So much rap music comes out all the time, and especially with frequent surprise releases, it can be hard to keep track of it all. So, as a way to help keep up with all of it, here’s a roundup of the 10 rap albums from August 2022 that stood out to us most. We also probably still missed or haven't spent enough time with some great August rap albums that aren't on this list. What were some of your favorites of last month? Let us know in the comments, and read on for the list (unranked, in no particular order).
Roc Marciano & The Alchemist - The Elephant Man's Bones
Roc Marciano and The Alchemist have both been long responsible for the shaping the type of gritty, nostalgic yet innovative underground rap that's been having a moment these past few years, and they continue to remain at the forefront of this latest wave. The Alchemist has entirely produced a handful of the most-loved albums in recent memory (by Freddie Gibbs, Armand Hammer, Boldy James, and more), while Roc Marciano has also been a prolific producer lately, helming recent albums for rising underground faves like Stove God Cooks and Flee Lord. Now Roc Marciano teams up with The Alchemist for The Elephant Man's Bones, his first own rap album since 2020's Mt. Marci and his first album entirely produced by one person since 2018's Kaos with DJ Muggs. Roc Marciano creates dense lyrical passages that you're not gonna fully process in one listen, and The Elephant Man's Bones is no exception, with an array of bars that sound great on the surface but beg you to come back and keep unpacking them. He never goes for anything easily-digestible, but The Alchemist's glistening bells and pianos and warm, clipped-up jazz and soul samples bring just a bit of brightness to Marci's dusk. They're a perfect pair, and well-suited guest verses from Action Bronson, Boldy James, Knowledge the Pirate, and (wait for it) ICE-T only sweeten the deal.