2022 has already delivered some phenomenal albums from Kendrick Lamar, Pusha T, Syd, Vince Staples, Future, Ye, Lucky Daye, Mary J. Blige, and dozens of others.
But as the summer begins to creep around the corner, BET.com looks into some of the most anticipated albums for the year’s later half.
It’s been about five years since Top Dawg Entertainment’s marquee R&B songstress SZA released her major-label debut Ctrl to extremely positive reception and double platinum sales.
Though details have been kept under lock and key for the sophomore follow-up, the “Love Galore” singer has spent the past couple of years releasing singles from “Hit Different” featuring Ty Dolla $ign to “I Hate U.”
Recently, she dropped the deluxe version of Ctrl, which featured a host of unreleased songs that should have fans eager to embrace a “SZA Summer.”
No doubt Doja Cat has become one of the most polarizing artists pop princesses to emerge over the past handful of years. It’s been nearly a year since the Los Angeles native released her third full-length studio album Planet Her, the “Say So” R&B/rap hybrid is planning to release a fourth album soon.
According to Doja, the album is set to be very rap-heavy with production from The Alchemist, and even mentioned wanting to work with 9th Wonder and Jay Versace.
Being hip hop’s first female to win a Grammy for Best Rap Album means the pressure is on for Cardi B to deliver a serious follow-up to her major-label debut Invasion of Privacy.
The Bronx native has been dropping singles for the sophomore album since 2018’s “Money” and hasn’t stopped from “Up” to the explosive “WAP” duet with Megan Thee Stallion.
Most recently, Cardi B mentioned “technical difficulties” being the reason for the album delay.
Megan Thee Stallion
Last year’s Something for Thee Hotties was a respectable compilation project to hold fans over till the next project. Speaking recently during The Webby Awards, Megan said that her album is about 95 percent done, and with “Plan B” in constant rotation, it seems like the H-Town Queen will continue to be a trending topic for 2022.
Set for release on June 24, he mentioned on Instagram that he’s looking to make pure R&B. Expect guest appearances from Lil Wayne, H.E.R., Jack Harlow, Fivio Foreign, Wizkid, Yung Bleu, and more.
Chicago emcee Lupe Fiasco is set to make his latest full-length project since 2018’s DROGAS Wave something that longtime fans will truly enjoy.
Drill Music In Zion is a ten-track project produced entirely by Sountrakk who is known for laying down beats for classic Fiasco joints from “Kick, Push” to “Hip Hop Saved My Life.” If the first single “AUTOBOTO” is any indication of where Fiasco is headed with the project then there isn’t much to worry about.
Lizzo’s third studio album Cuz I Love You became a breakout moment for the multi-hyphenate pop star alongside mega-hit singles “Truth Hurts” and “Good As Hell.”
Black Thought & Danger Mouse
Though the third entry in Black Thought’s Streams of Thought series ended up being his debut album produced entirely by former Bad Boy Records producer Sean C,
Expect guest appearances from Raekwon, Joey Bada$$, MF Doom, Run the Jewels, and A$AP Rocky, among others.
Current international Afrobeat king Burna Boy hit a one-two punch with 2019’s African Giant and Twice as Tall a year later.
In late April, when he became the first Nigerian artist to headline Madison Square Garden, he announced the next project would be titled Love, Damini.
Most recently, he dropped a single from the album titled “Last Last” which samples Toni Braxton’s 2000-era hit “He Wasn’t Man Enough.”
Fans have been missing the quirky yet sensual and soulful sounds of Ari Lennox since 2019’s Shea Butter Baby. Beyond guest appearances, 2021 did see her release the first single from her yet-to-be sophomore follow-up “Pressure” which recently earned a gold plaque. According to reports, the Dreamville/Interscope artists are slated to work with Elite, a frequent collaborator.
Besides creating some of the most unique and off-the-wall indie R&B available with a live performance that includes roller skates, Durand Bernarr turned many heads with his 2020 Dur& album.
Though details are currently under wraps on what to expect for the follow-up, Wanderlust, the queer-identifying singer mentioned the next album would feature music to skate to.
This may come sooner than later with the recent announcement of a publishing deal made with Hipgnosis Songs Group.
Despite the last single, “Fair” was a lot more vulnerable, fans should expect plenty of dance-friendly tracks on the upcoming project.
Dropping the last entry in the Man on the Moon series in 2020, we’ve seen peaks of Kid Cudi’s genius from guest features to singles like “Stars In The Sky” from the Sonic The Hedgehog 2 soundtrack.
Expect long-time collaborator Dot da Genius to appear on the project production-wise alongside guest appearances from Ty Dolla $ign and Gucci Mane among others on the upcoming album Entergalactic.
Of course, the project will co-inside with the upcoming animated music series with Black-ish creator Kenya Barris for Netflix.
The single will be included on the singer’s upcoming third studio album and follow-up to 2019’s Free Spirit.
Waiting on a Frank Ocean album is an endurance test and the elusive artist hasn’t released a single since 2020’s A/B side “Dear April” and “Cayendo.”
With the Blonde singer set to headline Coachella 2023, maybe we’ll get some new music or body of work in the meantime.
Ural Garrett is a Los Angeles-based entertainment and tech writer documenting the intersections of pop and digital culture. Follow him at @UralG on Twitter.