Here are my ten favorite EPs of 2022. In 2020 I did a list of 25 of my favorite EPs from that year, but the following year I limited it to five. I almost did five again this year, but at the last minute I decided to add more just to shine some more light on a few projects that I think deserve more listens. I haven’t heard as many extended plays in recent years as I did in 2020, so that’s the main reason the EP lists have been so short. Just like with my albums list, it should be noted that these aren’t the only good EPs worth listening to from 2022. These are just my favorites. Number 10 isn’t any less valid and worthy of listeners than number 1. Everything here is dope, so don’t sleep on any of ’em.
10. “Cyber City Society” by Fatboi Sharif & LoneSword
This is definitely the most experimental project on this list. The production from LoneSword is really unorthodox, and definitely an acquired taste. However, if you like weird, off-kilter Hip Hop then you should be able to appreciate it. One thing I appreciated about this project is that the beats are just as weird as Fatboi Sharif’s actual rapping. I loved Gandhi Loves Children, and the beats on that project were definitely weird, but Sharif just took it to a whole other level with this one. Not only is the production weirder, but I also feel like his flow is more bizarre as well. Don’t sleep on this project because it’s one of the most interesting projects that came out last year. If you enjoyed Preaching in Havana, you’ll definitely enjoy this one.
9. “Blood on My Chainsaw” by RJ Payne
I’ve never reviewed a project from RJ Payne, but this is definitely my favorite thing that I’ve ever heard from him. I feel like the songs are more fleshed out on here than they’ve been on a lot of the other projects I’ve heard. RJ Payne himself is an undeniably technically skilled MC who I first discovered when he was featured on the intro to Erick Sermon’s Vernia album. There was a huge commotion caused when someone claimed that him and Ransom were the best active rappers right now, which culminated in a beef between Lupe Fiasco & Royce da 5’9″. Mickey Factz was also involved. Anyway, if you listen to this project you’ll understand why that initial statement was made. Just listen to the way this dude is rhyming and you’ll get it. The features on this project are crazy too. There are verses from UFO Fev, Canibus, Horseshoe G.A.N.G., Mickey Factz, Jon Connor, Flee Lord, and more. Don’t sleep on this shit. It’s really goddamn good.
8. “This Is Fine” by Blass 89 & Deleteeglitch
This is another project that I regret not reviewing. I think the first time I ever heard Blass 89 rap was when he was featured on 1000Words’ self titled album in 2020. This was my first time actually checking out a project from him though. It was also my introduction to Deleteeglitch, of whom I’ve since become a fan. I love his weird production on this project. This is probably the second most experimental project on this list behind Cyber City Society. My favorite track is Case of the Mondays, which arguably has the weirdest beat on the whole album. I think Blass 89 has a really unique flow. The closest comparison I can think of is Estee Nack, but I think Blass 89 is a better rapper. I mean, they’re both dope. I just prefer Blass 89 personally. They dropped a sequel to this EP called This Is Fine, Too in November, but I’m pretty sure that one’s considered an album. Anyway, check this one out and let me know what you think.
7. “Immaculate Conception” by Spaceman Jones & the Motherships
This is another one that I regret not reviewing, but thankfully I got a chance to cover it with Dan & K. of FREEMUSICEMPIRE on episode 105 of their State of the Game podcast. The first time I heard these guys was in 2021 when they dropped their Loops of Life, Vol. 1 EP, which really impressed me. I’m still waiting for Vol. 2 to come out by the way. Anyway, I really love MOTHER HOOD’s smooth, polished production on this EP. As Spaceman Jones puts it in the first track, this is the “perfect vibe to rip a dab to.” This shit is smooth as hell, but not in a way that’s too chill and boring. It just sounds really goddamn good, and all the tracks segue into each other really nicely. I think this is the most accessible EP on this list, so definitely check it out if you haven’t heard it yet. It’s great, and I can’t wait to see what these guys put out next.
6. “X-CALIBUR” by Sleep Sinatra & Don Carrera
Once again, I really regret not being able to cover this project. This is one of my favorite projects that Sleep Sinatra put out in 2022, and a lot of it has to do with the stellar instrumentals from Don Carrera. I think the first time I heard his production was when he had a placement on Eddie Kaine’s Aruku album from 2019. Since then he’s been popping up in a lot of different places, including a Westside Gunn project. Anyway, I wasn’t sure if this was considered an album or an EP, but since it’s under 20 minutes I feel comfortable including it on this list. Sleep Sinatra’s lyricism is as good as ever on this project. My favorite track is probably either 4AGREEMENTZ or EVEREST. The beats on those tracks in particular are absolute fire to me. This is a great project. Don’t sleep on it just because it’s exclusive to Bandcamp, especially if you’re a fan of either of these guys. I wouldn’t mind hearing more work from them in the future. This shit is fire.
5. “Scumbag” by Young Zee & Flu
Young Zee is one of the most unique artists featured on this list. I really love his approach to rhymes and flows on this project. He’s got a really unique voice too. The production from Flu of Lupara is pretty great too. If you’re a fan of battle-type rappers like Vinnie Paz—who is actually featured on this project—then you’ll definitely appreciate Young Zee. He’s probably my favorite member of the Outsidaz crew. I feel like nobody else raps like him. He’s a one of a kind MC, so if you appreciate rappers that are able to set themselves apart from the rest of the bunch then definitely give this a listen. I think it’s pretty great.
4. “KofaSoCalfragalistic” by Sankofa & SoCal
Sankofa was definitely the most prolific artist I covered in 2022 unless I’m trippin’. This was the first project of his that I ever checked out, and I was really impressed, not only by his intricate flows and rhyme schemes, but also by the sample-based production from SoCal. I think the beats here are really great. Sankofa is one of those artists who I can count on to kill every single verse, so the quality of his music is kind of dependent on the production he chooses. This is definitely one of the best sets of beats I’ve heard him spit over. If you’re a fan of Sankofa and you haven’t heard this one then you’re definitely snoozing hard because it’s one of the best things he released last year. I also think it’d be a pretty good entry point for new listeners. Check it out.
3. “SHADOWS 5” by Lord Juco & Bohemia Lynch
One of the most exciting things about Christmas for me is the fact that Lord Juco always drops a new entry in this Bohemia Lynch-produced SHADOWS series. Shoutout to the Lupara gang for having two fully produced projects on this list. Lord Juco is an artist who I discovered through his feature on a SeKwence project a couple years ago, and ever since then I’ve been a fan of his work. The beats on this project are super polished, and he sounds great over them. It’s just really good rapping over really good production—a simple yet effective combination. The features from HWY 308 are pretty nice too. Definitely check this shit out if you haven’t heard it yet. Don’t let the fact that it’s a Bandcamp exclusive prevent you from hearing it. It’s fire.
2. “Hip Hop 50: Vol. 1” by DJ Premier
DJ Premier is pretty much my favorite producer of all time, so I was very excited about this project before hearing it, and it didn’t let me down at all. The production is fantastic, and the features are really good too. Damn… I just realized I forgot to mention Remy Ma when I was listing off the best features I heard in 2022. That wasn’t my favorite track on the album, but it’s the one I think of the most whenever people bring this project up. There are some awesome collaborations on this project. I’m curious about the other Hip Hop 50 projects that will be coming out leading up to the 50th birthday of Hip Hop. I thought we would’ve had the second one by now, but I guess not. Maybe it’s not coming together how it was supposed to. I don’t know. This shit is fire though. Check it out.
1. “One Day It May Matter” by Darko the Super & Yuri Beats
This project is amazing. It’s my second favorite thing Darko has ever done. The production from Yuri Beats is stellar, and Darko is his weird, lovable self on them. This is quintessential Darko the Super music. If you’re a fan of him and you haven’t heard this EP you’re missing out on something you’d without a doubt love. These songs exemplify everything that makes Darko unique. I’d never heard of Yuri Beats prior to hearing this EP, but they really impressed me here. I just feel like the production has the same type of goofy, yet endearing charm that Darko himself has, which is why this project works so well. I knew this project was special when I first heard it, but I wasn’t sure if anyone would be able to surpass it this year, and clearly no one did. I love this thing. Check it out, especially if you’re a fan.
Thanks for reading my shit. Let me know what you think of these projects, as well as what your favorite extended play of the year was. I’m gonna try to listen to more EPs in 2023 than I did in the preceding couple of years just so I can have a more extensive list next time around, but who knows if I’ll be impressed enough to do more than five. We’ll see what happens. Anyway, check out my albums list if you haven’t yet, along with my EP lists from previous years. I guarantee you’ll find something you’ve never heard before.