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WOP Exclusive: 22 Albums We Can’t Wait to Hear in 2022

This year, new albums from artists like Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Freddie Gibbs, and Normani are expected to drop. Here are the most anticipated albums of 2022!

If 2021 proved anything, it’s that planning is a practice of our pre-pandemic lives, and with a new COVID-19 variant putting up record numbers across the globe, it seems the release calendar is damn-near the only thing we can count on in regards to 2022.


Luckily, there are plenty of artists ensuring the vitality of this year’s rotations. Some are readying their second, or even third, drop since we all went into on-again-off-again hiding.

So to keep you grounded, we’ve done our best to compile a list of the projects that we know are on the way in 2022, as well as the ones we’ve been waiting on since well before Omarion had to distinguish himself from a potentially fatal strain of the virus.


Scroll on for a scan of our most anticipated confirmed and long-rumored albums of 2022.



Earl Sweatshirt

Title: SICK!
Release Date: January 14, 2022

Just over two years (depending on whether you count the deluxe edition) since the release of FEET OF CLAY, Earl Sweatshirt is set to deliver his fifth studio album this Friday. Led by a trio of reflective singles and quite a bit of guest-work in the years between drops, SICK! is definitely a welcomed full-length return from the LA rapper.








EARTHGANG

Title: Ghetto Gods
Release Date: January 28, 2022

Following a streak of one-off singles and tributes to luminary R&B figures, EARTHGANG is set to release their sophomore album, Ghetto Gods, in just a few weeks. The project was announced late last year with a trailer narrated by fellow ATLian, 2Chainz (who is also set to release a new album by the end of the month.) “American Horror Story,” a stirringly soulful lead single from the duo marked a first glimpse at the album. Hear it below and hold tight for the release of Ghetto Gods in the weeks to come.




Aaliyah

Title: Unstoppable
Release Date: January 2022

After decades of setbacks, it appears the first posthumous Aaliyah album will, in fact, be released at some point this month. Though he was careful not to reveal a precise release date, the late singer’s uncle Barry Hankerson (who is also administering her estate) confirmed the album, Unstoppable, would arrive in January with features from Snoop Dogg, Future, Ne-Yo, and Drake (but suspiciously no one who actually worked with her when she was alive.) “Poison,” the first single and proof-of-concept for the album, is a duet of sorts with The Weeknd. Listen below.



2 Chainz

Title: Dope Don’t Sell Itself
Release Date: January 2022

2 Chainz will be getting his year started with Dope Don’t Sell Itself, which he claims to be his final trap album. You read that right. The man who once referred to himself as “Trap-a-Velli” is hanging up the trilling hi-hats and booming low-ends for something he hasn’t quite articulated just yet. But a preview of his “new and exotic” phase may have come in the way of his latest single, “Million Dollars Worth of Game,” which was released last week. Now although a firm date of release has yet to be revealed, it shouldn’t be too long now



Saba

Title: Few Good Things
Release Date: February 4, 2022

Nearing four years since his breakout album, Care For Me, Saba is set to return with his third studio outing, Few Good Things, next month. Based on the two lead-up singles, “Fearmonger” and “Stop That,” the Chicago rapper’s next chapter will be a dynamic one, equally comfortable rhyming over icy loops and bright funky vamps.











Robert Glasper

Title: Black Radio 3
Release Date: February 25, 2022

Robert Glasper‘s third installment of Black Radio is finally just around the corner. Initially announced in early 2021 with the single “Better Than I Imagined,” the album is now three previews deep and already has one of the most impressive guest lists one could conjure. With the release of “Black Superhero,” Glasper adds Killer Mike, Big K.R.I.T., and BJ The Chicago Kid to a sequence that will also feature H.E.R., Meshell Ndegeocello, Tiffany Gouché, and D Smoke. Hear the latest single from Black Radio 3 below and pre-order your copy of the album today in a number of vinyl packages.



Ghostface Killah

Title: Supreme Clientele 2
Release Date: February 2022

Late last year, Ghostface Killah offered an all-caps update on the long-awaited sequel to his classic sophomore album, Supreme Clientele. On Reddit, of all places, Ghost claimed his next project was not only arriving in February of this year, but it would be executive produced by Kanye West and Mike Dean, a pair of elite beatmakers he hadn’t worked with in over a decade. Now, it’s unclear whether this will go the way of the mythical DOOMSTARKS album, but we could be looking at a full-chested return of Ghostdini next month. But we suppose we’ll have to wait and see.



Phife Dawg

Title: Forever
Release Date: March 22, 2022

Six years in the making, the posthumous Phife Dawg album, Forever, will finally arrive this spring on the anniversary of the late A Tribe Called Quest co-frontman’s death. Though it was technically announced just weeks after Phife’s death, the features and production for the project have been closely guarded ever since. The campaign for the album began with the release of the J Dilla-helmed “Nutshell” all the way back in 2016. It will presumably appear on Forever alongside the recently unveiled sequel and a collaboration with Dilla’s little brother, Illa J.



Normani

Title: TBA
Release Date: Summer 2022

The long and winding road to Normani‘s debut album has been filled with teases and top-shelf remixes. But there is an end in sight. Not long after the release of her latest single, “Wild Side” (which was recently treated to a stellar recalibration by Kaytranada) the singer offered a needed and necessary update on the still-untitled project. “I wanna tell you that summer is gonna be lit,” she told Entertainment Tonight. And if the loosies keep to their current rate and quality, it’ll be well worth the wait.



Kendrick Lamar

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Rap’s prodigal son has been hinting at his return for the better part of the last year. There have been leaks, parting words for his longtime label, Top Dawg Entertainment, and even a few callouts by way of a handful of appearances on Baby Keem‘s new album, The Melodic Blue. Hell, there’s even a suspected countdown to the project, pointing to an early February arrival (just in time to see him line up with Dr. Dre at the Super Bowl halftime show). While nothing’s confirmed until there is an official announcement, it certainly seems Kendrick Lamar‘s final TDE album will be arriving imminently. But we’ll just have to keep to the holding pattern until further notice.



SZA

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Another Top Dawg staple taking their time to craft their next project, SZA is making sure no detail goes overlooked for her sophomore album. But that hasn’t stopped her from scoring some of the biggest hits of the last two years, both on her own with “Good Days” and alongside Doja Cat on their smash collaboration “Kiss Me More.” Recently, SZA has been letting the fans steer her release schedule. The singer dropped three loosies last year on a spare Soundcloud account, leading to a viral run for two of them on TikTok, which led to an official release of “I Hate U,” complete with a Lakeith Stanfield-starring visual. All of which is to say, SZA is clearly in a crowd-pleasing stretch. And the call for her CTRL follow-up has never been louder.



Freddie Gibbs

Title: SSS (Soul Sold Separately)
Release Date: TBA

For Freddie Gibbs, helming a follow-up to projects as unanimously heralded as Bandana and Alfredo isn’t a matter of how, but when. After lighting up the last year with some steel-toed one-offs, the Gary rapper seems primed for a victory lap. And instead of picking a single producer, Gibbs is bringing out the cavalry, tapping not just Madlib or Alchemist for "Soul Sold Separately", but also Pharrell, Kaytranada, Boi 1da, Jake One, DJ Paul and the Justice League on his next project. The guest features for the album have yet to be announced, but like the release date for SSS, all will be revealed in time. Like, any moment now.




Danny Brown

Title: Quaranta
Release Date: TBA

Danny Brown capped last year with a bombshell reveal. According to the Detroit rapper’s interview with Anthony Fantano, a new album isn’t just in the works, but is already completed and getting mixed by Top Dawg’s resident engineer MixedByAli. Brown wouldn’t get into too many specifics, but he did let the title slip. It’s called Quaranta (as in Italian for “40”) and while it won’t feature any more work with Q-Tip (per his stellar 2019 album, uknowwhatimsayin) it will reportedly feature at least one reunion with The Alchemist. As for a release date, that’s anyone’s guess. But it seems you can expect far sooner than later.



J. Cole

Title: The Fall Off
Release Date: TBA

Last year, even before he released The Off Season, J.Cole made it clear the current phase of his career could very likely be the last. In an interview with Slam, the North Carolina rapper dubbed it “The Fall Off Era.” And though he was seemingly more than comfortable calling it, he doesn’t appear to be there just yet. In fact, just a few months after the release of his latest album, Cole was back at it with a new single, “Heaven’s EP,” leaving some to suspect we might just have another project on our hands.



Koffee

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA