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2022 Halfway Point


Well, it's been one hell of a year for music. I don't know if it's just me, but I think this might be the best half of year the decade has to offer. We've had a lot of amazing projects come out in this span of time, and not that many bad ones. With that being said, let's go over these albums.




Nas-Magic


After dropping Kings Disease II in the middle of 2021, Nas gave us a preview of what Kings Disease III will be on Christmas Eve of 2021. Missing the list of that year, I decided to mention it on this halfway list as it shows some of the best Nas material since the early 2000s. Nas is sounding fresher than usual and Hit-Boi is just the perfect producer for him.


Month Of Release:December (2021)


Label:Mass Appeal


Genres:East Coast Hip Hop,Boom Bap


For Fans Of:Gang Starr,Rakim,Wu-Tang Clan




Black Country, New Road-Ants From Up There


With an amazing debut in 2021, Black Country, New Road return with their last album with frontman Isaac Wood. This album was a lot less creepy and dark, and more orchestrated, eclectic, and emotionally driven. Isaac Wood showed how theatric and versatile of a frontman he could be and the band behind him went behind him with great musicianship and chemistry. I don’t know what the future holds for Black, Country New Road, but the album we have right here is amazing and will be recognized as a rock staple of the 2020s.


Month Of Release:February


Label:Ninja Tune


Genres:Art Rock

For Fans Of:Arcade Fire,Talk Talk,Godspeed You! Black Emporor




Big Thief-Dragon New Warm Mountain I Beleive In You


This was my introduction to Big Thief, and what an introduction it was. I was a huge fan of their style and still am. Songs like “Spud Infinity” and “Certainty” are still in heavy rotation today and songs like “Little Things” and “Simulation Swarm” are some of the best indie songs of the year. This is easily one of my favorite folk records of the year.


Month Of Release:February


Label:4AD


Genres:Folk Rock,Contemporary Folk,Country


For Fans Of:The Mountain Goats,Sufjan Stevens,Bright Eyes




Beach House-Once Twice Melody


Beach House was already a legendary dream-pop group, but with this record, they broke barriers in their own sound. Releasing songs as 4 different EPs, Beach House didn’t go out their way to be the most versatile, but they did become a more grand version of what they already were known to be. They are no longer the synth, drum machine, and guitar group they were in the late 2000s, as they take their sound to much more ambitious levels.


Month Of Release:Februrary


Label:Sup Pop


Genres:Dream Pop,Neo-Psychedelia,Indietronica


For Fans Of:Braodcast,Spiritualized,Grimes




Conway The Machine-GOD Don't Make Mistakes


With last year's La Maquina being more of a mainstream attempt more than anything, Only time could tell what Conway would approach with next. God Don’t Make Mistakes is basically his strongest release yet as he blends the usual aggressive Griselda style with introspective tracks that track back to his earlier times. As Griselda comes, Conway shows that he is the most lyrically versatile and vulnerable, and this record shows that very well.


Month Of Release:February

Label:Shady

Genres:East Coast Hip Hop,Boom Bap


For Fans Of:Nas,JAY-Z,The Notorious BIG




Benny The Butcher-Tana Talk 4


Less than a month later, another Griselda member dropped a great album, Benny The Butcher. Following the arguable classic Tana Talk 3, Benny takes Alchemist and Daringer once again to create another Tana Talk. With good features and great Benny performances, Benny continues to stay one of the strongest lyricists hip hop has to offer.


Month Of Release:March


Label:Griselda


Genres:East Coast Hip Hop,Boom Bap,Gangsta Rap

For Fans Of:The Notorious BIG,Mobb Deep,Nas



Bladee & Ecco2k-Crest


After releasing a hypnotic and playful “The Fool” last year, Bladee teamed up with his Drain Gang partner Ecco2k to experiment a little bit. This album took some time to truly appreciate but it’s just so uplifting and feel-good. It’s like I’m at a party surrounded by neon creatures that all have smiles on their faces and have eyes bigger than their ears. It’s just one of the most otherworldly and imaginative experiences I’ve had with an album in 2022.


Month Of Release:March


Label:Year0001


Genres:Synthpop,Art Pop


For Fans Of:Fever Ray,Mistki,Katy Perry




Denzel Curry-Melt My Eyez See Your Future


After a couple of decent mini albums with ZUU & UNLOCKED, Denzel basically comes back with his first album in 3 years, and his first album over 30 minutes since 2018. This has been his best record since TA13OO as it's cohesive but also a lot more psychedelic, introspective and varied. He also continues to be an energetic artist with versatile flows and incomparable presence.


Month Of Release:March


Label:Loma Vista


Genres:Conscious Hip Hop,Southern Hip Hop


For Fans Of:Little Brother,Travis Scott,OutKast



Soul Glo-Diaspora Problems


As an introduction to Soul Glo being this album, I'm really looking forward to seeing what they can come up with next. They bring so much ferocity, energy, and reckless dynamics with every stylistic switch bringing undeniable energy, taking influences from screamo, hip hop, and noise rock in their usual style of hardcore music, and as a fan of hardcore, this was really refreshing to hear a brand new flip on that sound.


Month Of Release:March


Label:Epitaph


Genres:Hardcore Punk,Screamo


For Fans Of:Otoboke Beaver,Husker Du,Refused



Billy Woods-Aethiopes


I haven’t listened to a lot of Billy Woods in my lifetime, but this album made me interested of what he’s brought in the past. His multi-layered and dense lyricism is nothing more or less than challenging. Analyzing his lyrics was a trip in itself, not to mention some amazing production from Preservation. It’s jazzy, it's off-putting and unsettling, it's everything a Billy Woods album should be, and that's what makes it such a fun album to go back to.


Month Of Release:April


Label:Backwoodz


Genres:Abstract Hip Hop,Experimental Hip Hop,East Coast Hip Hop


For Fans Of:Ka,El-P,MIKE




Pusha T-It's Almost Dry


I know I gave this album a 6, but there were some songs that grew on me, and my expectations got re-adjusted too. Songs like “Let The Smokers Shine The Coupes” and “Dreaming Of The Past” are two songs that I didn’t love at first but are now some of my favorite hip hop songs of the year. With that being said, Pusha T does his usual, and with coke rap being more relevant than ever, and with someone to get two of the most colorful producers to give this style of rap a unique spin, is quite refreshing.


Month Of Release:April


Label:Good


Genres:Gangsta Rap,Southern Hip Hop


For Fans Of:Rick Ross,Lil Wayne,Scarface



King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard-Omnium Gatherum


With this basically being the longest King Gizzard album yet, they spent a lot of time showing versatile they can be within an album. It’s probably their most stylistically eclectic and versatile, which makes this a perfect album to throw on when you're in the mood for some Gizz. Filled with mesmerizing hooks, great jam sections, unique left turns, and an overall consistent vibe throughout all of it. This might even be my favorite King Gizzard release yet.


Month Of Release:April


Label:N/A


Genres:Psychedelic Rock,Psychedelic Pop


For Fans Of:Tame Impala,MGMT,Of Montreal



Kendrick Lamar-Mr Morale & The Big Steppers


With a 5 year hiatus, people were waiting for 1855 days for a new Kendrick album, and god damn, it was worth the wait. Is it his best? No, but that's basically doing the impossible, but what we have is something more introspective and poetic than anything that we would’ve expected. It’s also a double album which made it possible to have bangers as well as conscious tracks. I’m glad to say that Kendrick has yet to drop an album I haven’t loved.


Month Of Release:May


Label:pgLang


Genres:Conscious Hip Hop,West Coast Hip Hop


For Fans Of:2Pac,Kanye West,Blu



The Smile-A Light For Attracting Attention


With this being a Radiohead side project, we obviously are bound to get something out of pocket. With contributions from guitarist and orchestrator Johnny Greenwood as well as Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, we basically get the two strongest assets of Radiohead and we get something that is in the same area as something like In Rainbows but with elements of art pop and funk as the drummer of the band is a member of Afro-Funk band Sons Of Kemet. We get a really unique blend of styles alongside the Radiohead magic we all know and love, its nothing more than a gift for music nerds, as I say thank you very much.


Month Of Release:May


Label:XL


Genres:Art Rock


For Fans Of:King Krule,Nick Cave,Iggy Pop



Black Star-No Fear Of Time


If you think a 5 year wait for Kendrick was long, imagine waiting 24 years for a new album, especially when the album was teased 4 years before the original release, well imagine that being justified. Obviously, this album is not as strong or consistent as the debut, but what we have is fantastic Madlib production and the usual skill you would expect with Mos Def and Talib Kweli. It’s a match made in heaven and im glad that we have this.


Month Of Release:May


Label:N/A


Genres:East Coast Hip Hop,Conscious Hip Hop,Political Hip Hop,Boom Bap,Abstract Hip Hop

For Fans:Digable Planets,MF DOOM,De La Soul



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