Complex UK’s Best Songs Of 2023

A year full of international hits and underground gems.

Image via Complex Original/Artwork by Willkay

If there was any sort of running theme in this year’s Best Songs, it was just how many of them found international success. Two of the biggest winners on that front were Central Cee and Dave, whose “Sprinter” broke all sorts of absurd records, including staying at No. 1 for nine weeks straight to become the longest-reigning British rap single in UK chart history.

Meanwhile, another of Cench’s collaborators, PinkPantheress, found stratospheric success with “Boy’s A Liart Pt. 2” with Ice Spice, which achieved the not-insignificant feat of parlaying TikTok success into real-world success. Then there’s J Hus’ “Who Told You” with Drake, which turned clubs upside down the world over. As is tradition, Jorja Smith bagged herself another hit with “Little Things”, a dancefloor-ready gem that got a second wind when Nia Archives reshaped it into a jungle slammer not long after; South London’s Krept & Konan built bridges across the Atlantic when they got Coke Boy star French Montana and dancehall legend Beenie Man on their 10-deep remix of “Dat Way”; and it would be a disservice not to mention Headie One’s “Martin’s Sofa”, which was released at the very top of 2023.

In a year when he nixed the “is drill dead?” debate with a tour-de-force joint project with K-Trap (Strength To Strength), it was actually this solo joint that proved to be one of his finest this year (alongside “Park Chinois” with Trapo, of course). Best enjoyed as a complete experience with the video, the track told the story of his old pal, Martin—an older neighbour whose eponymous sofa had been a safe haven for Headie in tougher times.

Check out the songs we were bumping the most this year down below, and to read more or see the official videos just click through the links. The full playlist can be streamed on the flip.

50. Guvna B f/ Michaela Coel — “Bridgeland Road

49. ENNY f/ Smino — “Charge It (Remix)” 

48. Blanco — “Londis

47. MIST — “Open Wounds

46. Novelist — “Grind Don’t Stop” 

45. D Power & K.Dot — “Sour

44. Krept & Konan f/ OFB, Backroad Gee, French Montana, Clavish, Beenie Man, Pa Salieu, KTrap & DoRoad — “Dat Way (Remix)

43. Ama Lou — “Caught Me Running”  

42. Elmiene — “Mama” 

41. M Huncho — “Where You Been?” 

40. Lancey Foux f/ Sexyy Red — “MMM HMM

39. Late Replies — “What The Funk” 

38. Murlo — “High Heaven” 

37. Eliza Rose — “Take You There” 

36. Kings Of The Rollers & Katy B — “Paradise” 

35. Ceechynaa — “Last Laugh

34. CASISDEAD f/ Desire — “Matte Green Wrap

33. Cristale — “Roadents

32. Sir Spyro, So Large & Bossman Birdie,  — “Bout It X2” 

31. D Double E f/ Ghetts — “Glory

30. Nemzzz — “FYP” 

29. Ashbeck & SamRecks — “Juice” 

28. Kwollem f/ AJ Tracey — “Grandma’s Kitchen

27. RAYE f/ 070 Shake — “Escapism

26. Jamie Jones — “Lose My Mind” 

25. Jorja Smith — “Little Things (Nia Archives Remix)

24. Skepta — “Can’t Play Myself (A Tribute To Amy)

23. Asake f/ Olamide — “Amapiano” 

22. Uncle Waffles, Tony Duardo & Justin99 f/ Pcee, EeQue & Chley — “Yahyuppiyah

21. Tyler ICU & f/ DJ Maphorisa, Nandipha808, Ceeka RSA & Tyron Dee — “Mnike” 

20. Skepta, Jammer & Etta Bond — “Touching My Body  

19. Chy Cartier — “Bossed Up” 

18. Headie One — “Martin’s Sofa”  

17. Cleo Sol — “Reason” 

16. Skepta & Ryder — “#skeptacore pt.3”  

15. JayO — “22

14. SBTRKT f/ Sampha & George Riley – “L.F.O.” 

13. Adekunle Gold & Zinoleesky — “Party No Dey Stop

12. Jim Legxacy — “Old Place

11. Nines — “Calendar”  

10. Skrillex, Fred again.. & Flowdan — “Rumble” 

9. K-Trap & Headie One — “Park Chinois” 

8. PinkPantheress f/ Ice Spice — “Boy’s A Liar Pt. 2

7. Burna Boy — “City Boys

6. Jorja Smith — “Little Things” 

5. Digga D — “Energy

4. Byron Messia — “Talibans

3. Tyla — “Water” 

2. Central Cee & Dave — “Sprinter

1. J Hus f/ Drake — “Who Told You

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