2023 Hip Hop Awards Nominees | HipHopDX

Hip Hop has been the driving force of popular culture for the past couple decades, but recognition of this went into overdrive in 2023 as it celebrated its 50th anniversary. Whether it was special live events, pop-up museums, Hall of Fame inductions, limited edition merchandise, or even cruise ship celebrations, all eyes were well and truly on Hip Hop — and it was a beautiful thing to behold.

But while past legends were given their much deserved flowers, future stars shone just as bright setting the tone and trends for Hip Hop as it heads into its next 50 years. Sexyy Red dialled up the raunchiness, Veeze built up a cult following, and Teezo Touchdown went off script and toed the line between rap and rock, much to the approval of his biggest celebrity fan, Drake. Speaking of Drizzy, he himself had a huge year, as did his former label boss Lil Wayne and longtime collaborator J. Cole.


Some of the year’s biggest stories included the return of Travis Scott and Megan Thee Stallion, both of whom endured tragic life-changing incidents, as well as Gunna, who many didn’t think would ever overcome the scrutiny he faced for pleading out of the YSL RICO case. André 3000 dropped a surprise flute album, Killer Mike reminded fans where his mic-killing moniker comes from with his first solo album in over 10 years, and although Kendrick Lamar stayed consistent with his reclusive ways, he did just enough to capture the attention of fans.

On the R&B side of things, SZA dominated… well, everything. Chris Brown delivered his best album in almost a decade, Brent Faiyaz paid homage to those that came before him, and Victoria Monet put it on her mama. International artists continued to infiltrate the US in a big way thanks to the likes of Central Cee, Bad Bunny, Tems, Burna Boy, Sampha and Tyla. 2023 also played host to a female takeover. In addition to the aforementioned powerhouse women, Ice Spice, Latto, Doja Cat and Cardi B were all instrumental in taking the attention away from the fellas.


As with every year, 2023 had its losses. We sadly had to say goodbye to Gangsta Boo, De La Soul’s Trugoy The Dove, Big Pokey, Magoo, and C-Knight of the Dove Shack, among a number of other beloved stars. However, some tech-savvy fans weren’t ready to bid farewell to their favorite artists, using Chat GPT and AI to bring them back — even if it did divide the industry.

HipHopDX prides itself on being a valuable and trusted source on all things Hip Hop for those who love the culture as much as we do, and our annual DX Awards reflect this. Some nominees you’ll know and agree with; some you won’t. We just hope you engage in the conversation and keep representing for your favorite artists.

— Will “ill Will” Lavin, HipHopDX Senior News Editor

Every year, the HipHopDX team get together to discuss, debate and sometimes argue about the year’s best songs, albums and artists. The end result: the HipHopDX Awards. We’ll be rolling out the nominees all week and you can check back here for the winners of each category beginning December 18.

Editor’s Note: Nominees are eligible from December 1, 2022 — December 1, 2023.


Monday, December 4
Hip Hop Rookie of the Year
Biggest Comeback of 2023

Tuesday, December 5
Best R&B Album of 2023
Best R&B Song of 2023

Wednesday, December 6
Best Hip Hop/Rap Music Video of 2023
Best Hip Hop Beat of 2023
Best Hip Hop Producer of 2023

Thursday, December 7
Best Rap Verse of 2023
Best Rapper of the Year
Best Hip Hop Album of 2023

Friday, December 8
Best Hip Hop Song of 2023
Best R&B Singer of 2023
Best International Artist of 2023


In an era characterized by instant gratification and overnight success, rappers come and go but only a handful manage to hold the public’s attention past the honeymoon phase.  The select few who hit the ground running and figured out ways to retain their momentum amid all the competition this past year demonstrated that just because things are a certain way doesn’t mean that’s how they have to be. Whether you like it or not, these artists are here to stay.

The 2023 Hip Hop Rookie of the year nominations are…


Dive deeper into why our team nominated these artists for Hip Hop Rookie of the Year.



A lot can change in the space of 12 months — especially in the world of Hip Hop, the evolution of which has been accelerated by social media, streaming services and bedroom studios. This year, numerous rappers have seen their stock rise and fortunes change, either by overcoming adversity or returning from hiatus to remind fans why they fell in love with them in the first place — or, in some cases, reinvent themselves entirely.

The 2023 Best Comeback nominees are…


Dive deeper into why our team nominated these artists for Hip Hop Comeback of the Year.


History of the HipHopDX Awards

HipHopDX is not new to this, we’ve been making our best of year picks for more than 15 years! For anyone who wants the full historical record of all DX‘s picks over the years, check out our past awards below:

Artwork & Graphic Design by JR Martinez

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