Without a doubt, it’s an awesome year for Philippine hip-hop music. These are the albums and mixtapes that came out in 2023.
It’s another unforgettable year for Philippine hip-hop! 2023 has not only given us great singles and epic rap battles but tons of quality albums as well. From lyricism to production, you could hear the overall growth of our local artists in these projects. The music is getting better and better and the support continues to grow. Another thing worth noting among these releases is the remarkable diversity. No matter your preference in hip-hop music, there’s definitely something for you in this list.
No need for a long introduction. These are the albums and mixtapes that came out in 2023. They’re listed in no particular order so no need for unnecessary arguments. So are your playlists ready now? Let’s start with arguably one of the most anticipated projects of the year…
Iconic trio Owfuck finally released their full-length debut album “Acidic” on the 29th of June. The group did what they do best: spitting catchy rhymes and unleashing raw energy like no other. It has the usual braggadocio tracks you would expect from them, but “Acidic” also tackled the eventful journey of the three emcees through the music scene.
Many consider Hev Abi as the rookie of the year in 2022 and one year later, he’s officially on top. His new album “Kung Alam Mo Lang” dropped in October and sees the Tomas Morato representative in top form. It contains energetic street bangers and impeccable love songs, all of which highlight Hev Abi’s skills as an emcee and producer.
We have another project featuring the above-mentioned artist! This time it’s with his collective Downtown Q. Their mixtape “Gang Mobile” was released on April 20 and quickly became an underground hit, thanks to the diverse lineup of emcees consisting of Hev Abi, Unotheone, Simmo, LK, Kristina Dawn, and more. “Gang Mobile” brought us to the streets of Tomas Morato with Downtown Q’s raw energy and captivating lyricism.
Once again, KJah showed his lyrical superiority in his latest album “Nakasalalay sa Letra”. Released on July 28, the album tackles various personal and social topics, all of which are delivered perfectly through KJah’s impressive vocabulary and mesmerizing flow. It’s his seventh solo project and he continues to stand out when it comes to writing.
Six years after the release of his critically-acclaimed debut solo album “Loob ng Kabaong”, Apoc is back with another masterpiece titled “Kampilan”. The LP showcases the evolution of Apoc as a songwriter and beatmaker. His lyrics as well as his concepts are powerful as ever. You could feel each emotion as he raps and sings about personal hardships, the music scene, toxic masculinity, love, depression, and many other topics. Music-wise, this is arguably Apoc’s most versatile yet.
Emar Industriya is back to represent leftfield hip-hop to the fullest with his new LP “Alaala: Daan ng mga Tumakas”. He talks about his various experiences with his complex lyrics, unorthodox rhyme patterns, and playful delivery. “Alaala: Daan ng mga Tumakas” also features a rich lineup of beats. There’s the traditional boom bap sound, the eerie tunes, the minimalist instrumentals, and surprisingly, the laidback vibes.
“Strange Weather in Manila” is the debut solo album of Kensa, who gained recognition in the underground scene as ½ of Serenata. Here, Kensa discussed a multitude of topics using his remarkable English and Tagalog rhymes and unpredictable flow. He also did most of the beats here, with others being produced by fellow Uprising artists. When it comes to the sound, “Strange Weather in Manila” is a beautiful mixture of traditional and modern hip-hop and various genres.
“Anim Na Mukha” is the second collaboration album between emcee Railkid and producer Six the Northstar. Railkid raps about life, love, society, and the hip-hop industry using his unorthodox approach to rhyming. Six the Northstar gave us some of his darkest beats to date while preserving that raw boom bap sound. It’s a perfect combination, and you can hear it from the first to the last track.
If we missed something, don’t you worry because this is just part one. There are plenty more releases in 2023 so watch out for the sequel. For now, continue enjoying these masterpieces and if you have time, promote them to fellow hip-hop and music heads. Let’s hope 2024 will be the same or even bigger!