The year 2022 has been another solid year for hip hop with a whole host of songs exploding onto the charts and streaming services. Actually, some of the tracks produced over the last 12 months are real classics with a blend of familiar names and those that are up and coming.
So, if you love this genre, then sit back and enjoy this list of the 33 best hip hop songs of 2022.
1. Just Wanna Rock – Lil Uzi Vert
The energy in this song is outstanding. Lil Uzi Vert manages to charge through the lyrics, leaving your body feeling electric, which is made even more powerful as soon as those beats drop. This really is hip hop that will rock you like never before.
2. The Color Violet – Tory Lanez
Tory Lanez is so full of talent, and The Color Violet may have been released at the end of 2021, but it was in 2022 that it really made a push. This hip hop star is more of a crooner than anything else giving you a smoothness to his songs that lulls you into a real sense of relaxation.
3. LOVE YOU BETTER – Future
The music video for this song is pretty slick while also incorporating a sense of sexy fun to it, and that fits in perfectly with the lyrics. Here, you get a gentle beat that caresses you and guides you through the track before letting you go on your way. It’s cool and genius together.
4. Hurricane – Ye
Ye, or Kanye West if you prefer, knows how to pull together a song, and Hurricane shows he still has what it takes. This track is a collaboration with The Weeknd, and it brings a heavy feel to it through the lyrics along with a basic beat that remains pleasant on the ears.
5. Middle of the Ocean – Drake
What stands out with this song is the way it is produced. This takes production levels up to new highs while Drake continues to perform in ways most other rappers cannot. The beat is timeless, and his flow is perfection. This track is just classic Drake.
6. Lane – Sampa The Great
I just had to include a song by Sampa The Great as she is aptly named. Her ability to infuse so many styles into one track is mind-blowing, and Lane is another perfect example of this. Her flow is insane, and the vibe she creates is electric. If you have never listened to her stuff, then start here.
7. First Class – Jack Harlow
I love this song, and it’s all thanks to the speed at which Jack Harlow throws out his lyrics. He’s like a machine gun on steroids, but it adds to the entire vibe of the track. However, there’s one other thing that stands out, and that’s smoothness, and this song has a lot of it.
8. Shake It – Kay Flock Feat. Cardi B, Dougie B, And Bory300
This drill song has a whole lot of fun attached to it while a sample from Akon is also thrown into the mix. The delivery is explosive throughout, and it carries such an energy that you cannot help but be drawn into it.
9. N95 – Kendrick Lamar
This is one of the songs of the year as far as I’m concerned, and N95 highlights the undoubted skills of Kendrick Lamar. The track is stunning with a complexity to it that you do not expect. It shows a whole new level of thought in his songs unlike anything you have experienced before from him.
10. Freaky Deaky – Tyga And Doja Cat
This collaboration with Doja Cat offers a more upbeat tempo throughout the song. This single has more of a cute feel to it than you expect from Tyga, but you do have Doja Cat to thank for that. It’s a bit different from so much hip hop out there today, and that’s why it deserves to be on this list.
11. 30 – Nas
Nas still has what it takes, and even though this song only came out in November, it still manages to showcase what he is all about. It’s punchy and his delivery remains as sharp as ever.
12. Right On – Lil Baby
This song is basic in its approach, but it still manages to work. Lil Baby knows how to create a tune, and Right On does feel as if he goes back to a tried and tested method. However, it’s smooth enough to grab your attention until the track decides it’s had enough of you.
Next: The best Lil Baby songs
13. Stop Breathing – Roddy Ricch
Beautifully crafted, Stop Breathing manages to showcase how Roddy Ricch really is a master at putting together songs. The beat is powerful without taking anything else away from the effort and energy that goes into the lyrics themselves.
14. I Play Forever – Royce Da 5’9” Feat. Grafh
This track is all about the lyrics as they pull it through when the beat behind it does come across as a bit lame at times. However, Royce Da 5’9″ takes on the challenge of doing what he does best adding some aplomb to a song that would have otherwise struggled.
15. What Happened to Virgil – Lil Durk Feat. Gunna
Featuring Gunna, What Happened To Virgil is a tribute to Virgil Abloh, so there’s a whole lot of sentiment and emotion attached to it. That makes it one of the best hip hop songs of the year and allows you to see how trap music has no need to completely change things. Just let the words speak for themselves, which is exactly what they did here.
16. 90 Proof – J. Cole And Smino
Also featuring Smino, 90 Proof has this stunning smoothness to it throughout. Okay, so J. Cole only plays a small part in it, but the groove from this song is outstanding. If tracks were materials, then this one would be silk.
17. PAPERCUTS – Vince Staples
What I love about this track is the fact it has a whole lot of funk about it. The beat and lyrics pull you along on a wave as he talks about that common issue of money. It’s down to earth, and the only sad thing is it’s not long enough as a song.
18. From the D 2 the LBC – Eminem And Snoop Dogg
Eminem clearly knows how to still craft a track, and this song featuring Snoop Dogg is yet another classic from him. In it, he switches his flow from time to time to keep you on edge while the beat remains simple while still adding a whole lot to the track.
19. In a Minute – Lil Baby
What I love about this tune is that Lil Baby offers a really steady feel to everything. It’s clear he’s in control from start to finish, and it makes you feel he spent a lot of time thinking carefully about what he wanted to say. Once again, it shows how far he has come as an artist.
20. Blick Blick! – Nicki Minaj And Coi Leray
This song also features Coi Leray, and honestly, it’s Nicki Minaj who helps bring the song through to its conclusion. Her control and energy grab you and help elevate the track to a level that would be missing if it was not for her. It takes it from being good… to great.
21. One Up – Central Cee
This UK rapper takes you right into the heart of UK drill music, and he does so with some substantial power and skill. His lyrics are fierce and so is his delivery, resulting in a powerful song that deserves to be heard by more people.
22. Surround Sound – J.I.D Feat. 21 Savage and Baby Tate
Featuring both 21 Savage and Baby Tate, Surround Sound incorporates a stunning beat, but that’s not the best part of the track. Instead, it’s the switch that occurs around the midway point that will blow your mind. With some good hooks thrown in for good measure, this song is stunning.
23. MS. MURAL – Lupe Fiasco
I think for me it’s the layers in this song that makes it stand out. This was the third track in a trilogy, and it’s probably the best out of the three. It’s complex, and yet somehow enchanting at the same time. Also, there’s something cool about the snares that bounce through the song as well.
24. AHHH HA – Lil Durk
This song would be a contender for the most intense track of the year. It comes with a seriously upbeat tempo even though the lyrics are quite dark, talking about the loss of friends and a whole lot of personal stuff. This is a ferocious track and one you will need to listen to over and over.
25. LONDON – BIA Feat. J. Cole
J. Cole gets around, and here he is in another collaboration this year. This time, it’s with BIA. Honestly, if it wasn’t for J. Cole, then this song would just not be quite up to the level you want. The lyrics are a bit weak, but he is outstanding and instantly turns this into one of the best tracks of the year.
26. F.N.F. (Let’s Go) – Hitkidd And GloRilla
Also featuring GloRilla, F.N.F. (Let’s Go) offers a whole lot of happiness throughout the track and it just feels good to have something so laid back and content in the world of hip hop. This song was a huge summer hit, and it’s easy to see why with its relaxed approach and ability to put a smile on your face.
27. What’s My Name – Queen Naija And Fivio Foreign Feat. Coi Leray
This song by Queen Naija features several other artists leading to a powerhouse collaboration, and it also includes a sample from Say My Name by Destiny’s Child. As a track, it bounces around between the different players, leaving a dizzy effect that will stay with you for some time.
28. Churchill Downs – Jack Harlow Feat. Drake
This song also features Drake, so you have a balance between the smoothness of Drake and the energy impact of Jack Harlow. In Churchill Downs, this is something that works well. This radio-friendly track is not as hardcore as some of his other stuff, but with Drake on board, it should lead to more people becoming aware of his talents.
29. P Power – Gunna Feat. Drake
This is yet another song featuring Drake, but what you have here is one of the most chilled hip hop songs of the year. It’s catchy, and you can just tell both Gunna and Drake are loving what they do. The vibe is cool, and you will be glad you listened to it.
30. Distraction – Polo G
While this song is above average, the thing that stands out is the instrumental. It adds emotion to it that you don’t expect, and in a sense, that’s the part that offers the distraction from the rest of the track. For that alone, and the ability to change tempo, it’s one of the best hip hop songs of the year.
31. Cooped Up – Post Malone Feat. Roddy Ricch
Featuring Roddy Ricch, this song by Post Malone is smooth and glides along without too much fuss. There is just enough style to the track that stops it from becoming too generic while Roddy Ricch adds just enough added flavor to push the song higher still.
32. Neck & Wrist – Pusha T, Jay-Z, And Pharrell Williams
Also featuring Jay-Z and Pharrell, Neck & Wrist delivers on two fronts: cool beats and impressive hooks. When you add in the skills of the featured artists, then you get a song like this, which has enough of a slick finish to it for you to want to listen on repeat.
33. Tomorrow 2 – Cardi B And GloRilla
Featuring GloRilla, Tomorrow 2 brings together New York rap with Memphis rap resulting in a strong track full of explosive material that makes its mark. The lyrics are clean and clear, and both artists are confident.
Barry has worked as a freelance writer for over a decade and has developed an eye for detail when it comes to unearthing cool and interesting facts.
His love of music stems from his student days checking out up and coming bands playing in the darkest corners of bars and clubs in Edinburgh.
The love of uncovering something new also remains with him. With an appreciation for music that’s best described as eclectic, his musical tastes range from Eric Clapton to Eminem through to Snow Patrol and Incubus. The memories that music can bring back to the fore is something he tries to portray in his writing.
For him, the voyage of discovery and unearthing something new is what makes this task of writing for MusicGrotto.com so interesting.