Hip-hop experienced twists and turns throughout 2022.
Once the ball dropped, Gunna ignited the flame with his club-ready single “Pushin P’,” which made the 16th letter in the alphabet top-tier on social media. Also, no one expected the Memphis rookie GloRilla to cause tremors in the genre with her earthshaking anthems “FNF” and “Tomorrow 2.” Her surplus of hits allowed men and women to get loud and rowdy together as they chanted her lyrics with gusto.
And when we weren’t in a partying mood, we received doses of high-octane lyricism and thoughtfulness from our most well-spoken MCs. Kendrick Lamar’s precision and innate ability to connect with listeners remains second to none, as proven on “Rich Spirit” and “N95,” while Jay-Z’s agile wordplay continues to be at a hall-of-fame level after rattling off an impressive 80-bar melee on DJ Khaled’s Grammy-nominated “God Did.” Vince Staples — who delivered a top-five effort on Billboard’s Best 20 Hip-Hop Albums of 2022 — doled out quality records as well, whether it was the DJ Mustard-anchored single “Magic” or the criminally underappreciated gem “When Sparks Fly.”
The quality of hip-hop records in 2022 came from all walks of life and different sectors of the map, keeping us engaged, intrigued and hungry for more. Can 2023 carry the same momentum and “big energy”? Only time will tell; until then, check out Billboard’s Best Hip-Hop Songs of 2022 below.