This year was a stellar one for hip hop music, with several hit rap songs making their mark on the charts. Ranging from backpack rap and trap songs, melodic schemes to catchy hooks – 2022 had something for everyone!
Hip Hop music remains an invaluable form of activism and social change, with artists like Lil Yachty using Hip Hop lyrics to highlight issues surrounding poverty and other problems in his songs.
1. Lil Nas X – Industry Baby
Lil Nas X has taken social media by storm with the success of his latest single, released in collaboration with Jack Harlow. Utilizing platforms such as Twitter, Roblox and TikTok he uses these channels to promote his music while engaging his fan base and protecting himself from critics and haters alike.
He has created a distinctive style of music that is both catchy and meaningful, often featuring Auto-Tuned vocals and atmospheric synths. Additionally, his lyrics stand out with their ability to empower others as he remains true to himself and their commitment.
“Industry Baby” is an emotional reflection on the trials associated with being part of the music industry. The lyrics highlight artists’ struggle for fair treatment within it and lack of equal access to success opportunities.
Lil Nas X provides a satirical take on the US Supreme Court with this video, portraying judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and juries all to illustrate his struggles in his career.
The “Industry Baby” video was released in January and quickly caused considerable outrage among critics. The clip featured Nas dancing naked in the shower while also depicting him escaping jail – something which the video director Christian Breslauer and co-producer Kanye West co-produced alongside him. Since its debut, over 18.9 million views have been counted!
2. GloRilla – Tomorrow 2
GloRilla hails from Memphis’ Frayser neighborhood where she was raised among a close-knit community, drawing inspiration from several influences such as Chief Keef and Gangsta Boo. Yo Gotti mentored and inspired GloRilla with her style as a rapper.
GloRilla has grown quickly since her initial struggles, becoming one of the most in-demand hip hop artists of 2022. Her viral hit single “F.N.F.” garnered her the attention of Yo Gotti’s CMG label and ultimately led her into signing.
Since then, she’s released the viral hit single “Blessed,” as well as “Tomorrow 2.” Thanks to Cardi B’s collaboration on this song, which quickly rose to #1 on Apple Music charts within days – it also trended #1 video on YouTube in just three days! No surprise there have been such enthusiastic reactions to both releases!
GloRilla and her crew make an entrance with this hard braggadocious track, combining Southern Rap with Bronx East Coast Drill. In its music video, GloRilla and her friends take over Times Square in New York twerking on Hellcats, riding subway trains and throwing wild parties at her house party!
GloRilla’s song tells her haters they cannot compare with her; its lyrics feature aggressive language and boastful sentiments, reflecting her background as a musician.
GloRilla delivers a powerful track that showcases her complex lyrics and signature take on pop-rap, setting the stage for what we can expect from her in future music releases; an album release is anticipated shortly.
3. Kendrick Lamar – Silent Hill
Kendrick Lamar is an artist with the unique skill to write hit singles. Combining lyricism with immaculate storytelling and finesse to craft songs both intricate and approachable has created hit songs for Kendrick Lamar that often reach the top of charts. His complex lyrics have proven immensely popular among his fans and often reach No. 1.
He is well known for taking his time crafting each album into something truly memorable; recent works in particular demonstrate this ability. They will remain on people’s lips years after release.
Kendrick Lamar is known for his intricate lyrics and engaging storytelling, garnering him many hits over the past decade. 2012 proved particularly fruitful with songs such as “Swimming Pools (Drank)” and “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” becoming fan anthems.
Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers is one of his most personal and engaging projects to date, while simultaneously paying homage to some of his biggest influences such as Jay-Z and Kanye West.
Although his latest project may not match some of his earlier efforts in terms of perfection, it still manages to contain plenty of heart and depth within its 15 tracks. This album explores topics such as sexual abuse, gender identity issues, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and racism – something which his prior albums did not do so well at.
Kendrick features several new and unexpected faces in this episode, many of whom are signed to his label pgLang, such as Tanna Leone, Sam Dew, Ghostface Killah and Summer Walker – to name just a few.
This album boasts several memorable tracks, such as its title track and sing-along track “Silent Hill.” Both songs are memorable for their emotive melodies and catchy rhythms; though this record doesn’t reach the same heights of its predecessor, it still makes for an excellent way to unwind with music.
4. Curren$y – Continuance
Curren$y and The Alchemist have become two of the most prolific rapper/producer duos in hip hop. Together they’ve worked on over 20 projects together despite all of their successes, maintaining simple yet enjoyable collaborations between themselves.
Continuance is Curren$y and Alchemist’s third collaborative album together, comprising of 13 tracks on two sides that features guest artists such as Havoc, Wiz Khalifa, Boldy James, Styles P, Babyface Ray and Larry June – among many more! Recently they dropped two singles ahead of its release – “Half Moon Mornings” and “The Tonight Show”.
Overall, this project feels like an expression of everything great they’ve accomplished throughout their long and successful history. Spitta’s laid back weed raps pair beautifully with Alc’s soothing beats for an album that is both accessible and easy to enjoy.
Continuance is easily one of the pair’s finest works to date and you shouldn’t miss it out! Their dynamic duo’s chemistry is truly unrivaled and their work never ceases to amaze. Don’t miss out!
Continuance, with its laidback Louisiana vibes and testament to Curren$y and Alc’s collaboration, is an admirable project from these two legends. It demonstrates their incredible chemistry as music creators while showing that together they can produce some of the finest work in their respective industries.
Below you can stream the album, as well as watch its official video for “Half Moon Mornings”, featuring Curren$y, The Alchemist and other top performers! It is unquestionable that Curren$y and The Alchemist remain two of hip-hop’s unrivaled duos with timeless music that remains evergreen.
5. Nas – King’s Disease III
Since his initial appearance on Main Source’s Live At The BBQ show in 1991, Nas has quickly become one of the most iconic figures in hip hop. His groundbreaking lyrics, cadence and poetic lyrical style have played an instrumental role in shaping its development while serving as a role model to some of today’s finest rappers and the ones from yesterday alike.
Nas is still relevant and remains true to his original influences while developing as an artist with each release he makes, such as King’s Disease III which could well become his crown jewel of an impressive career.
Last year, Queensbridge rapper-turned-producer Hit-Boy unveiled the second installment of his King’s Disease series; and this week they returned with its third iteration; both projects have been exceptional so far, but King’s Disease III stands as his most consistent work thus far.
Nas emphasizes the significance of being an authentic artist on this record. He assures aspiring artists that it is impossible to guarantee success without trusting in oneself and one’s talent, while simultaneously explaining that bullsh*t may not always be necessary; making peace rather than fighting can often prove more effective.
King’s Disease III revisits this theme again and again, as Nas uses his experience in the music industry to show young rappers the value of choosing peace over confrontational toughness. He highlights that conflicts among people can escalate into violence, warning against succumbing to such mentalities.
So King’s Disease III should be an essential listening experience for any hip hop fan. It demonstrates King’s hunger and sheer fire despite losing many of his peers over the years, showing us that hip hop will still continue thriving with him at its helm.