Here are our 10 favorite top albums from 2022. Enjoy them responsibly, and maybe this time next year we can afford to be less cautiously optimistic.
Well, the pandemic is finally over and musicians naturally moved beyond themselves this year to ponder ideas of identity and community. Some found deep connections between the private and the universal — not to mention among the eras and styles that digital streaming continues to bring closer together.
Top Albums in 2022
- JAMZ ALBUM – SARKODIE
Ghanaian rap icon Sarkodie released his much anticipated 8th studio Album dubbed ‘Jamz Album’ this year. The 10-track album has guest contributions from King Promise, Oxlade, Ink Boy, Lojay, Kranium, Cina Soul, Joe Boy, Black Sherif, and Buju (BNXN).
Jamz Album by Sarkodie was released on 11th November 2022, by Sarkcess Music, Eagle Plug, and Ceek. Music Entrepreneurs KJ Spio and Michael Owusu Addo served as the record’s executive producers. The album is a mixture of Afrobeats and Amaapiano. The Album has production credits from Possigee, STG, Young Ukechukwu Celine, Bayo Adeptu, and Nabiola “LALA” Olayinka.
- THE VILLAIN I NEVER WAS – BLACK SHERIF
Black Sherif released his debut album, ‘The Villain I Never Was’. The 14-track project features Nigerian afrobeat sensation Burna Boy. Sonically filmic and purposefully biographic, ‘The Villain I Never Was‘ is about Black Sherif’s trials and tribulations.
The talented Ghanaian rapper and performer have been the center of attention ever since he first gained infamy on the music scene. Black Sherif is poised for action as his sound has been co-signed by several industry greats such as Timberland, DJ Khaled, Busta Rhymes, and Popcaan among others.
- SON OF JACOB – KWESI ARTHUR
Kwesi Arthur’s Son of Jacob Album is a 15-track album with features ranging from Adekunle Gold, NSG, Bigg Homie Flee among other acts. Already-released singles ‘Baajo’ ft. Joeboy, ‘Winning’ ft. Vic Mensa and ‘Celebrate’ ft. Teni also made the cut to complete the GroundUp signee’s final body of work.
The project’s title is a reference to God’s mercies, Jacob’s 12 sons, and the tribulations and victory of Joseph who is embodied in the protagonist – Kwesi in this instance.
- MADINA TO THE UNIVERSE – MANIFEST
The award-winning, multilingual musician and recording artist, on this 15-track 5th studio album, takes pride in his impeccable wordplay, witty bars, and vivid storytelling in his lyrics, and he’s here to defy all musical boundaries. Shifting the status quo of the African music scene since his arrival, the rapper marries traditional African sounds with Hip Hop sensibilities on “MTTU”.
M.anifest’s formidable collaborators include Ghana’s M3nsa, Moliy, American rapper Vic Mensa, as well as Nigeria’s Patoranking and Ladipoe. Adekunle Gold is tapped for “Game Over” (track 8) and English rapper Tiggs Da Author is also recruited for “E No Easy” (track 12).
The album is a reflection of life’s journey as well as a statement of his ambitions. The journey to its release had been fraught with last-minute challenges.
- SONGS OF PETER – FAMEYE
Ghanaian recording artist and songwriter, Fameye released his much-anticipated sophomore album, Songs of Peter this year. The Album featured appearances from Kwesi Arthur, Pure Akan, legendary highlife artiste, Ofori Amponsah, Amakye The rapper, Xorse, Akodaa Seden. This 12-track project is carefully created to highlight Fameye’s self-discovery as he reflects on his artistic career.
Known for his incredible songwriting skills and vocals, mixed with his attention to detail, appreciation for culture; blending old school highlife with new school highlife, and subtle contemporary Afro-fusion elements, Songs of Peter is the best project of the ‘nothing I get’ hitmaker.
- 5-STAR ALBUM – KING PROMISE
King Promise released his highly anticipated second studio album dubbed “5 Star Album” this year. The 15-track project features guest appearances from; Nigerian musicians, Omah Lay & Patoranking, Chance The Rapper & Vic Mensa from the United States, Headie One & WSTRN from the United Kingdom, Frenna from the Netherlands, and Ghanaian highlife musician, Bisa Kdei.
According to King Promise, the various people and cultures he has encountered recently influenced the creation of his new album. He went on to say that 5 Star, which represents a progression in both personality and sound from his previous album, was recorded all over the world, from his home in Accra to studios in London and the United States.
- STRAIGHT OUTTA KUMERICA II
On the sequel to 2020’s Straight Outta Kumerica, Asakaa frontmen Reggie and O’Kenneth give a new interpretation to Ghanaian chill-drill as they rap faux-softly about life’s little pleasures in Twi, English, pidgin, and Hausa. Led by 3 singles, “All eyes on me”, “Loading” and “Bebe”, released earlier this year, as lead singles off the project SOK 2.
The duo also covers the complex story of their background growing up in Kumasi and the spiritual home of Asakaa drill music. A slew of collaborators also joins in on the party, including CHICOGOD, Kwaku DMC, and New York duo G4 Boyz. Reggie and O’Kenneth also announced their joint concert with the G4 Boyz which is scheduled for September.
- GINA ALBUM – AMERADO
This year Ghanaian rapper, Derrick Sarfo Kantanka, best known as Amerado dropped his debut album, “GINA.” According to Amerado, ‘GINA’ is an acronym for ‘God Is Never Asleep.’This happens to be his debut album. Sound engineers TwoBars, Tubhani Muzik, IzJoe Beatz, Apya, Major Music, Cyrus Jaybel, and ItzCJMadeit assisted in recording the album’s 10 tracks. There are a number of songs on it, including Nyame Dada, No Stress, Grace, Got You, Pay Me, 666, Back To Sender, Black Change, You Are The One, and Ha Ha Ha.
Two tracks from the album, Back To Sender and Grace, that were released a few weeks ago have received over 10 million streams across all digital streaming services. The album features prolific and relevant musicians in Ghana and across our borders including S1mba (UK), Efya (Ghana), Fameye (Ghana), Laioung (Italy), Lasmid (Ghana), Eno Barony (Ghana) Gidochi (Ghana), and Epixode (Ghana).
- 10 THIRTY ALBUM – MZVEE
In a 10-year career that has seen her go from girl-band lead singer to solo showstopper, MzVee has seen it all—first conquering the Afropop landscape with her dexterous fusion of Dancehall, R&B, and soul before retreating from the spotlight for a brief mid-career-hiatus.
On her fifth album, 10 Thirty, released to celebrate turning 30, the Accra-born singer curates a polished musical offering in homage to herself, touching on themes of contentment, love, and self-care with stirring contributions from a cross-continental cast.
Across 10 songs with influences from Hip-Hop, Bongo Flava, Afrobeats, Highlife, and Amapiano, MzVee gives a fascinating insight into her life, tapping Nigerian street pop star Bella Shmurda for a humorous plea to be left in her lane (Abeg) that segues into the Kofi Kinaata-featuring empowerment anthem Winner. Yemi Alade and Tiwa Savage, two of Afropop’s foremost female voices, join MzVee on Dumebi and Coming Home, respectively, adding their Midas touch to an album that’s primarily about finding peace within and finding joy in the midst of all the world’s mayhem.
- THE UNBROKEN – AYISI
Ayisi’s second studio release, “The Unbroken” was his most focused and lengthiest solo project to date, producing a string of surefire hits atop an unbeatable style of Afrobeat.
After his collaborative venture with rapper, E.L. on 2019’s “The Linkop” and the ensuing horror movie of a year called 2020, Ayisi began to quietly share bits of what would eventually become his next studio album, “The Unbroken“. He did this by slowly recording his way to perfection over 19 tracks that borrowed beats from producers Kuvie, TMXO, Acekeys, E.L, Sparxx, and Genius Selection. The outcome? Enjoyable, especially considering its duration.
Ayisi’s style hits lots of highs with varying levels of success and produces a string of surefire hits in the process. Everything he throws at you simply sticks and when it doesn’t? That’s okay because Akan, Obrafour, Prince Bright and Efya are right there to pick it up with him on their respective outings; ‘Accra’, ‘Boa Me’, ‘Kawa Sane’ and ‘All For You’.
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