Hip-hop fans are in for a treat this year as some of the biggest artists from the genre are scheduled to drop albums. As rap continues to dominate the charts and infiltrate popular culture, the hype train is set to go into overdrive as the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Cardi B and A$AP Rocky release new records.
To make sure you know what big releases to keep your eye on, here are our most anticipated hip-hop albums for 2022.
Cordae – From A Bird's Eye View
Although Cordae’s sophomore album dropped last week, we had to include it on this list. As expected, the LA-based rapper cements his position as one of the dopest wordsmiths in the game. A technically proficient lyricist with incredible storytelling abilities, Cordae more than holds his own against feature artists that include hip-hop heavyweights Eminem, Lil Wayne and Freddie Gibbs. An early contender for rap album of the year.
Kendrick Lamar – TBA
It’s been five years since rap god Kendrick Lamar has blessed as with an album, so to say we are excited for his next release is an understatement. K-Dot hasn’t given much away about his final album with TDE, besides announcing it is coming this year. Rumours online persist it is influenced by heavy rock, but whatever the little master dishes up is sure to be a genre bending release full of lyrical fire that will be a must listen.
Nas – King’s Disease III
Nas and Hit-Boy are hoping to continue their recent successful partnership with the release of King’s Disease III. If it sounds anything like its predecessors, expect Nas waxing lyrically about life over Hit-Boy’s magnetic production with a couple of surprise guests.
Cardi B – TBA
Since the release of her 2018 debut Invasion Of Privacy, Cardi B has birthed two children, won multiple awards (including a Grammy for Best Rap Album), and released one of the biggest singles of the decade in WAP. Her sophomore album is due sometime this year and will no doubt be another chart busting rap record sure to spark controversy.
A$AP Rocky – All Smiles
The A$AP Mob leader has managed to take some time away from girlfriend Rihanna to record his much anticipated fourth release. Tentatively titled All Smiles, the album is said to be influenced by Riri (who will hopefully make an appearance) and includes contributions from The Smiths’ Morrissey. What we can confirm is it will sound different to anything else he has released, with Rocky telling GQ, “It’s all about the evolution.”
Lil Uzi Vert – The Pink Tape
After making headlines last year for getting a pink diamond inserted in his forehead and having several public run ins with ex-girlfriend Brittany Byrd, 2022 is all about must for Lil Uzi Vert. Details are scarce about his next album, but we do know it’s called The Pink Tape and is believed to feature Drake, which is enough to get any hip-hop fan excited.
Saweetie – Pretty Bitch Music
After gaining momentum with singles Tap In, Back To The Streets and the Doja Cat assisted Best Friend, Icy rapper Saweetie is finally ready to drop her debut. Pretty Bitch Music will feature the previously mentioned singles and contains themes about growth, confidence, and being a bad bitch. We can’t wait.
Denzel Curry – Melt My Face See Your Future
One of the most underrated rappers in the game is coming back in a big way. Melt My Face See Your Future should be the album that cements Denzel Curry as one of the premier lyricists of the new era, and with features from T-Pain, Rico Nasty, Slowthai and Robert Glasper, expect another socially conscious release with eclectic production from his good friend Kenny Beats.
Kid Cudi – Entergalactic
Entergalactic is the second of two albums Kid Cudi has planned for this year. While there is no word about the first, Entergalactic is the soundtrack to the animated Netflix series of the same name created by Cudi. The show is about a young man who goes on a journey to discover love, with the soundtrack sure to mix surreal imagery with supersonic beats. Fingers crossed it’s more Man On The Moon than Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven.
Doja Cat - TBA
After the success of last year’s Planet Her album, Doja Cat is already looking to the future. She took to IG on Christmas eve to declare her next project would be a double album, with one side featuring seven pop-rap tracks and the other 12 pure hip-hop songs. She also wants Jay Versace and 9th Wonder to produce the hip-hop side. Gotta love her optimism.
Freddie Gibbs – Soul Sold Separately
After releasing projects exclusively produced by Madlib (Bandana) and The Alchemist (Alfredo), Freddie Gibbs is looking to work with the best of the best on Soul Sold Separately. Along with regulars Madlib and Alchemist, Boi 1da, Pharrell, Kaytranada and more will appear. Gibbs declared on Twitter he’s “got the best album” of 2022, which will be hard to disagree with from the line-up of talent involved.
Danny Brown – Quaranta
Quaranta (Italian for 40) is the name of Detroit rapper Danny Brown’s forthcoming sixth album. Brown told Hot New Hip Hop the album is about the last 10 years of his life and that “it’s all over the place” and “it’s going to be fun.” While there is no release date, we do know the album is being mixed by Top Dawg engineer MixedByAli and features production from regular Brown contributor The Alchemist.