Is it me, or is 2022 running? Just yesterday, we were all shouting, “Happy New Year”, and now we’re in June looking through some of the albums that have gotten us through the year so far. From big comebacks to long-awaited debuts, this year has definitely given us incredible music (and small fuel scarcity too sha).
V — Asa
If someone had told me in 2021 that I’d be dancing to an Asa song in the club this year, I’d have called them a detty liar. But here we are. After creating a blueprint for many alternative artists we listen to today with her self-titled debut album, Asa decided to surprise us this year with a new sound on V. With features from Wizkid, The Cavemen and Amaarae, Asa shows us that she refuses to be boxed. We’re witnessing the evolution of Asa in real time, and we’re here for the ride.
Raves and Roses — Rema
Three years after he had the world (including former President Barack Obama) dancing to his debut self-titled EP, Rema kicked off 2022 with his debut album, Rave & Roses. On songs like Soundgasm and Dirty, Rema shows that he’s fully mastered how to make music for people who like sex but just haven’t had it yet. However, he truly shines when he lets go of the premature sex icon image on songs like Addicted, Divine and Are You There?.
Outlaw — Victony
Mayourkun’s Holy Father was one of the defining tracks of 2021, thanks to Victony’s smooth vocals. Stepping into the new year and on everybody’s radar as the artist to watch, Victony delivered again with his kickass EP, Outlaw. With songs like Apollo, Outlaw, Kolomental, Soweto, Jolene, and my favourite, Ole, aka “all power belong to your bumbum”, Victony has successfully created an EP with zero skips.
Catch Me If You Can — Adekunle Gold
If you thought Adekunle Gold’s rebrand ahead of Afropop Vol. 1 was a phase, then his new album, Catch Me If You Can, is what you need to remind you that AG Baby is here to stay. Pulling out the big guns (Fatoumata Diawara, Davido, Lucky Daye and Ty Dolla $ign) for this album, Adekunle solidifies his spot as one of the most exciting voices of new school Afrobeats.
Some Nights I Dream of Doors — Obongjayar
Listening to Obongjayar feels like you’re reading someone’s diary. His music is personal, yet the themes and the stories he tells feel universal because we’ve all lived them. On Some Nights I Dream of Doors, he urges us to keep hustling in Try and Sugar, while also reminding us that we deserve better with Tinko Tinko (Don’t Play Me for a Fool). This album feels real because the artist behind it is honest with his emotions.
Bahd — Falz
Falz is all about being a baby boy in 2022 and I can’t even be mad at it. The rapper/actor/activist/all-the-other-things-he-does makes a comeback with Bahd, an album that sounds totally different from 2019’s Moral Instruction. With Bahd, Falz is more concerned with having a good time than telling you the difference between right and wrong. Songs like All Night, Another Me, Knee Down, Parampe and Inside will follow you everywhere because they’re just that good.
Riddim 5 — Fave
It’s hard to remember musical moments from 2021 and not think of Fave’s Baby Riddim. It was that song everyone sang till it became annoying. While Fave might not have been able to recreate the magic of Baby Riddim, her EP, Riddim 5, shows us that she’s here for the long haul, with compelling love songs like Obsessed and Mr. Man..
SUBARU WORLD: FINAL HEAVEN — Cruel Santino
Saying you know what to expect from a Cruel Santino record sets you up for disappointment. SUBARU WORLD: FINAL HEAVEN shows a side of Cruel Santino we didn’t get on Mandy & The Jungle (to be fair, even his name was different back then). This album is more daring, more cohesive and louder than anything he’s put out. But there’s one big problem, though, 21-tracks? Cruel, who has time for alladat?