The Best Afrobeats Albums Of 2023

Today’s afrobeats scene is arguably in the best condition its been in a while simply because the new artists on the block are having as much success as the genre’s “older” generation. As Davido and Burna Boy saw viral moments through their releases this year, Rema and Asake enjoyed the same for themselves. The success isn’t only reserved for the men in the genre. Names like Ayra Starr, Tyla, Teni, and Tems are more than deserving of their place in the spotlight. In fact, it’s demanded.

As for 2023, afrobeats welcomed back artists who’d been absent from the scene for some time. Davido returned to release one of the best albums of the year with Timeless while Mr Eazi took on the role of The Evil Genius for his long-awaited debut. Other acts wasted no time getting back to work after releasing their previous projects. Asake (Work Of Art), Adekunle Gold (Tequila Ever After), and Blaqbonez (Emeka Must Shine) are examples of artists who make quick returns to the scene. Outside of these aforementioned names are artists who’ve established themselves immensely talents who found away to the top of afrobeats in 2023.

With that being said here are the ten best afrobeats albums of 2023 in alphabetical order:

Adekunle Gold — Tequila Ever After

Adekunle Gold 'Tequila Ever After' album
Def Jam Recordings

This year seemed to be the year of quick returns for a few afrobeats artists. Burna Boy and Asake are among those who returned with projects after a short break and Adekunle Gold also joined that list this year with his fifth album Tequila Ever After. It’s always a joy to watch artists find the fun in their music again, and that’s exactly what happened with Adekunle Gold on this album. The album uses vibrant production as its canvas as Adekunle paints with moments of falling in love, dancing under the spotlight, and simply enjoying what life has blessed him with. It’s a toast to now and forever as well as motivation to find a level of enjoyment in your life comparable to what Adekunle indulges in. – W.O.

Asake — Work Of Art

asake work of art
YBNL Nation/Empire Distribution

After establishing himself as one of the best newcomers in afrobeats in 2022, Asake used 2023 to prove that his success is far from a moment, but rather, the starting moments of a long-lasting career. His second album Work Of Art, arrived just nine months after his stellar debut Mr. Money With The Vibe and it exercises the same winning formula that put Asake in the spotlight. The Nigerian star returns as triumphant, spiritual, and grateful as ever, and with Work Of Art, we get a slightly altered painting that is altered enough to be something new worth paying attention to, all while using the same paintbrush and colors. In the end, this formula provided records like the Grammy-nominated “Amapiano” and the fan-favorite “Lonely At The Top” that will go down as one of the best offerings in Asake’s discography. – W.O.

Blaqbonez — Emeka Must Shine

Blaqbonez 'Emeka Must Shine'
Chocolate City Music

Behind giants like Davido, Wizkid, and Burna Boy lives an immensely talented class of young afrobeats artists who represent the genre’s stars of tomorrow. Nigerian’s own Blaqbonez, born Emeka Akumefule, in that class, an honor he proved he was worthy of with the 2022 release of Young Preacher. Blaqbonez doubles down on that with Emeka Must Shine, his third album in as many years. The project that bears his legal name is one that Blaqbonez uses to showcase his elevation and versatility as an artist. Introspection lives through “Road Runners” as much as his free spirit and desire to enjoy life do on “Like Ice Spice” and “6 Bizness Days.” It’s these unique aspects and Blaqbonez’s ability to tie them together in a cohesive manner that allow him to shine, just like his third album’s title says he must do. – W.O.

Burna Boy — I Told Them…

burna boy 2023

Burna Boy has never really favored humility, but when you’ve spent the bulk of your career proving your doubters wrong, how could you favor it? When success as an afrobeats artist was doubted, he proved them wrong. When he was told global stardom was out of reach, he did all he could to grab it. When he was denied awards, he found a way to give an acceptance speech with an award in hand. Burna Boy relishes in his accomplishments on his sixth album I Told Them…, and though there isn’t a stark difference or a new approach for this project, moments like “City Boys,” “Dey Play,” and “Tested, Approved & Trusted” highlight the Burna Boy we love. On the flip side, “Sittin’ On Top Of The World” and “Big 7” capture the global ambassador Burna strives to be. There’s no doubting Burna’s success, but in case you decide to, I Told Them… is proof of the progress. – W.O.

Crayon — Trench To Triumph

Crayon 'Trench To Triumph'
Mavin Global Holdings Ltd./Blowtime Entertainment

Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records contains a roster of talent that many labels would be envious of. The label’s most recognizable faces are Rema and Ayra Starr, but in 2023, Crayon emerged as an eligible candidate to complete a “big three” within the label thanks to his debut album Trench To Triumph. A true rags to riches story, as its title suggests, Crayon displays his spirituality, past struggles, current impressive talents, and future potential all within the project’s 13 songs. Whether it be afrobeats with “Trench Kid” and the semi-viral “Ngozi” or amapiano with “Ijo Laba” and “The One (Chop Life),” Crayon uses it all to paint the world he came from. You may not have expected Crayon to have one of afrobeats’ best albums in 2023, but going forward, that should be the expectation in future years. – W.O.

Davido — Timeless

Davido Timeless

Davido’s absence from the afrobeats world over the past couple of years, though it was respected, was surely felt by fans. So with the arrival of his fourth album Timeless, the expectation was that he would fit right into the genre’s newly-mainstream landscape while showing why he’s on the Mount Rushmore of the genre. To the surprise of no one, that’s exactly what happened. Timeless arrived as Davido’s best album to date and it’s thanks to the singer’s theme of conquering all things in his way on the album. Whether it be those who want to bring him down or unfortunate events in his life, Davido stands tall “over dem” on Timeless. – W.O.

L.A.X. — No Bad Vibes

L.A.X. 'No Bad Vibes'
Rasaki Music Ltd/EMPIRE

Staying true to his name, a slight acronym for Live And Excel, Nigerian singer L.A.X. took a clear step upward with his third album No Bad Vibes. Born from months of touring and the recognition that a project that embodied his growth was needed came twelve that capture the dance-friendly nature of African music through sweet offerings with features from Ayra Starr, Black Sherif, Konshens, and more. Afrobeats, afropop, and amapiano are the means he uses to achieve his mission of ensuring its great vibes from start to finish on No Bad Vibes. “Zaza” is the infectious dancefloor warmup while “Rora” is where you let go and be free and “Options” grants the slow, intimate embrace of a loved one. L.A.X. covered the bases with No Bad Vibes and he didn’t waste a beat doing so. – W.O.

Mr Eazi — The Evil Genius

Mr Eazi 'The Evil Genius'
emPawa Africa Limited

Mr Eazi was one of a few faces that represented afrobeats during its rise in the 2010s. Releases like “Skin Tight,” “Leg Over,” and “Pour Me Water,” stood out amongst the field and Eazi’s consistency was heralded just as much as the music itself. With all that being said, it’s a bit shocking that it wasn’t until 2023 that Mr Eazi delivered his official debut album. The Evil Genius and its 16 tracks combine everything we’ve come to love about Mr Eazi and his music. He doesn’t sound a decade older, but the experience and wisdom gained in those 10 years are entwined in The Evil Genius. Highlife, afropop, and other genres under the afrobeats soundtrack breathe vibrant life into an incredibly personal album that dives into love, betrayal, loneliness, and family. It was a long time coming for Mr Eazi, but as the saying goes, better late than never. – W.O.

NSG — Area Boyz

NSG 'Area Boyz'
NSG Entertainment

A decade into their career, NSG celebrated the milestone by releasing their debut album Area Boyz. The Nigerian and Ghanaian six-member group out of East London delivered an album that deserved to bask in the sunlight of the summer. Bass-knocking records like “Azonto,” “Zombie,” and “Seihor” set the temperature for explosive moments on the album like “Stevie Wonder” and “Nella Rose.” In addition to that, NSG finds moments to show off their timid side through offerings like “Tonight” and “Toxic Love.” Nineteen tracks deep and NSG used them all to show their versatility and growth over their decade-long career. Ten years is a mark few make it to and it’s surely a reason to celebrate, Area Boyz just makes the moment much sweeter. – W.O.

Teni — Tears Of The Sun

Teni 'Tears Of The Sun'
Sugar Mummy Records

Nigerian singer Teni is living proof of the beauty behind seeking out the silver linings during the down times in life. Her second album Tears Of The Sun embodies that to a tee with 16 celebratory records that are as bright as the sun in the album’s title. You’re welcome to dance through songs like “Control” while “YBGFA (Young Black Girl From Africa)” offers inspiration to those who look up to her and “Holy Matrimony” supplies a dose of moving spirituality. On Tears Of The Sun, Teni rides the wave of optimism with ease and does it authentically. As a result, Tears Of The Sun lands as a moving album that’ll brighten your day and put you in a nice groove. – W.O.

Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. .