Welcome back to the billdifferen end-of-year extravaganza. Today, we're just focusing on songs! 2022 was a pretty great year for music. Loads of shit happening all over the world, and today, I did my best to showcase it. Sure, I doubt it's objectively the "best"music of 2022, but it's my FAVORITES, so keep that in mind. I'll keep it short and say thank you for checking this out and going through my babblings about the stuff I love, so I hope you find something new today, and most importantly, ENJOY!
My 100 favorite songs from 2022:
100. Yeat - Rich Minion
Gonna be honest, I've been kinda eh on Yeat's output this year, but THIS GOD DAMN SONG LMAO. It's not like a rager of a lifetime or anything like that, but it's the absurd concept of Grandma and Grandpa taking Lil Jimmy to go see the Minions movie and then they're subjected to listen to a dude who says shit like Shmadonka and has neurons that are beer battered and fried to perfection that makes me love this so much. Like this shit is EVIL, but I can't stop listening to it, because I don't like Victor. Yeat on Yo Gabba Gabba would've went crazy...
I feel like out of everything here, this might be the most out of place. While 2022 did see a much-welcomed returned of cheesy-ass hardstyle music, thanks to the unbridled love people have for the early 2010s fitness icon Zyzz, the similarly-sounding genre of Uptempo Hardcore has been a huge guilty pleasure of mine this year. I don't know, I just love loud and ridiculous music, and this is sure as hell ridiculous. Dutch producer Dimitri K is probably the best in Uptempo right now, and here, this is a straight homage to the classic 90s hardcore that was so revered in his homeland, but it adds in the noisy chaos of the modern uptempo sound to create a nuclear bomb of a tune. Not recommend for any quiet house.
Pennsylvania's EEM TRIPLIN is easily one of 2022's newest rising stars, as their music just transports me back to high school running early Tyler the Creator albums like Wolf, daydreaming and reminiscing. "JUST FRIENDS" is just so mellow and catchy, and really gets me excited to see what this dude does next, as he is a name that you need to know about come 2023.
The first time I ever heard Tennessee's Knoll, I was just like "This is a 4k 60fps remaster of Full of Hell," and while their influences don't go unnoticed, this band is starting to carve their own insane path in grindcore, as they are one of the best bands in extreme music right now. This song just slaps the shit out of you immediately, and the vocalist's inhuman yelling just makes you feel uncomfortable throughout, as these noisy and maniacal riffs rain down on you. And don't even get me started on the drumming, jesus christ. Pure insanity.
2022 has been Kasher Quon's best year since 2019, as his late resurgence of dropping tunes in the last few months has shown that he hasn't lost a step. "New Wave" is short, sweet, and has that signature Kasher charm, full of wittiness and bravado. Also, that Just Call Me Chris beat - god damn.. Him and Kasher are seriously an underrated rapper/producer duo.
In my opinion, South Carolina's islurwhenitalk is currently one of the most genius artists in music right now. Like I'm talking about ALL music, not just the stupid orange site. slur's ability to be so versatile in his sound, throwing so many different genres and influences, while all of it continuously sounds from another dimension is second to none. "lets rock" feels like an Earth 2 version of Mort Garson's Plantasia, as the warm modular synths present here feel so reminiscent to it, but the album is actually "Snap Music for Your Plants." Otherworldly sounds from an otherworldly artist.
Perfect proof as to why Brazil and Michigan is a beautiful combination for each other. Now that we got Brazilians on that Detroit/Flint shit, I need the Michigan dudes to hop on funk beats, fast. Looking at you, YN Jay...
This is just a beautiful, earth-stopping tune from kosu., a Canadian based producer on SoundCloud, as it reminds me a lot of later Rustie, with how HUGE those synths sound and just the twinkly nature of this composition. But damn, when this shit hits, it HITS. Crazy tune.
Alright, so take glitchy-ass sigllkore, add in some twangy country music, plus some country boys who just love to go fishing, and you get this absolute abomination of a song. I don't know why I like this so much, but I haven't been able to stop listening to it. The Fortnite chug jug sound effect destroys me every single time. You've never heard something like this before, so go put on a Salt Life shirt and have a good time lmao.
Enter the SoundCloud Underworld and introduce yourself to the earth-shattering sound of MURDERDRILL, as this shit really sounds like it came from the deepest depths of hell. "Salvation" starts off with his brain-vaporizing beat accompanied by this demonic whispering from Entity, but it's the transition into this beat that sounds like it was made for Satan's twerk team that really gets me here. It's head-turning, evil, and just hard as hell. You can't find shit like this anywhere else.
90. Lucy - Radiation
Massachusetts's own LUCY is the greatest pop star you have never heard of. He really feels like he was a pop musician accidentally frozen in the 80s but had defrosted a few years ago to showcase his goodness. I always get like a slight Arthur Russell feel to his music, as they are both super unique geniuses who have bent pop music in unfathomable ways. Maybe LUCY hasn't done it to the same extent, but he's really made a name for himself since his post DARK WORLD days as one of the most unique artists in music right now.
Babyface Ray might have had one of the best 2022s out of anyone in rap right now. Two great albums that have been lauded with loads of praise is something that not many rappers can do nowadays, and he did that effortlessly. Effortless is a great descriptor of the Detroit native, and "Sincerely Face" is a song that captures that feeling. Those stoically discordant piano chords, met with Ray's subdued bars are a great combination that makes this just GO. Incredibly hard.
Milkfish is one of the most insane accounts you can follow on SoundCloud, taking EDM music and just crushing its might with a paperweight, due to the office-inspired aesthetic of their image. Here they make riddim with literally anything, ranging from Spongebob and Patrick, to Drake, to even TNGHT. As insane as it sounds on paper, it's even more insane when you press play. What the fuck.
I really do feel like the next artist that is bound to be an important influence on internet music as a whole is easily xaviersobased. He already has droves of artists on SoundCloud taking inspiration from him as it is, but I feel like within the next year or two, that influence is going to grow greatly. With the copious amount of tunes that he's released this year, "I Tried" might be one of his dreamiest, as this feels like you are slowly falling through the clouds. Xavier's crooning over this light and ethereal jerk beat feels like the based angels are coming from the heavens to grace you with a kickflip. One of the best in music right now.
Now if you're talking about the best in music over the last 6-7 years, Virginia's Black Kray is easily up there as one of the crucial pillars of SoundCloud and just internet rap in general. This year, Kray's consistency has been at an all-time high, as he is still just putting out incredible music. With "T4LI," this one is just cold and a great exhibition of his timelessness, as it feels impossible that he would ever release just "average" music. One of the best to ever do it.
"All My Bros Dress Gay." This song just hypnotizes me man lmao. Shed Theory members DREAM CASTER and LAKER team up to create this strung-out pluggnb ballad to express their love for fashion and drugs (mostly drugs), as they both sound like they need to get some sleep. Won't be able to think of "Queer Eye" without thinking of this song now...
There's loads of teenagers on SoundCloud making music years ahead of its time, and Queen's vnmpire is one of those select few really pushing for this really overblown, yet futuristic sound. With "blithe," it feels like a pop song made in 2054. The synths at the beginning are hazy, cold, and feels like a blizzard coming down on you, and then those deep monsters of bass come in and suffocate everything around it, as vnmpire emo-ly sings their heart out over the muddled chaos. I really can't find anything that sounds like this, and I think I'll have to wait until I'm in my 40s to find anything remotely similar, because this is just out of this world.
I really can't see these guys without thinking of my good friend Momen calling them "Rage Sremmurd," but Homixide Gang might be the best thing to come out of Opium so far, because this is just some fun-as-hell music. "Lifestyle" has a weird energy, almost comparable with cheesy hair metal, in terms of making folks go insane, but Homixide Gang's charisma as a duo makes this an entire beast in itself. Also, that sample is so crazy - one of my favorites of this year.
That Asian Doll record is probably one of the most underrated albums from this year, as it is chock-full of bangers from end to end. One of my favorite cuts from it is the collab with Newark rapper Bandmanrill, as the king of club rap melds perfectly with Asian's hard-hitting delivery. Also, this video just always has me thinking of this damn picture lmao:
Rob49 is easily shaping up to New Orleans's next best rapper. You know you're big in that city when the Saints call you up for a promo. His ability to take that Chicago drill sound and season it with that Louisiana drawl and swagger has been one of my favorite developments in hip hop this year. Rob's 2022 culminated with this HUGE collab with G Herbo, as they both go crazy over this Southside-produced beat. And MAN THIS BEAT! It's anxiety-inducing, hard-hitting, and another reason why Southside is one of the best producers to ever do it. But all in all, it's just the beginning for Rob49 and I can't wait to see what 2023 entails for him.
I want to meet the person who made that Reddit post about the Hudson Mohawke song and slap the shit out of them, because I can't believe that is what people will remember that man for, because he is one of the greatest electronic artists of the last decade-plus. His album from this year Cry Sugar is another incredible addition to his stellar repertoire, and it's just more insanity from the Scotsman. With the absurdity of the Patti Harrison-directed music video coupled with the constantly-morphing beast of the song itself, "Bicstan" feels like a malfunctioning jukebox that only plays Warp records tunes, as this crazily jumps from acid, to high NRG synthy goodness, to UK hardcore, all in 5 minutes. It just goes to show how Hudson hasn't slowed down his greatness and further cements him as one of the best producers of his generation.
Some more heavenly SoundCloud goodness here as lostrushi has made one of the most addicting songs this year with "true perspective." In a way, it reminds me of last year's TikTok parasite "kurxxed emeraldz" from Sigilkore trendsetter Luci4, as both have this distinct "digital dirtiness" to them, reminiscent of something only SoundCloud could conjure up. It is super far from any type of rip-off, as rushi's song is super unique, but this feels like the angel side compared to Luci's obvious demon side on this Sigil-spectrum. Just a sparkly dream that you don't want to get out of.
Paris's Kerchak has been one of my favorite discoveries in hip-hop this year, as he has become the ONE who has brought club rap overseas and make it something different and fresh, compared to his US contemporaries. Yeah, the drill influence is there like in Jersey, but I feel like there's a slight direct influence creeping in, which is the French-afrobeat-influenced hip hop that has been a thing in the country for a while. The groove is just slightly different to your standard Bandman/Philly Goats song, which is why this is so fun to listen to. That transition into the club-based part with those cartoonish horns is just irresistible. One of France's best rappers right now.
Florida is probably one of the most promising rap scenes coming into 2023, as there's been so many incredible MCs popping up from over there. One of Florida's best rising stars is Tallahassee's Real Boston Richey, as he's mixed that cold and calculated Michigan sound with that southern flavor down there in Florida, and it just works PERFECTLY. Even Future took notice, as he has one of his best verses in a while on here. A nasty banger to destroy your speakers to...
Now we go from Florida to Martian City, as kaiido has one of the most batshit insane tunes I have heard this year with "ergo proxy." Like you can barely understand what the fuck they are saying here, as everything sounds like it's being vaporized by a black hole, but I am obsessed with this shit. It doesn't sound of this planet, p6nk and sy make a beat that feels likes a crashing spaceship taking a nose dive from space, and it all feels just so incredibly suffocating. Shit from another dimension. Also this comment cracks me up:
I see "MajinBlxxdy Prod. KRXXK" and I just press play immediately without hesitation. These 2 have made some of the craziest songs on SoundCloud in the last few years, and they still haven't missed a beat together. With this cut off of MajinBlxxdy's Make America Blxxdy Again, they link up again and make this assault of guttural electronic uneasiness, as KRXXK's beat sounds like a beast lurking in dark nothingness and Majin is just deteriorating all on top of the chaos. KRXXK is seriously one of the best producers around right now, and this is just another part of his insane resumé.
Virginia Beach's Dirty Bird is a producer who you can tell has such a deep love and appreciation for the ones who came before him, as their sound is always so nostalgic, yet so forward-thinking. With "The Question," he takes almost a Todd-Edwards-approach with the jerkiness of those vocal chops that really drive this tune, but it's everything that accompanies it that makes this so incredible. It's ethereally dancey, as it feels like he's just DJing up in the clouds for the world to see. Something that sounds like it came from 2002 but also 2022 at the same time.
Dembow has been a music scene that has blown my mind too many times this year, as the Dominican giant is really evolving at a rapid rate with artists like Angel Dior, Onguito Wa, Jey One, and Tivi Gunz, among many, many others. Another 2 more popular artists that are really advancing Dembow are Brauilo Fogon and Ceky Viciny, as this collab just shows how absolutely absurd this music is. From the beat that is just a dude going "TIKITIKITIKITIKITIKITIKITIKITIKITIKITIKITIKITIKI" to the crazy energy coming from both of them, boasting Gary Payton and Friday the 13th references, to the fact that this song is revolved around being foolish (Dominican version of Tisakorean over here lol), I can't get enough of this one. The DR is really shaping up to get even crazier, so I can't wait to see what comes next from over there.
Another scene that has been oozing with creativity and talent for years now is batida, as the Lisbon-bred genre has amassed some of the greatest talents in electronic music in the last few years, like Nídia, A.k.Adrix, and this producer right here. DJ Lycox can literally make a heater out of anything, and here, he takes these yells and noises coming from this child and develops a hellish batida groove that fries my brain to no end. Good Lord.
There is nothing like Bounce music, I swear. Bog Vonnie is one of the best in NOLA right now and this Showboy Cj produced heater "10th Wrd" is an adrenaline rush of high-energy, horniness that makes Cash Cobain seem normal, and signature New Orleans charm that makes you want to play this over the Walmart intercom without shame.
Saint Mercator is seriously one of my favorite artists right now, just because of how unhinged they sound. Nobody in Slayworld can compare to this dude. I mean that too. Now that he's getting popular for that IM DA BIGGEST BIRDDDD song, it's a great time to remind everyone of his other hits, because there is some magic being made over here. "LIVE YOUR LIFE" is a pluggnb song that has just driven off of the interstate, plunging 500 feet to the ground, and Mercator is just belting out while he falls. The beat is so incredibly unstable, fluctuating all over the place, while his voice is overpowering everything else, as his crooning can make anyone shed a tear. Outsider pluggnb is the future and Mercator is ahead of us all.
Here we got 2 Soundcloud juggernauts that have already been mentioned so far team up to make one of the hardest tunes I have heard all year. "drum" is this fast tread-y mess that is so unique thanks to Ireland's s1ninja, someone who is shaping up to be one of the best producers on SC right now because they are out of their fucking mind. Both Majin and Xavier lend their insanity to complete this monstrosity, as this has enough energy to make you stop a speeding Ford F-350 with your bare hands.
carbine's evolution from "niche cartoon edm account" to "legitimate pop genius" over the last year has been one of the coolest developments for any artist on Soundcloud, as they have taken ginormous strides in their sound to reach that next level. The bounce created in "doomsday" is mind-controlling, thanks to their insane production chops, because good god. The drums feel so disjointed, yet at the same time, incredibly in-the-groove, while these light and playful video-game-esque synths are being regurgitated at you through your computer screen, all on top of carbine's teenage angst being showed to the world. But, it's that last minute of this tune that makes this so deserved of its spot, because GOOD LORD DID THAT SHIT CATCH ME OFF GUARD. Just a mammoth wall of noise that is just jaw-dropping, and huge reason why this kid is so promising in the future.
There is seriously not enough singing on club beats, because I think people are scared they can't keep up with Philly's Lay Bankz, because this is just so damn good. Yeah, it's shamelessly got Tiktok written all over it just like the rest of this club stuff, but Bankz has a super unique approach to this, as her voice just slides so good over this. The hook is great, they still got that damn breathing shit like the Philly Goats, and this is just another great tune in the insane surge of club-rap/r&b from this year.
To be honest, I really don't know much about mizu33, other than that they are mysterious as fuck, because this year, they dropped this one song and then vanished, but man, is this song insane... It sounds like mizu recorded and produced this in some ancient underwater palace that holds this otherworldly energy and he used it to its advantage, as this is just breathtaking. I sure we'll get just one song next year, and it'll be even more mysterious, but I can't wait!
I listen to loads of music, but surprisingly, I really don't get very emotional when I listen to it, but this is a very rare exception. Over the last few years, I have been unfortunately very acquainted with loss and grief, as it's something that is just incredibly debilitating and an unfathomable mountain to conquer. NoCap's heartfelt tribute to his close friend in "Heaven For Thugs" is something that completely breaks me every time I listen to it, but it shows how incredible of an artist the Mobile native is. It's raw, emotional, and a profound look on grief and how to tackle that mountain. Sending love to anyone who's lost someone close.
63. Burial - Exokind
Y'all can kick my ass all you want, but I LOVE ambient Burial. Sure, it's nothing that's ground-breaking or revolutionizes the medium, but it's the one-of-a-kind atmosphere that only Burial can create that makes this so compelling to listen to. I feel like his latest EP Streetlands is his best iteration of that new style, as it's just so incredibly cold and monolithic-sounding, and "Exokind" is the best example here. It starts off quite slow with these Blade-Runner-esque synths singing over this atmospheric cloud of ambience, and it just lingers throughout the 12 minute runtime, but it's those weird, modulated leads that sound like they're coming from an early Arca album (around the 8ish minute mark) that really makes this song for me. Like most longer Burial tunes, this is a frigid journey through different ideas that still validates him as one of the greatest ever electronic artists.
More SoundCloud underworld goodness and this time, it is from Tauranga's katai, someone who has created something called māoricore, which is very dark, brooding, and other-dimensional. Here with "myy friend of miseryy," all those descriptors hold true, as this is just insane. The guitar sample is apparently from Metallica, but it almost sounds like a mid-2000s emo band, which fits katai's sound greatly, but the star of the show here are those deeeeeeppp bass lines that tower over the entire song, as katai coldly floats over everything else. There's just so much unique shit that is being made on SoundCloud right now; It's hard to keep up, but with artists as striking as katai, it's hard for shit like this to go unnoticed.
$loan and Skiano were some of the first people to start this club rap shit back in 2020, and nowadays, $loan is keeping Skiano's memory alive, as they are still one of the prime artists in this flourishing new scene, despite its worldwide explosion that occurred this year. With the RetroJ produced "Drive Who Crazy," $loan lets his signature "I need a Halls cough drop so fucking bad" voice elevate the club beat to another stratosphere. One of the best in Philly who deserves a lot more love.
Soon, you'll see how insane this kid really is, but for today, introduce yourself to the 16 year old Sao Paulo magician that is DJ Arana. From learning how to make funk on his phone, to now becoming one of Brazil's hottest funk producers, Arana always feels like he was sent to Earth from a spaceship to show the world what true absurdity is, and this collab with other popular SP producer DJ BLAKES is one of the many reasons why I believe it. This song is honestly 97% reverb (like seriously), 2% metallic thonks, and 1% of these ghosts singing over all of that fucking reverb. There's just nothing like this on Earth right now, and it still just baffles me that this is just normal commonplace over there. Also the music video is killing me; Why the fuck are they all dressed up like that 😂
NYC's ksuuvi is a jack-of-all-trades artist on SoundCloud who has managed to make sample drill sound so fresh and unhinged, as his efforts in that sound are always barnburners. However, here, when you are sampling SKILLET, OF ALL FUCKING BANDS, you know you're billdifferen. Over the absurd sample, you have these drowned-out drill drum patterns that are barely even decipherable, while ksuuvi anthemically yells over this masterpiece. WWE entrance-ass music.
Every single time I listen to Orlando's 454, I just keep thinking "This dude is going to be a superstar before you know it." He has everything: beat selection, charisma, originality, and just sheer talent. "THANKFUL" feels like zooming down the interstate with all of your windows down, relishing in the cool air that sweeps all over you. It's carefree, beautiful, and absolutely addicting. Let's hope 2023 is 454's year.
Ignore the crazy ass title, and experience one of the craziest genres of electronic music on earth right now: Jungle Dutch, an experience coming from Indonesia that mixes traditional sounds of their homeland, like Funkot and Dangdut Koplo, with more EDM-based styles like Dutch House. It's something that is all over the place, but I just can't get enough of the insanity, especially this bite-sized mix of tunes that blow my mind. The constant groove being established here is mind-numbing, the sampling is off the charts, and it just sounds so unlike anything else, while also still sounding so familiar to your standard EDM fare. It's a huge scene that is rampant on TikTok, and I can guarantee I will be doing a deep dive on this genre soon after all of this end-of-year madness, so get yourself acquainted and go on an endless deep dive with this shit.
I found this Ivorian song from Didi B on a whim one day, and this shit is absolutely incredible. It mashes together afrobeats, drill, and other traditional styles to make this super modern and hard-hitting banger. The group chanting during the hook give me goosebumps and the crazy synths that play after that seriously sound like they belong on Rustie's Glass Swords. An infinitely replayable tune that really showcases how versatile and damn good hip hop has been in Africa over the last few years.
While NY Drill has resulted in some really sad things over the year, it's hard to deny that it can be really special when it's sincere, just like this touching tribute to DD Osama's brother Notti "Da Real Brotherly Love." The Bobby Caldwell sample smoothly accompanies DD and others giving their tribute to their fallen brother. It just really makes me emotional when people lose someone that young. RIP Notti.
More S1Ninja insanity, and this time, he has SoundCloud underworld prince st47ic join him in this super bubbly and surreal ride where you're a "Dumb Motherfucker lookin' like a hilly billy." The beat really sounds like an intro to a PBS Kids show, while you have this huge, mechanical-sounding bassline play throughout the madness. Just super fun and nothing like you ever heard before.
Tally's LUH TYLER is next up. Yeah, he sounds and looks like a middle schooler, but he is seriously one of the most promising MCs coming out of Florida's insanely-talented rap scene. He has such a confident swagger he holds as he raps and is almost like a mini-Veeze in his delivery. "Jayda Wayda" was the first song I heard from this kid and I was just hooked from the start. The funny bars, the Florida over Detroit style, and just the smoothness that Tyler comes in with just makes this a must-listen for anyone unfamiliar with what's going on in Florida right now.
Yeah, Florida is smooth, but it can't match the outright insanity of what's been going on in Milwaukee over the past few years. With the atonal autotune crooning, the barrage of bass kicks that just keep going and going, and those DAMN CLAPS, GOD DAMN THOSE CLAPS, no one is getting more weird in hip hop right now than Milwaukee, as it's one of the most interesting regional scenes at the moment. With "Last Chase," this 5 man collab has all of those insane party-filled descriptors, while you got Ariana Grande singing her heart out as the sample. Just the way that this all comes together blows my mind, and it just makes me want to go up north to see what the fuck is wrong with these people. But god damn, do I love it.
51. 9umba, TOSS & Mdoovar ft. Sir Trill, Sino Msolo, Lady Du, Young Stunna & Slade - uMlando [Prod. Mdoovar, 9umba & Slade]
It's so great to see amapiano become the world giant that is always destined to be. Nowadays, it always feels so majestic and theatrical and I feel like this huge song is the culmination of this genre so far, as this boasts the best of the best in amapiano. "uMlando" feels like a celebration of this culture, but also a statement that amapiano is here to stay, and it will only get bigger as time goes on. One of the biggest hits of the year, and a glimpse at one of the biggest music scenes in the world right now.