The Best R&B of 2022: SZA, Beyoncé, FKA twigs & more
R&B appeared in all shapes and forms in 2022. SZA finally returned with her long-awaited sophomore album, and it's loaded with contenders for the next SZA fan favorite. Megastars like Beyoncé and The Weeknd put out instantly-landmark new albums that looked far beyond R&B, but still contained some gems that fit the description, and The Weeknd also teamed with FKA twigs on one of the most purely great R&B songs of the year. Equally genre-defying artists like Sudan Archives and Yaya Bey put out records that--on a creativity level--rivaled any of the biggest names in the genre. Indie/R&B crossover acts like Kelela and Autre Ne Veut made long-awaited returns with excellent singles. Syd, Ravyn Lenae, and Amber Mark all put out A-list albums for the genre. Ella Mai hasn't topped the commercial success of "Boo'd Up," but this year's "DFMU" is one of the most addictive R&B songs of the past 12 months. Rising rapper Doechii proved her R&B side is on point as well with "Persuasive," a collaboration with the aforementioned SZA, her TDE labelmate. Jazmine Sullivan, Tinashe, and Mariah the Scientists followed up their Class of 2021 albums with great new songs that kept their momentum going. Awesome duets came from artists like Ari Lennox & Summer Walker and Kehlani & Syd. All that and more made 2022 a very good year for R&B, and with the year coming to a close, here's a list of 27 R&B songs from 2022 that we recommend, roughly ranked in semi-particular order...
1. SZA - "Conceited"
2. Yaya Bey - "keisha"
3. Sudan Archives - "Ciara"
4. Beyoncé - "CUFF IT"
5. The Weeknd - "Out of Time"
6. Jeremih - "Changes"
7. Kelela - "Happy Ending"
8. Syd - "CYBAH" (ft. Lucky Daye)
9. Ravyn Lenae - "Skin Tight" (ft. Steve Lacy)
10. Ella Mai - DFMU
11. Amber Mark - "What It Is"
12. FKA twigs - "tears in the club" (ft. The Weeknd)
13. Doechii - "Persuasive" (ft. SZA)
14. Jazmine Sullivan - "Tragic"
15. Dawn Richard and Spencer Zahn - "Umber"
16. Joyce Wrice - "Iced Tea" (ft. KAYTRANADA)
17. UMI - "say im ur luv"
18. Raveena - "Secret" (ft. Vince Staples)
19. Ari Lennox - "Queen Space" (ft. Summer Walker)
20. Kehlani - "get me started" (ft. Syd)
21. Autre Ne Veut - "Okay"
22. Marzz - "FYM"
23. Mariah the Scientist - "Spread Thin"
24. Tinashe - "Naturally"
25. Jamila Woods - "Boundaries"
26. Muni - "Baby Boo" (ft. Saweetie)
27. Lucky Daye - "Over"
Listen to a playlist of all 27 songs: