These Are The Best Foreign Rap Albums From The Second Half Of 2022
In the list you will find American, British, German and French rap. Megan Thee Stallion with the Traumazine project took over as the only female representation.
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Keeping track of all the rap news is a superhuman task, as we've heard a ton of quality records in the second half of 2022, and below you'll find our pick of the 10 best albums from both the United States and Europe.
While the first six months were dominated by rap aces led by Kendrick Lamar, Vince Staples and Push T, this time Nas, Freddie Gibbs and Stormzy took center stage. They were joined by young guns from overseas and stars from the old continent, who are selling out stadiums.
In addition to the albums we selected, projects from artists such as Burna Boy, Quavo and Takeoff, Westside Gunn, Sch, Pajel, Sido and others deserve an honorable mention, which did not make the shortlist, but are worth listening to.
10. Megan Thee Stallion – Traumazine
Megan Thee Stallion is no newcomer to the rap scene and has put all of her technical and lyrical skills on full display on her second solo album, Traumazine, which was released on August 12th.
Still only a 27-year-old performer, it barely dominated the Billboard 200 chart, but she released the best female rap project of the year. This is evidenced by positive reviews from experts from Pitchfork, NME or The Guardian, as well as the number of listens on Spotify.
Hot Girl Meg rhymes with the same ease and punch as she did early in her career, and we love her original delivery. As for the themes of the individual songs, Traumazine contains mostly personal statements from the Texas native, for example about overcoming difficult moments in life, such as the death of a loved one, but also statements about the empowerment of African-American women.
If you haven't been a fan of female rap until now, you'll change your mind after this album. This is exactly how it should look.
Best song – Her
9. Gazo – KMT
The crown prince of French drill released his debut album KMT right at the beginning of the second half of 2022 on July 1 and immediately dominated the list of the most listened to albums in the country.
The Parisian performer with the stage name Gazo comes from the suburb of Saint-Denis, which he often mentions in his lyrics. Likewise, the riots of his youth, for which his parents threw him out of the house when he was twelve years old. KMT contains fifteen songs with several guests, through which you will at least partially understand the life of the rapper with the civilian name of Ibrahim Diakité. If you don't understand French, you will at least be absorbed by the energy and impact of the record.
If you like rappers such as Pop Smoke, Central Cee or Headie One, you will also like the songs from the 28-year-old star from Paris with a wild past. Gazo has created an identifiable French drill imprint that takes influences from the British and American scene, but is also unique in its own right.
The best song – RAPPEL
8. Luciano – Majestic
The German rap scene is currently full of high-quality performers, among whom the largest slice of the pie was taken by an artist with Mozambican roots and the stage name Luciano.
The Berlin star releases albums with annual regularity, and each one abounds with hard hits. It is no different in the case of the Majestic recording, where Luciano relied on striking productions, famous guests and a wide range of topics. Despite the fact that the album doesn't have a single concept, it doesn't let you lose your attention even for a minute, and that's what we enjoy the most.
In the position of the most sought-after rapper in the country, Luciano not only surpassed colleagues from the industry, such as Capital Bra or Ufo361, when their careers gradually weakened after a year at the top, but the Berlin native is apparently just getting started. The order of the day includes songs with British bands such as Headie One or Aitch, and the 28-year-old performer is not afraid to stray even off the beaten track in his home climate.
The proof is, among other things, the track list on the Majestic album, which is exclusively in English, which leaves no one in doubt that Germany is not enough for him and he is aiming even further.
Best song – Life Lessons feat. Headie One
7. Young Nudy – EA Monster
From Europe, we are back in the USA, where a quantum of rap albums see the light of day every day. It was no different on August 8th when Young Nudy unveiled the new EA Monster with a crazy visual of the East Atlanta monster on the cover that won our hearts.
The soon-to-be 30-year-old rapper has used all the skills at his disposal and the result is his most cohesive project yet. Nudy's uncontrollable flow is almost alone throughout the album, as the only guest is up-and-coming artist BabyDrill on Duntsane. More than half of the music productions are the work of Pierre Bourne, who gave the album an inventive and futuristic touch, which was underlined by the rapper's cadence of words.
EA Monster is only 34 minutes long, but it is a great act that will be rotating in our playlist for a long time. If you are not familiar with Young Nudy's work, listen to this album and you may find that you operate on the same wavelength.
Best Song – My Gang
6. Metro Boomin – Heroes & Villains
The most recent record in the selection is the second solo album by Metro Boomin - a producer whose music is familiar to every fan of the new wave of rap. The Heroes & Villains project comes out almost exactly four years after the successful debut Not All Heroes Wear Capes, and Metro has lived up to its reputation in this case as well.
The producer announced the release of the album on his 29th birthday and we all had high expectations, which he fulfilled one hundred percent. The fifteen tracks feature one big name after another, including John Legend, Chris Brown, Don Toliver, Travis Scott, The Weekend or A$AP Rocky on a joint issue with the late Takeoff.
The brightest moments are the songs Too Many Nights and Superhero, which will be the draw of the Rap Caviar playlist on Spotify in the coming weeks. This is what a producer's album should look like, which will appeal even to demanding listeners.
Best song - Too Many Nights feat. Don Toliver & Future
5. Drake & 21 Savage – Her Loss
We open the second half of the selection of the best foreign rap albums with the album Her Loss, which was created together by star performers Drake and 21 Savage. The new sound was released on November 4, and it is no surprise that it immediately took the first place in the prestigious Billboard 200 chart.
Both rappers demonstrated their mastery over the course of an hour, despite the fact that the record does not contain the massive club anthems that we are used to, especially from the older albums of the OVO Sound label head. The songs Rich Flex, BackOutsideBoyz, Pussy & Millions and Circo Loco, which features a sample of the 2000 Daft Punk hit One More Time, are the most successful.
The musical partnership between the pop superstar from the north and the rap star from the south turned out better than we expected before the album was released, but it wasn't enough to top our list.
Best Song – Circo Loco
4. JID – The Forever Story
The stage placement was narrowly missed by the performer with the pseudonym JID, who was among the hottest rappers this year thanks to the album The Forever Story. Several well-known colleagues are among the guests, such as Lil Wayne, Lil Durk, Yasiin Bey or the aforementioned 21 Savage, and the result is a record that will not fall into the dust even years later.
The project, which saw the light of day on August 26, is an ode to the raw rap of the 90s in a modern dress with all that goes with it, including strong themes, dark productions and lyrical skills that most artists today can't even dream of.
The Atlanta rapper's latest LP is an experience that bridges his upbringing, place in the rap scene, and black history in general. As a sample from the album The Forever Story, we chose the song Dance Now with an attractive visual.
Best Song – Dance Now
3. Nas – King's Disease III
Rapper Nas' fourth joint album under the baton of producer Hit-Boy and at the same time the third part of the King's Disease series put us deep in our seats after the first listen. The forty-nine-year-old native of New York is in perfect shape, which he turned into seventeen songs in November without any collaborations.
LP King's Disease III focuses on a simple style, relaxed, professional and finally snappy. On the new project, the rapper discusses several topics from his life, such as problems related to violence, the social development of black Americans, and luxury. The album is full of nostalgia, but in a positive way.
Nas rhymes with ease and is more direct than on previous projects, which will appeal to younger listeners as well. The tracks we think are the best are Ghetto Reporter Michael & Quincy, Hood2Hood and Reminisce.
Best Song - Ghetto Reporter
2. Freddie Gibbs – $oul $old $eparately
Freddie Gibbs, who released his fifth studio album entitled $oul $old $eparately at the end of September, showed his younger colleagues from the rap scene how to do it. This is Gibbs' first project under a major label (Warner) and is a concept piece that revolves around gambling.
According to his own words, the 40-year-old performer from Indiana had to take risks in order to continue his music career. Inviting producers such as Kaytranada, James Blake, and DJ Paul offered the rapper an uncharted, refreshing canvas on which Gibbs' technical prowess and concise lyrics stood out.
Among the guests in the playlist, you will find many star names, led by Push T, Rick Ross, Big Sean or Jadakiss, which underlined the quality of $oul $old $eparately. Freddie Gibbs has kept the bar of his work at a high level, despite leaving his comfort zone, for which he deserves to be admired and heard.
Best song - Too Much feat. Moneybagg Yo
1. Stormzy – This Is What I Mean
The second half of 2022 was dominated by Stormzy from the rap side, thanks to the album This Is What I Mean, which he presented to the public on November 25. Words of praise and admiration for the shift performers came from all sides. We are no exception, which is why it is at the top of our list of the best foreign albums.
The British artist's third solo EP in a row showed us that Stormzy is not only a lyrically great rapper, but also a singer with a perfect sense of tempo and tones. It is worthwhile for the listener to hear a performer who is at the peak of his creative powers and lets himself be smoothly guided by his instincts accompanied by strong vocals, classical musical instruments or honest rap productions.
Highlights of the album include Hide & Seek, My Presidents Are Blac and This Is What I Mean. Listen to the whole LP and you can share with us in the comments whether you agree with our choice. It's not for nothing that Stormzy dominated the British music chart called OCC with this work.
Stormzy – This Is What I Mean
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