23 Rising Hip-Hop Artists To Watch In 2023
By Tony M. Centeno
February 27, 2023
A new generation of lyrical phenoms and hit makers has been making an impact on Hip-Hop that will last for years to come.
Within the past few months, we've witnessed an array of rappers shed their "upcoming artist" status and evolve into the most promising rookies in the industry. Artists like Ice Spice, Finesse2tymes, Lola Brooke and others have made waves with their music that have taken them to incredible heights in their respective careers. So much so that fans are finally hearing their hits across hundreds of Hip-Hop radio stations across the country.
While some Hip-Hop heads have come to know and love the aforementioned artists, there are still plenty more MC's that are also rising in the ranks from California's LaRussell to Georgia's Cae Cartier. There are also a few women who are making shaking up the industry with their distinguished flows and catchy bars like Memphis' Gloss Up and New York's Lady London.
If you're looking for some new artists to add to your playlists, scroll below to find out more about the rap artists you should be listening to in 2023.
Ice Spice has only been in the game for two years and she’s already impacted Hip-Hop’s drill scene in New York City and beyond. The Bronx native made her grand entrance with her “Bully Freestyle” produced by RIOTUSA, who also crafted her other hits “No Clarity” and “Euphoric." Following her On The Radar freestyle, Ice Spice and RIOTUSA hit the jackpot after “Munch (Feelin’ U),” went viral and got praise from the likes of Drake and Cardi B. After her breakthrough hit had mobs of fans following her every move, Ice Spice inked a deal with 10K Projects/Capitol Records and released her debut EP Like..? The project contains all her hits plus “Gangsta Boo” featuring Lil Tjay. Her latest collaboration with PinkPantheress “Boy’s a liar Pt. 2” has also impressed the masses. As of February, Ice Spice’s six-track EP has sold an impressive 100,000 units according to Chart Data. We know she’ll go on to sell way more in the future.
The Sleazy campaign has been nonstop since 2020. Upon releasing his first project Big Sleaz, SleazyWorld Go established himself as the grimiest lyricist to come from his hometown of Kansas City, MO with trap bangers like “Sliding” and “Pass My The Glock.” Fans’ response to his records around his city, and eventually around the country, pushed him to drop more records like his most popular hit “Sleazy Flow.” The bass-heavy anthem laced with a catchy piano loop dropped in 2021 and caught the attention of Lil Baby, who hopped on the official “Sleazy Flow” (Remix). Soon after, other remixes from NLE Choppa, Yungeen Ace and more began to flood the Internet. Over the past year, Sleazy gained even more hype with the release of his debut album Where The Shooters Be via Island Records. The project features Offset, Fredo Bang, G Herbo, Rich The Kid and more. He kicked off 2023 by being nominated for Best New Hip-Hop Artist ahead of the 2023 iHeartRadio Music Awards, and dropping more new music. Where The Shooters Be 2, which is the deluxe version of his debut LP, gifts fans with five new records before he heads out on his first tour this year.
Fans of GloRilla will recognize her best friend Gloss Up from her infamous “FNF (Let’s Go)” music video. While Big Glo found fame under Yo Gotti’s CMG imprint, Gloss Up landed her own deal with Quality Control and has been making a name for herself in the game ever since. Gloss Up has been posting her freestyles over songs from T.I., Chris Brown, Lil Baby and others to YouTube since 2015. She released her first mixtape Different Shades of Gloss in 2019 and followed-up with a handful of singles like “Raw,” “Gloss Up Sonshine” and more. Last year she teamed up with Lakeyah and Bankroll Freddie before she teamed up with HitKidd once again for “Shabooyah” featuring Aleza, K Carbon and Slimeroni. She reunited with the aforementioned crew of ladies for “Eeny Meeny Miny Mo” off her debut EP Before The Gloss Up. The 13-track project, which also features GloRilla and Icewear Vezzo, proves Big Gloss is here to stay.
Fridayy’s bone-chilling voice has captivated the industry in recent years, but he’s actually been making music for nearly a decade. He dropped his first track in 2014 as an artist. However, he landed his first major placement as producer on Chris Brown’s Breezy album. Since then, he formally broke on the scene on DJ Khaled’s “God Did” alongside JAY-Z, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and John Legend. A few months later, he appeared on Lil Baby’s “Forever” on It’s Only Me and dropped his debut EP Lost In Melody featuring Vory. He continued to impress fans by receiving several Grammy nominations for “God Did” and making his debut performance at the 2023 Grammy Awards. Shortly after he got off the stage, Fridayy delivered the deluxe version of Lost In Melody with five brand new songs including “Shoot” with Ty Dolla $ign. Fridayy’s career is literally prospering before our eyes, and he’s still going up as we speak. It’ll be impossible to miss his rise to the top this year.
Rome Streetz is finally receiving the attention and praise he deserves.. Since breaking onto the scene with his 2016 mixtape I Been Thru Mad Sh*t, the New York City rapper, who’s name is inspired by his numerous treks from Queens to Harlem, has consistently delivered hard-hitting bars in every song he makes. Inspired by the Golden era of Hip-Hop, Rome Streetz is able to utilize classic flows from the 90s and turn them into modern stories that his fans can relate to today. Rome released 13 projects independently before he landed at Griselda Records in 2021. Prior to signing, Rome delivered four projects that year: Death & The Magician with DJ Muggs, Genesis 1:27, Razor’s Edge and Coup De Grace with Ransom. Nearly a year after the latter project, Streetz dropped his debut under Griselda, Kiss The Ring. Rome hasn’t slowed down since. He’s about to hit the road in March to bring his latest album to more cities across the country.
Jeleel! Is quickly becoming a household name in the festival circuit. He’s only been active in the rap game since 2018, but he’s managed to build a massive following due to his highly energetic records and his explosive stage presence during his concerts. After dropping projects like Angel From Heaven and Generation Z, the Rhode Island native delivered his single “Dive In!” which blew up on digital streaming platforms and social media. Since then, he landed himself a deal with 10K Projects and hit up every festival stage possible from Rolling Loud to Made In America Festival. His debut album Real Raw, which is led by his recent banger “Ride The Wave!”, is expected to drop this spring.
Rob49 has spent the past two years consistently establishing himself alongside some of the biggest names in Hip-Hop. Since he broke out on the scene with his debut project 4our The World in 2020, the New Orleans rapper has followed-up with a slew of singles with Babyface Ray, Icewear Vezzo, Doe Boy, Birdman, Curren$y and more. In 2021, Rob49 got Lil Baby to hop on his song “Vulture Island V2,” which brought him even more attention. He’s dropped five projects in total including Vulture (2020), Krazy Man (2020), 4GOD (2021) and his latest body of work Vulture Island, which arrived last April. Within the past two months alone, Rob49 released two new singles “4GOD II” and “Ball N Chill” appeared on two major projects from Trippie Redd and French Montana. It’s safe to say Rob49 isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Cae Cartier only has four major singles that have hit streaming platforms within the past year, but all of them are fire. Despite making music since 2019, Cae Cartier began to take his music career seriously last year. Since then,he’s delivered some of the grittiest records to come out of Atlanta in a long time like “Smoke” and “Quicksand.” His provocative, yet passionate delivery blends well with his eloquent flows and rugged bars. Not only can serve up heat in every song he drops, but he also knows how to make his music stand out with menacing visuals. His video for “Tuci” went viral and amassed over 340K views since it dropped at the beginning of February, and his latest video for “Mozart” is also racking up hundreds of thousands of views over a week after its release. Look out for his debut EP dropping this spring via Geffen Records & Special ENT.
Don’t ever play with Lola Brooke. The Brooklyn rapper who reps Bed-Stuy already had a buzz going in 2016 strictly based on her witty freestyles alone. After her "Brooklyn Freestyle" blew up, she was noticed by Team 80 Productions founder Eugene Sims, who later signed her. From there, Brooke continued to gain traction with other bangers like "Back to Business" and "Gator Season." She finally made her way into the spotlight following the release of her smash hit “Don’t Play With It” featuring Billy B. The street banger has earned her praise from Lil’ Kim, Future and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, who’ve all invited her to perform her viral record on various stages throughout her hometown. Now that she's signed to Artista and Team 80 Productions, her debut EP is currently in the works and is expected to drop sometime this year.
Miami’s own Apollo Lofton has been on the grind for years, but now he’s finally starting gaining the traction he needs to make it to the big leagues. Following the release of his 2020 project Truth Is I’m Terrified, the rapper made headlines for approaching Drake after he left a restaurant in South Beach and performed a freestyle over the instrumental to “No Friends in the Industry” off Drizzy’s Certified Lover Boy album. Drake was so impressed that he started following him on Instagram. Since then, he’s gained other co-signs from Kanye West to Miami legend Emilio Estefan, and released more music. He spent the past year pushing records like "Never Trust a Soul," "You'll Never Love Me" and "Play The Villain." He closed out 2022 by releasing his impressive project Chaos Is Necessary. It’s only a matter of time before Apollo Lofton gifts his fans with more new music in 2023.
Symba has been on the rise for years, but he’s finally being recognized as the talented MC he’s always strived to become. The Bay Area native dropped his major label debut Don't Run From R.A.P. via Atlantic Records with an all-star crew of collaborators including 2 Chainz, Ty Dolla $ign, Moneybagg Yo, O.T. Genesis, Too $hort and more. Songs like "Big Homie" with 2 Chainz, "Gotta Love It" with Ty Dolla $ign, and "Follow Me" impressed the masses. Yet, it was his collaborative album with DJ Drama that truly had people paying attention to his artistry. Results Take Time not only proved Symba's star power, but it also shows fans how tapped into the culture he is. The 24-year-old recruited heavy hitters like Pusha T, Key Glock and Roddy Ricch along with other rising acts like Fridayy, Kali and others. He hasn’t released any new music this year, but that might change as he gets closer his scheduled performance at the 2023 Roots Picnic.
Memphis’ own Big Boogie has been rapping to vent about his inner pain and frustrations since 2017. Now he’s got a lot more reasons to make bars about the finer things in life. Once Yo Gotti signed him to his CMG imprint in 2020, Big Boogie has been captivating his fans with gritty stories from his past and uplifting bars that reflect how far he’s come. In 2020, Boogie delivered his first project via CMG Final Nightmare. He followed up with his 16-track album Underrated and released the deluxe version shortly afterward. In the past three years, he’s worked with several big names like Gotti, Moneybagg Yo, Dej Loaf and Fat Trel. Trel appears as the sole feature on Boogie’s latest album Definition of Big Dude, which dropped last month.
TiaCorine brings a rare perspective to Hip-Hop with every song she drops. After she landed a deal at South Coast Music Group in 2019, she dropped her debut project 34Corine which features synth-heavy trap single “Lotto” and her rock-inspired “Avril Lavigne.” The following her, she followed up with The Saga of 34Corine, which features “Lotto (Part 2)” featuring her labelmate DaBaby and the Kenny Beats-assisted “Luigi.” Her love for all things rap, anime, pop and rock has made TiaCorine a gem in an industry where originality is hard to find. Tia’s ability to fuse all of her passions into cohesive music that separates her from the rest of the competition deserves recognition. Hopefully, she gets all her flowers and more this year. She just dropped her third album I Can’t Wait via SCMG, which she’ll most likely perform while she’s on the road for Key Glock's Glockoma 2 tour this spring.
LaRussell is one of the hardest working artists in the industry today.. Since 2018, the Vallejo, Calif. Native has shined on his solo albums and collaborative projects with other rising artists. Once his “2021 Freestyle” went viral, LaRussell began to garner respect from top-tier acts like Chance The Rapper, Erykah Badu, Meek Mill and more. LaRussell had a huge year in 2022 after he dropped 10 projects through his collective Good Compenny alongside artists like Hokage Simon, DJ Swaggy B, Tope and Deaf Heff. He doesn't plan to slow down in 2023. At the end of January, LaRussell released his latest project Dragonfly with Dom Bailey.
Despite launching her career in the era of viral videos and social media fame, Lady London established herself as a rapper the old fashion way: freestyling. Her “Lady Londay” freestyles attracted hundreds of thousands of fans online as well as some of the influential artists in the game like Busta Rhymes, Timbaland and Diddy. In between her freestyle, Lady London also released original songs like “Never,” “Money Over” and “What Is It Giving,” which allowed her to flex her lyrical skills over unique instrumentals. In 2022, she dropped off two projects, I Kant Make This Sh*t Up and Lady Like: The Boss Tape, that amplified her flows and attracted even more attention to her original music. She kicked off her 2023 with a fresh "Pop Ya Sh*t" freestyle over Birdman and The Clipse’s “What Happened To That Boy” beat. Based on her recent social posts, London is hard at work on her next project that will surely impress even more fans.
Seddy Hendrinx has been Generation Now’s secret weapon over the past three years. The Duval, Fla. native began to garner a massive following after he turned the pain stemming from his difficult childhood into enticing bars on songs like “Smoking Lonely” and “Where I Came From,” which appear on his 2017 mixtape The Roots. After following up with projects like Death B4 Dishoner Loyal over Everything, Hendrinx landed a deal at Generation Now and released Roots II in 2019 featuring his stand out hit “LOWKEY.” He dropped two EPs in 2020, B.H.D (Black Hearted Demon) and Sayless. The latter project features his label mate Jack Harlow plus G Herbo, Jetsonmade, Gunna, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and 24hrs. Hendrinx spent a good year knocking out features with rising artists before he dropped his Gangsta Grillz project Well Sed with DJ Drama. Led by his single “Lights,” Hendrinx recruited Fivio Foreign and T-Pain to throw down on the 10-track project.
Doechii has only been in the game for a few years, but she’s already made a lasting impression on the music industry. After delivering projects like Oh The Places You’ll Go and Bra-less, the Florida native signed with TDE in 2022 and released her single “Persuasive” featuring SZA. From there, she’s made her debut at the 2022 BET Awards with an electrifying perform of “Crazy” and “Persuasive.” A few months later she dropped her first EP under TDE, she/her/black b*tch. The unique five-track project features her SZA-assisted single and a rugged collaboration with Rico Nasty. In addition to her own music, she also teamed up with Smino for his Luv 4 Rent LP, and received a major co-sign from Babyface after he enlisted her to appear on the title track of his Girls Night Out album. After the phenomenal year she had, there’s no doubt that we’ll be hearing something new from Doechii in 2023.
UK Drill rapper Central Cee has been impacting the U.S. with his catchy bars for the past a couple of years now. After he began recording at 14, Cee released trap-induced rap records until he switched his style up on “Day In The Life” in 2020. His breakthrough hit would lead to other bangers like “Molly” and “Loading” which helped establish him as one of the go-to drill artists. He dropped his debut mixtape Wild West independently in 2021 featuring “Day In The Life,” “Loading” and 12 other songs. From there,other prominent UK artists like FKA Twigs and Ed Sheeran caught on to his work as well as U.S. rapper Ohgeesy, who recruited him for his GEESYWORLD album in 2021. Central Cee continued to intrigue more international fans with the release of his second mixtape 23 and songs like “Doja” “No more Leaks” and “Let Go.” He’s still making noise in 2023 as well. He just dropped his latest single “Me & You” earlier this month.
Dess Dior is molding her own lane in Hip-Hop. Born in St. Louis and raised in Savannah, Ga., Dior first broke out on the scene in 2019 with singles like “F*cked Up” and “Bandz” before she dropped her debut EP Definition of Dess. A few months later, she started dating Future, which brought even more attention to her music and career. Since then, she's cut records with Coi Leray, Maliibu Miitch, Karlae, Kidd Ken and more. In 2022 Dior served up RAW -- an eight-song EP featuring songs like "Rich and Raw" and "Nann Hoe" which samples Trina's verse off Trick Daddy's "Nann." She may have ended her romantic relationship with Future, but she is joining him for his One Big Party Tour this year.
There aren’t a lot of rappers from Miami who’ve put Allapattah on the map like Fayn has. Since he dropped his first project Better Than My Last in 2017, Fayn has delivered a slew of motivational records that have caught the attention of several big names in the Hip-Hop community from Westside Gunn to Statik Selektah. Following the release of his project Certified Hustler: The Lone Wolf in 2021, Fayn has gone on to open up for a slew of heavyweights like Raekwon & Ghostface Killah,Havoc, Styles P, Kool G Rap, Termanology, Curren$y and more. In 2022, he came through with two project The Lone Wolf EP and a collaborative effort with V.E.G.A., The Lion and the Wolf. Based on his movements on social media, it looks like he’s got a lot more in store for 2023.
Lakeyah has been going viral for her raps since 2015. After knocking out a few social media challenges and freestyling over 42 Dugg and Lil Baby’s “We Paid,” the Milwaukee, WI native earned herself a deal with Quality Control. Since then, the 21-year-old lyricist has dropped off five successful projects including her most recent releases My Time (Gangsta Grillz: Special Edition) and No Pressure Pt. 2. The latter project, which dropped back in September, features her labelmate Gloss Up, Flo Milli, Lucky Daye, Iceear Vezzo, Latto and more. Lakeyah is working on her next moves in 2023, but in the meantime, she dropped her first feature of 2023 on Kash Doll’s Back on Dexter mixtape.
Finesse2tymes has been rapping for over a decade, but finally struck gold in 2022 following the release of his mixtape 90 Days. The Memphis native began to make a name for himself while coming up in a rap group called Memphis’ Greatest Underrated in 2012 with Moneybagg Yo, Blac Youngsta and more.They even dropped a self-titled mixtape in 2019. After serving five years behind bars, Finesse2tymes walked out of prison and delivered smash hits like “Back End” and “Guci Flow” featuring Gucci Mane. Those records appear on his breakthrough solo mixtape 90 Days which dropped via Atlantic Records and J Prince Jr.’s Mob Ties imprint. In 2023, Finesse2tymes continues to serve up new music. He just dropped his new single “Out of State.”
If you haven’t heard of Yeat by now, it’s time to get acquainted. The 23-year-old rapper acquired a massive following online as an affiliate of the underground rap collective Slayworld who’s served up innovative rage-induced trap bangers over the past eight years. He released his debut mixtape Deep Blue Stars in 2018, but he truly drew more attention after he dropped his 4L mixtape in 2021. His debut album Up 2 Me arrived a few months later, which features his popular track “Get Busy.” In 2022, Yeat came through with two more albums, 2 Alive and Lyfe. 2 Alive features collaborations with Young Thug, Gunna, Ken Carson, and more while Lyfe contains his stand-out joint with Lil Uzi Vert “Flawless.” Yeat continued his reign in 2023 with the release of his third studio album AfterLyfe. The lengthy 22-track album features his most-talked about single “Shmunk” featuring YoungBoy Never Broke Again.