5 Best Rap Albums of June 2022

So much rap music is released all the time, and especially with frequent surprise releases, it can be hard to keep track of it all. So, to help you keep track of it all, here’s a roundup of the 5 rap albums of June 2022 that stood out to us the most. We also probably still missed or didn’t spend enough time with some great June rap albums that aren’t on this list. What were your favorites from the past month? Let us know in the comments, and read on for the list (unranked, in no particular order).

ELUCID – I told Bessie
Backwoodz Studioz

Armand Hammer has been on fire lately, having released some underground rap gems with the 2020s Sanctuaries and 2021 Haram, and this year, the individual members of the duo have both released their own solo albums. billy woods extinct Ethiopias in April, and ELUCID fell I told Bessie this past month. Both rappers feature on each other’s new albums – Woods is actually on four of I told Bessieincluding a track that also features Pink Siifu and Quelle Chris, and he co-produced the album – and both albums scratch a similar itch. I told Bessie is one of ELUCID’s most targeted and direct projects to date. Bars land with impact, repeated punchlines quickly get stuck in your head, and ELUCID follows a theme throughout. The album is named after his grandmother, whom ELUCID credits with “pouring the earliest ideals of black consciousness into [him]”, and with this album, it aimed to “pay tribute to him and recognize his continued impact on [his] path of life.” With that loud and clear purpose comes some of the loudest and clearest songs he has ever released. I told Bessie sounds like one of ELUCID’s most accessible albums, but it’s all relative. He always raps on an experimental and distorting production, and his approach to language is just as dizzying. The album always seems to have one foot in space and the other firmly planted on the ground. It occupies that exciting and unpredictable space in between.

070 Shake – you can’t kill me
GOOD music // Def Jam

NJ artist 070 Shake made his first guest appearance on several albums from Kanye West’s Wyoming sessions, including his own youPusha T Daytonaand Nas’ Nasirand two years later she released her own debut album, Modus vivendi, which established her as a refreshing new voice in the world of hip hop. On this album, she used rap cadences and trap beats, but it wasn’t really a rap album; she was more like a singer at heart. Modus vivendi seemed almost caught between what Shake wanted to be and what people expected of a GOOD Music artist, but on you can’t kill me, it sounds quite original. Aside from occasional gender contact, you can’t kill me is not a rap album at all. It’s a soulful pop art album, and this time Shake relies less on gurgling self-tuning and more on just belting it out. The only featured guest on the album is Christine & the Queens, and they make a very fitting pair. Like Christine, Shake makes left-of-the-dial pop music that casually defies genre and expectations. The album is packed with futuristic, innovative production and lush, multi-layered vocal harmonies. To quote Madonna, who recently featured Shake on an official “Frozen” remix, “There’s Nobody Like Her.”

Drake- Honestly it doesn’t matter

The Great House Music Revival of 2022 is upon us, with Beyoncé and Drake incorporating the genre into their music within days of each other. Drake did it in the form of Honestly it doesn’t matter, an album where Drake sings almost entirely to dance beats, with really no traditional rap or hip hop production. It’s not quite out of left field for Drake (who did something similar on “Passionfruit”, worked with Jamie xx, etc.), and he still never hits the heights of his hot streak. from the early/mid 2010s, but as an overall album, it’s the most drastic musical departure he’s made in a while. It’s nice to hear it shake things up in any capacity, and it’s a fun record, cynics be damned.

Logic – Vinyl Days
Def Jam

Logic’s critics generally accuse it of being too tough, too obsessed with trying to make classics for the hip hop canon instead of just making music good enough to be discussed alongside the heroes of Logic. That may still be true, but Vinyl Days, he seems a little less concerned with canonization and more concerned with simply paying homage to the music he loves the most: 90s boom bap and underground hip hop. From the album title alone, it’s clear that this project is meant to induce nostalgia, and as a fan of everything Logic pays homage to, I have to say this one is a bit hard to deny. He pays tribute to J Dilla, he has an entire song where he calls Madlib the greatest producer of all time but urges him to revive his rap alter-ego Quasimoto, and contributors include fellow boom bap enthusiasts like Action Bronson, Curren$y, Blu & Exile and The Game, plus true boom bap legends like DJ Premier, RZA and AZ. At 30 songs, it’s really long, but it sounds like Logic is having fun, and it’s fun to listen to, too.

Big Ghost Ltd. & Conway the machine – What has been blessed cannot be cursed
Great Phantom Ltd.

Conway the Machine remains incredibly prolific, having dropped several projects this year on his own, all of which find him delivering gritty, detailed storytelling and jaw-dropping punchlines on a nostalgia-inducing production reminiscent of the classic boom bap era. One of his most frequent collaborators is producer Big Ghost Ltd., with whom he’s now released three projects in as many years (and four in total, including 2015’s). Ghost Griselda with Westside Gunn). On What has been blessed cannot be cursed, the pair do what they do best, with Big Ghost creating eerie soundscapes that serve as a perfectly matched backdrop to Conway’s lyricism. Guests include Method Man, Jae Skeese, yxvethegenius, and more.

Honorable Mentions
Grape Big Moochie – Baby from Eastern Haiti
Big Sad 1900 – I don’t tap or tap
Duke Deuce – Crunkstar
Erica Banks- Flow Queen Diary
Tony Snow – Thoughts
Westside Boogie- More black superheroes

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