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Top 15 Rap Albums of 2022

These are the projects made enough impact for us to revisit them time and time again

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top rap albums 2022
Illustration by Allison Aubrey

    Our 2022 Annual Report continues with our Top 15 Rap Albums list. As the year winds down, stay tuned for more awards, lists, and articles about the best music, film, and TV of 2022. You can find it all in one place here.


    By its very nature, hip-hop is constantly shifting, with new trends and subgenres bubbling up seemingly every week. Now more than ever, a rapper can pop off with a viral hit at any moment, whether it’s off the back of a TikTok trend or emerging at the forefront of a local scene. Either way, eventually the real test is being able to put out an album that resonates with fans.

    This can mean either dropping an undeniable string of hits or putting together a strong body of work weaving together lyrical themes, production, and sequencing in a cohesive manner. But none of that really matters unless there’s something special about the artist in the first place, whether it’s their charisma, vulnerability, pen game, flow, or all of the above.

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    That’s what all the albums on this list have in common — each one has a specific vision and purpose. In a time when the music industry would have everyone believe streaming numbers and playlist placement matter more than artistry, that commitment won’t necessarily be appreciated by anyone but the real fans.

    But that’s why we put together this list together in the first place. Algorithms aside, we identified which projects made enough impact for us to revisit them time and time again — beyond whether they were capital “i” important or by our favorite rappers.

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    Here are the best rap albums released in 2022, many of which we’ll keep listening to well into the new year and beyond.

    — Eddie Fu
    New Music Editor


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