50 Best Songs Of 2022

Lists of this magnitude are tough to do and I take a great deal of pride in crafting. I think the first ten to fifteen are easy to distinguish and then after, I think the places can be somewhat become interchangeable. All great tracks, where the pecking order becomes less discernible. So many artists could have been included multiple times on this list, but then we lose depth. Artists like Mickey Diamond and Jay Royale could have had multiple entries. As it stands only one emcee, Ransom, got two tracks selected for this list.

In the end, this is a testament to the strength of hip hop in 2022. We can agree to disagree on many points but maybe you will find something dope you hadn’t heard or a new artist to support. This is my hope.

Thanks for your time and readership!

-Stef aka thathiphopguy

#1 – Done M-Dot & Apollo BrownThis is the track that sets the tone for the entire year and this is what M-Dot and Apollo Brown typify: Hard work and talent!
#2 – Unruly Vandal & NottzA song that gets caught in the head and does not let go. It is a personal anthem.
#3 – Power Nap Nicholas Craven & Boldy JamesBoldy and Craven is a beautiful union and nobody makes me crave a little rest like this cut. Beautiful music.
#4 – A Most Dreadful Symphony Ransom & V DonThis song’s whole vibe gives me chills.
#5 – Chain GretzkyMickey Diamond & Big GhostNo song went harder than this in 2022.
#6 – War I BringSherm LaRock & MidazNo song went harder than this in 2022…except above
#7 – Area 57 (ft. Skyzoo)J57Dope rhymes. Fluid flows. A Change Up. Perfect.
#8 – QtnaDefcee & BoathouseFrom the best album of 2022, you would expect a Top 10 song.
#9 – Highly Favored (ft. Bub Styles & Mickey Diamond)Ty Farris & Slim OneIt’s raw hip hop with a fantastic producer and three consummate emcees.
#10 – Linchpins (ft. Prince Po)Guilty SimpsonThe strings are glorious and the rhymes abound.
#11 – Everywhere I Go (ft. Muja Messiah, Guilty Simpson, and Copywrite)Dub SonataThe connections and cohesion on this joint are unparalleled. So clever!
#12 – Paint Pictures (J.Rocc Remix)XP The MarxmanHip-Hop holds true to it’s purest form on this joint.
#13 – The Most ExaltedIAMGAWDPen game is strong with this one. Glorious.
#14 – 3xMadhattan & NVPied Piper type smooth. Follow the flute and dope flow.
#15 – Sal’s Pizza 38 Spesh & Harry FraudSpesh and Fraud are an elite combination, and you can hear it here.
#16 – Why BitchStarvin B & DustyVibesStarvin B is a regular on these lists and this year is no different.
#17 – No Time To Waste (ft. Jadakiss)Apathy & Stu BangasIf you love sick lyricism this is the joint for you.
#18 – Cancel Myself Ren Thomas & Brutal CaesarYou make a mockery of hip hop so Thomas and Caesar make a mockery of you.
#19 – Immortals (ft. Casual)Lunar HeightsGreat track and the Casual cameo is spot on.
#20 – Keeper Of The FlameMooch & Oh JaySmooth track and crisp flow.
#21 – Gunsmithz (ft. Phat Kat, Asun Eastwood, Recognize Ali)Ol’ Man 80zzzAnother track in 2022 that knocks harder than most.
#22 – Stuck In Our Ways (ft. Rigz, MAV, Mooch)Real Bad ManIt’s Da Cloth!!! Flames!
#23 – Carlito & KleinfeldJay Royale & Kool G RapIt’s that certified street shit featuring a legend with one of today’s strongest.
#24 – Bone TomahawkSpit GemzThis is an intro to Gemz project and packs a lot of heat in a minute’s time.
#25 – Fire Slingers (ft. Snak The Ripper)N.B.S.Yeah. This track stays true to the namesake. They are spitting flames on here.
#26 – Scud MisslePlanet Asia & SnowgoonsLegends unite to give you this heat rock. These guys are at the pinnacle of their craft.
#27 – Roar Of The LionsEl GantAnother track that just “feels” like hip hop. It gets you hype to be a fan.
#28 – SlayJohaz & NottzNottz does it again this time taking you to church with Johaz.
#29 – Dis Could Be BadMAVIt could be bad, but MAV is oh so good.
#30 – Raekwon’s Table Ullnevano & God Sense BeatsNot all are worthy to sit at Raekwon’s Table. But these artists show and prove.
#31 – Lo PanTeek HallTeek Hall is name you should know and when this song gets caught in your head, you’ll remember.
#32 – Hans Gruber (ft. Lil Fame)Wais P & Pete TwistBruce Willis may not approve but the hip hop community agrees this is a banger.
#33 – Diamond Backs (ft. Daniel Son)Maze OverlayNorthside and AZ link up over some Farma heat.
#34 – CompromisedRansomRansom is too talented to not make this list twice.
#35 – Guerrero (ft. Westside Gunn)Benny the ButcherThe power and talent of Griselda is undeniable. This joint feels like it was actually made in a lab.
#36 – Triple Threat (ft. RIM & Frankky Smaccz)Eddie KaineFlamethrower bars over some production from the talented Hobgoblin.
#37 – Both SidesThe TangiersEvery time this cut comes on, my head nods instantly. Drops heavy.
#38 – One Bridge (ft. Fashawn & K-Prez)SnowgoonsThe organ that drives this track is the perfect set up. And the emcees give such great energy!
#39 – Bars After BarsFatt Father & DJ Jewels BabyThe Wu-Tang flip is insane and the bars and flow speak for themselves.
#40 – Museum Piece (ft. Torae)Napoleon Da Legend & Just Music BeatsThis song has the necessary hype and talent equivalent to make the list. Lyricism for days.
#41 – Hamster Wheel LocksmithOne of the most authentic artists in hip hop delivers a virtuoso performance.
#42 – TyrantShabaam Sahdeeq & John Jigg$Two of my favorites link up for some lyrical gold here.
#43 – Dudesovadere (ft. Dro Pesci)Mic HandzThis project is full of bangers and needs to be heard. This is just one of those harbody tracks.
#44 – Too ConvincedNelson Dialect & BigBobThis joint is just so melodic. It honestly should be higher on this list but what’s done is done. Incredible track.
#45 – Queens GambitShaz Illyork & Buon AnniSo good to hear Illyork over these banging beats from Buon Anni.
#46 – Big Coffins (ft. Mickey Diamond and Pro Dillinger)SnottyIt’s The Umbrella posse cut that bodies the competition.
#47 – Bill and Fame (ft. Tone Spliff)The Bad SeedA tribute of sorts to M.O.P. and no one is more set to do it properly than Seed!
#48 – RiotDaniel Son x Futurewave x 36 CypherYes. This joint could easily cause a riot. Everything is intense on this cut.
#49 – It’s Like That (ft. DJ Grazzhoppa)Supreme CerebralSupreme Cerebral slays tracks and he takes this rock infused beat and wreaks havoc.
#50 – Gawds Wrath Massacre (ft. Don Streat x Rico Blox x J Fliz x Jae Hussle x Street Da Villain)Slik Jack & Kng Bondalero)I needed to set off the list with this ill posse cut because this beat by Bondalero is an anthem.

10 Best Albums Of 2022

There are many ways to go about crafting a list. I think some people go out of their way to create the most eclectic list of music that they honestly would never give replay value to. There are others who would make such a large list that it winds up showcasing the average with the great. And no list will do everyone justice and so this list was crafted with the ten albums I feel that demonstrated the best melding of talent comprised of ten songs or more in one platter. Did elite lyricsm live within an ill beat? Can you replay this album indiscriminately and still appreciate the value? THESE were my requirements. With that being said I had 400 albums to sift through for the year and this is the top 5% of that collection. So, without further ado.

#1 – The number one album of my musical journey this year is For All Debts Public And Private from the duo of Defcee and Boathouse. I can revisit this album time and time again and find something different to love all over again, while appreciating the familiar. The production from Boathouse strikes every chord imaginable creating a boom bap powerhouse. And Defcee…wow. There is such a cleverness with his rhyme schemes, and he delivers each bar with such and strength and commitment it just sticks to your ears. So many quotable lines on this project. The whole thing is a tireless listen. It never grows old. It is the “go to” project for 2022 and set for many listens to come.

#2 – If the list was bigger, you would see the names, Mickey Diamond and Big Ghost littered all over it with other amazing projects. As it stands, there is no joint that knocked harder in 2022 than Gucci Ghost. The skill level embodied in this release is insurmountable. Big Ghost makes this album slap in unheard of ways. He could literally define the term “banger” with this one. And I don’t think anyone brings as much confidence and persona to the mic right now more than Mickey Diamond. He has the natural gift and the ferocity to deliver that is unmatched in today’s music scene.

#3 – A late entry but clear contender, is Ransom and V Don’s project, Chaos Is My Ladder. This album is riveting in both its sonic instrumentation and its delivery of hard hitting and introspective lyricism. Ransom is hip hop’s philosopher’s stone. He drops more than just lyrics but thought-provoking moments bar by hard hitting bar. And he does so in keeping the moments gritty and not being over the top. He doesn’t fly over your head but keeps your finger pressed on the rewind button which is a true gift. This pairing is a true blessing for hip hop.

Most temporary homies will teach you permanent lessons

#4 – Lebron James loves it. Kevin Durant loves it. And we here at HipHopDependency love it as well! 38 Spesh has proved year after year just what a talented artist he is, either with the mic or behind the boards. And here we have him blessing the former over some premium production from none other than Harry Fraud. Beyond Belief is a showcase of distinction. These two artists have a sound that simply cannot be replicated. Spesh has that unique cadence, voice, and style that plays beautiful with Fraud’s haunting rock infused hip hop. There’s so much to love here and you can see it play to all audiences.

#5 – Surprise! I know you don’t know about this one but Fatt Father and DJ Jewels Baby cooked you up something special with Grindset Vol 2. Fatt Father has this way where his lines fly like darts and resonate with the listener. He combines topics of being a father, self-improvement, and also showing that he is not man to be trifled with. He can handle any topic and any beat, speaking of which DJ Jewels Baby brings a diversity of fire for our emcee to spit on. He’s got the whole repertoire on display here with hard hitting beats and impeccable sample usage. This project is extremely relatable touching on topics that we can all feel. Please don’t sleep on this joint.

#6 – Waterr and Vanderslice crafted a really great sound with their new album, Life Is More Than White Bricks. This project has so much soul entrusted to it. Vanderslice really brought plenty of depth to the music, using lots of different instrumentation and giving each song a ‘musical’ place in the album. There is such a melodic quality about this album that differentiates itself from other releases this year. And Waterr has always been impressive on the microphone. He has that sound that stands alone, and cuts through the music effortlessly, and allows his lyrics and message to be hear with clarity.

#7 – Casual and DEAD Perry are up next for this talented yet dark and twisted musical journey The Art Of Reanimation. Perry really just does a masterful job of bending sound giving each song a deep, rich, and yet dark tone. It’s boom bap with a shadowy twist and I absolutely love what he did sonically. And lyrically, Casual is razor sharp. His rhyme schemes and wordplay are not just as good as they were in 1992, but actually I think he’s better. And you can’t say that about so many. I think this album, released earlier this year, needs to get considerable credit for breaking quite a few molds.

#8 – There were quite a few dope producer albums that dropped in 2022 but I don’t think anyone served up a more delectable platter than Reckonize Real on his album Subterranean Obscura. There is such a great mix of sounds here that range from subdued and haunting to that boom bap slap. And you have a superb selection of emcees solicited for their rhyme skills. And each emcee and beat complement each other perfectly. Nothing sounds forced or out of place which I think is incredibly hard to do on a producer album, because out of sixteen tracks you would think something would be amiss. Not here. This is a complete release and a highlight of the year.

#9 – It’s the splendid union of soul with producer Nicholas Craven and emcee Boldy James. Both artists contributed alot of time and talent to 2022 but together they crafted the most soulful, yet slick album of the year with Fair Exchange No Robbery. Craven’s use of honing the perfect sample and creating a complete vibe in rhythm is on full display. This sound provides the perfect home for Boldy James, as his flow sounds completely at home over this production. His wordplay just cascading over this production with beautiful results. And that track, Power Nap, is simply one of my favorite tracks ever. Brilliant.

#10 – So when I think of who’s got next in hip hop, the first name that came to mind in 2022 was Maze Overlay. And when you hear his project, Aztecaz, produced by Farma you will understand why. Maze has some gritty lyricism and really great flow. Much like one of his guest spots on the album, Daniel Son, he always seems to be in the pocket. Perfect timing with a quick turn of phrase with at times an even melodic tone as he dips in and out of the chorus and into verses. And this is the best I have heard Farma in the last couple of years. These beats prove equally as gritty as the emcee and the perfect complement. He uses this somber guitar element a few times throughout the album that is really effective. Also, a perfect amount of dope guest spots to make this album the sure shot.

Single You Out: Ransom x V Don – Short Notice (ft. Lloyd Banks)

V Don linking up with Ransom seems like a union of superpowers and it appears as though they have a new project dropping soon dopely titled, Chaos Is My Ladder. This single, Short Notice, is putting the listener on notice that something wicked this way comes. I think Ransom’s thoughtful provocation plays extremely way with V Don’s pensive soundscapes. This is going to be great! Guest bars provided by Lloyd Banks.

Single You Out: 38 Spesh x Harry Fraud – Band Of Brothers (ft. Benny The Butcher & Ransom)

38 Spesh and Harry Fraud have some heat coming in our direction with a new project dropping on November 18th entitled Beyond Belief. That union of talents seems like a no-brainer to purchase when it comes out. But then you add the talents of Benny The Butcher and Ransom to this single, and your pre-order should already be in.

The emcees spit about that exceptional comraderie over a melodious beat by Fraud. This track is one that you will rewind back several times. But that Ransom verse. Wow.

If you don’t bump into the devil three times a day, then you walking with him – Ransom

Single You Out: 38 Spesh & Ransom – Last Gasp

Two of the absolute best artists over the course of the last several years unite to deliver a soulful course of knowledge. 38 Spesh and Ransom drop consistent life gems and outlooks over this sublimely soulful production from the combination of Mayor, Ty Jamz & Bernard B Westwood. The track is remarkable. Let’s just put it that way.

Don’t you try to give me no flowers that took a day to grow… – Ransom

I can’t get enough of these artists, truly. Spesh’s next offering drops in August in the form of 7 Shots.

Top 5 EPs (2021)

This is the toughest arena to choose because this is the era of the quick hitter (which I like). Projects with 5-9 tracks seem to dominate the indie hip hop scene. And that’s how I am defining this category, 5 to 9 tracks constitutes extended play, anything more, you have an album, anything less, you have a maxi single. So let’s get it moving on this very competitive category. Here are my Top Five extended plays for 2021.


Daniel Son x Slim OneBloodlust

I am not sure how many people have heard this project as it hasn’t been released on major DSPs. So it may be a hidden jewel. Slim One has showcased amazing production talent time and again, and from the main attraction to the interludes he crafts some brilliant music. Likewise Daniel Son, has been a stalwart emcee for a few years now, bodying everything in sight. These two proved to be a formidable duo in 2021 and worth the extra effort to hear this joint.


AM Early Morning & Nightstalker LNEM III

AM Early Morning and Nightstalker put together a true vibe with their recent EP, L.N.E.M III. From the jump you get this smokey jazz club vibe injected with all the hip hop elements we come to love. I think the artists did an incredible job giving these tracks a dope consistency in sound throughout while keeping the listener engaged. It’s jazzy, it’s bluesy, and it can at times be sobering. But the bottom line is it’s unique and a sure shot listen for years to come.


Spit GemzPardon My Poetry

This is the shortest endeavor on this list, but Spit Gemz has a tendency to deliver alot of lyricism and talent in any given amount of time. And he delivers with such intensity you just can’t ignore him. He commands that attention. With joints like Shoot The Fair One and Maury’s Wigs he drops more gems here than most can in a full length album.


Wounded Buffalo Beats – Wounded

This represents the sole, ‘production based’ EP on this list. And Wounded made it for good reason! This joint knocks from start to finish. It’s ridiculous in it’s quality of dope production, guest emcees, and quality bars. When all of the aforementioned are taken into account, you have one of the dopest projects in 2021. Favorite tracks? I think they are all five of five to be honest. Each as dope as the next. But The Victor by Ruste Juxx is truly insane.


Ransom Se7en

Ransom steals the show in the extended play category with his tribute to the seven deadly sins. By now everyone knows that his talent level is ridiculous. He has surpassed so many bars (literally) and as an artist he seemingly has no ceiling. And here he takes on each sin, and gives it depth and personality like no one else could. This project is my favorite as it is more tightly woven than any project this year. My favorite sins? Gluttony and Wrath.

Single You Out: SGT. Over – Black Death (ft. Ransom)



SGT. Over has been relentless in 2013 cranking out songs and readying us for his album in 2014, entitled, Big Music.   For the cut, Black Death, Sarge tags in the Jersey vet, Ransom, who is coming off his own success with the Statik Selektah produced album, The Proposal.  I am not sure who the producer is for the track as there is no credits, but the sound knocks.  Sarge and Ransom’s voice give the song a nice contrast.  I am sure you will feel this.