Jack Carenza - May 31, 2022

The Top Five Summer Hip Hop Songs of 2022

With Memorial day in the rearview, it’s time to add the warm weather vibes to playlists with top summer hip hop songs.  Check out our five favorite summer jams of the year so far.  

5.) Up – Kota the Friend

Backed by an uplifting organ melody, and hard-hitting drums, Kota’s motivational bars guide listeners to sounds of hope.  Up speaks directly to Kota’s priorities as a father, friend, family man and entrepreneur. Vivid lyricism reinforces the importance of sharing success with a close-knit inner circle, while persevering through external obstacles and hate Tied together by a memorable hook, Up has all the elements one would expect from a top summer jam.

4.) DopeJohn Legend ft JID 

Dope is groovy, elegant and simple in subject matter, perfect vibes for poolside days and spiked seltzers.  Legend and JID lyrically explore the addictive qualities of a love interest, using their diverse gifts to touch on beautiful women’s best qualities.  Legend’s lines are smooth, sensual, and impeccably delivered: “She beautiful, she magic/She chemical reactive”, he croons in the first verse.  Legend’s hook is uncomplicated, catchy and merges effortlessly into the beat.

3.) N95Kendrick Lamar 

As a song, N95 uses the masks popularized during the pandemic as a personification for the materialism, greed, and excess of the modern world.  Specifically, throughout the song, Kendrick consistently returns to the refrain of “take it off”, implying that as a society we need to shed our avarice to reveal the stripped-down truth that lies underneath. While not necessarily a summer jam in subject matter, N95’s driving beat, and vibrant sounds give it the sonic mood to fit your backyard barbeque.  

2.) Truth be Toldgrouptherapy. 

 The hypnotic, driving instrumental sets the mood early in this one, mirrored by Jadagrace’s lush layering. Enter lowkey delivery and thoughtful bars touching on circumstances of insecurity and life missteps. Don’t get lulled into the lowkey feel though, the switch up is wild.  Midway through, 808s drive in a whole new side to the track which becomes venomous and hard.  Truth Be Told is the type of track one that gives a listener no choice but to keep playing through.

1.) One Way or Every N***a With a Budget – Saba 

With a rhythmic instrumental unlike anything we’ve heard this year, One Way is a must-listen on your next roadtrip or summer outing. Chill, cool, with just the right amount of punch, this track is a vibe. Saba’s brilliant lyricism, and laid back delivery lend itself incredibly well, with a hook that fits right into the summer theme.  (“New crib by the seaside, on the one-way street though”).

2022 has been a great year for warm weather flavor, and these summer hip hop songs are certain to be the core for great poolside playlists.