Let’s kick off our 2014 Most Anticipated Rap Albums list by speaking briefly about 2013. In terms of not only star power, but overall interest, 2013 may be the first or second landmark year for rap (if you’re counting the insane releases in 2011) within this decade span (2010-2019). Late 2012 albums like good kid, m.A.A.d city and The Heist had their praise roll over into 2013, where they flourished and joined the now rare ranks of hip hop platinum acts.

JAY Z and Kanye West meddled with the conventional plans of album releases, with the first changing the with the most ingenious avenue of release via an app and the latter refusing any sort of red carpet roll out for his highly anticipated album. Drake trumped the charts in his release, solidifying himself as rap’s next it-character and within a matter of weeks, Eminem usurped his throne and reminded him that he’s Eminem, and there’s very little resistance when ti comes to him.

Underdogs like Mac Miller, Wale, Childish Gambino, Tyler, The Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, J. Cole, Pusha T provided the soundtrack to the people and flourished on the charts and mixtapes from Migos, Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa, Rapsody, Flatbush Zombies, Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$ kept the new generation prominent.

In 2014, the landscape isn’t as star-studded but the potential in these releases might create another exciting year in rap. This year, TDE promises six releases from it’s label and there are six prominent artists on the label. Isaiah Rashad’s Cilvia, ScHoolboy Q’s Oxymoron and Kendrick Lamar’s highly-anticipated sophomore album could keep the ball in TDE’s court. Joint albums may make a comeback after being so prominent in 2011, and rap divas may be making their return.

Check out our full list of anticipated releases. Who are you looking forward to?

ASAP Mob

A$AP Mob – LORDS
Label: A$AP Worldwide, Polo Grounds, RCA | Date: March 4th

When it comes to A$AP Mob, 2013 truly put the jiggy, flashy Harlem Crew on the map. The group’s frontman A$AP Rocky topped the charts with his debut studio album Long.Live.A$AP and A$AP Ferg continued in his footsteps to bring the noise with records like “Work” & “Shabba”, which have become hip hop favorites in the past year. Now in 2013, the entire Mob will get their chance to shine as they prepare to release their first studio compilation album, the follow-up to their incredibly fuego 2012 mixtape Lord$ Never Worry. Thus far, A$AP Nast has pushed to the forefront with the gritty record “Trillmatic” featuring Wu-Tang legend, Method Man, and it has fared well with fans and critics alike but there’s a lot more to come from hip hop’s most notorious stable of self-proclaimed “young, fly ni**as.”

Andre 3000

Andre 3000 Debut Solo Album
Label: RCA | Date: TBA

We have a hard time believing that Andre 3000 is simply popping up in studios, hanging out with rappers and producers, and not banking in any studio time for a new album. In 2013, Stephen Hill of BET revealed that Andre 3000 would indeed be coming out with a solo album next year to the delight of many, but that statement was quickly shot down soon after — making us believe that his team doesn’t necessarily want people to know what’s coming (it’s okay, we’re good with surprises). With an Outkast reunion at Coachella in the works and the official release of his Jimi Hendrix biopic, All Is By My Side — we’ve got a hunch that his team is setting up the perfect storm of promotion to support his long-awaited solo LP.

Big Sean HOF

Big SeanThird Studio Album
Label: GOOD Music, Def Jam | Date: TBA

After his extremely hot 2012, the general conseus amongst rap fans was that Big Sean’s sophomore album was to be welcomed with open arms. However, when Hall of Fame eventuallly dropped, within a month’s time it seemed like more of a distant memory than the excited progression of Detroit’s newest king. There are numerous reasons why Hall Of Fame didn’t exactly hit with the people, but perhaps it can mainly be attributed to not living up to the hype. After the red hot Detroit mixtape, Hall Of Fame felt luke warm. Well Big Sean hopes to correct those errors in 2014, and has vowed that he’s “going the fuck off on these raps.” He’s already let the world know that Drake will be a big part of his next album, which is as big as it gets in this day and age honestly. Setbacks are important to the build of a successful act, realizing what works and what doesn’t may be critical to someone’s future and it’s best they get it out the way early. 2014 has the potential to be a G.O.O.D. year for Big Sean if he takes this set back, and only responds by doing damage.

Fabolous

Fabolous Loso’s Way 2: Rise To Power
Label: Desert Storm, Def Jam | Date: TBA

Like it or not, when it comes to prominence in NY MCs — Fabolous still remains at the top more than 10 years after his debut with the ability to rhyme around the competition while at the same time put out chart-worthy singles year after year. Unfortunately, Fabolous — who was previously expected to join the June 18th fray in 2013 (with Mac Miller, J. Cole, Kanye West) was unceremoniously pushed back to TBA status, and then further back into 2014. With the recent release of The Soul Tape 3, conversations of the NY MC have begin brewing again, but will he be able to return back to the same level of notoriety he had when he released his last album back in 2009? 2014 looks like an uphill battle for the Brooklyn vet, but when it’s time to bring it, Fabolous usually always delivers.


French Montana

French Montana Mac & Cheese 4
Label: Coke Boys, Maybach Music Group, Bad Boy, Interscope | Date: TBA

French Montana had a freight train like start to 2013, which quickly derailed once his debut album Excuse My French dropped to less-than-stellar sales. Perhaps the oversaturation of the MMG/Bad Boy star was the key element in it’s low sales, but he has certainly kept a low profile since the the numbers were released. However, Mac & Cheese 4 could certainly be a revival for French Montana in 2014 as he’s been out of the conversation long enough to be appreciated again if he does return with a big record. He’s got more than enough friends between his MMG & Bad Boy team to provide another solid project to right the wrongs of Excuse My French. We’re hoping he keeps Harry Fraud on this record because he was sorely missed from Excuse My French. After Coke Boys 4, expect Mac & Cheese 4 to roll into our iTunes and then possibly the sophomore album.

Future

Future – Honest
Label: A1, Freenandz, Epic | Date: TBA

Future’s come a long way since his largely inaudible rhymes back in 2011 on “Racks” as well as his coming out single, “Tony Montana.” In 2013, he defined himself as a hitmaker with a consistent presence on the radio (“Love Me”, “Bugatti”, “No Games”), but could deliver hard knocking street records right to your front door (“Sh!t”, “Karate Chop”). Now for 2014, he seems to be pushing those two attributes behind him (but surely not out the picture) in order to become more ‘Honest’ on his sophomore LP. “You know that I can make hits. You know I can do all these rap records. So, I’m going to start opening up and letting you know my struggles,” Future spilled to Billboard.com when they had an exclusive listen of the album. He’s flourished as a featured character on records with Rihanna, Lil Wayne, Kelly Rowland, Ciara, Ace Hood, Miley Cyrus, Rich Gang, DJ Khaled, B.o.B, Rick Ross (and the list literally continues to go on and on). The question now is: Will Future rise to the occasion and drop an album to remember?

Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea The New Classic
Label: Mercury, Island Def Jam | Date: Spring 2013

In 2013, Iggy Azalea made her worldwide debut with “Work” (which garnered her some international love in the UK), signed her major deal with Island Def Jam, an toured alongside Beyoncé on the Australian-leg of her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. What’s not to love about that year? In a year where the progression of the new wave of female rappers essentially halted, she was 2013’s breakthrough female MC and quite possibly stands (a distant) second to what Nicki Minaj has done. But 2014 hopes to be different for Iggy Azalea, and she hopes to bring her slammin’ bod into the new year with a bunch of potential hits to boot. We’ve already heard the single “Work” & “Change Your Life”, which haven’t disappointed at all — so we’re interested to hear if what the Aussie has conjured up is worthy of the title, The New Classic.

Isaiah Rashad

Isaiah Rashad Cilvia
Label: Top Dawg Entertainment | Date: Early 2014

The Chattanooga, Tennessee native put his own city on the map once it was revealed he signed to Top Dawg Entertainment alongside the quartet of stellar MCs, Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock & Ab-Soul. With 2014 officially upon us he has a chance to make a dent in hip hop with his debut project on the brand, Cilvia. Already Rashad has proven himself on records like his official debut “Shot You Down”, and that he has the ability to hold his own with his TDE brothers on the official remix featuring ScHoolboy Q and Jay Rock. He only continues to get more intriguing as he goes on with the record “Ronnie Drake” featuring SZA is another simmering throwback to mid-90s southern rap. Rest assured, if TDE drops his album at the top of the year, we’re sure that we’ll be bumping this one all the way from January through December.

Jeezy

Jeezy TBA
Label: CTE World, Def Jam | Date: TBA

“This is probably my first album where I can explain and let niggas know where I stand. In layman’s terms, the statute of limitations is over with,” Jeezy reveals on the trailer to his new album, and that’s pretty much all that we need to hear. Jeezy has claimed his lane, carved his niche, and attained a OG-level of street status since he emerged on the scene with his solo debut in 2005, and each album is anticipated like a pastor’s sermon is anticipated every Sunday. While mixtapes and EP have held us over for the last year, the hip hop world is waiting for the next lesson in Thug Motivation and if Jeezy has anything to do with it, we’ll certainly have it before 2014 concludes. The trap-powered “In My Head” serves as a precursor of what’s to come in 2014, but it looks like we’ll get contributions from Future, Usher, Ludacris, DJ Drama, Don Cannon and no doubt the other members of his CTE World imprint. Dat New Jeezy is on it’s way folks.

Joey Badass

Joey Bada$$ B4.DA.$$
Label: Cinematic Music Group, Relentless Records | Date: Late 2014

Considering all the talk about New York hip hop not being as strong as it used to be, we’re surprised at how quiet Joey Bada$$ — one of the leaders of the current youth movement in NY, has been concerning the entire thing. While his peers are taking interviews, getting some press about Trinidad Jame$-esque matters, we hope that Joey Bada$$ has been in the studio and gearing up for the biggest moment of his career. Joey Bada$$ has turned down label deals (even one from the Brooklyn legend himself, JAY Z at Roc Nation) to release his album on his own time under his own rules. While he’s typically stuck to keeping it in-house with his last few projects with production mostly handled by the Pro Era crew, expect him to call on a few more producers with names like Harry Fraud, DJ Premier, Q-Tip, Pete Rock, and Statik Selektah being thrown around for the project.

Kanye West

Kanye West Seventh Studio Album
Label: Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam | Date: Summer 2014

It feels like with each passing album from Kanye West, we wonder how exactly does he plan to top the last. In 2013 he released Yeezus, a much darker turn from the pristine, polished production brought on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Instead of flying off the handle with his rhymes, instead of trying to recreate a moment, he chose to create an unforgettable, genre-bending LP that once again exceeded most albums that dropped this year. Once again in 2014, the star is the limit for Kanye West. There are no major details about the album other than he’ll be heading into the studio with Q-Tip and Rick Rubin again, but you have plenty to look forward to if it’s another Kanye West album. He’s never missed, so don’t expect him to.

Kendrick LAmar

Kendrick Lamar Second Studio Album
Label: Top Dawg Entertainment, Aftermath, Interscope | Date: TBA

How do you top a classic? Yes we said it, classic. Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city became an instant favorite in every hip hop listener’s catalog and become the first hip hop debut to hit platinum status since, well, his rival Drake’s. However, after a full 2013 of supporting the album and killing every single one of his features, he’ll dedicate 2014 fo heading back in the studio to work on the follow-up LP — which we hope to be every bit as exciting as the last. Judging from Kendrick Lamar’s character, we don’t expect him to try to immediately recreate the aura from his classic debut. Instead, we should expect a much more current outlook on things. He’s kept quiet on his life since the classic debut and the infamous “Control” verse, expect an overflow of emotions, flows, lyrics from our favorite Compton MC.

Kendrick Lamar J Cole

Kendrick Lamar & J. Cole
Label: TDE, Aftermath, Interscope, Dreamvillain, Roc Nation, Columbia, | Date: TBA

Oh you thought we forgot? Nah. We’re pretty much demanding this album at this point. Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole have been secretly (ok, maybe not-so-secretly) been working on a joint LP to release to the people in some sort of fashion, and while the artists were bombarded with the questions in the early part of 2013 — talk about the album has simmered since J. Cole’s sophomore dropped and the “Control” verse changed the discussion. What we know now is that J. Cole has handled most of the production on the LP, and that it simply won’t be a mixtape release. Considering the trend of surprise releases that came into prominence in 2013, we wouldn’t be surprised if this one came completely out of the blue — we wouldn’t be mad either. Take our money, bandwidth, hard drive space now with the potential that’s in-store for this project.

Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon
Label: Wicked Awesome, Universal | Date: TBA

Kid Cudi has been hanging the carrot in front of us for quite some time with the third, and final, installment of the MOTM-series, Man On The Moon 3 — but unfortunately, he has revealed a 2015 release date for that project. Instead, we’ll be treated to the prelude for what’s to come on his EP, Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon – his first official album off the G.O.O.D Music imprint. Not much has been revealed about the EP except the promising track “Satellite Flight”, which has him reuniting with WZRD partner-in-crime, Dot Da Genius, but we’ve got one high on our anticipated rankings.

Kid Ink

Kid Ink My Own Lane
Label: Tha Alumni Music Group, 88 Classic, RCA Records | Date: Jan 7th

Kid Ink has been a force on the west coast for quite some time now, but his single with Chris Brown “Show Me” is finally garnering him some nationwide attention, and the timing couldn’t be any better for the tatted-rapper. Kid Ink will be the first MC up at bat this year with the first major release of the year with My Own Lane, and he’s managed to stack his LP with big name features like Chris Brown, Tyga, Pusha T, King Los, August Alsina, Elle Varner, and Machine Gun Kelly. Judging from the singles and promotional tracks, the album is expected to have a solid balance of party records with DJ Mustard handling production, as well as much more serious cuts like “No Miracles.”

Jay Z Kanye West

Jay Z & Kanye West Watch The Throne 2
Label: Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam, Roc Nation | Date: TBA

We were reluctant to put this on the list, but with all the new rules being put in place in the music industry, this one could potentially come out of nowhere. Jay Z and Kanye West both released their respective follow-ups to their Watch The Throne project this year, just three weeks apart from one another actually, and considering the direction both albums took — we’ll be more interested in hearing how a Watch The Throne album would sound this time around. Everyone who would be potentially involved like engineer Young Guru, producer Mike Dean, and even JAY Z and Kanye West have confirmed the existence of the album, but it’s just when the two major figures in hip hop would have time in their extracurricular schedules to sit down for another hip hop album.

Lupe Fiasco

Lupe Fiasco Testuo & Youth
Label: 1st & 15th, Atlantic | Date: TBA

Lupe Fiasco is four out of four in creating Grammy-nominated rap albums, a flawless record that no other MC has yet to replicate to this day. Since initially speaking on the project Tetsou & Youth at the GRAMMYs red carpet in 2013, it’s taken a while for the ball to get rolling on the album but it’s beginning to look more like Lupe Season with his Tetsou & Youth Preview tour as well as the single “Old School Love” featuring Ed Sheeran invading radio. Lupe Fiasco plans on expanding his featured-artist palette on this new album already with features from Chris Brown (“Crack”), Trae Tha Truth, Rick Ross and Big K.R.I.T. among others. There’s no telling what more will be revealed once the album officially drops, but in terms of the release date, it’s completely in Atlantic Records’ court now.

Mac Miller Pharrell

Mac Miller & Pharrell Pink Slime
Label: Rostrum Records | Date: TBA

Pink Slime has been a long time coming for fans of both Mac Miller and Pharrell. Before there was “Blurred Lines” or “Get Lucky”, Pink Slime was the first official project that could’ve kicked off the Midas Touch revival of Pharrell — but considering the busy schedules of both, with Mac Miller releasing his sophomore album Watching Movies With the Sound Off and Pharrell basically taking over the world, neither have time to put the finishing touches on that. That all ends in 2014. As Mac Miller revealed to Rolling Stone, the two plan to finish this thing off once and for all and have it out by the end of the year, which could include several more Mac Miller projects until then and at least one new Pharrell album to boot. We haven’t heard anything since their collaboration “Glow” back in 2012, so it’ll be interesting to see the route these two talented artists take in 2014.

Mase

Ma$e Now We Even
Label: N/A | Date: TBA

We’ve had returns from every other prominent 90s MC we can think of (except the really forgettable ones), but we can easily say a return from Ma$e is long overdue. While the world tries to forget his 2004 return to the game with Welcome Back, it feels like Ma$e has a renewed energy from his Harlem World days — especially with extremely talented friends like Diddy, Rick Ross, and Drake willing to offer their services to polish off his return to the game. He gave us a taste of what to expect with the extremely chill “Why Can’t We” featuring Her, which feels like classic Mason Betha in our opinion. Now We Even” could end up being heralded as the biggest return of the year by the time 2014’s through.

Migos

Migos YRN 2
Label: Quality Control Music | Date: Early 2014

Migos became the most unlikely of success stories in 2013. While the trio seemed like a one hit wonder following the “Versace” verse by Drake, their project YRN received a ton of acclaim from major publications including XXL, Pitchfork, Complex, SPIN and Rolling Stone among others. Now with the original YRN sitting comfortably on the praises of the world, the sequel may be more exciting than the first. Expect the same trap house rhymes on a much bigger stage in 2014, with records like “Ounces”, “Jealous”, and “Charles Barkley” playing the role as amazing preludes for what’s to come. Of course once the mixtape drops, look forward to expecting their debut album with all three members finally intact.

Mike Will Made It

Mike Will Made It Est. In 1989 (Part 3)
Label: EarDrumma, Interscope | Date: TBA

Mike Will Made It’s been scorching on the scene since his big radio debut with “Tupac Back”, now he’s gone from simply a young ATL figure to one of the most in-demand producers in music to date, blessing artists like Miley Cyrus, Future, Rihanna, Kelly Rowland, Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, Juicy J, Ciara and more with nothing but hits — and he’s only 24 years old. He’s inked his own major deal with Interscope Records, in collaborations with Ear Drummas, to release his first album Est. In 1989, Pt. 3 with the Top 20 single “23” featuring Miley Cyrus, Juicy J, and Wiz Khalifa under his belt. The sky’s the limit for Mike Will Made It, and he promises to have nothing but bangers of course when he’s ready to put it out. “I want to make sure my album’s perfect and that when it comes out it’s a moment,” he vowed to Rolling Stone.

Nas

Nas Twelfth Studio Album
Label: Def Jam | Date: TBA

Life Is Good deserved a GRAMMY in some sort of fashion, but it looks like the curse will continue to live on as one of hip hop’s most reputable MCs fails to get the acknowledgement he deserves. But that certainly doesn’t deter Nas from continuing to make great music. Life Is Good was return to Nas in rare, classic form as he found himself at #4 on our Top Albums List of 2012 based on the nearly flawless album he created for the summer. For a while he’s been back in the studio working on it’s follow-up and it already looks like another classic with possible contributions from Hit-Boy, Frank Ocean, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland and JAY Z. Let’s hope that Nas can keep that feeling from his Life Is Good sessions and score another highly-praised LP.

Nicki Minaj 3

Nicki Minaj Third Studio Album
Label: Young Money, Cash Money, Universal | Date: TBA

While we’ll admit that “Starships” eventually turned out to be an incredibly dope record, we’d love to erase all that is 2012 from our Nicki Minaj memory in favor of enjoying what she brought to the table in 2013. In a response to the heavy scrutiny by rap fans (and in general just lovers of music), she returned to rare form in 2013 as the “Murdered You On Your Own Shit” Nicki Minaj that got us excited for her debut way back in 2010. A renewed vigor saw her steal the show from the boys on “Tap Out”, deliver another jaw-dropping verse on Ciara’s “I’m Out”, and keep the excitement level up on Chris Brown’s “Love More”, DJ Khaled “I Wanna Be With You”, and Wale’s “Clappers” — just to name a few. Hell, just a few days ago she hinted at what could be Nicki Season on the remix “Boss Ass Bitch”, issuing a fair warning to her competition that she’s in album mode for 2014. She’s been keeping tight-lipped on any details of the LP, but given her current streak of verses it’s safe to say we can return back to loving what she’s got to offer once again.

Meek Mill

Meek Mill Second Studio Album
Label: Dreamchasers, MMG, Atlantic | Date: TBA

With each passing project, Meek Mill’s begins to gain another level of confidence in his raps and Dreamchasers 3 is certainly a testimony to that fact as he’s come as correct as he’s ever been. Now with the mixtape in the rearview mirror, we’re interested in what Meek Mill has up his sleeves for the follow-up to his chart-topping debut, Dreams & Nightmares. There hasn’t been much talk about the album from Meek himself, but we can certainly expect the usual suspects including the MMG team and Jahlil Beats, but he hopes to work with JAY Z, Rihanna, M.I.A. and Alicia Keys on the album. Maybe even Kendrick Lamar will slide a verse Meek’s way.With each passing year he’s waving the Philly flag and more confident in music, and in 2014 we’re definitely interested in hearing the progression of him as a rapper.

Music Video Pusha T King Push

Pusha T King Push
Label: GOOD Music, Def Jam | Date: TBA

It took years for Pusha T to finally get his solo debut My Name Is My Name out, and her did not disappoint in the slightest with it’s unveiling — landing at #4 on our Top Albums of 2013 list. Now as quick as it dropped, he plans on hopping back in the studio to work on it’s follow-up which is entitled, King Push. During a sit-down interview with Miss Info, the hip hop star made no qualms in revealing that he’ll be heading back in the studio for 20 days with Pharrell to work on the bulk of his sophomore album, and we’re sure they’ll recapture that classic sound they created during the Clipse era. MNIMN proved that Pusha T is as critically-acclaimed as he believes he is, so King Push should certainly be a healthy reminder.

Rick Ross

Rick Ross – Mastermind
Label: Maybach Music Group, Slip-n-Slide Records, Def Jam Recordings | Date: Early 2014

Recording for Mastermind has been the longest album process of Rick Ross’ career, and from that alone it could possibly turn out to be his most polished artwork to date. We all know of the cinematic stories that rap’s biggest boss loves to tell and in this latest album they only continue to get more grandiose. From “Maybach Music 5” featuring the legendary Bobby Womack to channeling the Notorious B.I.G. in his own almost-fatal parallel earlier this year with a drive-by shooting and even the single “The Devil Is A Lie” featuring JAY Z, one of his most high-profile releases to date, it’s all been hinting towards Rick Ross further elevating his status and career in hip hop and hoping to put out a record that can undeniably be referred to as a “classic.”

ScHoolboy Q

ScHoolboy Q Oxymoron
Label: Top Dawg Entertainment, Interscope | Date: February 25th

It’s about friggin time if you ask me. ScHoolboy Q has been sitting on Oxymoron for quite some time, with singles like “Yay Yay”, “Collard Greens”, and “Man of the Year” only increasing our appetite for what the most gangsta hippy in music has up his sleeve for his album. Q’s the second major release of the TDE Imprint (backed by Interscope Records), and he’s had to sit in the shadow of what Kendrick Lamar has built for what seems like two years now. Well he vows that Oxymoron will be just as good, if not better than good kid, m.A.A.d city and considering how good Habits & Contradictions was, who’s gonna argue with him? Rumored features on the album include the entire Black Hippy team, A$AP Rocky, Danny Brown, and 50 Cent — but who knows if a few more will make the list once that final track listing drops. ScHoolboy Q is admittedly one of our favorite artists (and should be yours too), so we’re anticipating anything he puts out.

Slaughterhouse

Slaughterhouse Third Studio Album
Label: Shady Records, Interscope | Date: TBA

Slaughterhouse appeared on this list for 2012 for their sophomore album welcome to: OUR HOUSE, and while they now had the support of Slim Shady and Interscope Records — the album didn’t necessarily bring any new attention towards the group. So the boys have changed things up on their third go-around, this time enlisting the genius of Just Blaze as executive producer to the LP. The producer whose most known for his work during the golden era of Roc-A-Fella could potentially breath new life in the most lyrically-formidable foursome in the industry, and throughout the recording process they seem relatively excited to deliver some promising new records. Expect production from Araab Muzik, Cardiak, Just Blaze, and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League.

Wale

Wale The Album About Nothing
Label: Maybach Music Group, Atlantic | Date: TBA

Wale has a stellar 2013 as he once again dominated the charts with his lead single “Bad” featuring Tiara Thomas, which earned him a platinum plaque, as well as his third studio album The Gifted, which is currently still on-pace to go gold. But no matter which publication or not doesn’t accept his work as being best-of-the-year worthy, the chip on his shoulder continues to grow to prove them wrong which results in much more exciting music. And The Album About Nothing could potentially be his most exciting album to date, just from the headline alone. An extension of his previous mixtapes which made him an underground sensation and which scored him his first deal with Interscope, The Album About Nothing will be something that diehard fans of him love from his previous era, but on a much grander scale. Not to mention that the album will include the philosophical gems of comedian Jerry Seinfeld, whose ubiquitous show inspired many of his previous works. Wale’s currently at the best he’s been at his entire career, and on The Album About Nothing, there’s no reason he should be denied.

Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa Blacc Hollywood
Label: Taylor Gang, Atlantic | Date: TBA

Wiz Khalifa has been steadily consistent since he made the transition over from one of the rap game’s most exciting new acts to mainstream superstar, and in the process has dropped two solid albums with Rolling Papers and O.N.I.F.C. So what does he have to prove on this third LP? Not a damn thing. Wiz Khalifa revealed to DJ Skee that the project is going to be a “very fun project”, and that he’s taking his time to pick out records for the project. Promising leaks like “Look What I Got On” and “Got Me Some More” have hinted at the light-hearted direction of this album, and with guests like The Weeknd, Miley Cyrus and even pop-juggernaut Adele on the featured-list, this has the potential to be Wiz Khalifa’s biggest album to date.

YG

YG My Krazy Life
Label: Pushaz Ink., CTE World, Def Jam | Date: March 4th

The resurgence of the west coast on the heels of Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city and in part to DJ Mustard’s-hit making production has done wonders for the the hip hop landscape. YG, who’s previous claim to fame was 2010’s “Toot It & Boot It” has struck gold again with his Top 20, viral-to-radio hit “My Nigga” featuring Jeezy & Rich Homie Quan, and his follow-up single “Left, Right” featuring DJ Mustard and impending single with Drake (“Who Do You Love”), prove that he’s got more than just one-off single up his sleeve. YG’s CTE World/Def Jam debut is set to drop on March 18th, and we’re certain that this one will be another one in the W column for the buzzing west and more importantly, YG.

50 Cent

50 Cent Animal Ambition: An Untamed Desire To Win
Label: Shady, Aftermath, Interscope Records | Date: Early 2014/font>

Ten years ago, 50 Cent was the rookie running things in hip hop with the release of his debut Get Rich or Die Tryin’ — but unlike his hip hop competition at the time in JAY Z and Kanye West, he’s been unable to sustain that success. Perhaps the connection with the fans isn’t as strong as it used to be. Perhaps label politics have stalled his album Street King Immortal to the point where people are no longer interested in what 50 Cent has to offer in 2013. In 2014 he hopes his musical decisions can be as lucrative as his business decisions with the release of Animal Ambition: An Untamed Desire To Win due at the top of the year. It’s not quite a mixtape, but isn’t the official fifth studio album that will mark the end of his contract with Interscope Records, instead he’s been “inspired in a whole other direction” to release this “full body of work.” No major details on what’s coming yet, but things should be a lot clearer in the upcoming weeks.

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