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The 20 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2022

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It was a blockbuster year for hip-hop in 2022, as we witnessed a handful of returns — led by pgLang commando Kendrick Lamar. After a five-year drought, Lamar reawakened with spirited raps and elite storytelling on his newest release, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. Meanwhile, Future’s reign remained supreme after notching the highest opening week of his career with the success of his ninth studio album, I NEVER LIKED YOU. We also received a fistful of collaborative albums, with Drake and 21 Savage’s unexpected collision Her Loss leading the pack, while women MCs strengthened their grip on the genre with the rise of GloRilla and Latto. 

Despite his late-minute push, Metro Boomin squeaked his way into rap contention with his third Billboard 200 chart-topper HEROES & VILLAINS this December, just before the buzzer sounded. With his starry hip-hop alliance including Future, Travis Scott, 21 Savage, Young Thug, and plenty more marquee names ready for combat, the Atlanta savant maximized his efforts to bring us a cinematic thriller.  Meanwhile, Nas and Hit-Boy continued to prove why they are hip-hop’s fiercest one-two punch, with the release of their Billboard 200 top-ten debut King Disease’s III. The trifecta extends Nas’ lyrical streak while elevating Hit-Boy’s status to legendary territory on the production side. 

Now, the biggest question looking forward is whether 2023 will have enough juice to contend after this year’s stellar campaign. Only time will tell, but, until then, let’s remember the year that was and take a look at Billboard’s  20 best hip-hop albums of 2022 below. 

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