The best new hip-hop this week column returns in 2023 after taking a couple of weeks off for the holidays. Although new releases were relatively sparse for the past couple of weeks, there were new projects from New York rapper MIKE, Houston mainstay Sauce Walka, and Baton Rouge menace to society YoungBoy Never Broke Again, as well as the latest installment in French Montana’s Coke Boys mixtape series (the release party for which unexpectedly turned tragic).
But as the year gets started in earnest, the hip-hop machine picked up steam, bringing a respectable crop of new releases from the likes of both rising rappers like BabyTron and Zelooperz and veterans like 03 Greedo and Skyzoo. Meanwhile, new singles popped up from all corners of the hip-hop map, with new tracks from the likes of Moneybagg Yo and GloRilla, Black Thought, Logic, Offset, and Armani White.
Here is the best of hip-hop this week ending January 13, 2023.
03 Greedo x Mike Free — Free 03
03 free! The formerly incarcerated Watts native celebrated his impending release from prison with what is presumably the last of his pre-prison material, which features collaborations with BlueBucksClan and OhGeesy. Also featured is an unexpectedly poignant team-up between Greedo and his frequent partner-in-rhyme Drakeo The Ruler, who also outlasted an egregious sentence only to meet his untimely end less than a year later.
BabyTron — Bin Reaper 3: New Testament
The Detroit punchline pundit is quickly becoming one of the burgeoning Michigan scene’s most prolific producers — and one of its most provocative. If you’ve been following BabyTron — which you have been, if you’re a regular reader of this column — you know what to expect: More off-kilter humor and off-the-cuff sports references in service of proving he’s flashier than your favorites.
Skyzoo x The Other Guys — The Mind of A Saint
Brooklyn’s unofficial poet laureate seriously impressed with his last release, 2021’s All The Brilliant Things, and picks up right where he left off with his latest. Written from the perspective of Snowfall‘s conflicted protagonist Franklin Saint, Skyzoo’s new project is yet another intricate portrait of a figure he knows all too well, a player in a system he didn’t have a hand in creating but is willing to risk everything to master.
ZelooperZ — Might Not Make It
Fresh off his tour with Atlanta funnyman Zack Fox, the Bruiser Brigade member continues his crusade to make his name one of the first fans think of when the phrase “most unique rappers” gets tossed around. The five-song EP tries a bunch of new, interesting, unusual things sonically and your tolerance for them may hinge upon how badly you want hip-hop to move on from its current 808 obsession, but it’s hard to deny that at least it’s compelling stuff.
Buddy & Kent Jamz — “House Party”
The remake of the ’90s hip-hop cinematic classic hits theaters this week and with it, the soundtrack comes to streaming. Naturally, one of rap’s top modern dynamic duos makes for a perfect pairing on the title track, backed by the West Coast’s finest producer, the Inland Empire’s own Hit-Boy.
Fly Anakin — “Blicky Bop”
Fly Ani is a year removed from his warmly-received “debut” album Frank and is already plotting his next move — which, in this case, is a pair of EPs. Skinemaxxx will come with a side A and B, with the former dropping in April. The trippy “Blicky Bop” is the first offering.
G Herbo — “Shaderoom”
Herb is still promoting his 2022 double album Survivor’s Remorse, doing so this week with an uptempo selection whose video finds him enjoying the finer things in life. Just because he’s feeling the effects of the album’s title doesn’t mean he can’t have a little fun.
Jadakiss & Swizz Beats — “Hustle, Repeat”
Season 3 of Godfather Of Harlem returns to Epix this week, bringing a new soundtrack headed by Jadakiss, who’s well-versed in the appropriate subject matter. Swizz Beats gets some production backup from Avenue Beatz and Jada spits his usual brick-hard bars.
Westside Gunn, Rome Streetz, & Stove God Cooks — “BDP”
Gunn has been spending his past couple of projects setting up the next generation of talent from Griselda, and his most recent one, 10, is no exception. “BDP,” a standout from the project, showcases the lyrical talents of rising stars Rome Streetz and Stove God while bossman holds down the hook.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.