Underground Rap: 5 Artists Audiophiles will love in 2023


In the ever-evolving world of rap music, there’s a thriving underground scene that is home to some of the most talented and innovative artists of our time. If you’re an audiophile who craves music that goes beyond the mainstream, then this article is for you. We’ve curated a list of five exceptional underground rap artists who are pushing the boundaries and creating sounds that will captivate even the most discerning ears.

From the undisputed grittiness of Freddie Gibbs to the soulful lyricism of Mick Jenkins, the poetic prowess of Noname, the genre-bending artistry of EarthGang, and the empowering lyricism of Rapsody, these artists are poised to make a significant impact in 2023. So, grab your headphones, turn up the volume, and prepare to discover a world of underground rap that will leave you mesmerized and craving for more.

Freddie Gibbs: The Undisputed King of Gritty Rap

When it comes to raw and unapologetic rap music, few artists can match the prowess of Freddie Gibbs. Hailing from the underground hip-hop scene, Gibbs has carved out a niche for himself with his gritty style and powerful storytelling. Drawing comparisons to rap legends like Jay Z, Nas, and Scarface, Gibbs has solidified his status as one of the genre’s most talented wordsmiths.

One of the highlights of Freddie Gibbs’ career is his collaboration with producer Madlib on the critically acclaimed album “Piñata” in 2014. The track “Thuggin'” exemplifies their chemistry, blending Gibbs’ hard-hitting lyrics with Madlib’s soulful and sample-driven production. The result is a sonic masterpiece that showcases Gibbs’ ability to paint vivid pictures with his words.

Gibbs has also teamed up with other notable artists, demonstrating his versatility and range. On “Palmolive” from the album “Bandana,” he joins forces with the charismatic Pusha T and the lyrical powerhouse Killer Mike. This collaboration exemplifies Gibbs’ ability to hold his own alongside rap heavyweights, delivering thought-provoking verses that captivate listeners.

Another standout moment in Gibbs’ discography is his collaboration with Griselda Records’ Westside Gunn on “Scottie Beam” from the album “Alfredo.” This track serves as a testament to his lyrical depth and versatility, as he effortlessly flows over the smooth production, leaving fans craving for more.

Throughout his career, Freddie Gibbs has proven time and time again that he’s a force to be reckoned with in the rap game. His intricate lyricism, storytelling abilities, and ability to adapt to various collaborations have cemented his status as an undisputed king of gritty rap. Whether you’re a fan of Jay Z or simply appreciate raw and unfiltered hip-hop, Freddie Gibbs’ music is a must-listen for any true connoisseur of the genre.

Mick Jenkins: The Soulful Wordsmith Making Waves in Underground Rap

In the ever-evolving landscape of underground rap, Mick Jenkins is a name that demands attention. With his captivating blend of introspective lyricism and soulful beats, Jenkins has emerged as a rising star, captivating listeners with his thought-provoking verses and smooth delivery.

Jenkins’ sound is reminiscent of the golden era of ’90s hip-hop, where lyricism reigned supreme. Drawing comparisons to influential artists in the rap scene, his poetic storytelling and lyrical depth have resonated with fans seeking substance in their music. His mixtape “The Water[s]” stands as a testament to his artistry, seamlessly weaving together themes of self-discovery, societal issues, and personal growth over soulful, jazz-infused production.

Collaborations have played a significant role in expanding Jenkins’ artistic reach. One standout collaboration was his feature on Mickalas Cage’s track “Drowning” from the album “Pieces of a Man.” Jenkins’ powerful verses complemented Cage’s poetic atmosphere, resulting in a mesmerizing synergy between the two artists.

Jenkins has fostered a sense of community within the underground hip-hop scene, collaborating with fellow Chicago artists. Tracks like “Heaux” featuring Saba and “Comfortable” featuring Noname showcase the collective artistry and chemistry that can arise when like-minded artists come together.

While Mick Jenkins’ style is uniquely his own, fans of artists like Kendrick Lamar and Common, who appreciate lyricism and substance, will likely find solace in Jenkins’ music. His ability to combine introspection with soulful production creates a sonic experience that resonates with a wide audience.

Mick Jenkins is an artist on the rise, making waves with his soulful words and captivating storytelling. With collaborations that further showcase his versatility and a discography that invites listeners to dive deep into his introspective narratives, Jenkins is carving out a space for himself in the realm of meaningful rap music. Keep an eye on this rising star as he continues to captivate listeners with his thought-provoking verses and soul-stirring beats.

Noname: The Captivating Wordsmith Blending Poetry and Rap

In a realm often dominated by braggadocious rhymes and flashy beats, Noname stands out as a breath of fresh air, offering a mesmerizing blend of poetic lyricism and melodic flow. Her music captivates listeners with its introspective themes, thought-provoking verses, and infectious melodies, making her a rising star in the rap landscape.

Drawing comparisons to iconic artists like Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu, Noname’s ability to seamlessly blend rap with soulful elements has caught the attention of music enthusiasts. Her melodic approach and intricate wordplay create a sonic experience that feels both nostalgic and contemporary, resonating with a diverse audience.

Collaborations have played a significant role in Noname’s artistic journey, allowing her to explore different musical realms and showcase her versatility. One notable collaboration was with Chance the Rapper on the track “Lost” from his acclaimed mixtape “Acid Rap.” Noname’s melodic talents added a distinctive touch to the vibrant and eclectic soundscape of the project, demonstrating her ability to harmoniously blend her unique style with others.

The “Ghetto Sage” collective, comprising Noname, Saba, Smino, and Ravyn Lenae, brought their creative energies together on the track “Häagen Dazs.” This collaboration exemplified their shared artistry, creating a sonic experience that is both captivating and cohesive.

Noname’s solo work has also made waves, with projects like “Telefone” and “Room 25” garnering critical acclaim. “Telefone” introduced listeners to her poetic prowess and introspective storytelling, while “Room 25” delved deeper into personal experiences, social commentary, and self-discovery. Both albums have solidified Noname’s reputation as an artist who fearlessly explores the intersections of rap, spoken word, and soulful melodies.

Noname’s unique style and ability to convey vulnerability and social consciousness through her lyrics make her a trailblazer in today’s rap scene. With her captivating wordsmith skills and melodic sensibilities, she continues to leave an indelible mark on the industry, captivating fans and critics alike.

Noname’s artistry transcends boundaries, fusing poetry and rap into a mesmerizing blend of music. Her introspective verses and soul-stirring collaborations make her a force to be reckoned with in the ever-evolving rap landscape. Whether you’re a fan of iconic artists or simply crave a fresh take on rap, Noname’s enchanting discography is worth exploring. Keep an eye on this rising star as she continues to redefine the boundaries of contemporary rap music.

EarthGang: The Dynamic Duo Redefining Hip-Hop Boundaries

In the vibrant world of hip-hop, EarthGang is turning heads with their genre-bending artistry and infectious energy. This dynamic duo from Atlanta, comprised of Olu and WowGr8, has been making waves with their unique and eclectic sound that defies traditional rap conventions.

Drawing comparisons to legendary artists like OutKast, EarthGang’s willingness to push boundaries and experiment has set them apart to the point that they’ve pushed back and rejected those comparisons. Their music weaves together rap, funk, soul, and alternative influences, resulting in a sonic fusion that keeps listeners on their toes.

Collaborations have been key to EarthGang’s artistic journey, allowing them to connect with like-minded musicians from different musical backgrounds. One standout collaboration was with J. Cole, who recognized their talent and signed them to his Dreamville label. Their contributions to Dreamville’s “Revenge of the Dreamers III” compilation album, including tracks like “Swivel” and “Sacrifices,” showcased EarthGang’s distinctive style alongside a talented roster of artists.

Beyond Dreamville, EarthGang has collaborated with notable names such as JID, Smino, and Young Thug, demonstrating their versatility and commitment to exploring new sonic territories. These collaborations have propelled EarthGang into uncharted creative territory, allowing them to blend their unique artistry with a diverse range of musical talents.

EarthGang’s discography boasts remarkable projects like “Mirrorland” and “Strays with Rabies.” “Mirrorland” in particular garnered widespread acclaim for its vibrant and immersive soundscapes, cementing EarthGang as an innovative force in contemporary hip-hop.

With their genre-defying approach, EarthGang stands as a testament to the boundless possibilities of hip-hop. Fans of OutKast and those seeking music that breaks free from traditional rap conventions will find solace in EarthGang’s refreshing discography. As they continue to push creative boundaries and captivate audiences with their infectious sound, EarthGang solidifies their position as trailblazers in the ever-evolving world of hip-hop. Stay tuned for what this dynamic duo has in store next!

Rapsody: The Empress of Lyricism Reigning Supreme in Hip-Hop

In the male-dominated world of hip-hop, Rapsody emerges as a tour de force, captivating audiences with her intricate wordplay, socially conscious themes, and undeniable presence. Hailing from North Carolina, this lyrical genius has solidified her spot among the greats, drawing comparisons to legendary artists such as Lauryn Hill and Queen Latifah.

Rapsody’s talent extends beyond her solo work; she has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the industry, proving her prowess on the mic. One notable collaboration was her appearance on Kendrick Lamar’s game-changing album “To Pimp a Butterfly,” where her verse on “Complexion (A Zulu Love)” added a new dimension to an already groundbreaking project.

In addition to Kendrick Lamar, Rapsody has joined forces with Anderson .Paak, Black Thought, J. Cole, and Chance the Rapper, among others. These collaborations have not only showcased her versatility but have also given her the opportunity to shine alongside some of the industry’s brightest stars.

Rapsody’s solo albums, “Laila’s Wisdom” and “Eve,” have been met with critical acclaim, showcasing her ability to tackle a wide range of topics with grace and precision. “Laila’s Wisdom” even garnered her a well-deserved Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album, solidifying her status as an influential artist in her own right.

Rapsody’s artistry goes beyond the music itself. With her impactful storytelling and unwavering authenticity, she has become a powerful voice for social change and female empowerment in hip-hop.

Rapsody’s exceptional lyricism and dedication to addressing important issues make her a trailblazer in the world of hip-hop. With comparisons to icons like Lauryn Hill and Queen Latifah, she has carved out her own unique space in the industry. Whether collaborating with A-list artists or captivating audiences with her solo work, Rapsody’s influence and reign as the empress of lyricism in hip-hop remain unshakable. Keep an eye on this remarkable talent as she continues to elevate the genre with her thought-provoking verses and unapologetic artistry.


As we conclude our exploration of underground rap and the five exceptional artists to listen to in 2023, it becomes clear that the realm of rap music is a vast and diverse landscape. These artists, Freddie Gibbs, Mick Jenkins, Noname, EarthGang, and Rapsody, each bring their unique style and perspective to the table, redefining the genre and captivating listeners with their artistry.

From Freddie Gibbs’ gritty storytelling to Mick Jenkins’ introspective lyricism, Noname’s poetic prowess, EarthGang’s genre-bending creativity, and Rapsody’s empowering messages, these artists prove that there is something for everyone in the world of underground rap.

While their paths may differ, they all share a common dedication to their craft and a commitment to pushing the boundaries of what rap music can be. Their collaborations with other artists have only amplified their impact and showcased their versatility.

As audiophiles, we are fortunate to have access to such exceptional talent, and it is our responsibility to support and uplift these artists as they continue to shape the future of rap music. So, keep your ears open, explore their discographies, and stay tuned for what these extraordinary artists have in store for us in the coming years.

In the realm of underground rap, innovation, authenticity, and powerful storytelling reign supreme. So, embrace the underground, expand your musical horizons, and let the sounds of these incredible artists take you on a journey unlike any other. Let their music resonate with your soul and remind you of the power that lies within the art of rap.

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