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-#11#10-#6

#5: Shordie Shordie – More Than Music, Pt. 2 (STREAM)

Shordie Shordie’s success as a solo artist was pretty much destined after the success of “B*tchuary.” Back in July, he kept his momentum going with the sequel to the well-received >Music, complete with the level of writing that earned him his “Captain Hook” nickname in the first place. Mozzy, Offset, and Rich Homie Quan join in on the fun.


#4: YungManny – OKANLAWON (STREAM)

YungManny has managed to go viral with damn near every song and video released, making him one of the area’s hottest artists right now. This year brought us a new album from the Maryland star titled OKANLAWON, a 17-song effort filled with the type of bangers that will guarantee a high-energy response in front of any stage in any part of the world. Chief Keef, Sheff G, Kalan.FrFr, and Simi Liadi also add to the project’s value.


#3: Baby 9eno – Hood Legend (STREAM)

After making some serious waves as a member of Marino Infantry, this year saw Baby 9eno delivering a new quality project of his own. Filled with vivid street raps and oft-creeping-yet-hard-hitting production, Hood Legend is about as authentic as it gets when talking about top-tier DMV hip hop. For those not hip, we would personally suggest the Black Fortune-assisted “Bloody Interior,” but you honestly can’t go round with any of the project’s 14 cuts.


#2: Joony – Pretty In Black (STREAM)


Joony is one of those artists from the area that has taken the signature formula and morphed it into a sound all his own. A perfect example of this would be his May release Pretty In Black, complete with collaborations alongside Jordan Ward, Charlie Heat, Lily Rayne, and CashMoneyAP. Just before December arrived, he blessed the masses with a deluxe version of Pretty In Black, adding on nine additional songs for fans to enjoy.


#1: Xanman – Rap Like The Rent Due (STREAM)

Xanman has managed to find his niche on the fringes of D.C. trap, much in part thanks to an off-kilter flow and oft-humorous punchlines (even when they’re at its most violent). Rap Like The Rent Due keeps that proverbial show rolling with mostly short songs and verses that refuse to follow typical song structure. The man is literally doing what he wants, and JUKEBOXDC is a fervent supporter of going against the norm. Period.


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