Boluwatife
31 min readJan 2, 2023

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THE BEST 50 PROJECTS IN NIGERIA IN 2022. (Albums/EPs/Mixtapes/ Compilations).

2022 Projects in a view.
Credit: The Upper Entertainment.

In recent times, 2022 would easily notch the award for producing a large quantity of projects closely followed by 2020. From January to December, there was a large flurry of tapes released in a brief period leaving no breathing space for the audience to properly digest many projects. Although, the reasons for the numerous releases could be traced back to the advent of the pandemic which allowed creatives enough time to ruminate and have plenty to let out, and the ever-blurry line between Afrobeats and success in the international market.

However, this publication is designed to help you figure out the best albums released in 2022 based solely on their perceived public enjoyability ratings.

50. Cruise Control - DJ Tunez.

The well renowned DJ Tunez came through with his debut solo project. After a series of collaboration project with several producers and artist, Cruise Control had DJ Tunez offering his own independent project. The EP which features a wide range of artist including Wizkid, Wande Coal, Victory and many more. All through the project DJ Tunez pulled and showed his earworm talent to spot trending Pop sounds and incorporate it as well as tweak it the way he likes. His A&R skill was also put to test and excelled marvelously as he opened our eyes to see the possibilities that can arise from combining different artists, we never thought could link up excellently. He served up a great debut solo project.

Release Date: August 26, 2022.
Best Songs: Majo, Bad Girl.

49. AFRO KING - Superstar YB.

So many people are not yet familiar with the works of Superstar YB because of the inability of new artists to easily attract mainstream audiences. Superstar YB who broke out sometimes earlier this decade released his debut project after a series of interesting singles. The 4-track EP is an eclectic and vibrant fusion of several iterations of African Pop music. On this project, Superstar YB excelled in crafting groovy pop sounds and club bangers which are important to the enjoyment to nightlife in the country. Even if he was begging for love ‘Don’t Go' or fantasizing about love ’Fantasy’ and appreciating how much he has come’Grateful’, he made it all groovy.
Release Date: May 27, 2022.
Best Songs: Fantasy, Don’t Go.

48. YPSZN 3 - Psycho YP.

The Abuja rapper and lyricist comes through with the third installment of his YPSZN series. Touted as one of the best rappers currently in the country, Psycho YP showed why he is very rated on his fifth studio album. Since he broke out and earned Headies Rap Album of The Year with the highly rated YPSZN 2 released in 2019, Psycho YP has become the face of Nigerian Hip-Hop music with his stellar performances that have put in him on high pedestals among Nigerian rappers. On this album, YP showed how much he has improved lyrically and how versatile he has become. Apart from the usual Grime and Trap, YP delved into Afrobeats on the song ‘Stronger’. This album just served as a reminder of his qualities and brilliance in putting out a well-executed body of work.
Release Date: November 2, 2022.
Best Songs: Ic3, Bando Diaries.

47. Bayanni - Bayanni.

As is the usual habit of MAVIN Records, they unveil their new act with an EP following almost immediately. Bayanni is the second MAVIN act unveiled this year after BoySpyce. Just like his predecessors, he also treads the Pop soundscapes. Bayanni serves up arguably the best project since Ayra Starr. Unlike the usual fashion of 5-track projects, Bayanni offered up 4 vibrant songs that take cues from pleasure, love, and importance of family. The project is a clear view of his abilities, and it is one of the best out from the MAVIN family this year.
Release Date: August 24, 2022.
Best Songs: Ta Ta Ta, Family.

46. B A H D - Falz.

It feels like a long time since Falz gave us a proper album. Since his sociopolitical commentary inspired album 'Moral Instructions' in 2019, he went on project hiatus as he aimed to determine his next steps. Although, one could say 2017's '27' was his last album because Moral Instruction was crafted out of a need to speak up to the national issues in the country. On this album, Falz unleashed his sensibilities to crafting Pop sounds whilst still displaying his rap skill. Having figured out his own formular of fusing Pop with Hip-Hop, Falz uncovered a new identity to his artistry through the 12-songs album. Of course, there have been improvements and this album sees Falz moving to a greater height with his versatility. It is a well-crafted project considering he is just assessing the genre and what would come next would be the ultimate offering.
Release Date: June 9, 2022.
Best Songs: Roger Milla, Ice Cream.

45. Riddim 5 - Fave.

Fave, one of the female artists kicking it up in the industry right now. Having exploded through her smash hit and chart-topping single 'Baby Riddim', the stage was set for Fave to deliver and show off her talent. A project seemed the best way to go and that is what she offered. Riddim 5 served as the much-needed strategy of giving audience a broader listen to her and to accumulate more listeners. Riddim 5 is a well-executed project in which she highlighted her impeccable songwriting and musical ability and unique voice. A five track EP that catches Fave in different moods all over it, but all centered around Love. Her distinctive voice helps her dictate different moods as she wants and propel an enjoyable 13-minute ride through her world.
Release Date: January 20, 2022.
Best Songs: Mr Man, Baby Riddim.

44. BEHOLD THE LAMB - L.A.M.B.

L.A.M.B, the initials for Loose Kaynon, A-Q, M.I Abaga and Blaqbonez. The four rappers who share the chocolate city similarity all came together to create a collaborative project that reminds audiences of the power Hip-Hop music still possesses in the country. It stemmed out of the need to create one for the Hip-Hop culture. Birthed out of the Cypher released in December 2021, the rappers linked up and combined their ideas to serve up one of the best Hip-Hop projects of the year. Even though every one of them except Loose Kaynon went on to drop another project this year, it was only fitting they came together for a collaborative effort.
Release Date: July 6, 2022.
Best Songs: Fears, The Last Cypher.

43. Bout Time - Henry Adams.

If only we gave proper attention to underground music, some interesting projects would not escape our grasp. This is one of those quality projects with insufficient promotions. Henry Adams is one of the most talented acts in the underground scene. Bout Time is his sophomore project and debut album in as many years. Across the 12-track tape, Henry Adams signifies it is about time for him to takeover and does so fit. The artist shows his range as he reveals his hedonistic persona across the project where he regularly touts the themes of Fame, Success, and Love.
Release Date: October 13, 2022.
Best Songs: Your Heart, More Money.

42. ATOM EP - Magixx.

Magixx is another proof that changes and improvements can be instantaneous. ATOM served as his sophomore project since he was unveiled as a MAVIN act in 2021. Dropping his second EP just 10 months after his debut was not something anyone expected. Although, not really surprising because the refix of his well acclaimed song 'Love Don't Cost A Dime' with Ayra Starr made waves earlier this year, it was only appropriate to capitalize on that buzz and improve his audience reach. Across the 11 minutes tape, Magixx broadens his take on Pop music infusing elements of Amapiano, R&B and Dancehall.
Release Date: July 22, 2022.
Best Songs: Shaye, All Over.

41. Where We Come From Vol 1 - EMPIRE & Various Artists.

This is what is termed as a compilation album. EMPIRE have been around in Africa for a while now. After deciding to extend their reach in late 2019 into the African music scene, they have been offering recording and distribution deals to so many African creatives since the start of this decade. After few years of acquiring deals with African creatives, the idea to create a project which includes all the African artist on its roster was just apt. The album contains songs from artists like Olamide, BNXN, Fireboy DML, Asake, Kizz Daniel, Tiwa Savage, Wande Coal and more. Offering up fifteen solid tracks and with the aid of a fantastic A&R work, it is one of the best African albums curated by a record label.
Release Date: November 29, 2022.
Best Songs: Cough, I Feel Nice.

40. Heart Parts & Nostalgia. - Azanti.

R&B is rapidly evolving in Nigeria and Azanti is one of the acts spearheading the movement in the country. Although, not having enough widespread popularity, Azanti is one of the national treasures this country possesses. A talented vocalist that fuses Pop, Alte, and R&B elements. 'Heart Part & Nostalgia' is Azanti's third project in as many years. With a self-titled debut EP and a collab project with label boss Psycho YP under his belt, Azanti has further extended his claim as one of the best new school R&B artist. On the project, he takes us on a journey through his world and hints us on how much more he still has in the store to unleash.
Release Date: November 18, 2022.
Best Songs: jULie, TWiST & TUrN.

39. El Major - T.I Blaze.

T.I Blaze story is one of the surprises of the year too. Earlier in the year, he got an Olamide feature on his remix of his hit song 'Sometimes' to further amplify its buzz and catapult him into spotlight properly. Ever since that moment, he has taken every opportunity by the scruff of the neck. Releasing his debut EP and album in the same year is not a feat that many new-gen act can boast off but here is T.I Blaze with two solid projects in 9 months. On 'Fresh Prince of Lagos', he showed his style is not one direction and it transcends into his album 'El Major' where he showcases his versatility on as he explores the intricacies of African Pop music. Before release, he dropped a hint that the album caters for audiences at home and overseas and it is not surprising to him in a reflective and introspective mood on mid-tempo Pop tunes.
Release Date: November 18, 2022.
Best Songs: Kilo, Benefit.

38. Compilations 2 - H.O.M.A.

The Port-Harcourt-born alternative artist, H.O.M.A is one who has mastered his art even at such early times in his career. Although the project is a compilation of previously released singles combined with a few new tracks, H.O.M.A’s musical ability shone all over and is the highlight of the project. Blending a wide array of sounds including R&B, Soulful Pop, Dancehall, Funk etc. H.O.M.A created one of the best alternative albums out of the Nigerian music space. Across the 7 tracks, H.O.M.A's versatility carried him through different sounds as he fitted in seamlessly. It is a no skip project and would have earned a higher spot if the list is limited to alternative music alone.
Release Date: July 22, 2022.
Best Songs: Jenny's Journey, Sucker.

37. Some Nights I Dream of Doors - Obongjayar.

Obongjayar is one of the artists that still craft quality albums in Nigeria. He became popular in Nigeria due to the collaborative project titled 'Sweetness' with legendary producer Sarz. The project which was released in July 2021 helped him to earn more recognition in the Nigerian industry. His debut album (short form, SNIDD) has quality screaming all over it. With his shape-shifting vocals, Obongjayar threads the indie and soul waters on his debut album as he paints the struggles and uncertainty a man faces in life while also offering hope of healing after darker days. This album, although not popular commercially, enters every album conversation that leans towards quality than streams. It featured in FADER's top fifty albums entering in at #32.
Release Date: May 13, 2022.
Best Songs: Sugar, Try.

36. The Brother’s Keeper - Chiké.

Before the release of Chiké's sophomore album, everyone was in anticipation of what he would do on his next project. The success and quality of his is well acclaimed debut album 'Boo of The Booless' seemed like it would be so hard to replicate but the singer still managed to put up an incredible performance across the 16-tracks album. Shifted over a couple of times, the August release was a little bit too late as fan's patience were beginning to wane. That did not stop the impending reception of fans however as it was received gladly. Sharing a thematic relation with BOTB, Chiké simply continued where he stopped without altering his style but also adding more facets to his game in the addition of more upbeat pop sounds on 'On the Moon', 'Good Things' and acoustic R&B cut on 'Enough'. It was worth the wait.
Release Date: August 25, 2022.
Best Songs: Enough, On the Moon.

35. Sad Romance - CKay.

The sudden popularity of Love Nwantinti in the European music markets was exactly the spark CKay needed to kick-start his Emo-Afrobeats movement. That was enough confirmation for him to continue in the style he crafted all by himself. Sad Romance is his debut album preceded by two EPs in his discography and it is on this album that he sounds more mature and confident in his sound because the series of testing is over. On Sad Romance, CKay uses emotive elements to share his positive and negative experiences of being in love and in a relationship. Happy on 'You', sad in another point on 'you cheated, I cheated too' and confused on 'Watawi', CKay properly expressed the highs and lows of Love. Its strength lies in the storytelling and thematic cohesion.
Release Date: September 23, 2022.
Best Songs: Watawi, Emiliana.

34. HOME - Johnny Drille.

It is common knowledge that Johnny Drille never releases below par music. Every release is always better than the last and more mind-blowing. Johnny Drille's artistic growth is really one to envy and it is so just because he puts enough efforts to ensure that he is better everytime. On his debut EP, a follow up to last year's 'Before We Fall Asleep'. On Home, Johnny Drille remains tender as always as he ponders on Life, Love and Relationships. Now willing to adapt more variety of Pop sounds into his R&B soundscape, this is the most vibrant collection of songs Johnny Drille has ever created. It would attract more commercial success because of this key mainstream element.
Released: 28th October, 2022.
Best Songs: How Are You (My Friend), Jumoke.

33. Love In The Trenches - Dluxx.

Dluxx is another underground artist that deserves a proper listen. LITT was set on the need to earn more recognition and increase its potential audience. If that is considered, Dluxx achieved his aim to a considerable extent. Incorporating elements of Amapiano, Salsa, Dancehall etc Dluxx offered five perfect tracks to properly introduce himself into the mainstream market. LITT solidifies how much he has grown with his sound and hints on his next steps. It is safe to say, LITT is a very underrated, but quality filled 13 minutes journey.
Released: September 16, 2022.
Best Songs: Melody, Murda.

32. Love Is Not Enough, Vol 1&2 - Young John.

One of the surprises of the year so far. Young John’s transition from a producer to a full-time artist is nothing short of exceptional. The release of his debut project was timed to absolute perfection, and it is safe to say he got it right from the first try. Throughout the project, Young John showed his impressive songwriting and talent. LINE was well received by listeners and several songs on the project made waves at different points. ‘Dada’ already earned a remix with Davido and ‘Normally’had its spell on TikTok. As if that was not enough, he made appropriate use of the buzz and released a second volume to the surprise of many listeners. With the lead single 'Xtra Cool' doing well on the charts, the decision for another version was perfect.
Release Date: April 1 and October 21, 2022.
Best Songs: Xtra Cool, Dada Remix.

31. To Be Honest - Simi.

Simi has always been intentional with everything she drops and always wanting to give her audience the best she has to offer withholding nothing. To Be Honest is another out of her numerous works where we have been treated with her exceptional songwriting and alluring vocals. On TBH, Simi reminds us of why we fell in love with her sound and how much she can offer when afforded enough time. Showing her more polished duet skill on 'Loyal' and 'Balance' and retaining her love for highlife-inspired Pop music on 'Logba Logba' while embracing self-love on 'Easy' and 'Love For Me'. Simi gave us much more than we expected.
Release Date: July 3, 2022.
Best Songs: Loyal, Naked Wire.

30. Billion Dollar Baby - Seyi Vibez.

Seyi Vibez is really the vibe. For anyone who follows his career closely, his growth is so visible. As he continually tries to fuse street music with Pop for mainstream appeal, it keeps getting better with every release and what more could he ask. On his debut album, Seyi Vibez used street slangs, word plays, catchy phrases while also opting to include Amapiano elements in many songs off the album to create an album that is well steeped in street Pop music while also catering for other mainstream Pop audiences.
Release Date: November 2, 2022.
Best Songs: Bank Of America, +234.

29. My WorlD With U - WurlD.

WurlD is only concerned with creating timeless music. Across the three previous EPs in his discography which all aged like fine wine, WurlD is building something the next generation can return to for inspiration. On his long overdue debut album, WurlD takes us on a journey through his world just as the title suggests, sharing and exploring his takes on Love and Relationships. Whether it’s choosing self-love on (’The Way You Love You' and 'Guchi’) or pondering about toxic love (’Something to Lose’, 'Toxic’, 'Sad Tonight' and 'Let You Down’), WurlD did it all perfectly. It is not also short of club bangers 'Stamina’. This album is an extended visit into WurlD’s world, and we could only bask in the beauty of it.
Release Date: March 11, 2022.
Best Songs: Something To Lose, Stamina.

28. Horoscopes - Basketmouth.

When Basketmouth released his debut album Yabasi in 2020, everyone was surprised at his A&R skill and how he can create a quality album with that skill. Choosing to box himself and explore all facets of highlife, Basketmouth returned that old, feel-good feeling of drinking palm wine under a tree with family and music blaring in the background. If that was intentional, we got our answers on his sophomore album. Horoscopes, also crafted with one producer Duktor Sett just like Yabasi, put both creative’s ability in the spotlight. Horoscopes was to prove Yabasi was not a fluke and rightfully so because the songs on it were just too good. Once again, Basketmouth’s A&R skill worked marvellously pulling artist of distinctive styles to suit perfectly into highlife. Who has ever thought of a Blaqbonez and 2Baba collab? That was a genius idea. Horoscopes is just one of the best executed albums released this year.
Released: February 10, 2022.
Best Songs: The Traveller, Your Body.

27. STARDUST - Tonee C.

The Pop-Rap prodigy, Tonee C is another creative to emanate from the Port-Harcourt talent base and one of those artists dishing out quality music below the radar. Tonee C has been in the game for a while and his flawless discography is a proof to his talent. On his debut album, across the nine tracks, Tonee C showcases his pop-rap sonic as he fuses dreamy indie rap, synth R&B trap with Pop elements with a delivery similar to a Hip-Hop cadence. On this project, Tonee C delivers an enthralling tale on struggles ( 'starduh!') , heartbreaks ( 'love . is . a . drug') and focus on success over anything else ('s e l e n e', 'bobby. it's. okay')
Released: October 28, 2022.
Best Songs: love . is . a . drug, h × g

26. NATIVE World - NATIVE Sound System.

This is another of those quality 'compilation' albums with sublime A&R skill. NATIVE Sound System is a DJ collective and a production supergroup. Formed out of the need to expose more underground sound to mainstream appeal, their debut album was set out to achieve exactly just that. Featuring series of African diaspora and indigenous acts, they created an album that is rich in different sounds around the world. From the alt-pop 'Runaway' to the synth pop 'Stuck On You', the Afro-Swing rich ('Honest' & 'University'), the Dance-Highlife fusion on 'Tortoise' and the funky Afro-House inspired 'Pim Pam', it was nothing short of breathtaking. Away from the diverse sounds, we also enjoyed some unexpected artists linking up to create timeless music.
Release Date: August 18, 2022.
Best Songs: Pressure, Wedding Ring.

25. Ethos - A-Q & Brymo.

A-Q and Brymo, two experts in their art. You know how magical it is when two like minds combine to create something, it transcends to the next generation. Ethos is like that memento for future generations. Ethos is a 10-track album which views life from the pyramid of self (’Won Dé’, 'Ni Temi’, 'This Is War' and 'Baale House’), love (’Time zones’, 'Do You Ever Miss Me’, 'Ifè Lakoja Ofin' ) and loss ( 'Family First’, 'Stay’, 'All by Yourself' ). A-Q and Brymo carefully navigate through these themes using their subjective experiences at certain point and imagery at another. Blending Afrobeats, Jazz, Folk, and R&B, both artists were able to fit in seamlessly. Ethos belongs to the top tier of well executed albums.
Release Date: August 12, 2022.
Best Songs: Do You Ever Miss Me, Won De

24. Young Preacher - Blaqbonez.

Blaqbonez must be one of the smartest rappers around. Having identified Pop music as the main driver of the industry and the most commercial genre, Blaqbonez created an album that is well steeped in Hip-Hop roots and equally having a Pop soundscape to carry it commercially. On Young Preacher, Blaqbonez continues to amplify his opinion of "sex over love" (‘Hot Boy', 'Fashionnova') and displays his hedonistic persona ('Loyalty', 'Ess Mama', 'Back on BS’). Blaqbonez showed his ability to flow in seamlessly on Pop terrains without altering his style. If this album signified anything, it is that Blaqbonez is adept to incorporate necessary adjustments into his music to make it mainstream and highly commercial. Even if he does not achieve that level of commercial success with this album, he created an album that can rival other Hip-Hop projects released this year.
Release Date: October 28, 2022
Best Songs: Loyalty, Whistle.

23. Worry < - Tim Lyre.

Tim Lyre, a producer and artiste, and one of the alté movement long serving members. Tim Lyre is a common name in the alté circle, collaborating closely with the leaders that spearhead the movement on their albums as a producer. Having realized his own artistic talents back in 2016 but put it into focus from 2019 onwards, Tim Lyre served us an album of the year worthy tape. Blending in Afrobeats (‘Present’), Neo-soul (‘Spanish Lime’, 'Real’), R&B (‘Hubris’) and even Highlife (‘Highlife’) against an alté backdrop to portray emotions of love, sadness, joy, and lust. This is another well executed album out of the country.
Release Date: March 4, 2022.
Best Songs: Present, Hubris.

22. The Guy - M.I Abaga.

M.I Abaga needs no introduction. One of the pioneer and inspirations of the Hip-Hop community across a decade and half of service, M.I earned his spot as a legend in the game. On his twelfth project, M.I unveils his own formular of fusing Hip-Hop with Pop elements. On the highlife-inspired (‘The Front Door' and 'Inside') the Romance theme comes into play, while on (‘Crazy' and 'Soldier') he addresses the issues of toxic love and masculinity. You can trust M.I to always rub his legendary status on our faces (‘The Guy' and 'The Hate’) and craving soft life (‘Soft Like Tony' and 'Daddy') and Love on ('The Love Song'). The 4 years wait to get another M.I album was worth the wait.
Release Date: August 18, 2022.
Best Songs: The Love Song, Bigger.

21. Catch Me If You Can - Adekunle Gold.

Adekunle Gold is one of the most dynamic artists the country currently possesses. Shifting from his initial Folk inspired Pop music to the more accepted Afropop confines, 'Afropop Vol.1' was met with applause for his willingness to try new things. But it was his decision to switch to a more R&B leaning Pop music that caused a stir among fans which led to many listeners concluding that they are not "feeling" the album. Say what you like, but Adekunle Gold's transition has been top notch. Refusing to be limited, AG Baby weaved a 14-track album that highlights his R&B sensibilities (‘Sinner', 'Dior Dior Dior', 'FYE', 'Sleep') just as much as he evolves with Pop music (‘More Than Enough', 'Win', 'High'). Adekunle Gold got the quantity mix correctly by mixing much of his old self with little of what he aims to become. This is one of the albums of the year, one just needs to pay more attention. The album screams quality all over it.
Release Date: February 4, 2022.
Best Songs: High, Sinner.

20. Outlaw - Victony.

When Victony released his debut project, Saturn EP, it was very glaring that his own style of making Afropop music was not anything we were familiar with the at the time. On subsequent release and the unfortunate accident he had, afforded him enough time to polish his sound to mainstream requirements. On Outlaw, we got the full view of Victony's sound, melding Dance and Amapiano elements with Afropop on (‘Jolene', 'Soweto', 'All Power' and 'Apollo’) while being grateful for his health on 'Kolomental'. It has not been an easy journey for him, but he keeps excelling and getting through every hurdle. I look forward to the next steps he intends to take.
Release Date: May 6, 2022.
Best Songs: Soweto, Kolomental.

19. Chapter X - MAVINS.

10 years anniversary and we would not get a project to commemorate that? So many listeners would not forgive Don Jazzy if that happened. Realistically, this is the label's third generation of artists and considering how talented they are, they could compete against its first generation. Just like all great compilation albums, what sets them apart to be special is their sonic cohesiveness and fantastic A&R work. However, Chapter X is enormously rich in both qualities. Don Jazzy performed well to unify the various sonics of the artists under his watch to fit in seamlessly into the Afro R&B/Pop fusion album. This album could not have come at a better time. It is exactly the reminder MAVINS need to let the streets know that they are still in the business of making good music.
Release Date: December 2, 2022.
Best Songs: Overloading, Losing You.

18. Theta - Brymo.

When Brymo surprised us by releasing two albums (9: Esan & 9: Harmattan and Winter) in September 2021, that was his fourth project in two years and signified an artist at the peak of his artistry. Theta, however, came after 8 months after. Theta is all written in Pidgin (Broken English) following the trend of the aforementioned albums all written in Yoruba and English respectively. Brymo likes to try new things and he did too on this project too. He switched from his usual ballad Pop sound to Afrobeats on several tracks and swapped his signature figurative filled songwriting for simplicity in his lyrical contents. Brymo contemplates on Life (‘Life Dey Go On’, 'Tomorrow’) as it relates to love (‘Love Na Drug’, 'Dem No Born Us Together’) and pleasure (‘Money Good’). On Theta, Brymo’s talent was on show again at its peak and he does not look like stopping soon.
Released: 27th May, 2022.
Best Songs: Market Square, Pim Pim.

17. TESLIM - Vector.

Vector evolves with times and trends. Just as trend changes, he adapts easily, and that has kept him on top the Hip-Hop pedestals till date. It is no surprise that there are long intervals within his projects, as he likes to ruminate well before any project release. TESLIM, an acronym for 'The Energy Still Lives In Me' can be said to be his best offering yet. On this album, Vector unlocked his inner ability to craft melodic choruses (‘Mercy’, 'Why Me’, 'Mama Maradona’) while still maintaining his impeccable rapping skill (‘Clowns’, 'Fefe’, 'Early Momo’) on Hip-Hop songs set along with an Afrobeat background. As it stands, for a Hip-Hop album to be widely accepted, it depends on the quality Afropop elements it contains; this is what sets TESLIM apart from other Hip-Hop albums released this year, it was better fused with Afropop than the other albums.
Release Date: November 11, 2022.
Best Songs: Why Me, Early Momo.

16. Bad Boy Etiquette 101 - Ajebo Hustlers.

Make way, make way, Bad boys Ajebo Hustlers coming through". They are truly one to watch out for. Since their initial explosive foray into music through their well acclaimed single 'Barawo’, they have not had a breather since. Their debut album, 'Kpos Lifestyle Vol. 1' was regarded as an album of the year worthy candidate by large numbers of music critics. On their new project, Ajebo Hustlers gave us what we are accustomed to, simplicity in writing and perfect execution. On Amapiano inspired tracks (‘No Love (18 Plus)’, 'Loyalty’) they have a mainstream hit on their hands. The track sequencing is one of the best this year; after every album song follows by a pre released single, what a clever idea.
Release Date: December 8, 2022.
Best Songs: No Love (18 Plus), Loyalty.

15. In Transit - Terri.

Rapid growth and constant improvements have been the highlights of Terri's career and exactly what has kept him thus far. Since his music debut on 'Soco' and debut project 'Afro Series', Terri has constantly yearned to improve himself. The 'In Transit EP' highlights his growth since his foray into the music business as he peeled of more layers of his artistry. The 6-track EP also showed Terri's versatility as he fused and bent different genres to his will. From the intro 'Danger' which had semblance to the early century R&B tracks to the Amapiano inspired 'Holy Water' and Ghanian Highlife influenced 'Chargie'. He sounded effortlessly relaxed on this as he crafted good melodies and rhythms for himself all over the tracks. It is safe to say he did better on this project than his debut and that is enough indicator of growth.
Release Date: April 22, 2022.
Best Songs: Holy Water, Danger.

14. Gbagada Express - BOJ.

In the artist’s words, "There should not be a boundary when you are expressing yourself", BOJ has always lived by that standard and continues that on his third studio album. On Gbagada Express, BOJ plays across different genres rubbing his versatility on our faces while also taking people along on his journey to explore other kinds of music. From the alt-pop 'Money & Laughter' to the Afro R&B centered 'Your Love (Mogbe)’, Ghanian Highlife heavy cut 'Culture’, Afro-Trap 'Awolowo’, Afro-Pop on 'Lekki Love' Reggae Dancehall on 'Confam' and many more, BOJ did justice to every genre he ventured upon. Sonically, it is one of the best albums released this year. It was such an interesting ride with the man from Gbagada.
Release Date: April 22, 2022.
Best Songs: In A Loop, Unconsciously.

13. Hypertension - Bella Shmurda.

Bella Shmurda transition is not so shocking, we all knew he had it him. When an artist properly determines his next steps, there are bountiful rewards that come with it; Bella Shmurda is currently reaping those rewards. Swapping the multiple upbeat club bangers on his last project 'High Tension 2' for a more relaxed approach on his debut album is something so appealing to many sects of listeners. His decision to reduce his energy allowed for more creative songwriting, melodic choruses, relatable themes, and smart production choices, which are the main components of mainstream Pop music. Sacrificing some part of the street appeal in his music would not cost him much and realizing that, he has crafted one of the best Pop albums out this year.
Release Date: October 26, 2022.
Best Songs: Level Up, Loose It.

12. V - Asa.

Is it a coincidence that Asa's shift from Afro-Folk to New Wave Pop on her fifth studio album comes at a time Pop music is our biggest export into the international music market? That remains to be discovered, but whatever prompted the change deserves applause. On this album, Asa explores the dynamics of Pop music in all its forms while fusing it with Neo-soul, R&B and Afrobeats. V celebrates love (‘Mayana', 'Show Me Off') and relationships (‘IDG', 'Good Times’). The peaceful and nostalgic feelings that come with listening to the album is a plus to its quality.
Release Date: February 25, 2022.
Best Songs: IDG, Good Times.

11. Subaru Boyz: FINAL HEAVEN - Cruel Santino.

Cruel Santino, alté’s wonderkid and biggest export, third studio album has been predetermined long before the recording process. From the album’s concept, it is obvious he had the idea in his head before bringing it to life and he executed it perfectly. None of Cruel Santino’s LPs sounds similar and that is credit to his willingness to try new things. On Subaru Boyz, Cruel Santino draws inspiration from video games and anime sounds thereby creating an album rich in both elements combined with his alté background to explore several genres. All through this hour-long journey, we are thrilled with charming melodies and Santino’s flamboyant style. One of its best attributes is the top-notch transitions, which scored it a lot of point. It is ranked #8 on FADER magazine’s top 50 albums of the year and #40 on RollingStone’s best 100 albums of 2022. That is enough proof of its quality.
Release Date: March 3, 2022.
Best Songs: Final Heaven, Wicked City.

10. Ololade Asake - Asake.

One of the biggest and explosive turnarounds ever witnessed in the Nigerian music industry started with this project. Having earned a guest appearance from Olamide on the remix of his wavy single 'Omo Ope' and subsequently a record deal with YBNL, everything changed drastically for Asake. On his eponymous debut EP, Asake fuses elements of Fuji, yoruba gospel (‘Trabaye’) and Amapiano (‘Sungba’) on bouncy Afrobeats backdrop. Across the 4 songs, Asake ruminates on his journey (‘Omo Ope’, 'Baba God’) while serving us club bangers. The EP charted on different music charts breaking few records along the line. Not a bad introduction for the new boy at the time.
Release Date: February 16, 2022.
Best Songs: Omo Ope, Sungba.

9. Bad Since '97 - BNXN.

BNXN’s selling point is his talent. Intelligent songwriting, unique vocals, sublime executions, and endless versatility are the qualities that makes BNXN stand out from his peers. On his sophomore EP, BNXN’s talents and recognitions him secure features from Afrobeats heavyweights. On the Olamide assisted 'Modupe’, it was all about giving thanks about his journey and experiences while 'In My Mind' and 'Loose Emotion' delve into a story of a toxic relationship and moving on from it afterwards respectively. Despite BS97 containing features from Wizkid, Olamide and Wande Coal, BNXN was able to hold his own down and going toe to toe with the heavyweights.
Release Date: August 25, 2022.
Best Songs: Loose Emotions, Kenkele.

8. SIGNS - Runtown.

This has to be the most awaited album in the history of Nigerian industry. Despite dropping the track list since mid-2021, SIGNS did not arrive until over a year after for reasons best known to the artist. When it came, it was met with a positive reception because Runtown is an expert in his art. On Runtown’s sophomore album, we got a fresh and refined side of the artist. Having had enough time for introspective moments, Runtown reflects on love, faith, and growth. On the mid-tempo 'High Spirit’, he sings about the joy of vibing with oneself in isolation. 'Under Pressure' and 'All About You' entail the theme of Love. This album is filled with several experiments that were perfected before release. It is not surprising that the release dates were shifted several times. Just two weeks after release, it rivals other top albums released this year.
Release Date: December 16, 2022.
Best Songs: Dangerous Hearts, Things I Know.

7. Playboy - Fireboy DML.

Fireboy DML shedding the lover-boy and romantic persona that overshadowed his previous two albums to a personality ready to enter the superstar lifestyle was one that was borne out of necessity. Loosening up on this album gave us a hint of the artist's lifestyle. Playboy catches Fireboy DML in a happy and relaxed mood. Unlike the figurative songwriting on his previous albums, Fireboy DML tells his truth on Playboy. 'Change' suggests he is ready to finally step into the reality of an artist’s lifestyle while on 'Glory' he shares his experiences. He explores diverse kinds of love related stories on 'Adore', 'Compromise' and 'Diana'. When we get to 'Afro Highlife' and 'Havin' Fun' we witness an artist flexing his versatility and enjoying himself while doing that. Fan's receptions were great and large numbers held the opinion that he scored the trifecta!
Release Date: August 5, 2022.
Best Songs: Bandana, Peru.

6. Rave & Roses - Rema.

Rema has shown repeatedly that he is someone that deserves all necessary attention. Although his debut album may have come a little bit later than expected, it still did not stop him from getting the deserved credits. Rave & Roses is an album born out of calmness and no intense pressure to impress the audience. Rema did not bend to anyone’s wish; he only did his thing. On Rave & Roses, Rema explores the theme of Love in detail and dabbles into fate ‘Divine’ and addiction (‘Mara’, 'Addicted’) along the way with a sociopolitical commentary filled track on ’Are You There’. Across the 16-songs album, Rema’s genre-bending sound was on show and the cream of the crop happened on 'Addicted’; a Jazz-synth laden track and a The Weeknd-esque performance. For what it is worth, this is a flawless debut offering from Africa’s wonderkid.
Release Date: March 25, 2022.
Best Songs: Addicted, Soundgasm.

5. Love, Damini - Burna Boy.

Burna Boy has secured his heavyweight status. Three critically acclaimed albums which have been successful in local and international markets in as many years is not an easy feat. Two of those albums secured Grammy nominations while one won it. On 'Love, Damini', Burna Boy loosens up and makes it all about himself. He shares his story (‘Glory' and 'Love, Damini'), his thoughts on love (‘For my hand', 'Last Last', 'Solid'), Life (‘Cloak and Dagger', 'Wild Dreams', Common Person') and an ode to his native city on 'Whiskey'. Across the hour-long album, Burna Boy does not do too much to impress us with his obvious abilities, he just intends to take us on a roller-coaster ride as he emits different emotions.
Release Date: July 8, 2022.
Best Songs: Last Last, Different Size.

4. Boy Alone - Omah Lay.

There is a reason this album is nicknamed "Twitter’s album of the year" by twitter users. Under every best album conversation, it would always pop up and outnumber other albums in the comment section, hence it got the nickname. It is worth it. After releasing two excellent EPs in 2020, Omah Lay etched his name into the best new school artist talks. The journey to being a superstar had not been easy for him and it was what typified Boy Alone. Omah Lay narrates his experiences of going through the darker side of fame (‘i’m a mess’, 'recognize’, 'temptations' 'soso’) while turning to love (‘how to luv’, 'safe haven’, 'woman’) and pleasure (‘bend you’) for solace. Thematically, it is one of the best albums released this year and its execution is perfect as well. It is "Twitter’s album of the year" for a reason and honestly, it deserves to enter any album conversations. FADER ranked the album #29 on its top albums of the year list.
Release Date: July 15, 2022.
Best Songs: soso, i’m a mess.

3. Palmwine Music 3 -Show Dem Camp.

Show Dem Camp’s Palmwine Music series is one of the best albums run to exist in mainstream Pop music. Since its inception in 2017, SDC have churned out sounds built on highlife fusion and traditional Afrobeats that have housed most of their commerical songs and their carefree reflections and desires. On Palmwine Music 3, they draw influence from all previous installments to assess the theme of love and relationships with pointed clarity. As it is the usual fashion, the rap duo’s pristine storytelling and rap techniques are supported with impeccable and sonorous chorus from a wide range of Pop and R&B artists which they allow to take the spotlight. Throughout the 17-track album, with well sequenced skits in between tracks, SDC talk about all things related to love and relationships in Lagos. Quality art does not get better than this.
Release Date: September 30, 2022.
Best Songs: Your Love, Live Life.

2. More Love, Less Ego - Wizkid.

Wizkid’s world is so beautiful, and we are just privileged to live in it. Having discovered his sonic formular that blends Afrobeats with Carribean sounds to unify both home and abroad bases on SFTOS, Wizkid has refined it repeatedly to fit into moods, eras, and soundscapes. On More Love, Less Ego, Wizkid relies more on rhythms and melodies to set the right moods on different songs as he explores the theme of love from his own perspective. While MIL was Afro R&B/Swing centered, MLLE delves into the Pop soundscape and embraces elements Afropop (mostly Amapiano) more since his sophomore album 'Ayo' (2014). Despite the mixed reception on release, this is a solid offering and a very enjoyable album. It remains to be seen whether MLLE can surpass the achievement of its predecessor, time will tell. Already, it features on several magazines top album of the year including Complex and RollingStone’s.
Release Date: November 11, 2022.
Best Songs: Slip N Slide, Flower Pads.

1. Mr Money With The Vibe - Asake.

Asake owns this year, and no one would disagree to that. This is the biggest year any breakout act has had in recent times. Interestingly, Asake only played within his sonic formular, never straying away from it at any point. Amapiano log drums, Fuji inflected vocals, Hip-Hop stylistic delivery, chanted backup vocals and a lyrical style reminiscent of his street-full background. On MMWTV, Asake plays within the frames of these elements as he tells his tale while relating it to love, faith and his position. Apart from the fact that all the songs are groovy and very enjoyable, the concepts and themes were executed perfectly and Asake’s stunning delivery was on point. Clocking it for just 30 minutes, the replay value is unmatched. Also, it ended #18 on FADER magazine’s top albums of the year.
Release Date: September 8, 2022.
Best Songs: Joha, Organize.

What are your thoughts? Any omissions ? Anyone ought to be ranked higher or lower ? Drop your comments below.

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