Blank Thought's Top 2023 Albums

Underground hip-hip producer and Rap aficionado Blank Thought is back with another thought-provoking piece. In this exclusive Music Mondays article we break down some of Blank Thought's Top Albums Of 2023. 


The starkest difference between being an artist and having a general appreciation or love with art is the way that you treat experiencing the art of others. A big adjustment I’ve had to make, as someone who started as just a super fan of always listening to music at extremely loud volume, is that I can literally no longer afford to do that. When I’m mixing and engineering as much as I am, there’s only so much time I can spend listening to music before it becomes unsafe for my ears. While this has created some issues in terms of keeping up with friends' music, listening to the artists I love, or hesitancy to go to live performances, it has helped me appreciate some of the music that I still make time to listen to. Without further ado, here are some albums from 2023 that have stuck with me recently. 

Quaranta by Danny Brown

For those who listen to Danny Brown’s music, you may know that he can be eclectic, wildly creative and eccentric. But in the same right is depressing, insightful and vulnerable. Quarantana feels like the first album from him that keeps both of those things in mind, but expands and contorts into something that sounds completely new from Danny. Sure there are moments like the Alchemist produced Tantor, or Jenn’s terrific vacation that sound like vintage Danny, but the moments like Shakedown or the title track are really what have caught my ear. Hearing him rap over these rich and expansive synthetic beats with these beautiful guitars laced throughout the record is something more akin to some of my favorite A$AP Rocky tracks. A stunning sonic development in what has already been a very storied career.

We Buy Diabetic Test Strips by Armand Hammer

From one album that floored me recently to another, though this album is on a whole different level. This feels like Woods and Elucid decided to show that they could really do it all. This album feels like a sampler of a lot of Armand Hammer’s greatest hits sonically while also being a completely new and unmatched experience in that same breath. Songs like the calm and serene Don’t Lose Your Job coexist with tracks of pure mayhem like Trauma Mic. The album feels like a tapestry of sounds and styles that comes together to create a beautiful piece of art. The features and producers also lend to this style, with all bringing different but necessary flavors to this project. This would very easily be my album of the year if it weren’t for Maps coming out in the same year. 

I'm fakin' my own death just to get some rest by sleepingdogs

This album, also from this year, has been most likely my most played outside of Maps. It’s the perfect mix of breezy and nostalgic production with fantastic writing and vocals from Andrew and Jesse the Tree. The way that this album fuses the feeling of a summer night and walking off of a long 12 hour shift is incredibly impressive. Andrew’s incredibly catchy songwriting and melodic chops with Jesse’s sharp wit and relaxed delivery creates such an amazing creative partnership that will continue to bear fruit with an upcoming sequel. Special shoutout to the incredible sample based production from Andrew, especially on flutes. Beyond excited to see what’s to come with this unique duo.

Written By Blank Thought: