13 Albums We’re Excited For In 2022

With a whole year of new music still ahead of us, we take a look at a handful of projects (both officially and not-quite-officially announced) that we’re looking forward to in 2022. 

The 2022 Grammy Awards were postponed earlier this month, which was yet another sign of how the music industry is still being affected by the coronavirus pandemic. But even though we are still figuring out how to safely do events again, there’s always new music to get excited about as the year is just getting started.

We are waiting on veterans to make their much-anticipated returns, but there are also some exciting new artists that we have our eyes on. There’s a lot to look forward to — from fiery football references from UK rappers to new creative ventures from some familiar faces.

We scan the scene from coast to coast and beyond to let you know about 13 albums we are excited for in 2022.

Big K.R.I.T. – DRDD

As Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and Drake have established themselves as the greatest of this generation, a rapper that came up with the crew is prepared to make his presence known again: Big K.R.I.T.

Just last week, the Southern slayer announced that his next album, known simply as DRDD, is turned in. This will be his first studio album since 2019’s K.R.I.T. Iz Here. Since then, a handful of his classic mixtape discography has been added to DSPs. While there’s not a release date yet for DRDD, we do have the first single, the groovy “So Cool.” So put that on repeat, listen to the mixtapes, and maybe even give this gem a spin.

A$AP Rocky – All Smiles

Remember last summer when everyone was confused as to why A$AP Rocky was headlining all the major festivals when he hadn’t released an album since 2018’s Testing? The assumption was that Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye was finally releasing a new project, which is supposedly called All Smiles. Rocky previewed a new song called “Sandman” at the virtual Yams Day and performed some new content at the aforementioned festivals as well. “Sandman” ended up being an addition to the streaming platform release of the 2011 classic Live.Love.A$AP. So while it won’t be on All Smiles, we will patiently wait for the album to drop, because we can never get enough Rocky.

Stix – Multiple Projects

Last year, Stix released his thoughtful Megawatts Raised in the Riots project. The LAFC ambassador does so much in the community through his Think Watts organization that it’s a wonder how he has time for music. But he does! He says that he has not just one album on the way in 2022, but a few. We can’t wait. In the mean time, catch him around town doing his thing like performing at the Rams vs. 49ers halftime show earlier this month. No big deal.

Baby Tate – Something (?)

Baby Tate really excited us last year with her song “Pedi.” The braggadocious single marked a new era for the Atlanta rapper, who had dropped the “Yung” from her name. Baby Tate did release the deluxe version of her After the Rain EP last July through Issa Rae’s Raedio label, and she was recently on J.I.D’s “Surround Sound” with 21 Savage and continues to raise her star status. We know that there’s so much more ahead for her and we’re hoping that includes a new album in 2022.

Kendrick Lamar – Oklama (?)

If you thought A$AP Rocky’s wait time was long, you aren’t a Kendrick Lamar fan. K.Dot has kept us waiting for a new project since 2017’s Pulitzer Prize-winning DAMN. That same year, he also executive produced the acclaimed Black Panther soundtrack. While we have gotten bits and pieces of his genius via guest verses and festival performances, the world has been falling apart and we haven’t had Kung Fu Kenny’s wisdom to guide us. Perhaps his upcoming performance at the Super Bowl will be the inspiration the world needs. The bigger news is that he revealed last August that his next album, potentially called Oklama, will be his last on TDE. An end of an era…

Skepta – Something (?)

Skepta said in an interview promoting his All In EP last year that he was done making music for a while. His last full-length solo effort was 2019’s Ignorance is Bliss, which was followed up by the super, ahem, *slept on* Insomnia, a project that bridged the generations of British rap. While Skepta can sit comfortably in his role as an OG in the British rap game  — and did make appearances on slowthai’s and Ghetts’ albums last year — we would be so happy to hear from him again. He did say in the same interview that he’d love to produce an album from a certain mega-star that happens to be next on our list…

Rihanna – Something (Please?)

We have been waiting a long time for many of the artists on the list, but perhaps none more so than Rihanna. Queen RiRi hasn’t dropped an album since 2016’s Anti. Remember that? “Work,” “Desperado,” “Needed Me,” “Love on the Brain.” All so good. All so long ago. Since then, it’s not that Rihanna hasn’t been work, work, work, work, working. She’s flourished her Fenty empire with lingerie and makeup lines leading her to reach billionaire status. She has teased us with sparse details about her new music, saying it’s “completely different.” With an artist as eclectic as RiRi is already, this could mean anything.

deSerko – The Man Behind the Camera

deSerko has been steadily making a name for himself outside of being known as a member of Los Angeles collective Warm Brew. After the release of the Five O’Clock Anywhere EP with AmirSaysNothing, deSerko, an avid soccer fan, has actually been writing his first movie. The Man Behind the Camera is expected to release sometime this year in addition to some new music. We are definitely hyped for both.

HAZEY – Debut Project

HAZEY came upon our radar pretty rapidly earlier this month, and the British rapper has made quite an impact in a short amount of time. His strong Scouse accent and slew of football references on his viral freestyle had the world chattering — both for better and worse. The buzz was enough for him to release his verse commercially in the form of a single called “Packs and Potions.” With posthumous Pop Smoke albums being forced upon us and UK rappers like AJ Tracey and slowthai expanding their artistry, a new drill rapper might be a tough sell in today’s market. But HAZEY has the world’s attention, so why not take advantage and release a full album?

Holdfast. – Movies

It may be a stark change of pace from the rest of this list, but Denver-based band Holdfast. is definitely worth being on your radar. The group consists of two brothers and their cousin, and the family chemistry is undeniable. The trio released their debut project, Stay and Fight, last year. It combines classic rock elements with modern alternative and authentic storytelling.

The closer “Drive,” which actually sneakily serves as the title track, is a message of encouragement to stay and fight through the hardships of life. As Holdfast. performed local shows, they previewed new music, which will be released in the form of their next project, entitled Movies. There will always be an audience for this type of music, but perhaps with the announcement of the When We Were Young Festival featuring My Chemical Romance, Paramore, AFI, Jimmy Eat World, and more, fans will remember how much this genre means to them. It’s perfect timing, really.

Murs – Murs in Miami EP

There are few artists like Murs. He’s a hip-hop vet who knows how to keep it fresh. He’s authentic about all the highs and lows of life in Los Angeles, and of course a huge Galaxy fan. His last release was 2020’s Love & Rockets Vol.2: The Declaration, but he also quietly released an EP called Murs in Miami produced by Miami’s Wrekonize. There’s a track on there that brings Murs, Wrekonize and the rest of his MayDay! crew together for a Mursday reunion. The project was released exclusively through Patreon, but word on the street is that Murs has plans to release the project to DSPs in 2022.

Joey Bada$$ – Untitled Project

We included Joey Bada$$ on our list of albums we were waiting for in 2020, and we are still waiting. That year, the Pro Era MC teased fans that his new album was 85% done, but apparently, it still hasn’t gotten to the finish line yet. But in a recent Instagram live, he told fans that “the album dropping this year for sure!” This will be his first full-length solo project since 2017’s ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$. Similar to Kendrick Lamar, the world has been missing Joey’s thoughtful introspection and elite lyricism.

Vince Staples – Ramona Park Broke My Heart

Yes, we finally got a Vince Staples album last year. But, we are also excited for the Long Beach rapper’s follow-up, a project entitled Ramona Park Broke My Heart. Staples’ self-titled 2021 project was his most personal yet. Judging by the title of the new one (Ramona Park is the local hangout spot where Staples grew up), it promises to be just as vulnerable. Staples has been providing entertainment and insight in 2022 already via Twitter, commenting on NFTs, and shooting down the rumors that he was supposed to drop two albums in 2021. But among his many tweets was one that did promise Ramona Park is “on the way.” Yay.


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