The 10 Best Albums Of 2022 Include JID And More
#10 2000 by Joey Bada$$
In 2000, the indirect sequel to his debut studio album 1999, is almost a mix of Joey both celebrating and mourning his success. The success he was so craving in 1999, wanting to make it all happen, is being acknowledged in this album with the opening song titled “The Baddest” giving a nod to his name Joey Bada$$.
However, it is also being looked at in a grieving sense when he raps in the second to last song “Survivors Guilt” about a close friend passing. He uses his success to dedicate this song for the world to hear and know Capital STEEZ. They were supposed be successful together however, even after all of the money fame and materialistic things, Joey just wanted to make it happen with his friend.
This album carrying so much emotional depth and weight brings very heartfelt songs. 2000 overall is a very chill and melodic album, focusing on the lyrical prowess that Joey possesses and his slower flow. If classic Joey Basa$$ is what you like this will be right up your alley. Check out songs “Wanna Be Loved” feat. JID, “Welcome Back” with Chris Brown and Capella Grey, and “Zipcodes”.
#9 SOS by SZA
SZA ended her four-year hiatus with an unpolished masterpiece in SOS demonstrating versatile performances across all genres. She still brought her own usual sound along with dipping into a plethora of styles including rap, country, hip-hop, indie rock, and more. This seems to be an experimental album to find what she likes. Nonetheless, SZA still executed on songs such as “Good Days”, “Kill Bill”, and her collaboration with Travis Scott on “Open Arms”.
However, the only downfall of this album is the sheer amount of material. SOS totals in at 23 songs, which can be harder to digest on a full listen bringing it a little further down on this list.
#8 Luv 4 Rent by Smino
Smino in my eyes, along with Joey Bada$$, has been severely underrated. On Smino’s debut studio album blkswn he delivered some of the smoothest and melodic flows over the almost hypnotic and trance like beats that made him stand out. This was especially true on “Glass Flows” and “Wild Irish Roses”.
This carried over into Luv 4 Rent which was executed beautifully with Smino sticking to his roots and using his voice for more than just singing. Smino provides unique use of his vocals either by his layered harmonizing or providing texture throughout the beats by stitching it with his own voice. This can be heard all throughout the album along with his witty and intricate lyricism.
#7 Wasteland by Brent Faiyaz
Wasteland by Brent Faiyaz is easily his most polished project yet and is some of the best quality that he has released. This album follows the main character being a persona of Brent himself.
This character is trying to live his last moments with no responsibilities before entering fatherhood. However, in doing so he ruins the relationship with his pregnant partner. This was both by cheating on her and making her feel the loneliest she ever felt.
His actions soon come to bite him when in the last skit “Skit: Wake Up Call”, the impregnated partner claims to be soon killing herself, along with the unborn baby. Brent’s character gets in a car crash and leaves the listener to finish the album with the song “Angel”, a fitting title for what just occurred.
This plot guides the listener through a nice mix of toxic and loving songs that Brent is so known for.
#6 Her Loss by Drake and 21 Savage
Drake does it again, releasing a top album with his fellow collaborator 21 Savage. Her Loss took the internet by storm as fans were happy to see that Drake was releasing an album that wasn’t under the genre of house music.
This trap-oriented album was also sprinkled with a little of Drake’s classic r&b singing that he does and managed to mix well with the abundant transitions. 21 Savage obviously executed as he does, along with Travis Scott who obliterated the studio with his verse on “Pussy & Millions”.
Enjoyable and easy listen to, not any concept behind it leaving it on the lower half of the list.
#5 Dawn FM by The Weeknd
Dawn FM is a fantastically executed 80’s themed album. The 80’s themed radio skits and commercials mainly featuring Jim Carrey, add to and elevate the atmosphere of it.
Besides the skits, The Weeknd along with features from Tyler, The Creator on “Here We Go… Again” and Lil Wayne on “I Heard You’re Married” absolutely outperform and make this album a very enjoyable listen. Other than that, songs such as “Gasoline”, “Out of Time”, and “Is There Somone Else?” are top tier songs that encapsulate the voice that The Weeknd is so known for.
#4 Heroes & Villains by Metro Boomin
Metro Boomin left nothing to be desired from his four-year break from his first solo studio album Not All Heroes Wear Capes. Heroes & Villains is what DJ Khaled wanted his atrocious disappointment of an album GOD DID to be but failed.
Metro’s production quality is top tier and solidifies his spot in the S-tier producers’ category. The beats are fresh, they complement the features almost flawlessly, and the features each performed as they were expected to.
Songs such as “Superhero” with Future, “Creepin'” with 21 Savage and The Weeknd, and “Feel The Fiyaaaah” with A$AP Rocky and Takeoff should be the first listens.
#3 Melt My Eyez See Your Future by Denzel Curry
Whenever it is widely claimed that you have dropped the album of the year and it is only March of that year the album must be phenomenal. This album was that, however, Denzel was just slightly outmatched by Kendrick and JID by their conceptually strong albums.
Melt My Eyez See Your Future is nothing to overlook however, this album shows how truly versatile Denzel is, providing a nice plethora of creativity, pulling from all types of music.
He is building quite the discography and seems to only be getting better with each album. No regression in sight for Denzel, excited about what else he has in store.
#2 Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers by Kendrick Lamar
Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers was not very well received upon its release by the general public, including myself. However, I believe that a very conceptual album like this cannot be fully digested and appreciated without being put in the right mindset.
If you want more mainstream and easier listens, songs such as “Die Hard”, “Father Time”, and “N95” should be the first listens.
This album is not going to make the top 10 mainstream songs, Kendrick has not aimed for that. But this album is very emotional and seems to be an album of Kendrick himself. His life, his struggles with religion and acceptance of his transgender family member, or the dilemma of men vs women.
This is very apparent in the song “Mother I Sober” which tackles topics such as abandoning faith, turning to lust and drugs which turn into addictions to distract oneself from the traumas of their past, physical abuse, and more.
This isn’t all, as Kendrick loves using structure in his tracklist to paint a picture and add to the album like DAMN when in reverse tells another possible ending to his life. In this album, however, there’s a mirror effect supported by the last song called “Mirror”. The very first song “United In Grief” presents the problems and the idea that Kendrick has been going through issues these past years in his hiatus. The very last song “Mirror” explains how trying to live up to the expectations of the public and not focusing on himself has taken a toll on him. This is reinforced by the song before “Mirror”, “Mother I Sober” when at the very end the dialogue claims Kendrick has broken the curse and has dealt with his issues and trauma instead of distracting himself.
This album wasn’t meant for the general public, but for Kendrick himself. He looked in the mirror and focused on himself which was replicated and made tangible within this album.
#1 The Forever Story by JID
JID easily released the album of the year when he dropped The Forever Story, the sequel to his debut studio album, The Never Story. This album has all of it. The lyrical ability, the concept behind the album, and flow between the many transitions, all add to the perfect quality of this album. JID claims, and it is very apparent, that this is his most vulnerable and personal project.
You look at songs such as “Crack Sandwich”, which talks about JID’s sister getting jumped and emphasizes the struggles of money when growing up with his six other siblings. Or topics such as motherhood, racism, and brotherhood in the gang world in songs such as “Kody Blue 31” and “Bruddanem” feat. Lil Durk.
However, there are more general songs that just plain out sound good, including his hit songs “Dance Now”, feat. Kenny Mason, and “Surround Sound” feat. 21 Savage & Baby Tate. JID’s ability of meshing conscious rap and Afropunk, along with influences from r&b and and trap, allow for a very versatile and easy listen.
At the end of the day, this album is the embodiment of JID and his abilities. It is the tell all of his life and for him to be able to carry out a concept in an easy to listen to fashion is only on par with the great Kendrick and J Cole.
This album is a generational gift and will be a classic for time to come.
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