Photo: Instagram/Sukha, Raf Saperra, Diljit Dosanjh & Karan Aujla
2023 was a massive year for Indian rap music. As Hip-Hop turned 50, Indian emcees and record producers came together to drop perhaps some of the most influential and finest Hip-Hop projects last year.
For many, the rappers and singers have laid an unwavering foundation for an even bigger and exhaustive year ahead for Indian rap music.
While Indian rap veterans including former Mafia Mundeer affiliates Badshah & Raftaar and Kr$na released various flagrant rap records throughout Hip-Hop’s 50th birthday, rising Indian rappers Seedhe Maut, Prabh Deep, Dhanji and more pushed the genre forward at unprecedented levels.
For Indian Punjabi rap music, which mourned the controversial death of one of its most impactful emcees Sidhu Moose Wala, various marquee artists released some of the most crucial Hip-Hop records of their careers.
Punjabi rap superstar Shubh’s shocking debut album “Still Rollin”, followed by Gurinder Gill’s debut LP “Hard Choices”, disrupted the scathing Indian summer.
While these two albums were preceded by the evocative “PRAA” EP by Raftaar & Prabh Deep, the disruptive Punjabi rap records were followed by KSHMR‘s massive “KARAM” LP which brought together perhaps every notable Indian Hip-Hop artist barring Divine.
While Kr$na dropped not one but two hard-hitting Hip-Hop projects “Time Will Tell” and “Far From Over” last year, breakthrough Toronto rapper Sukha linked up with another rising Punjabi emcee Tegi Pannu on “Switchin’ Lanes” EP.
Amidst a concerning “hate campaign”, the Punjabi rapper went on to drop his debut EP “Undisputed” in November.
Amdavad‘s prolific underground rapper Dhanji weaved together an extraordinary story about his city and its rambunctious capitalist dogma in modern times – something quite rare to see in Indian rap music.
While Moose Wala released his last studio album “Moosetape” in May 2021, the world continued to feel its far-reaching impact. At the start of December last year, the “Moosetape” LP became the first Indian album to surpass a billion Spotify streams.
Culture Haze has picked the 20 finest projects traversing full-length studio albums, Extended Plays and Mixtapes India listened to in 2023.
Find our deftly curated list below.
To read everything about the flagrant Indian projects, just click on the title and find everything on our website.
19. RUAB by Dhanji
17. Switchin’ Lanes by Tegi Pannu, Manni Sandhu & Sukha
14. New Life by King
12. Karam by KSHMR