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OUR FAVORITE ALBUMS (and EPs) OF 2023

2023 was a phenomenal year for music. It brought us albums that will stay with us for a lifetime. While there are countless projects that we enjoyed throughout the year, we've settled on a list of 63 of our favorites to share with you.





63. "falling or flying" by Jorja Smith

Jorja Smith returned with a beautiful project this year. Her striking vocals and thoughtful lyricism continue to wow us. Our favorite songs: "GO GO GO" and "Broken is the man".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music

62. "Snaxxx" by Mndsgn

Prime time for listening: in the early hours of the morning. These tracks feel psychedelic, goopy, and warm. Our favorite song: "my(PLEASURE) ft. Liv.e".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


61. "United Palace by Lord Sko

The beat selection on this project is absolutely unreal. Lord Sko delivers his classic hard-hitting raps with strong determination.

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


60. "It's Ok, B U" by Kiefer

This is one of those albums where the cover art beautifully matches the feeling of the music. Kiefer takes us on a journey through his world of beautiful, emotional melodies. Our favorite song: "Head Trip" feat. Luke Titus.

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


59. "FAST 5" by SURF GANG and 454

454 and SURF GANG link up for a collection of songs that encapsulate the feeling of driving fast, watching your surroundings rush by. A truly iconic collaboration. Our favorite song:

"GANGSTER PARTY"

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


58. "Let Me Update My Status" by TisaKorean

TisaKorean doing what TisaKorean does best: bringing you chaotic, nostalgic, silly bangers. This project is jam-packed with personality and energy. Our favorite song: "SiLlY MoAn.mP3".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


57. "2MM DON'T JUST STAND THERE!" by Sideshow

Sideshow has never missed in his life, and continues that perfect track record with this album. Filled with honesty and introspection over some truly beautiful production from the likes of Sideshow, Alexander Spit, and Popstar Benny.

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


56. "PANIC" by TOBi

TOBi delivers a beautiful project of unapologetic soul music. He leads us through his journey of healing, self-love, and self-discovery. Our favorite songs: "Flowers" feat MAVI and "All Night Long" feat. Topaz Jones.

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


55. "breeze" by Vayda

Once we heard "bingo", we dove headfirst into the Vayda rabbit hole. This album soundtracked summer of 2023 for us, and helped us to embrace our inner bad bitch in every possible way. Our favorite songs: "bingo" and "prima donna".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


54. "I Was Mature For My Age, But I Was Still A Child" by grouptherapy.

grouptherapy. delivered an absolute gem that their cult fanbase is EATING UP. Exploring countless genres, this album is the definition of coloring outside the lines. Energetic, fun, and silly, this album beautifully represents a group that will be taking over the world in the coming years. Our favorite song: "Nasty".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


53. "Heaven Knows" by PinkPantheress

The debut album from our queen. While we're still listening to allow it to grow on us, there are multiple moments on this album that blew us away. These songs are dreamy, girly, and perfectly crafted for all the hopeless romantics. Our favorite songs: "Mosquito" and "Ophelia".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


52. "Johnny" by John Roseboro

John Roseboro is one of our all-time favorite songwriters. Whether he's exploring his interpersonal relationships or recalling his experiences of NYC public transportation, he will always tell his story with beauty and grace. Our favorite songs: "Chicken" and "I Took The L".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


51. "ULTRAVIOLET" by Lido

(This is an all-white album cover and may appear invisible, but we promise you it's there. lol)

Lido's bouncy, vibrant production fills your headphones with color. He teams up with some of our favorites like Choker, Jordan Ward, and more. Our favorite song: "BUMPIN" with Dizzy Fae.

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


50. "6" by Kenny Mason

Kenny Mason had a phenomenal year. One of the most consistent voices in rap, Kenny brings the energy on "6". Our favorite song: "100 or Nun" feat. Tony Shhnow.

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


49. "Denim" by Jonathan Richetts

Jonathan Richetts did a beautiful job painting a picture of his world with "Denim". The 6 songs are honest, explorative, and genuine. Frank Ocean fans may be attracted to his broken down, outside-the-box approach. Our favorite songs: "Formula 1" and "New Furniture".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


48. "Red Moon In Venus" by Kali Uchis

Watching the evolution of Kali Uchis is a true blessing. Her growth in every area of her artistry could not possibly be more evident. Kali's world is angelic, ethereal, deep, and colorful. This album will certainly stand the test of time. Our favorite song: "Love Between...".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


47. "Marking My Time" by Elmiene

A true student of the greats, Elmiene creates music that reached deep inside of us and touches our hearts. This is an incredibly special collection of songs. You will likely be brought to tears, either from his gripping lyrics or the sheer power of his melodies. Our favorite song: "Mama".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music

46. "HEAVEN" by Cleo Sol

Cleo Sol continues to soundtrack our personal healing journeys with "HEAVEN". Her voice brings us to a place of presence, peace, and softness. Our favorite song: "Self".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


45. "MID AIR" by Paris Texas

MID AIR" is Paris Texas' strongest piece of work yet. They are on the forefront of an awesome movement of artists blending hip-hop and rock, and this album showcases just how energizing and badass this sound can be. The album also brings in Teezo Touchdown and Kenny Mason, two fellow pioneers of this world of sound. Our favorite song: "Full English" feat. Teezo Touchdown.

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


44. "Sidharth" by Sid Sriram

The sensational Sid Sriram explores his identity with "Sidharth". The album joins together his vast musical influences, resulting in a super diverse collection of songs. His breathtaking vocals shine throughout the album. We've truly never heard anything like it. Our favorite song:

"The Hard Way".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


43. "JOINTS" by Marco Plus

One thing about Marco Plus: he's going to rap like his life depends on it. Marco is next up in a line of artists like JID, Kendrick Lamar, and Mick Jenkins who rap with a fiery hunger. This man did not come to play with this album, which is our favorite piece of work from him thus far. Our favorite song: "86 avirex freestyle".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


42. "UTOPIA" by Travis Scott

One of the most anticipated albums of 2023, UTOPIA was Travis Scott introducing us to a new world. This album was still full of sensational moments. The production truly shined on this project, and we were of course very pleased to see people like Teezo Touchdown and Westside Gunn featured. Our favorite songs:

"I KNOW ?" and "MODERN JAM".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


41. "The Patience" by Mick Jenkins

As communicated in the cover, the strongest feeling that Mick conveys through this album is frustration. This album is dense and intense. Mick sounds hungry as ever rapping over production from some of the best: Stoic, Hollywood Cole, Venna, and more. Every time we listen back, we discover something new. Our favorite song: "Smoke Break-Dance" feat. JID.

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


40. "Tangerine" by Flozigg

Flozigg brings the VIBES on "TANGERINE". Flozigg is one of our favorite rising voices in R&B, and this project is a quick and enjoyable listen full of beautiful, soft harmonies and unforgettable melodies. Our favorite song: "SWEET GEORGIA" feat. Icee Red.

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


39. "All For You" by Amaria

Amaria's voice feels like running your fingers over the softest velvet. "All For You" does a beautiful job of bringing us into Amaria's cozy and loving world. She has quickly become one of our favorite voices in R&B/neo-soul. Our favorite song: "Secrets".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


38. "Ways of Knowing" by Navy Blue

Navy Blue has a special way of detailing the human experience in a way that feels both deeply personal and universally understandable. He tells stories of his family and explores the wisdom that's been passed down to him. To us, this album feels like connection. Connection to self, to the universe, to family... and so on. The beautiful production elevates his storytelling and adds to a truly cathartic listening experience. Our favorite song: "Window to the Soul" feat. Kelly Moonstone.

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


37. "Raven" by Kelela

When this album released, we found ourselves playing it back again, and again... and again. Her voice sounds as beautiful as ever, with enchanting production to elevate the vibes further. The listening experience feels freeing and deeply emotional. Our favorite song: "Let It Go".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


36. "Flying High" by The Alchemist

This short project holds some of our favorite Alchemist beats from the year. Full of gripping samples that demand your full attention, the project recruits some of our favorite rappers in the game: Earl Swearshirt, billy woods, Boldy James, MIKE, Sideshow, Larry June, and more. Our favorite song: "Bless" feat. MIKE and Sideshow.

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


35. "Enigmatic Society" by Dinner Party

Dinner Party's consistency should be studied. These musicians have all been on a crazy run this year, and "Enigmatic Society" was the highlight in our eyes. This album exists right on the intersection of jazz, hip-hop, and R&B. Arin Ray and Phoelix shine as vocalists throughout the album. Our favorite songs: "Breathe" and "For Granted".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


34. "NOVA" by Terrace Martin and James Fauntleroy

21 minutes of sonic perfection. "Witchcraft" could very well be one of our favorite songs of all time.

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


33. "Coffee Grounds" by theMIND and Vooo

This project feels comforting and reassuring. Vooo and theMIND come together for a truly groovy collaboration that has quickly become some of our favorite R&B of the year. Our favorite song: "Mapquest".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


32. "Back In The Day" by Swami Sound

Our beloved friend Swami Sound paints an intricate picture of his world on "Back In The Day". This album shows Swami moving beyond his familiar garage style and exploring a wider range of electronic sounds. Seeing Swami spin these songs live makes them hit 10 times harder. Our favorite song: "Hallesches Tor".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


31. "KARPEH" by Cautious Clay

Cautious Clay's "KARPEH" is simply beautiful. His airy, dreamy voice tells stories of love and family; he creates melodies that tug on our heartstrings on songs like "Unfinished House" and "Another Half". "Glassface" features magnificent bass player (and Cautious Clay's uncle) Kai Eckhardt.The album feels jazzy and soft, and makes for an incredibly pleasant listen. Our favorite song: "Another Half".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


30. "RESET!" by Ovrkast.

This project contains some of our favorite work from Ovrkast. His sample selection is absolutely unreal, filling each track with soul and feelings of wonder. While Ovrkast. is praised as a legendary producer, we can't overlook his skill as a rapper: "RESET!" serves as a reminder that he is a force to be reckoned with when he gets on the mic. Our favorite songs: "TBH!" and "SHUTUP!".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


29. "Détwat" by HiTech

We were introduced to Detroit's HiTech through Pink Siifu and Turich Benjy's "ITS TOO QUIET..'!!".

And since our first listen, we've been absolutely hooked. Their ghettotech music is the perfect soundtrack for getting sexy on the dance floor. Prepare to be sick of us talking about how much we love them! Our favorite song: "Clap That A$$".

Listen on Bandcamp


28. "For All The Dogs: Scary Hours Edition" by Drake

Drake opened up his new album with a sample of Frank Ocean's "Wiseman", and we fell in love instantly. Collaborating with so many of our favorites like Teezo Touchdown, Conductor Williams, Cash Cobain, Sexyy Red, and beyond, Drake really captured the essence of where great music is at in 2023. Even better, when he released his "Scary Hours" edition, we were thrilled to see him hop on beats produced by The Alchemist and Ovrkast. Drake never fails to have his finger on the pulse of what the people love, and he will always deliver. Our favorite songs: "Calling For You", "Bahamas Promises", and "Red Button".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


27. "More Better" by Cisco Swank

Cisco Swank's debut album makes you feel like everything is going to be okay. On the project we hear everything from hip-hop to jazz to alternative rock, with one thing tying it all together: Cisco's bright spirit. Lines like "I can see how far that we've come and it's only begun / It took a while, now we're here, and it's clear we can make it now" make us feel encouraged in our own dreams, and filled with joy to see Cisco chasing his own. Our favorite song:

"No Funny" feat. Yoshi T.

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


26. "Take What You Need" by Amindi

Amindi's "TWYN" lives up to its name; it gives us a collection of songs with a wide range of different energies and messages. Depending on how you feel, you can pop in anytime to "take what you need". Whether you're falling in love to "dopamine", grooving to "bake", or rocking out to "do2much", Amindi has something to offer you. Amindi's choices on this album allow us to see her as a tasteful curator and bold risk-taker. The album also features many of our favorite rising artists like chlothegod, Jordan Ward, Frex, and Kenny Mason. Our favorite song: "dopamine".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


25. "Voir Dire" by Earl Sweatshirt & The Alchemist

It feels like we've been waiting on this album forever. And now that it's finally here, we couldn't be more stoked. To us, The Alchemist and Earl Sweatshirt are two of the most important figures in hip-hop today, constantly pushing boundaries and redefining what hip-hop can sound like. And when they link up, they make magic. The Alchemist's bold sample selection shines on tracks like "Vin Skully" and "Sentry", and provides the perfect groundwork for Earl to find the most creative way possible to navigate through each beat. Our favorite song: "27 Braids".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


24. "ITS TOO QUIET..'!!" by Pink Siifu and Turich Benjy

Pink Siifu and Turich Benjy's collaborative album feels free-flowing and fun. It's soulful, bouncy, and has a great balance between high and low energy moments. Each song has a personality of its own. Don't even get us started on the features... Vayda, WifiGawd, Ojerime, Nick Hakim, Dende... the list goes ON. This album is also responsible for introducing us to HiTech, which we couldn't be more grateful for. Our favorite song: "WYWD..'!?"

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


23. "Like...?" by Ice Spice

Ice Spice is the queen of 2023. Each song on "Like...?" has served as the life of the party, from "Deli" to "In Ha Mood". Ice Spice's personality and style translate seamlessly into her music, which serves as the anthem for bad bitches all around the world. Her impact is undeniable. Our favorite song: "Deli".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


22. "KAYTRAMINÉ" by KAYTRAMINÉ

KAYTRAMINÉ was undoubtedly the soundtrack to summer of 2023. Kaytranada and Aminé's sounds blend together seamlessly for an album full of bright, danceable bops. Songs like "Rebuke" and "Westside" show off Kaytranada's ability to produce great hip-hop tracks, while "4EVA" and "EYE" showcase show Aminés voice can keep the club alive. We adore every song on this album, and we're only loving it more as time goes on. Our favorite songs: "Rebuke" and "Sossaup".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


21. "And Then You Pray For Me" by Westside Gunn

The highly anticipated album from Westside Gunn gave us some unforgettable moments. (We all remember exactly where we were when we heard Stove God Cooks singing on "KITCHEN LIGHTS" for the first time.) "AND THEN YOU PRAY FOR ME" is a testament to Westside Gunn's talent as a curator, recruiting the best of the best to craft an album of the highest quality. The album features artists like Denzel Curry and JID, and also explores some trap production. This was a piece of work created by traveling the world and experiencing luxury in different settings, and that explorative spirit can be felt throughout the album. Our favorite songs: "KITCHEN LIGHTS" and "Babylon Bis".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


20. "Fountain Baby" by Amaarae

This is one of those albums where the cover art speaks volumes. As the image would suggest, Amaarae's "Fountain Baby" is sexy, confident, and free. Every word from Amaarae's mouth feels like gold, sensually guiding us through thumping production. "Fountain Baby" was another consistent soundtrack to our summer; the party wasn't truly lit until "Princess Going Digital" was played. This album pushed Amaarae to new heights, and we can't watch her continue to take over the world.

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


19. "The Interludes" by Ojerime

Ojerime blessed us with 4 otherworldy songs on "The Interludes". Her mesmerizing melodies leave us feeling hypnotized as we sink into the project's deep, lush production. For the average album, an interlude represents a pause in the story, a moment of reflection, a step back to find new perspective. With this project, Ojerime has complied four interludes, leaving us suspended in wonder. "2 Much Pride" is our favorite song, and one of our favorite R&B tracks of the year.

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


18. "Ganger" by Veeze

THIS IS NOT A FIRE DRILL!!! Veeze's 2023 takeover has been beautiful to behold. His style is hard-hitting and simultaneously silly and unserious, making for some insanely quoteable bars. We could play this album back hundreds of times and never get tired of it. (In fact, that's exactly what we did!) The addictive Detroit sound combined with his vibrant personality make for an unforgettable body of work. Our favorite songs: "Not a Drill" and "SEXY liar".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


17. "Larger Than Life" by Brent Faiyaz

It's hard to imagine how Brent could follow up an album as massive as WASTELAND. But, he managed to come back with another project full of high-quality, engaging music. He harnesses nostalgia on tracks like "Tim's Intro", incorporates some of our favorite artists like Tommy Richman, Jonah Roy, and FELIX! on "Upset" and "Forever Yours", and gives us timeless hits like "Moment Of Your Life" with Coco Jones. Brent continues to build out his unique world of R&B; many try to copy, but nobody could ever replicate what Brent has been able to build. Our favorite song: "Forever Yours".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


16. "Pretty Girls Love Slizzy" by Cash Cobain

This album is absolutely insane. Cash's versatility to go from flipping Nelly's "Dilemma" on "Not No Xanax 2" to creating the slow and sexy "Clocking U" demonstrates exactly why he's one of the hottest producers out right now. This album is horny and playful, and will turn the energy all the way up in any room it's played in. Our favorite songs: "Clocking U" and "Nice N Slow".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


15. "FORWARD" by Jordan Ward

2023 was the year of Jordan Ward. His growth over the course of the year has been amazing, from earning the Tyler, The Creator cosign on "WHITE CROCS" to opening for JID and Smino as well as 6LACK on tour. His joyful sound had us dancing all year long. We also have to give a big shoutout to Lido for his incredible work producing on this album!! Jordan's music united a huge community of music lovers this year, and we can all agree that he's something incredibly special. We can't wait to see what's in store for him in 2024! Our favorite songs: "311" feat. Gwen Bunn and "DANCE MACHINE".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


14. "Sunrise Bang Ur Head Against Tha Wall" by Nia Archives

Nia Archives was our gateway into discovering jungle, and it opened up a whole new world for us. "Sunrise Bang Ur Head Against Tha Wall" is a collection of some of our favorite songs by Nia. Her songwriting explores feelings we've all dealt with as we come of age; from feeling like a lover's second option to overthinking ourselves into oblivion. Her soft harmonies blend beautifully with the fast-paced production, making for a listening experience that feels floaty and ethereal with tracks like "So Tell Me..." and "Conveniency". On the other hand, songs like "Baianá" and "Sunrise Bang Ur Head Against Tha Wall" are more hard-hitting, perfect for losing yourself on the dancefloor. Our favorite song... truthfully, all of them.

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


13. "DIAMONDS & FREAKS" by BLK ODYSSY

BLK ODYSSY created something incredibly special with this album. He's able to perfectly capture the sound of lust, whether that's with his striking lyrics or with jazzy production that's sure to have you stuck with a permanent stank face. The roster of collaborators on this album is impressive, with legends like Bootsy Collins, Rapsody, The Alchemist, and Cory Henry. Eimaral Sol's gorgeous voice brings so much depth to the project, especially on "PINK MARMALADE". BLK ODYSSY made a masterpiece, and made it look easy. Our favorite song: "SUMMER IN THE RAIN".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


12. "Electric Dusk" by Leon Thomas

The brilliant musician behind some of your favorite songs has emerged with his debut solo album, and it's beyond what we could've ever imagined. Opening up with the otherworldly "Slow Down", moving through the moody "X-Rated" feat. Benny the Butcher, into powerful and heartbreaking "Breaking Point", the entire album leads us through the heart and mind of one of the greatest R&B artists of our generation. His voice alone is enough to bring us to tears, especially when he's wearing his heart on his sleeve, which is the case throughout most of the album. Our favorite song: "Slow Down".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


11. "Obsidian" by Naomi Sharon

The newest OVO signee has a voice that sounds like a perfect blend of Sade and Tems. Her music feels like waves of emotion washing over you, while her lush vocals tell stories of love and regret. The production on the album takes from sounds like amapiano and house, softly thumping but not overpowering her singing. This is true crying in the club music. Songs like "Regardless" show a more stripped down side of Naomi, with heartbreakingly honest lyrics like "Even if I'm broken hearted, I'll stick around / Even if you're broken hearted, I'll still come around / Cause I love you regardless". The music itself and the cover art create a feeling of nostalgia, like this album is a soundtrack to a late 90s/early 2000s romance film. Naomi has star quality that very well could lead to her becoming one of the biggest artists of the coming years. No matter what the numbers say, we know she's something special, and this album will be on heavy rotation for us for a very long time. Our favorite songs: "Regardless" and "If This Is Love".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


10. "I Digress..." by Kelly Moonstone

Kelly Moonstone's "I Digress..." is sweet, warm, and incredibly soulful. Her singing voice feels similar to someone like Minnie Riperton, delivering her lyrics ever-so delicately, at times almost like a whisper. On the other hand, Kelly shows us her skill as a rapper, detailing the struggles she's endured while trying to provide for herself and cope with the difficulties of life while still keeping faith in herself and her dreams. On the album, Kelly covers topics like the spacey feeling of being high as hell on shrooms, wanting to burn a man's house down, lusting for a special someone, craving love in a time of loneliness, and more. We hear production from Navy Blue and Budgie on the album, along with Kelly's own production. The whole album is a treat and only gets better with each listen. Our favorite songs: "Got 2 Shine" and "To The Moon!".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


9. "Burning Desire" by MIKE

Just when we think MIKE has delivered the best album possible, he manages to get even better time and time again. "Burning Desire" is full of MIKE's intricate sample chops and spirited raps. Recruiting some of the brightest like El Costeau, Niontay, Liv.e, Venna, and of course Earl Sweatshirt, MIKE shows us his talents as a curator with this project. Our favorite moment on this album is "THEY DON'T STOP IN THE RAIN", when TAKA recalls this summer's Young World Fest, when storm clouds were looming and nearly cut the show short. But MIKE's community wasn't going to let the rain stop them! As the song opens up, the sample repeats "Not the gang, they don't stop in the rain"! MIKE's love for his friends and larger community is evident both in his music and his IRL events, and that energy is truly heartwarming. He continues to be one of the most forward-thinking artists out, and we are constantly amazed by everything he creates. Our favorite songs: "U think Maybe?" feat. Liv.e and Venna, "REAL LOVE' with Fashionspitta, and "THEY DON'T STOP IN THE RAIN" with TAKA.

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music



8. "Lahai" by Sampha

For us, the world stopped when "Spirit 2.0" released. This was our first look into the light, fluttery, heavenly world of Lahai. Once we got "Only", we were pulled further in. And once the whole album released, we were launched up into the clouds. Every second of Lahai commands your attention, with Sampha delivering the most intricate of sounds throughout the 41-minute project. It all feels so honest. This album is one of those pieces of art that truly feels like it has healing powers; there very well could be magic in every track. While the album can feel like a lot to comprehend, we find it the most enjoyable when we let go, lay back, and allow our feelings to ebb and flow as the music plays. The emotional experience of listening to this album is what makes it so special to us. Our favorite songs: "Spirit 2.0" and "Rose Tint".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


7. "Sundial" by Noname

The long awaited "Sundial" is a beautiful album filled with glimmering production and Noname's blatant honesty. Noname's soft and gentle voice details her thoughts on some not-so-gentle topics, criticizing entertainers and politicians alike, while not shying away from pointing her criticism at herself as well. Noname is one of those artists who are fully prepared to say exactly what they mean, even if that means a tremendous amount of backlash. The album is dense; you're likely to catch something new with every listen. The production on tracks like "potentially the interlude" and "black mirror" had us floating; Noname's ear and musical choices make her one of our favorite curators. Our favorite song: "potentially the interlude".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


6. "The Great Escape" by Larry June & The Alchemist

This was the craziest rapper/producer linkup of 2023. The Alchemist's luxurious beats paired with Larry June's smooth, laid back voice made for one of our favorite hip-hop albums of the year. The flow of the album is incredible, with each song transitioning perfectly into the next. It's impossible to not run through the whole album every chance you get. This album holds some of our favorite Alc beats, like "Porsches in Spanish" and "What Happened To The World?" Meanwhile, Larry June is out here motivating us to keep our taxes organized and drink more tea. This album reminds us that true luxury isn't about dollar signs- it's about a feeling. A feeling that anyone can access through self-love, health, and prioritizing the things that are truly important in this life. Our favorite songs: "Solid Plan", "60 Days", "Summer Reign", and "What Happened To The World?".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


5. "Never Enough" by Daniel Caesar

The latest album from Daniel Caesar, just like his past projects, is cohesive and full of incredible songs. His melodies are enchanting and heartbreaking, especially on tracks like "Ocho Rios" and "Toronto 2014". We can't listen through this album without having an out-of-body experience as we revisit past (or present) heartbreaks. Songs like "Toronto 2014" speak to the difficult experience of watching time pass by, contemplating death and what all of this even means. "Pain Is Inevitable" delivers a stoic message about how we can choose to be miserable or not be miserable in the face of difficulty. Daniel Caesar is incredibly consistent, and we are not at all surprised by the impeccable quality of this album. Our favorite songs: "Toronto 2014", "Pain Is Inevitable", "Vince Van Gogh", and "Buyer's Remorse".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


4. "Girl In The Half Pearl" by Liv.e

The innovative neo-soul artist brought us an experimental masterpiece with "Girl In The Half Pearl". The album is constantly shifting, bending us into new shapes to help us see new perspectives. There are moments of chaos, and moments of immense peace. Songs like "Wild Animals" provide a calm R&B/neo-soul experience while songs like "Ghost" shake us up with its breakbeats and the sound of her frustrated screams. Tracks like "Glass Shadows" and "Find Out" create a dreamy, psychedelic atmosphere for us to explore. This album feels like a pure expression of self, where there are no boundaries and no wrong turns. Her insightful lyrics remind us that there are lessons to be learned from pain and grief, and to not shy away from feeling those things as deeply as we need to. Liv.e's music invokes a sense of childlike wonder in us, and inspires us to expand our ideas of what's possible. Our favorite songs: "Ghost", "Wild Animals", "Find Out", and "RESET!".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


3. "Leather Blvd." by B. Cool-Aid

Ahwlee and Pink Siifu are an unmatched duo, and Leather Blvd. is proof of that. This album is bursting at the seams with passion and soul. But it does this tastefully, moving at a slow pace and allowing us to savor every second ("Diamonds" is the prime example of this). Not to mention the 9-minute outro track, featuring Fousheé tenderly serenading us as the album meanders to a close. The list of collaborators on this album is amazing, with names like Devin Morrison, Mndsgn, Liv.e, Butcher Brown, DJ Harrison, Kamilah, and so many more incredible musicians. It's likely that you will be stuck with permanent stank face after listening to the hour-long project. We are in awe of what B. Cool-Aid did here. Our favorite songs: "Diamonds" and "Cnt Go Back ( Tell Me )".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


2. "How Do You Sleep At Night?" by Teezo Touchdown

From watching him make videos in front of a white garage, to singing into a bouquet of flowers, we've watched Teezo every step of the way. Even before his debut album, we've seen Teezo featured on albums from Drake, Tyler the Creator, Don Toliver, and more. And with the release of "How Do You Sleep At Night?", we get our first experience of what a Teezo Touchdown album looks like. This album tells us a few things about Teezo. Firstly, he is a relentless dream chaser. Tracks like "Impossible" and "Familiarity" seem like they're made to fire up all the big dreamers, encouraging us to go for it, and reminding us that we are so capable of doing the things we fantasize about. Secondly, he truly cares about people. "Neighbor" and "Stranger" show us that Teezo sees value in everyone, and accepts you no matter who you are, how "strange" you think you are, or what your circumstances may be. Thirdly, he is a motherf*cking rockstar. "Too Easy" has us headbanging, and "You Thought" has Teezo rapping over rapid-fire drums, hitting us with crazy bars: "You would've thought that my wifi not paid, the way that I do not play." The result: an album that is a perfectly honest picture of who Teezo is, what he stands for, and why he does all of this. He is unapologetically and enthusiastically himself. This album has left us feeling inspired, seen, and supported. It's never been easier for us to love an artist. Teezo, we're you're #1 fans!! Our favorite songs: "Impossible", "You Thought", "Sweet", and "Familiarity".

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music


1. "Ready When You Are" by Planet Giza

At our number one spot rests "Ready When You Are" by Planet Giza. The Montreal-based trio has delivered us an album that's impeccably curated and provides an absolutely heavenly listening experience. There isn't one song on this album we haven't run back over and over again. It's clear that this project was created by true students of great music. The range of sounds is vast, and it's hard to categorize this album as any type of genre. Some moments that stood out to us: the harmonies on "READY WHEN YOU ARE", Tony's flows on "THINK OF ME", the drums on "SHIPS N LUV", the piano on "NORTHERN PLAYALISTIC", and the beautiful melodies of "FATAL ATTRACTION". The features they have on the album include Saba, femdot., Mick Jenkins, Sun, Venna, Lan'do, Topaz Jones, and Kojey Radical. If this album were a restaurant, it would have three Michelin stars. If we ran the Grammy's, it would sweep all the categories. We implore you all to enjoy this album at your earliest convenience. (And while you're at it, check out our interview with Planet Giza from earlier this year.) Our favorite song: all of them. We could never choose.

Listen on Spotify / Apple Music

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