2021 was loaded year in Hip Hop; we seen new albums from Tyler The Creator, Polo G, Migos, Griselda, Isaiah Rashad, J. Cole Drake and Kanye West just to name a few. As 2022 kicks off, we look to hearing from some artists whom we haven’t heard from in a while as well as some artists who we look forward to keep the consistent releases coming.
2022 will mark five years since Kendrick Lamar’s last album DAMN. Kendrick has been relatively quiet since the release of that album, but in 2021 he turned up the heat a bit as he made a guest appearance on his cousin Baby Keem’s album The Melodic Blue. Additionally in 2021, Kendrick announced via his social media that his next album would be his last as he looks to move forward to pgLang. Kendrick Lamar is apart of this year’s Super Bowl halftime show, so it will be interesting to see if he will drop some new music on the world and begin an album rollout.
The Harlem MC has been living the good life with Rihanna as of late, but word has got out that Rocky has been working on an album that was last reported to be close to be being complete. Rocky’s latest release was 2018’s TESTING, which received mixed reviews by critics. A$AP Rocky showed he can still rip up a mic as he made a guest appearance on Nas and Hit-boy’s Magic album in December, so perhaps Rocky is ready to come back stronger than ever in 2022.
Circling back to the TDE camp—It’s been a LONG time since we heard from Ab-Soul. His last project Do What Thou Wilt was released in 2016 and fans have been asking for him since. Not much has been said about an upcoming album, but Soul did post up a video of a song in which he’s bringing those fire bars we’ve come to know and love from the L.A. MC. Surely fans will welcome him back to the game with open arms.
Just when we thought he retired—he’s coming right back. Game’s stated that his latest album Born 2 Rap (2019) would in fact be his last as he looked towards retirement. Now it looks as though Game is coming out of retirement as he recently posted a series of pics on Instagram with the hashtag #albummode, as well as some new flicks with Kanye West. The Compton MC even posted that he has a track with Hit-boy on the way. Game always delivers with the bars, so it will be interesting to see what content he will bring at this stage in his career.
The legendary artist has been very busy over the last several years with successful television shows; three of which whom are the most watched cable television shows among black households in America. On top of that success, 50 Cent is looking to finally return to rapping after seven years removed from the game. His last album Animal Ambition was released back in 2014, and shortly thereafter his successful television show Power took off. 50 cent planned to release an album during fall 2021 but since that didn’t happen, maybe we can look forward to Fif making a return to the mic in 2022.
Cordae is surely becoming one of Hip Hop’s most beloved wordsmiths and storytellers. He’s been consistent with his releases and guest features over the last three years, and his career took a different direction after dropping the YBN from his name. Cordae wet the appetites of listeners with 2021’s Just Until.. EP and now he is kicking off 2022 by dropping his awaited album From a Bird’s Eye View on January 14.
YG experienced a dramatic end to 2021 to say the least. His long time friend a 4 hunnid partner Slim 400 was tragically gunned down, and then he found himself in the middle of allegations of being involved in a fight that L.A. rapper/rival Drakeo The Ruler was murdered in. YG has since been quiet on social media since these events, but that doesn’t mean he’s not quietly behind the scenes working. We’ve seen YG pour his heart and soul into his music when traumatic events take place (listen to 2016’s My Brazy Life or 2019’s 4REAL 4REAL) so it will be intriguing to see if YG releases an album in 2022 of a familiar flavor.
Lil Uzi Vert
The Philly native Lil Uzi Vert had a great 2020 when he released two albums. With a quiet 2021 over with, Uzi is potentially looking to drop a new project in 2022. Uzi released the new single ‘Demon High’ towards the end of last year and the song is expected to be the single from his upcoming project currently named The Pink Tape.
Freddie Gibbs’ last couple of years have been spectacular to say the least. His pairings with Madlib in 2019 and The Alchemist in 2020 resulted in the release of two of the best albums in their years respectively. Towards the end of 2021, Gibbs took to twitter to announce that he’s already working on his new album titled SSS (Soul Sold Seperately). Gibbs announced that this album will not only have Madlib and Alchemist as producers, but some other heavy hitters like Pharell, Boi 1da and DJ Paul as well. It’s safe to say that with producers of this caliber and Freddie’s superb mic ability that this can be yet another Grammy nominated album for Freddie.
Cardi B may be living the mom and wife life now; but she’s certainly still staying on her grind behind the scenes. It’s been a while since Cardi’s last album Invasion of Privacy dropped in 2018, and since then she has stayed on top of the game by releasing the very successful singles “WAP” (2020) and ‘Up” (2021). Cardi B stated on twitter last summer that she is in fact working on a new album so perhaps we can anticipate this drop happening in 2022.
It’s been over year since King Von’s life was tragically taken away. His presence is sorely missed amongst the Hip Hop community as Von was really elevating his status in the game before his life was taken. Von’s former manager recently stated that the rapper has around three hundred unreleased songs. DJ Bandz, who is Lil Durk’s DJ, also stated via social media that an album is in the works for the deceased artist.
Nas & Hit-Boy
Hip Hop has a new rapper/producer championship team in Nas and Hit-Boy as the two are in the works on their fourth collab project. King’s Disease I and II were solid projects from the pair and they added some icing to the cake with December’s Magic EP. The two have already announced that King’s Disease III is in progress.
2022 is sure to be a loaded year for Hip Hop. We can be sure to hear some dope features and even projects from artists like Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Griselda Records, and maybe even a sequel to Donda by Kanye West. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see who will really have a come up year with a breakout project in 2022.
Which albums are you looking forward to this year? Drop ’em in the comments or hit us @HipHopTXL with some artists we should look out for!