10 of the Most Underrated Hip Hop Albums of 2022, Pt. 3
Updated: Dec 6, 2022
2022 may be the best year for music in the 2020s so far, with a huge range of excellent albums across all genres. In particular, it's been a fantastic year for hip hop -- most notably, underground hip hop, with so many quality records falling under the radar. In this list, I'll list ten more underrated hip hop albums from this year that it would be a shame to miss out on.
1. twogeebs - Tha Geeb Tape 3
For those who like that grimy, hard-hitting side of hip hop, I highly recommend Tha Geeb Tape 3. Its sound is a mixture of chilling abstract beats and spacey trap production, displaying an impressive sense of versatility from Twogeebs as he raps ferociously in so many different styles. His rapping is fierce and dominates on the more abrasive tracks, contrasting the more emotional moments which show a real sense of maturity in his writing. Joined by a plethora of exciting rappers and producers, it's one of the most exciting and consistent hip hop albums of the year.
2. Rome Mallory - Protect Your Inner Peace
This album embodies the same colourful and spacey atmosphere as its cover conveys. The production is lush and glamorous, but Rome is never drowned out in the layered sound. He has a strong presence on every song, with an animated style and enthusiasm most rappers wish they had. There's a few great features to keep the album fresh -- such as Backwood Sweetie and Dat Boi Vic -- but Rome himself is the main highlight, delivering a great verse on each and every track.
3. Tomorrow People & Teekoh - MORE MUSIC PLEASE
Tomorrow People are an underground duo consisting of Brent Bronze and Xhef. They're both part of the Feel Lo collective, as is Teekoh, the producer for this album. This project has a bright and soulful sound, full of looping vocal samples layered over horns and synths. The Tomorrow People are a great duo, bouncing off one another perfectly as they compete to see who can display the most manic energy and deliver the hardest bar. The Tomorrow People's brand of enthusiastic, summery hip hop is in its sharpest form here.
4. BlaQ Chidori - White Melodies: B Side
I'm usually sceptical going into B-side albums, expecting a rehash of the A-side or a compilation of dull throwaways, but rarely does the B-side hit even harder. BlaQ Chidori flows effortlessly over the dark production here, with growling bass and grand piano loops making up most of this album's sound. Although he is joined by several fantastic features from Rome Streetz to Che Noir to Knowitall, BlaQ never sounds misplaced or overshadowed. This is his album, and the rawness of his style makes certain you remember that.
5. Backwood Sweetie & Furious Stylez - Sweetie Got Stylez
Backwood Sweetie is one of the most consistent MCs in the underground, and with Furious Stylez handling production, it's no surprise they made a fantastic record together. The album opens with these bombastic tracks where Sweetie matches the energy of the grand horns and punching drums with her fiery verses. After that, the album dives into a darker, more minimalist sound, where Sweetie's lyrical talent and smooth flow are even more apparent.
6. Klwn Cat & Nonazz - The Turning Point
Klwn Cat has proven himself one of the best producers of the year, able to match quantity with quality at a level of consistency most producers could only dream of. The Turning Wheel is among the many highlights of his output this year, joined by rapper Nonazz for a mellow album with gorgeous production and stellar rapping from front to back. The beats here are so layered, but they don't distract from the rapping, with Nonazz and a host of features offering so many memorable verses which make this a truly fantastic record.
7. J. Plantana - Better Upset
Better Upset is an album traditional hip hop fans may not love as much as the other records here, but it's one I still believe deserves a place here for its creativity. The album starts and ends with these dance-influenced tracks with groovy basslines and blaring synths. The tracks between aren't as energetic in terms of production, but Plantana's performance keeps up the momentum, with eccentric vocal inflections and a colourful sense of lyricism to match the outlandish sound of the album.
8. Jiggs - God Meant It
In a short twenty-four minute runtime, Jiggs leaves such an impact, with an intense delivery and dynamic flow which match well with the range of different sounds on this album. The blend of classic boom bap, trap, and chipmunk soul reads as though it would make for a jarring listen, but Jiggs's consistent performance weaves the songs smoothly together, giving the album a satisfying sense of cohesion. God Meant It a hard-hitting album which maintains the same high energy from front to back, and with the benefit of the record's brevity, it never feels tired or drawn out, but leaves me restless for more.
9. Patty Honcho & Numbz - LIFE
LIFE is the brilliant collaboration between rapper Patty Honcho and producer Numbz. Their chemistry on this album is fantastic, with Patty thriving on every beat. The album's sound is triumphant, with catchy samples akin to chipmunk soul laced between these grand horns and smooth bass. Aside from the production, Patty and his guests deliver on every song. Each rapper has a metallic quality to their voice, as though the audio has been compressed, adding a rustic quality to the album's sound which makes for a nice contrast against the elegant production.
10. Brent Bronze - PRODIGAL SON
Brent was mentioned earlier in this list as half of the duo Tomorrow People, and as a solo artist, he still pulls his weight. His delivery is one of his strongest attributes, with an irresistible energy in his verses and an endless number of flows. The production on PRODIGAL SON is spacey and warped, from the rising synths of "GO FIGURE" to the distorted vocal samples on the title track. Brent stands out against the intricate production, always finding a new way to make a track exciting, whether it be a sudden switch in flow or his dense rhyme schemes.