Another year, another list of the dopest albums that we’ve heard from D.C. and Baltimore area artists over the past 12 months. In 2021, we capped said list at 20 — this go ’round, we’re adding five more in an attempt to better capture the awesomeness that hit our collective ears in what feels like a return to some semblance of normalcy post-quarantine. With that said, JUKEBOX:DC is excited to provide you with 2022’s musical cream of the crop (in no particular order):
PREVIOUSLY: #25-#21 — #20-#16
#15: MoneyMarr – VIRGOAT (STREAM)
There isn’t a terrible amount to say about VIRGOAT except for the fact that it’s a perfect example of where D.C. area hip hop has evolved. It’s a perfect blend of hard-hitting rhymes with a versatile selection of beats, proving that the DMV’s signature flow can find a comfortable home on anyone’s production style. YBS Skola, PGF Nuk, and Quin NFN help to make this a standout for the year — not only in regards to D.C., but also rap in general.
#14: Fat Yee – Home of the Bullets (STREAM)
Make no mistake: Fat Yee has long mastered the art of hard-hitting raps and vivid street tales. Home of the Bullets is merely an example of just how far the SE D.C. talent has come, complete with an incredible use of nostalgic samples and a couple of assists from fellow lower ward captain Paco Panama. This one is going to continue to get plenty of play from us in the years to come.
#13: Deetranada – NADAWORLD (STREAM)
This girl is hard, period. On NADAWORLD, the Baltimore emcee delivers rhymes harder than some of her most notable peers, including contributing artists OTR Chaz, Yung Mal, and MPA Headshakur. She also decided to honor DMX on the project’s outro, adding additional points to the overall body of work. She is way too slept on, but — given the release of this very offering’s sequel — critics or those not in the know will start to wake up in 2023.
#12: Cordae – From A Bird’s Eye View (STREAM)
While it may not have been as impactful as his official debut, Cordae’s From A Bird’s Eye View should still be considered a proper masterpiece. From the Maryland star’s lyrical ability to the depth of the album’s subject matter, the sophomore LP has more than enough for any true hip hop fan. Having heavyweights like Gunna, Lil Wayne, Freddie Gibbs, and H.E.R. doesn’t hurt the final product, either.
#11: Paco Panama – 1008 Grams (STREAM)
The biggest draw for Paco Panama’s 1008 Grams is that it oozes of nostalgia. From the clever use of samples to its No Limit Golden Era-style references (think Beats By The Pound-backed classics), this album shows that the SE emcee is more focused on leaning into timeless Southern hip hop vibes than breaking any particular mold. But like the old adage says, if it ain’t broke…