AnywhereTheDopeGo Best Albums of 2023 – Staff Picks

Honorable Mentions

10. Propain – Made From Scratch

Listen to Made From Scratch

9. 2Sdxrt3all – Dxrt3all Year

Listen to Dxrt3all Year

8. Yungmorpheus & Real Bad Man – The Chalice & The Blade

Listen to The Chalice & The Blade

7. Rob49 – 4God II

Listen to 4God II

6. Veeze – Ganger

Listen to Ganger

5. Phiik & Lungs//Lonesword – Another Planet 4

Listen to Another Planet 4

4. B. Cool-Aid – Leather Blvd.

Listen to Leather Blvd.

3. Skech185 – He Left Nothing For the Swim Back

Listen to He Left Nothing For the Swim Back

2. Talib Kweli & Madlib – Liberation 2

Listen to Liberation 2

1. Killer Mike – Michael

Listen to Michael

Scott’s List – There have been countless albums in 2023, currently my count is sitting at 1100 albums that I have listened to, so if anyone can attest for this statement its me. That said, there can only be a few you can call the best of the year. Here, we’ll go over these picks & hopefully you can find some new picks along the way.

Honorable Mentions

Conway the Machine & Jae Skeese – Pain Provided Profit

Both Conway the Machine & Jae Skeese have had a busy year. Conway released many collaborative projects with a wide variety of producers, Skeese released one of the best albums of the year with his Sophomore album Abolished Uncertainties. Personally though, nothing is more memorable than the chemistry the two brought together on Pain Provided Profit.

It might not have the personal story telling of Skeese’s sophomore, but that was made up for in the endless bar fest the duo brings throughout the tracklist. Whether its all the sneaker head talk that opens the album with “Cocaine Paste” or the Drumwork posse cut that closes the album with “Food,” you’re bound to walk away from this one with a multitude of lyrics stuck in your head.

Listen to Pain Provided Profit on Apple Music

DaBoii & The Mekanix – Soakin Game

DaBoii feels like he’s always on the verge of dropping that perfect album, and with Soakin Game, he may have done it. He always provides a wide variety of sounds that showcase his skill set, but locking in with producer duo The Mekanix forces his wild flow to stick to a specific sound. Their west coast funk brings out some of the best in DaBoii, invoking that feeling of west coast classics but still being forward-thinking in its delivery. This, along with a rogues’ gallery of modern Californian legends, these elements meld to make an exciting listen. Its not DaBoii’s most daring project, but its easily his most consistent.

Listen to Soakin Game on Apple Music

Autumn! – Midnight Club

Which Autumn! release has been the best this year has been a difficult choice, but Midnight Club might have the most replayability of all of them. Golden Child 3 is a long yet engaging experience, allowing you to get lost in the world he sets up, but Midnight Club is filled with hits. His melodies allow sink you into the plugg backdrop, but the catchiness of the bars proves that he’s not just saying whatever. Instead he shows his mastery as a rapper, dropping references to other songs yet converting them to his realm. Truthfully, there’s not many other plugg rappers that can touch his abilities to craft songs like these.

Listen to Midnight Club on Apple Music

Potter Payper – Real Back in Style

UK rapper Potter Payper dropped one of the most focused albums of 2023, portraying his life in exhaustive detail throughout every track. Against the depressive scenes provided by the production, they allow him to display these struggles of street life to make ends meat, giving attention to detail of each obstacle that was laid in his life. This, along with his emotional voice & flow, transports you directly to the places he describes. Covering everything from his family tree, to the loss of life through the drugs, its all laid bare while set to some of the intricate beats of the year.

Listen to Real Back in Style on Apple Music

Kamaiyah – Another Summer Night

Oakland, California artist Kamaiyah has years in the industry at this point. With countless writing credits, Another Summer Night sees herself hit a stride. Some of the most endearing melodies of the year, aided occasionally by gang vocals that add dimension of those tracks. Every track makes you feel like you’re right there, dancing the night away, with not a care in the world.

Listen to Another Summer Night on Apple Music

UnoTheActivist / The Act – Deadication 3

Uno, The Act, whatever you want to call him, he’s remained a consistent force in the underground scene. His series Deadication has seen him maintain that older mixtape mentality, taking others beats making them your own. This spirit seems to be lost on the newer generation of rappers, understandably so since there’s an endless source of beats thanks to social media, but Uno’s efforts to keep this style alive make for fun results.

Listen to Deadication 3 on Apple Music

Lancey Foux – BACK2DATRAP

UK rapper Lancey Foux went to focus on the Rage sound with BACK2DATRAP, and he achieved the sound in spades. Production provided primarily by Bally creates this absurdly aggressive sound that Lancey effortless employs all his vocals over. It feels like the anti-thesis to last year’s Life in Hell album, which focused on much slower sounds & a more experimental style. This change of pace sees him letting loose across the runtime of the album, making for constant entertainment.

Listen to BACK2DATRAP on Apple Music

Robb Bank$ & Tony Shhnow – I Can’t Feel My Face Too

While both Robb Bank$ & Tony Shhnow had a hell of a year, they both came together to provide a ridiculous display of lyricism. Endless cultural references that could be picked apart for hours, almost framing themselves as these enigmatic figures that can control it all, its some of the most fun you could have all year. This along with the incredibly fun sample choices, the album is a rewarding experience the more familiar you get with their topics. Even if these fly over your head, the chemistry is too engaging to be skipped over.

I’m the one that gave Tracy Morgan the kidney
I’m the one who introduced Bobby to Whitney
I’m not there in the physical I’m there in the spirit

Listen to I Can’t Feel My Face Too on Apple Music

Kool Keith & Real Bad Man – Serpent

Kool Keith’s career is absurdly expansive, going back to earliest days of Hip Hop, and for its 50th anniversary he released multiple albums. Amongst these though, none standout more than the Real Bad Man-produced album Serpent. Filled with countless non-sequesters that have given Keith his signature style criticize all of the industry pitfalls & dangers, the difference here is Bad Man’s darker tone of production give these lyrics a whole new dimension.

It feels somewhat a full circle moment as well, as many have pointed to his Dr. Dooom persona’s album First Come, First Served as innovating the current wave of “drumless” beats, and here he is with Real Bad Man encouraging the new generation of innovators. The album that feels like as pure a celebration of Hip Hop as it can get.

Listen to Serpent on Apple Music

klwn cat & Nonazz – Greymatter

While I gave a lot of praise to Nonazz’s Tread Lightly, his collaborative album with klwn cat, Greymatter, might have surpassed it. This album is much darker, way more personal than maybe anything you’ll hear all year. With Nonazz’s commanding voice cutting through the dreary production choices, each song feels complete despite their short run time. If anything, the final track to close out the album will blindside its story & topics.

Listen to Greymatter on Spotify

What were your favorite albums of 2023?

Past album of the year lists: 2022, 2021

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