Can you believe it? Hip-hop is officially in year three of the COVID era. Back at the start in 2020, the pandemic put a pause on plenty of music that should’ve been on play. It was dope to see a lot of rookies take advantage of the extra time to shine, but most vets sat comfy and deemed the time period as an off season. Thankfully, despite new variants constantly popping up as often as Ty Dolla $ign features, 2021 balanced things back out with hall of famers like Drake, Kanye West, J. Cole, Young Thug and more serving standout music packs to their fans. And that momentum, all across the board, should stay steady in 2022.
Comeback season is on the calendar for a number of artists. Four years have elapsed since A$AP Rocky dropped his experimental junior album Testing. Last summer, taking a breath from speaking on his relationship with Rihanna and the drip in his closet, Rocky confirmed that his forthcoming effort, All Smiles, is “90 percent” done. Let’s keep the faith high and hope that it’ll arrive sooner than later. Aside from what ifs, Rae Sremmurd is ending their drought with the fourth installation of SremmLife. Earlier this year, Swae Lee confirmed on Instagram that the follow up to 2018’s SremmLife3 will arrive before March. Hits are to be expected, per usual.
Though there have been some significant absences over the last few trips around the sun, the rap game has been in good hands. One person in possession is Lil Baby, who despite only tag-teaming trap ballads with Lil Durk in 2021, rapped his peers into the corner without releasing a solo project. Back in November, he tweeted, “New Everything Otw” and stamped it with a hand-raising emoji. Another person spinning the rock on the finger is Megan Thee Stallion. Even with a project full of loosies and previously recorded material, 2021’s Something For The Hotties still reigned supreme. Meg told Zane Lowe that SFTH was nothing but a mere appetizer, as she committed to blessing her supporters with a brand new album this year.
Elsewhere, Ye is gearing up to drop Donda 2 and his G.O.O.D. Music right-hand Pusha-T has already begun the album rollout for his new joint as well (Cue the cocaine-covered pics). Travis Scott’s Utopia might finally see the light of day, as he changed his IG bio back to the effort’s name. Future announced last year that there is in fact a Hndrxx 2 that he was saving for 2022. Flow gods Ski Mask The Slump God and J.I.D have bar bombs in the cannon. And of course, Kendrick Lamar has quite the royal rumble ahead of him if he decides to drop and reclaim his spot at the top. The list really does go on. You can go ahead and peep the most anticipated hip-hop albums of 2022 below.—Kemet High