on about many’s favorite rapper Gunna. Last year, he was facing racketeering charges with his previously mentioned YSL co-member Young Thug. In December 2022, Gunna took a plea deal that would send him home. Wasting little time, Gunna released his fourth studio Gift & a Curse on June 16, 2023.  Given that there were zero features on the 15-song album, it seems as if Gunna is proving to everyone despite the rumors and name-calling he is still him on the mic. Currently on Apple Music charts, the album is sitting at the second spot behind Taylor Swift’s newly released album.


No. 1: Lil Uzi Vert – The Pink Tape

First Week Sales- 165k

Billboard 200 Peak- No. 1

Favorite Songs: “Pluto to Mars”

Picture of Lil Uzi Vert standing in front of a pink United States flag.
PinkTape Album Cover

Solidifying its spot at number one is Lil Uzi Vert’s highly anticipated album Pink Tape. This album is the most successful hip-hop album of this year by far.  In the first week of being released, Pink Tape sold 165,000 album-equivalent units along with being the first hip-hop album this year to reach number one on Billboard 200. With a total of 26 tracks and six features including the likes of Travis Scott and Don Toliver, I find this album to be a super fun and head-bopping experience. The first three songs of the album are enough to make one value and appreciate the project. While this album just released a little more than a week ago, Uzi has teased his fans with rumors of Luv is Rage 3 on social media. Just when I thought Lil Uzi Vert made a contender for Album of the Year, he might have just been giving us an appetizer of the full entre.

Written by: Preethi Mangadu

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