Al Pete’s Favorite Albums of 2022

Graphic of Al Pete and his favorite records of 2022
JME Contributor Al Pete felt from the G.O.A.T. to the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, several legends delivered on the hype in 2022 | Credit: Design by Rain Henderson

As we spin the final grooves of 2022, JME Contributors are recapping their favorite music of the year.

Let me begin with two recurring thoughts. 1) I kept saying to myself “A lot of albums came out this year,” and 2) R&B, or what some may classify as alternative R&B was a constant in my 2022 rotation. Music had special moments that I wouldn’t expect to see occur, and there was much that seemed fresh.

Seeing hip-hop’s revered G.O.A.T., Nas, complete his trilogy run with producer Hit Boy was a standout for me. Two more hip-hop legends, Black Thought and Black Star, finally delivered on their long-awaited (and great) grown-man raps. Then you had a few graduates of the 2010-2011 hip-hop class provide sharp and acute albums. Yes, hip hop was accounted for in 2022

Beyond those special moments, songstress Alex Isley’s joint album with producer Jack Dine and Sam Hennshaw was the perfect sunset music. Lucky Daye’s soul-driven voice and production made the climate respectfully risque. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Mary J. Blige’s new album landed in heavy rotation in my personal mix. The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul didn’t mess around, bringing the funk while infusing a classic R&B sound. 

While I couldn’t include all the albums I felt were great, here’s my ranked-ordered list of the best records of 2022. 

1) Kings Disease III, Nas

2) Cheat Codes, Black Thought and Danger Mouse

3) No Fear of Time, Black Star

4) It’s Almost Dry, Pusha T

5) 2000, Joey Bada$$ 

6) Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers, Kendrick Lamar 

7) $oul $old $eparately, Freddie Gibbs

8) Melt My Eyes See Your Future, Denzel Curry

9) No Rest For the Wicked, Ransom

10) Marigold, Alex Isley & Jack Dine

11) Untidy Soul, Samm Henshaw 

12) Candydrip, Lucky Daye

13) Good Morning Gorgeous, Mary J. Blige

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