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The 40 Best Afropop Songs of 2023

Rolling Stone, a global authority on the best in music, has once again created its annual list of the best Afropop songs of 2023. With the Internet affording easier exposure for artists, this year’s rankings include a fascinating mix of new and established talents. The panel of critics represent five African countries and took care to recognize different regions of a vast continent of unique but interconnected cultures. As genre lines blur everywhere, they thought of Afropop as a catch-all for music by artists who primarily live on or work for the continent, making hits that define scenes and communities there and in its diaspora. They considered songs with musical elements distinct to African traditions, too, from language (like East African Swahili or West African pidgin) to production (like the log drum programming popularized by South African amapiano, or the distinct guitar in many Congolese standards).