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Our Masterlist of the Best K-Pop Songs of 2023

By Orgesta Tolaj


4 January 2024

best K-pop songs of 2023

© ateez_official, saythename_17, bts.bighitofficial / Instagram

K-Pop just seems getting better and better. And, while we are not getting any iconic moments like “Ring Ding Dong” with Jonghyun’s infamous “Baybay”, these songs definitely managed to leave a mark in the music industry this year. Curious to find out what we chose? Then, keep on reading to find out more about our list of the best K-pop songs of 2023.

The Best K-pop Songs of 2023

These are our picks for the best K-pop songs of 2023:

20. KARD – Icky

Starting the list off strong with this one! “Icky” is a provocative and celebratory song accompanied by a video set in a maze of hotel rooms with dripping slime. The lyrics, such as “Said she want more than a tip, I ain’t talkin’ ’bout guidance” and “Getting attracted more and more, as it comes to an end, know what I mean / Icky, icky, icky, ayy, ayy, ayy,” contribute to the song’s bold and flirtatious nature.

kard icky
© KARD / YouTube

“Icky” is more than just its catchy refrain. It’s great that both male and female members of KARD play an equal role in the track, giving it a thirsty but not leery vibe. “Icky” is the grind anthem that we, as listeners, truly deserve and that is why it is part of the top K-pop songs of 2023.

19. Jimin – Like Crazy

Jimin achieved a Hot 100 No. 1 with “Like Crazy,” a synth-driven love song reminiscent of The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights.” The track explores the theme of getting lost in the lights, much like its predecessor. “Like Crazy” succeeds due to its neon-infused production, creating a world of majesty and mystery. Jimin’s delirious vocals effectively convey the necessary sensory overload, combining a sense of fear and irresistible allure, similar to the impact of “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd. This makes it an intriguing addition to the best K-pop songs of 2023.

jimin like crazy

18. Jennie – You & Me

Jennie Kim, known for her distinctive style and strength, has released a new song titled “You & Me” this year. The track is high-energy and has an infectious dance-worthy vibe. The accompanying dance video is well-executed and adds to the overall appeal of the song, making it a must-watch for fans and music enthusiasts alike.

jennie you and me

Jennie released the special single “You & Me” in response to the enthusiastic feedback from fans during her solo performance on BLACKPINK’s world tour. The accompanying video highlights Jennie’s versatile talents as she engages in dancing, singing, and rapping. The visual narrative includes a moon-like object in the background, and Jennie participates in a romantic encounter with an unseen figure, adding an element of mystery to the video. The romantic vibes definitely earn it a spot on the list of top K-pop songs of 2023.

17. IVE – I AM

IVE’s debut single, “I AM,” is a powerful anthem promoting self-love and confidence. The song features a catchy and uplifting melody, coupled with a driving beat. The lyrics deliver an inspiring message, urging listeners to embrace their individuality and stand strong against external judgments.

ive i am
© starshipTV / YouTube

“I AM” goes beyond being a catchy song; it’s a powerful message of empowerment that connects with those who have experienced insecurity or self-doubt. The song motivates listeners to embrace both their strengths and imperfections, fostering a message of resilience and determination to pursue their dreams.

16. Seventeen – God of Music

Seventeen’s “God of Music” has been immensely successful, achieving record-breaking pre-order sales. Their new album amassed an impressive 5.2 million pre-orders, surpassing their previous record of 4.67 million for their 10th EP, “FML.” Notably, this achievement also outshines the previous record of 5.13 million pre-orders held by the group Stray Kids, making Seventeen’s album the most pre-ordered in the history of the K-pop industry.


15. RIIZE – Get A Guitar

In a departure from the tradition of all male trainees under SM Entertainment debuting in NCT, 2023 introduced RIIZE in September with their first single album, “Get a Guitar.” The groovy title track, anchored by guitar plucks and retro synths offers a feel-good introduction to their charms with a bright, light vibe. Preceded by the wistful “Memories,” the album proved to be a commercial success, achieving over 1 million pre-order sales — a new record for debut albums under SM. We anticipate RIIZE’s continued success in 2024, as they are preparing for an upcoming comeback on January 5.

© SMTOWN / YouTube

14. Jungkook – 3D

“3D” is an R&B pop song that showcases Jungkook’s more mature musical side, allowing him to explore his solo stage in music. The track intelligently delves into emotions directed at an unattainable person from various perspectives and dimensions. Notably, Jungkook collaborates with Jack Harlow, a renowned American rapper known for his smooth and dynamic approach to hip-hop. This collaboration brings a unique rap twist to Jungkook’s soulful vocals, infusing “3D” with additional energy and flavor.


In “3D,” Jungkook draws inspiration from musical icons like Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, and Usher, reflecting their influence in his music. The song and its accompanying 3D music video evoke nostalgia for American boyband songs from the 2000s, with both the fashion and dance movements capturing the essence of that era. Jungkook continues to impress with his talents, a journey that began with the debut of BTS.

13. Enhypen – Bite Me

The title track “BITE ME” effectively captures the concept of vampires, emphasizing their sexiness through alluring choreography and an upbeat rhythm. The choreography, featuring male members alongside female backup dancers, sparked heated discussions among Korean and Chinese fans. Some even sent trucks to the HYBE building requesting the removal of female dancers. However, international fans expressed strong support for Enhypen and the choreography, which remained unchanged, with Ni-Ki contributing to its creation.


12. LE SSERAFIM – Eve, Psyche & The Bluebeard’s Wife

The appeal of ‘Eve, Psyche, and the Bluebeard’s Wife’ lies in its understated nature. The Jersey club-inspired, uptempo track maintains a consistent electro progression, creating an addictive beat. LE SSERAFIM complements this with laid-back vocals, crafting a narrative of power that simmers in silence rather than making a bold entrance.

le sserafim eve psyche bluebeard's wife

The steadiness in the song acts like a spell, entrapping the listeners, while the lyrics serve as a wake-up call from the slumber of submission. The most striking moments are the build-ups, capturing the emotional shift from yearning for the forbidden to breaking the rules. The best part is that Yunjin’s deep vocals start the song with “I’m a mess, mess, mess,” leaving listeners “mess-merised.” This adds quirk to the song and makes it a nice addition to the best K-pop songs of 2023.

11. ATEEZ – Bouncy

ATEEZ’s ‘Bouncy (K-Hot Chilli Peppers)’ is a K-pop earworm that you can’t easily forget after just one listen. Whether you’re a fan or not, the song’s unique blend of chaotic elements, including distorted arrangements and aggressive autotune, sets it apart as ATEEZ’s most playful and successful title track to date. The infectious combination of the pre-chorus, Hongjoong-led chorus, and post-chorus as the standout moments in the song. Overall, ‘Bouncy’ leaves a lasting impression with its bold and memorable sound.


10. aespa – Drama

In November, aespa made a significant addition to the K-pop canon with “Drama,” establishing it as one of the strongest and most intriguing anthems of 2023. The girl group confidently took control, warning the world about their impending impact with lyrics like “I bring all the drama-ma-ma-ma” over an experimental yet accessible metallic instrumental. Winter’s outro further emphasized aespa’s trajectory, declaring, “You know, I’m savage / Unstoppable, baddest,” in deceptively sweet tones.

© SMTOWN / YouTube

The highlights are definitely the first verse, packed with brain-scratching lines, including Karina’s “Ziggy, ziggy, zag, I’m new” and Ningning’s infectious “I li-li-like me when I roll / Li-li-like me when I’m savage“.

9. KAI – Rover

The song “Rover,” a remake of Bulgarian singer Dara’s track “Mr. Rover” by Kai, is basically a perfect dance anthem. Kai’s airy and husky voice, which worked well in his previous releases, now takes on a more thunderous and demanding vibe with “Rover.” The song has this irresistibly catchy hook and even sparked a popular dance challenge. Overall, it’s a track that makes you want to move and showcases Kai’s versatility.

© SMTOWN / YouTube

The song is a confident and sensually appealing display of Kai’s vocal versatility. It seamlessly transitions between sultry R&B verses, energetic Reggaeton choruses, and a spine-tingling bridge that highlights Kai’s stunning lower register. The best part is the final chorus and outro, where Kai showcases the full range of his voice, moving from a rapturous riff to ASMR-like speak-singing in his lower register.

8. AKMU – Love Lee

Since their official debut in 2014, the brother-sister duo AKMU has made a significant impact on the K-pop scene. Their debut album “Play” immediately climbed to No. 2 on the Billboard World Albums chart, showcasing their refreshing melodic harmonies. After almost a decade of consistently delivering experimental and creative albums along with hit singles, Chanhyuk and Suhyun revisited their roots with “Love Lee,” describing it as a “second edition” of the lead single “200%” from the debut album.

© AKMU / YouTube

The song features a simple, acoustic backing, allowing the duo’s vocals to shine over Chanhyuk’s addictive and hummable melodies, demonstrating AKMU’s ability to return to basics while maintaining a distinctive and non-reductive sound.

7. FIFTY FIFTY – Cupid

FIFTY FIFTY’s journey in the K-pop scene has been a mix of triumphs and challenges. Their breakout hit, ‘Cupid,’ with its retro-pop charm and disco-inspired synths, garnered global attention. The success was further propelled by an equally catchy English version, which saw improvements in the bridge and showcased the quartet’s flawless English pronunciation.

© FIFTY FIFTY Official / YouTube

Despite facing challenges with their agency ATTRAKT, FIFTY FIFTY persevered through the departure of members Sio, Aran, and Saena. Their musical impact, especially with ‘Cupid,’ remains undeniable, illustrating the group’s talent and resilience. Personally, I appreciate the powerful vocals displayed by former lead singers Sio and Aran in the song’s bridge – a standout moment for me.

6. Jungkook – Seven

Jungkook has found success with a winning formula, crafting singles that embrace Y2K pop sounds and feature popular American rappers. His summer hit “Seven” surpassed expectations, presenting a breezy take on garage music with a simple yet addictive hook.


“Seven” features a glitchy beat that complements Jungkook’s airy vocals. The song impressively switches between crooning and more rhythmic segments, with the explicit version taking a surprisingly naughty turn. Freed from the G-rated constraints of being a “K-pop idol,” Jungkook has crafted a straightforward sex jam, which, regardless of one’s opinion, is likely to raise eyebrows among younger fans.

5. New Jeans – Super Shy

NewJeans made a swift and surprising entrance into the K-pop scene in 2022, captivating audiences with lowkey, ’90s-inspired R&B singles. Their sophomore EP, ‘Get Up,’ continues the understated theme, featuring the members expressing emotions over boys with minimal club beats. The girlish magic is present in each track, with soft, dreamlike drum ‘n’ bass sounds in ‘Super Shy,’ which is noted for its unique ability to captivate hearts and minds.


In their pursuit of wooing a crush, the members of NewJeans express schoolgirl doubts with quiet confidence in the lyrics: “I’m super shy, super shy / But wait a minute while I make you mine, make you mine.” The charm lies in their hushed talk-singing, a key element contributing to NewJeans’ success. The group effectively makes an impact with subtle tones, both in their marketing and music, inviting listeners to lean in and listen.

4. Seventeen – SUPER

In the song “Super,” SEVENTEEN likened themselves to the mythical Chinese character Son O-gong, known for immense strength and defeating skilled warriors. By the end of 2023, this comparison became a self-fulfilling prophecy as the boy band achieved significant success in K-pop. They garnered record-breaking sales and secured their first Album Of The Year award at MAMA 2023, establishing their dominance in the industry.

best K-pop songs of 2023

The song is just incredible. It is a powerful single that celebrates the group’s resilience and determination. It maintains its strength no matter how many times you listen to it, making it a standout track. I can’t decide whether the best part is the joyful “Da-rum da-rim-da” segments or Woozi’s “Ping!” ending moment filled with so much energy.

3. (G)-IDLE – Queencard

(G)I-DLE followed up on last year’s releases with “Nxde” and “Tomboy” by returning in May with another playful exploration of bold femininity. Their track, ‘Queencard,’ serves as a confident anthem challenging societal norms. It is as a sassy and campy ode to self-love, the song embraces a hot girl persona while subtly addressing the double standards faced by women in the spotlight.

© (G)I-DLE (여자)아이들 (Official YouTube Channel) / YouTube

The song features quirky, tempo-shifting pop-rock that complements the push-and-pull of the melody. The members deliver deadpan, sassy one-liners, leading the song towards a rousing chorus that celebrates twerking on the runway. The highlighted moment is the lyric “Queencard, I’m hot / My boob and booty’s hot,” leaving a humorous question about which specific boob is being referred to.

2. New Jeans – OMG

The song “OMG” by NewJeans is deeply infectious and a perfect representation of the group’s spirit. It features a sassy vibe with a prominent bassline and funky drumbeat driving the rhythm, while the vocals maintain a laid-back and effortless style.


The song features the group’s perennial cheeky lyricism with the girls expressing hopeless longing. The lyrics convey anticipation and disappointment, creating a relatable back-and-forth dynamic with all five members. The track is praised as a masterclass in immersive world-building, despite its simplicity and brevity. The best aspect is the surreal and somewhat beautiful music video that complements the song’s release.

1. New Jeans – Ditto

“Ditto” by NewJeans is a well-crafted lo-fi track with a danceable tempo, quickly becoming an earworm. Described as NewJeans’ take on Baltimore club dance music, the pre-release single from the album, “Ditto,” was released on December 19th, 2022. The track exudes nostalgia in both its music and accompanying music videos. Embracing a retro theme, the two music videos for “Ditto” are labeled side A and side B, reminiscent of a cassette tape, and are set in a high school featuring Park Jihoo from “All of Us Are Dead,” who is portrayed recording the quintet.

best K-pop songs of 2023

Honorable Mentions

Did you think we would let you go without a few more mentions? Well, think again! Here are some songs that didn’t quite make the list:

  1. Tomorrow By Together – Sugar Rush Ride
  2. Jimin – Set Me Free
  3. Jisoo – Flower
  4. aespa – Better Things
  5. NCT Dojaejung – Perfume
  6. Stray Kids – LALALALA
  7. Jeon Somi – Fast Forward
  8. BSS – Fighting
  9. Taemin – Guilty
  10. ENHYPEN – Sweet Venom

Do you agree with our list of the best K-pop songs of 2023? What songs would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!

You might also want to read: Facts About the Latest K-Pop Sensation Known As NewJeans

Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!