Hip-hop artists were ready to go as soon as the year began.
First in line was Gunna, who set the pace with his danceable tune, “Pushin P,” in January 2022, featuring the Atlanta rapper, Future.
Of course, Drake couldn’t be left behind, releasing a new studio album just at the right time to keep his fans intrigued.
Then, there was Kendrick Lamar, who never abandoned the self-conscious lyrics that have put his head and shoulders above many rappers.
Still, some weren’t convinced.
They needed something unique.
They craved a Nicki Minaj banger, even if a powerhouse collaboration.
And that she delivered in August 2022 in “Super Freaky Girl.”
Indeed, the quality of hip-hop songs in 2022 only got better.
Many tracks were enough to keep anyone happy, intrigued, or hooked.
Let’s look at the 35 best hip-hop songs of 2022.
1. “Pushin P” by Gunna ft. Future
2022 began in the best way possible with a dance-ready hip-hop song from Gunna.
The 2-minute track features rappers Future and Young Thug and has since become one of Gunna’s best songs in recent years.
The hit single went viral on social media, becoming the standout hit from the rapper’s third studio album, DS4Ever, and one of the year’s best songs.
2. “WAIT FOR U” by Future ft. Drake and Tems
Many years later and the American rapper is still going strong.
Future joined the list of the most successful rappers of 2022 when he released a new single dubbed “WAIT FOR U.”
The track features Drake and Tems and is as good as most of Future’s songs in recent years.
‘WAIT FOR U” was the standout track from the American rapper’s ninth studio album, I Never Liked You, and is still one of the best hip hop songs to listen to.
It was nominated for the BET Hip Hop Awards in 2022 and the Grammy Awards in 2023 in the Best Rap Album category.
3. “Just Wanna Rock” by Lil Uzi Vert
“Ah, ah, ah, ah/I just wanna rock/Body-ody, yeah (shake it down).”
If you listened to 2022’s hip-hop music, you would be familiar with that line.
Lil Uzi Vert has always stood out with hits like “Money Longer,” “The Way Life Goes,” and “Myron,” and 2022 wasn’t any different, releasing a new hit single, “Just Wanna Rock.”
The up-tempo party anthem was an instant hit, becoming one of the best hip-hop songs of the year.
4. “Tomorrow 2” by GloRilla ft. Cardi B
Cardi B has proven to be the confident, outspoken rapper many believed she could be.
And 2022 was hers to mentor an upcoming American rapper from Memphis, Tennessee.
GloRilla was one of the hottest prospects of the year, and one of the songs that contributed to her meteoric rise was “Tomorrow 2,” featuring Cardi B.
This was a remixed version of the original “Tomorrow” version, released just a few months earlier.
The song debuted at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart as one of the year’s best hits.
5. “Jimmy Cooks” by Drake & 21 Savage
Drake collaborated with 21 Savage on a massive hit from the Canadian rapper’s Honestly, Nevermind album.
The lyrics are built around an actor from the Degrassi TV show.
As fans raved about yet another Drake-21 Savage masterpiece, it also reminded them of the duo’s continued influence on the contemporary rap scene several years since they debuted.
6. “Rich Spirit” by Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar has for a long time perfected his socially conscious lyricism that he’s become one of the most likable rappers around.
He was raring to go again in 2022, this time even stronger thanks to his new single, “Rich Spirit.”
Throughout the narration, the American rapper describes spiritual life, thinking about wealth, success, and humility.
If you’ve always known Kendrick Lamar for his inspiring and positive messages, “Rich Spirit” isn’t any different.
7. “Hotel Lobby” by Quavo & Takeoff
Let’s start by saying this; rest in peace, Takeoff.
As they’ve done for the better part of their career, “Hotel Lobby” was yet another time the duo focused their lyrics on wealth, sex, and drugs.
Sadly, it was also the last song featuring rapper Takeoff alive before losing his life tragically in a shooting incident less than a month later.
8. “God Did” by DJ Khaled ft. Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Fridayy, John Legend
Talk about putting the band back together.
2022 gave us pure nostalgia when DJ Khaled featured Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, John Legend, and Rick Ross in “God Did.”
The best part is that they also included a popular figure in the contemporary rap scene in Fridayy to hang around with the big boys.
The song was nominated for three Grammy Awards, including Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song, and Song of the Year.
9. “When Sparks Fly” by Vince Staples
Another great hip-hop song of 2022 was Vince Staples’ “When Sparks Fly.”
The track tells Vince’s story of love and loyalty and is one of the best romantic hip-hop songs to listen to.
10. “Vegas” by Doja Cat
Doja Cat was one of the best rappers of 2022, and “Vegas” is one of the songs that made her popular.
In “Vegas,” the Los Angeles-born singer lets her cheating lover know what she thinks about him.
The singer compares the addressee to a hound dog for his obsession with sex.
Doja composed the track as a soundtrack for the Elvis film and quickly became one of the best songs of 2022.
11. “N95” by Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar released a new album in 2022, and one of the standout tracks was “N95.”
The song’s lyrics reflect the present situation in the US, with Lamar genuinely worried about what society has turned into.
The song is firmly based on current societal issues and became one of the year’s best hits.
12. “California Breeze” by Lil Baby
“California Breeze” is Lil Baby at his best, showing yet again why he deserves to be recognized among the best rappers in the world.
The 2022 hit from the rapper’s Its Only Me album highlights his journey to the top.
Lil Baby shares his experiences throughout his rapping career while throwing a few lines to a romantic interest.
13. “Big Energy” by Latto
Latto became one of the best upcoming rappers of 2022 when she released “Big Energy.”
It was a radio-friendly tune that united many people on the dance floor throughout 2022.
14. “First Class” by Jack Harlow
You may have known him from “What’s Popping,” but Jack Harlow only became bigger and better in 2022, with a new album, Come Home the Kids Miss You, and a brand new single, “First Class.”
The song is all about everything we’ve come to know Jack for, including his successes and rise to stardom.
“First Class” went viral on TikTok long before Jack released it.
And it was a big tune when it came out.
15. “Plan B” by Megan Thee Stallion
Many people have interpreted Megan Thee Stallion’s “Plan B” to be about a birth control pill used after unprotected sex.
The beat sampled the 1995 hit single, “Freek’n You” by Jodeci.
Megan teased her fans on TikTok with a short clip dancing to “Plan B” before debuting it on April 16, 2022.
16. “Freaky Deaky” by Tyga and Doja Cat
Tyga and Doja Cat gave us an upbeat hip-hop song to groove to in 2022.
The track is 3 minutes of pure fun as Doja reveals her dirty side.
Positive vibes and excitement run throughout the song, which has since become one of the best hits of 2022.
17. “Rich Flex” by Drake
One of the best songs of the year, no doubt.
“Rich Flex” was from Drake’s collaborative album with 21 Savage, Her Loss, and became one of the greatest hits of 2022.
Of course, the title says it all.
When you have money, you can do anything, even dissing your exes and women you don’t want to be with.
That’s exactly what Drake and 21 Savage did in this hit single.
18. “We Go Up” by Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj never disappoints.
And that would never change in 2022 when she released a brand new single, “We Go Up,” featuring Fivio Foreign.
The braggadocious lyrics are about the Trinidad-born rapper’s rise to fame, her status in the industry, and why no female rapper comes close.
It’s a must-listen if you love Nicki’s music.
And the inclusion of the drill rapper Fivio makes everything better.
19. “Spin Bout You” by Drake and 21 Savage
“Spin Bout You” is a love song from Drake and 21 Savage’s collaborative album, Her Loss.
The lyrics describe Drizzy’s feelings towards a romantic interest and how he hopes his love gets requited.
The hit single peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming one of the year’s best songs.
20. “Super Freaky Girl” by Nicki Minaj
“Super Freak” was another great hit for the Trinidad-born American rapper, topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The girl in the song is proudly a freak, using her charm on any man she wants.
The raunchy song borrowed heavily from Rick James’ 1981 hit of the same title, with some comparing it to Nicki’s famous anthem, “Anaconda.”
21. “Hurricane” by Kanye West
Kanye West has recently hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons, but he was still going strong in 2022, with his “Hurricane” hit released in 2021 only going viral in the new year.
It is the lead single from Ye’s Donda album and got everyone talking for the better part of 2022.
“Hurricane” is centered on personal struggles, with West rapping about life’s storms like disappointments and discouragements.
It featured rapper Lil Baby and The Weeknd and reached #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart.
22. “The Color Violet” by Tory Lanez
Hip-hop lovers have always appreciated Tory Lanez’s massive talent.
And that showed again in 2022 through “The Color Violet,” a song expressing the rapper’s heartbreak over a romantic interest.
While the rapper would love to experience love one more time, he’s careful not to get heartbroken again.
The song was released in December 2021 but went viral in 2022, debuting at #99 on the UK Singles Chart.
It peaked at #63 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
23. “Middle of the Ocean” by Drake
This is another hit single from Drake and 21 Savage’s collaborative album, Her Loss.
It was perfectly composed and brought out the best in the Canadian rapper, who excites with his flawless lyricism and flow.
The unique production made it even more special.
It is easily one of the best hip-hop songs from 2022 to listen to.
24. “LOVE YOU BETTER” by Future
Few modern rappers have been as prolific as Future.
He’s constantly imitated, widely loved, and consistently excellent, which is why he is one of the most influential rappers of the past decade.
He was also one of the biggest names of 2022, releasing a brand new heartbreak song, “Love You Better” as the closing single from his 9th studio album, I Never Liked You.
25. “What Happened to Virgil” by Lil Durk ft. Gunna
There’s a tragic story behind the catchy lyrics in Lil Durk’s 2022 hit song, “What Happened to Virgil.”
The Chicago-born rapper has collaborated with big-name artists like Kanye West, Drake, and Lil Baby.
But his latest project with Gunna caught many people’s attention thanks to the sad backstory.
The lyrics pay tribute to Virgil Abloh, the late fashion designer who succumbed to cancer in 2021 at only 41.
The song is on Lil Durk’s 2022 studio album, 7220.
26. “The Heart Part 5” by Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar’s latest installment of his “The Heart” series was one of the best pieces of 2022.
“The Heart Part 5” is all about symbolism, like we’ve learned about most songs from the Compton native.
There’s much to unpack from the 5-minute song, from the rapper’s several face morphs to the lyrics, music video, and production.
27. “Churchill Downs” by Jack Harlow ft. Drake
“Churchill Downs” is a perfect 2022 collaboration hip-hop fans didn’t know they needed.
It’s a ‘rapfest’ where Drake talks about his riches, rivals, and the drawbacks of celebrity life as Jack Harlow raps about his rise to the top, paying tribute to his Kentucky hometown.
It’s one of the most refreshing hip-hop songs of 2022.
28. “In A Minute” by Lil Baby
2022 got even better for Lil Baby when he released a new studio album, It’s Only Me.
“In A Minute” is another braggadocious song from the native Atlanta rapper who raps about his riches and background.
29. “Do We Have A Problem?” by Nicki Minaj
“Do We Have A Problem?” was one of the best collaborations of the year, featuring Nicki Minaj and Lil Baby.
The song debuted at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is all about pushing to the top even when the haters wish you the worst.
The 9-minute song received positive reviews, many marveling at Nicki’s catchy delivery and insane flow throughout the narration.
30. “AHHH HA” by Lil Durk
Lil Durk’s diss track to rapper YoungBoy Never Broke Again was one of the best songs of 2022.
It directly responded to YoungBoy’s “Bring the Hook” song, with Durk bashing the Baton Rouge rapper for bragging about his criminal background.
Lil Durk also pays tribute to the late rapper King Von, a member of his Only The Family Music group until his death.
31. “London” by BIA ft. J. Cole
J. Cole was involved in yet another collaboration of the year.
And let’s be honest, the song would never have been a massive hit without the North Carolina native.
The lyrics are all about positivity and take a closer look at the duo’s lives.
32. “What’s My Name” by Queen Naija and Fivio Foreign ft. Coi Leray
One of the best collaborations of the year.
Queen Naija’s hit single brought together some of the best rappers of the year.
The 3-minute track borrows heavily from Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” and was one of the year’s best songs.
33. “P Power” by Gunn ft. Drake
Someone said Drake’s songs are best-served chill.
And we couldn’t agree more after listening to his 2022 collaboration with Gunna.
“P Power” was one of the year’s catchiest songs despite the explicit lyrics about sexual allure.
34. “Distraction” by Polo G
Polo G was one of the fastest-rising rappers of 2022, and “Distraction” was enough proof that he was going straight to the top.
While the lyrics are brilliant, the instrumental is even better, which made it one of the most popular songs of 2022.
35. “Neck & Wrist” by Pusha T, Jay-Z, and Pharell Williams
A true definition of a powerhouse collaboration.
Pusha T collaborated with Jay-Z and Pharell Williams on one of the best hip-hop songs of the year, “Neck & Twist.”
The beats are amazing, but they don’t tell the whole story, completed by the catchy hooks that instantly draw the listener’s attention.
And Jay-Z still got it, delivering his part so flawlessly like the true hip-hop icon he is.
Best Hip-Hop Songs of 2022 – Final Thoughts
So, which artists stepped up in 2022?
You already have the answer.
It was the same old names of Nicki Minaj, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Gunna, and a few upcoming rappers ready to shake the scene with some club-ready bangers.
The 2022 hip-hop music scene catered to everybody’s taste.
Those who wanted a love song could turn to Vince Staples’ “When Sparks Fly” and listen to his passionate crooning about this special person and how she messes with his life.
If you needed a pure diss track, Lil Durk was your guy, going after YoungBoy Never Broke Again in “AHH HA.”
If you wanted pure vibes with some thoughtful lyrics, Kendrick Lamar got you covered with the Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers album.
Ultimately, 2022 proved special for hip-hop artists and fans.
Let’s see how well the 35 best hip-hop songs of 2022 above will perform in 2023 and beyond and if they’ll open doors for new rappers.
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