Top Bops: Summer 2022

Lexi Holdiness, Editor-in-Chief

Now that school is back with a vengeance, we can begin reflecting on the summer months of 2022. From Roe v. Wade getting overturned to Copenhagen fashion week all the way to a Monkeypox outbreak, summer was anything but boring; however, there was one piece of summer that deserves special recognition for being unlike any summer before: music. 

Starting with the album release from one of the most influential rappers of our generation, Kendrick Lamar’s Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers was released on May 13. This makes Lamar’s seventh official studio album and his first since the  release of DAMN. in 2017. The album consists of two parts making 18 tracks total, all of which appeared on Billboard’s Top 100 following the album’s release. 

With use of tracks like “Silent Hill” featuring Kodak Black and “Mr. Morale” featuring Tanna Leone, Lamar had no issue garnering streams or popularity for his most recent release. The top tracks of the album, “N95” and “Die Hard” featuring Blxst and Amanda Reifer, collectively reached over 64 million streams

Lamar set the bar high, but the next artist on the list for Top Bops exceeded all possible expectations.

The release that truly set the tone for summer music goes to Harry Styles’ Harry’s House. Released on May 20, Harry’s House remained No. 1 on Billboard 200 for three consecutive weeks, and all thirteen tracks on the album made the Billboard Hot 100. Songs including “As it Was,” “Daylight” and “Satellite” prove he’s got the talent to produce top songs over and over again.

Following Styles’ Harry’s House, the next honorable mention was the heartache album of the summer. If you weren’t jamming to Harry Styles, you were probably crying to Conan Gray’s Superache. 

Superache, Gray’s second studio album, was released on June 24. The 12-track album incorporates every aspect of a messy breakup from heartbreak to anger. Superache is the perfect title because it truly does ache. Gray is still a relatively new artist, but with Superache he was able to see more streams come his way. The most popular song off the album, “Memories,” exceeded 70 million streams on Spotify.  

July 15 will forever be a day to remember because it was the day iconic pop star Lizzo released her album Special. This wasn’t the first time this year the world had heard from the “Truth Hurts” singer as her single “About Damn Time” went No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 100 for two weeks. This album brought a new flavor of self-love and confidence to the summer playlist and based on streams alone, “Special” did anything but flop.

The next major release and possibly the most astounding of them all comes from the queen herself, Beyoncé’s RENAISSANCE. Lemonade, her last studio album from 2016, topped charts and set a number of records for the singer. RENAISSANCE, released on July 29, topped charts with ease. RENAISSANCE debuted at No. 1, six tracks hit Billboard’s Top 50 and Beyoncé become the highest streaming female artist of 2022. 

The summer of 2022 experienced hit after hit in the music industry. It seemed like everyone was releasing music and expanding their discographies. Some honorable mentions include Post Malone’s Twelve Carat Toothache (June 3); K-Pop band BTS’s Proof (June 10); Doja Cat’s single from “Elvis”, “VEGAS” (June 24); R&B singer Steve Lacy’s Gemini Rights (July 15); Megan The Stallion’s studio album Ungrateful (Aug. 12); Nicki Minaj’s single “Super Freaky Girl” (Aug. 12) and so many more. 

Summer 2022 kept it interesting to say the least. While the world seemed to be flying downhill at full speed, the music industry was booming. As long as listeners keep streaming and artists keep creating, new music will keep coming.