Top 10 R&B Songs of 2022: Staff Picks (2023)

Analysis of the most memorable R&B tracks of the year.

(Video) 🔥 Hot Right Now - Best of 2022 | Best Hip Hop R&B Rap Songs of 2022 - New Year 2023 Mix

Top 10 R&B Songs of 2022: Staff Picks (1)

(Video) 🔥 Hot Right Now - Best of 2022 | Best Hip Hop R&B Rap Songs of 2022 | New Year 2023 Mix

Love was an overarching theme in R&B in 2022 — and given what people have been grappling with in recent years amid the pandemic, relentless social and political woes, and economic uncertainty, that's not surprising. The different iterations of the emotion were rhythmically and lyrically dissected: from new love, spiritual love, toxic love and lost love, especially self-love.

Both established and rising stars have taken a refreshing and insightful approach to the often touchy subject. Songwriter Muni Long maintained her solo career with "Hrs and Hrs," her sensual, open-ended approach to lovemaking. On the other side of the clock - against a contagious two-tier lead - The Weeknd battled the delay as his lover ended the relationship.

Beyoncé took fans on a liberating course of self-love with the anthem "Break My Soul," then evoked the exhilarating feeling of falling in love and living life with abandon in "Cuff It." Rihanna, also making her long-awaited musical comeback, spoke about the spiritual power of lasting love in "Lift Me Up."

Here are the most memorable R&B songs of 2022:

  • Rihanna, "Hol mich hoch"

    Top 10 R&B Songs of 2022: Staff Picks (2)

    After five years off the charts, Rihanna has resurfaced with this beautiful balladBlack Panther: Wakanda ForeverSoundtrack. The song, co-written by Tems, is an ode to the late actor andBlack PantherStars Chadwick Boseman and showcases Rih's increasingly mature tone and emotional delivery, leaving fans wanting more. Rihanna offers a tender tribute to the beloved actor and a memorable return to her musical roots.—NEENA ROUHANI

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  • Tems, "Free Mind"

    The Tems movement has reached capacity in 2022 thanks to its sizzling features (Futures "Wait 4 U" and Beyonce's "Move"). Aside from her impressive assists, however, it was her not-so-hidden solo gem, Free Mind, that made her a superstar. Unearthed from their exciting 2020 EPfor broken earsHis "Free Mind" rose from the ashes and became his first solo hit on the Hot 100 last June. Eager for deliverance, Tems works wonders with her pen, giving us poignant lines like "This is the peace you haven't can buy" and "Send me a love you can't mix". —CARL LAMARRE

  • Chris Brown, "Under the Influence"

    Chris Brown slows down several times to arouse a love interest, but his desire becomes blurred after drinking some syrup. Slowly paving its way to success, "Under the Influence" ended 2022 on a high, having cracked the top 15 of the Hot 100 and giving C-Breezy another platinum plaque to add to his impressive collection. —MIKE SAPONARA

  • SZA, "Camisa"

    Top 10 R&B Songs of 2022: Staff Picks (3)

    Also at the center of the much-anticipated comebacks in 2022 was R&B cult favorite SZA, who emotionally describes the despair of toxic love on "Shirt." The destruction of the depicted relationship is reflected in the track's cinematic visuals, directed by Dave Meyers, which features SZA and Lakeith Stanfield wreaking havoc across the city. Its calm tone belies the chaos, simultaneously rough and smooth over the Darkchild-produced beat. —Nr.

  • Steve Lacy, "Bad Habit"

    With his ear hook, "Bad Habit" catapulted Steve Lacy to the top of the Hot 100, all four of the Big Four at the Grammys, and the next step in his career. In the song, the former cult artist turns misunderstanding with a potential romantic interest into a universal anthem: "I wish I knew / I wish I knew you wanted me," he sings over a steady bassline and brilliant synths in the song's chorus . —CYDNEY LEE

  • Brent Faiyaz, "All Means"

    Love can be difficult for Brent Faiyaz, but the Maryland-born singer-songwriter knows what he wants in the intense romance "All Mine," and makes his most urgent plea for his baby mama's adoration. Pulling out all the stops, Faiyaz charmingly sings, "I know I've been the worst / But I'll love you more / If you let me / Let's catch a flight, change the weather / And I promise forever." The upbeat Ode rose from a crowded R&B field, became a radio hit and a defining moment for the burgeoning Faiyaz. —EM.

  • The Weeknd, "Fora do Tempo"

    Top 10 R&B Songs of 2022: Staff Picks (4)

    in your thirdTwilight FMSingle, The Weeknd admits it's his fault when his lover leaves him, and deep in his '80s bag, he puts a twist on this age-old dilemma by reproducing Tomoko Aran's Japanese pop hit 'Midnight Pretenders' by Sampled in 1983 and Jim Carrey taps into additional vocals. The Weeknd's sonic experiments and insightful lyrics ("You begged me with your drowned eyes to stay") not only led to another R&B hit, but the track became a two-step dance anthem.C.LEE

  • Beyoncé, „Break My Soul“

    If ever a song perfectly captured people's need for release and rebirth from pandemic isolation and raging social issues, it's Beyoncé's "Break My Soul." You can't help but dance and sing your heart out to the energetic house track, which features an exuberant sample of Big Freedia's 2014 single "Explode." Reuniting with co-collaborators Tricky Stewart and The-Dream, Beyoncé explains that it's time to reflect and move forward: "I'm looking for motivation / I'm looking for new avenues, yeah / And I'm in this new mood. .. You will not break my soul. —GAIL MITCHELL

  • Beyoncé, "Manschette es"

    Beyoncé lets go and promises to "screw up the night" in this uptempo.rebirthTrack, like "Cuff It", swells with a buzz and conviction of love reminiscent of "Love on Top". At the same time, Nile Rodgers' guitar and Raphael Saadiq's drums and bass evoke the seductive rhythms of 70's disco funk music. "Cuff It" earned QueenBey his 10º#1 R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay and a Best R&B Song nomination at the 2023 Grammy Awards, continuing their reign as rhythmic kings.—WONDERFUL MAMO

  • Muni Long, 'hours & hours'

    Top 10 R&B Songs of 2022: Staff Picks (5)

    Among his many accomplishments in 2022, Muni Long demonstrated his uninhibited sexuality by dishing out a modern take on "Cater 2 U" featuring "Hrs and Hrs." Not only is she bold enough to break the bedroom time limit, she's willing to take it up a notch with champagne showers, shrimp and lobster towers, knowing that food and sex together are every man's kryptonite. Its defiance of the timer makes "Hrs and Hrs" an indelible gem and a must-have on any sensual playlist.—CL

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