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):


#20: Ari Lennox – age/sex/location (STREAM)

Given that it’s been three years since the critically acclaimed Shea Butter Baby, Ari Lennox’s new album was more than needed for music fans and (specifically) R&B lovers alike. On age/sex/location, the D.C. native bears a level of honesty that puts her in front of many of her peers. Add in her unique vocal range and profile (along with assists from Lucky Daye, Summer Walker, and Chlöe, and you have a body of work that can’t be imitated by anyone.


#19: redveil – learn 2 swim (STREAM)

While comparisons can be misinterpreted, we feel as thought it would be agreed that redveil conjures up memories of other young artists that have made their names by rapping far beyond their years (ex. Nas, Joey BADA$$, Earl Sweatshirt). With that said, the P.G. County talent has a style and flow all his own, which can absolutely be heard in 4K-level clarity on learn 2 swim. Every song bears lyrics that require several listens to full decipher, making such a project all that more rewarding every time you press play.


#18: Roddy Rackzz – Presi Flow (STREAM)

One of Baltimore’s current frontrunners, Roddy Rackzz made a serious statement with Presi Flow, a project that perfectly mixes infectious, radio and dance floor-friendly harmonies with real life, street-oriented subject matter. Fellow hometown heroes OTR Chaz and YG Teck contribute to make the the Def Jam-backed offering a solid final product.


#17: Black Fortune – 444 (STREAM)

444 was easily the perfect soundtrack for an exciting and chaotic summer in the D.C. area. The project was full of bass-heavy beats topped by no-frills, street-oriented (and sometimes melodic) raps, all of which helps to bring Black Fortune’s rockstar lifestyle to wax in vivid fashion.


#16: JG Riff – Get Rich or Try Dying (STREAM)

JG Riff might be one of the most prolific emcee out of the D.C. area this year. While project like Rifferent, Underrated, and Salt On My Name absolutely deserve mention, it’s the April Fools drop Get Rich or Try Dying that truly made the biggest impact (for us) in 2022. The project consisted of 14 dope cuts and additional features from Knuklehead, CartiEarss, and Miss Kaniyah.


A small-but-committed group of writers, bloggers and videographers that (mostly) exist and function all over the D.C. Metro area.